In this months edition of Good Life in Happy Valley, youll meet Ethan Gwynn, a 22-year-old State College resident who loved to sing and act in the theater and finally discovered his passion for dance during his senior year in high school.
Today hes an avid student of ballet, hip-hop and other dance forms, set to resume college in the fall and become a dance major at Slippery Rock. He also has an extended tryout with a Pittsburgh modern dance company at the end of the month.
In Living Local we introduce you to Josh Helke, who started his business, Organic Climbing, in 2004. As a serious rock climber, he was dissatisfied with the quality of foreign-made bouldering gear. So he took matters into his own hands.
His factory in Philipsburg now employs seven people making crash pads, chalk bags and messenger bags that have earned rave reviews from the climbing community.
The State College resident is proud his products carry Made in the USA labels and propel others to pursue the sport he has loved deeply since his Minnesota childhood.
You will also discover a tiny literary outpost that stands on a corner in the College Heights neighborhood. Its the Little Free Library, a book repository set up by Alexandra Broyles in front of her home. Broyles, a book-lover, learned about the Little Free Library program run by a Wisconsin nonprofit and decided State College should have a branch.
Our Q&A features Ben Haagen, a Howard resident and math teacher whos filling big shoes. Hes the new president of the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair, taking over from the late Joe Hartle, a fair legend. As a lifelong youth agricultural educator and fairgoer, hes ready to carry on the Grange Fair tradition.
Susan Leath is president and publisher of the Centre Daily Times.