Scott Barge (left) with the prize and slices of his winning raspberry creme sponge cake at the Great EMU Bake-Off last week. Kirsten Beachy, with her little quality control managers/product-testers/daughters Irene and Sallie, was third with her peach creme gingersnap pie. Braydon Hoover and his macarons took runner-up honors. Their day jobs? Barge is VP for institutional research, Beachy a professor of English and director of EMU's Core Curriculum, and Hoover director of advancement and annual giving. (Photo by Lauren Jefferson)

‘Here Together’ Week Photo Album (with a little commentary)

EMU’s “Here Together” Week began Monday with a rainstorm for the Waterman/Northwest neighborhood trash pick-up and ended with blazing sun and blue skies for the ice cream giveaway and concert downtown on Saturday.

In between, 12 other events brought EMU employees into the Harrisonburg community to share talents, time and fellowship: In summary, food was baked, kitties were cuddled, pickleballs whacked, clothing folded, hats and scarves knitted, comforters knotted, plants swapped, music played, trash trashed, underwater creatures photographed…

“I noticed that when pickleball was scheduled, not much was happening in my inbox,” said one employee, who speculated it might be the new unofficial sport of EMU.

At the pickleball courts: Katie Russo, Zach Yoder, Erika Gingerich and Matt Ruth. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Kreider, pickleball organizer)

Campus was also deserted (groan) for the Great EMU Bake-off, attended by nearly 50 hungry spectators at around tea-time on Wednesday at the Friendly City Food Co-op. Lindsay Martin, director of development for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and a board member at the co-op, hosted the event, which pitted 10 entrants and entries against each other in an anonymous taste-off presided over by judges EMU President Susan Schultz Huxman, Co-op deli team leader Melissa Lapp and admissions counselor Keyvon Scott.

Bake-off participants pose in front of their entries: Kimberly Phillips, chocolate blueberry cupcakes; Christina Harman, angel food cake; Katie Derstine, peach blueberry Greek yogurt cake; Kirsten Beachy, peach creme gingersnap pie; Scott Barge, raspberry creme sponge cake; Braydon Hoover, macarons, Cathy Rittenhouse, summer tomato and brie tart. Absent: Joanna Friesen, chocolate hazelnut tart, and Dawn Kreider (paradoxical quiche pretzel pie). They are randomly posed and cannot be linked with their entry. “This was modelled on the Great British Bake-off,” said organizer Lindsay Martin, “but we thought it would be best if the the tasting was blind.”

Entries were judged on appearance, texture, flavor, creativity and use of a local ingredient. (Eggs from the chickens of history professor Mark Sawin were featured in at least two entries.)

Scott Barge and his raspberry creme sponge cake won the grand prize of a giant basket of foodie-oriented goodies donated by the co-op, followed by Brayden Hoover’s macarons and Kirsten Beachy’s peach creme gingersnap pie.

Scroll to enjoy more snapshots of the week’s events.

(Courtesy of Simone Horst)

Unfortunately no on involved in the Northwest neighborhood, organized by resident Simone Horst, wanted to pose with the accumulated trash stacked up in Morrison Park adjacent to Waterman Elementary School. The photo does not include the Best Find/Most Exciting Discovery, a snare drum found behind La Morena by Jennifer North Bauman. While carrying it back to the park, she had the happy coincidence of passing by and being congratulated on her find by area resident Mr. Marlon Foster, percussionist and retired Harrisonburg City Schools music teacher. Another participant is finding a good home for the drum.

Teams work on knotting comforters. In the photo above at front is Mary Anne Zehr and her mother, behind from left is Amy Hartsell and Barbara Wheatley, and Veva Mumaw with Jennifer Ulrich.

Yvonne Martin (right, with cloth squares available for those who wanted to design a comforter) heard about the “Here Together” project in spring 2020 and began working on a new batch of comforters for colleagues to help knot and sew. Five were finished during the afternoon session, which will be donated to Grace House, a residential maternity program in Bridgewater that provides an alternative to abortion for young women ages 18 to 30 who are in need of support during their pregnancy.

Knitters and crocheters, organized by Kathy Smith and Beth Brunk, used the same room earlier in the week to make hats and scarves for incoming migrants using New Bridges services. Rocktown Yarns in Harrisonburg’s Agora Market and private donors gifted the yarn.

(Pooch and kitty photos courtesy of Barb Byers)

A crowd, here with volunteer coordinator Dacia Foster (above, at right) and Mary Davis (below) signed up to help walk and play with cats and dogs at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA. Barb Byers, who set up the session, volunteers twice a week (at the adoptable cat room and as front desk support for the evening foster clinic). Fun fact: Barb is the mastermind behind the very popular Kittens on Campus events. She and her family fostered 15 kittens last summer!

Carol Hurst, Patience Kamau, and Amelia Morrison enjoy an afternoon excursion to Rawley Springs with Professor Steven David Johnson and his underwater camera gear. Johnson helped the participants learn how to use the equipment.

Kamau looks for her opportunity. Johnson said sculpin, tadpoles and crayfish were photographed.

EMU at Lancaster (Pa.) hosted its own “Here Together” week events, including a poverty simulation facilitated by Community Action Partnership, Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization. The simulation is an immersive, interactive experience in which participants assume an identity, a budget, and a series of challenges based on real challenges and stresses of a person living in poverty, from issues related to transportation, job/job security, medical and utilities expenses, etc. (Photos below courtesy of Brian Nguyen/CAP)

Below, Lancaster faculty and staff approach various “agencies” during the simulation.

Lancaster employees also participated in the Tuesday and Wednesday morning plenary sessions via Zoom [the virtual format was also an option for Harrisonburg campus employees], and enjoyed a meal together at a city restaurant (rain cancelled the original rooftop dining plans. (Photo courtesy of Julie Siegfried)

Yvonne Martin, dressed appropriately in her cycling duds, and Ron Shultz get started on the first batch of ice cream, while Steve Yoder makes sure the ice is consistent around the canister. The “Happy Ice Cream Pedallers” did their work on Saturday around the corner from the concert in front of Massanutten Regional Library.

Beth Good (right) and Sue Cockley hawk homemade vanilla ice cream (it was free so not difficult). Ron Shultz struggles through the uphill (thick) and late stages of a churn (back left) under the not-so-watchful eye, at this point, of head creamery manager Dave King.

Benjamin Bergey (left) and David Berry, EMU music professors, share a pre-concert jam. Berry is on the melodica. “It’s nice to stand up and play,” he said (for all of you not in the know, Berry is a pianist.)

Berry and Bergey, with voice professor James Richardson (left), Preparatory Music Program director Kimberly Souther on the cello and Director of Bands Kyle Remnant providing vocals and playing the trombone, gave a two-hour concert on the plaza outside the library.

Thought coon-skin caps had gone out of style? Nope.

Discussion on “‘Here Together’ Week Photo Album (with a little commentary)

  1. I agree Ronda! I loved that we were able to give back to our community and enjoy the company of our EMU community! Let’s keep this going!

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