Eat, Play, Live

There’s a sense of community in where we eat, play and live

Welcome back to the second edition of Eat, Play, Live, and thank you for reading. We began prepping for this edition almost immediately after last year’s was published, thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response received from you, our readers. We heard how much you enjoyed reading about the unique people, places, attractions and businesses that make our county such a special place. And as predicted, you let us know about more highlights of life in Centre County to feature this year.

As much as you enjoyed reading the stories, I can assure you we’ve enjoyed telling them. It’s reader-driven projects like this that remind us of what a strong and vibrant community we call home.

A common theme to all of our features this year is the sense of community each establishment works to create with their patrons. In 1986, psychologists David McMillan and David Chavis defined sense of community as “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.” For Centre County, that definition rings true not just in the businesses and organizations featured in the coming pages but beyond.

It’s a spirit that stretches far and wide, to residents and to visitors. Visitors frequently cite a feeling of belonging and the welcoming environment provided here in Centre County as part of the draw that keeps them coming back year after year — a draw we locals completely understand.

Sharing a meal together is one of the easiest ways to build a sense of community. In the Eat section, you will find features profiling the 80-plus years of history that surrounds The Rathskeller, Miss Ruby’s Supper Club at The Hummingbird Room in Spring Mills and Way Fruit Farm, where a lot of the region’s freshest bounty gets its start.

Solidifying relationships through joint activities can further strengthen community bonds. In the Play section, you’ll read about the Mountain Top Area Pool, Stitch Your Art Out and the State College Area Roller Derby, and the new connections they are making as well as the traditions they are working to preserve.

Once those bonds are built, they stay strong thanks to the wide network of organizations in our county making sure everyone’s needs are met. In Live, you can read about how that’s happening at Centre Volunteers in Medicine, Mount Nittany Dog Training Club and the State College YMCA.

Speaking of a wide network of resources, we heard from readers last year that you wanted to see a list of our area’s nonprofits. You’ll find such a list here, compiled with help from the Centre County United Way. To include a nonprofit on next year’s list, email eatplaylive@centredaily .com.

We hope you will find these articles as interesting as we did, and that you will continue to share with us the hidden gems you love. There are no doubt many more stories to tell about this vast and bustling community.

Janet Santostefano is president and publisher of the Centre Daily Times.

Let us know

Email with suggestions on hidden gems to feature for next year’s edition.