Daffodil Days are coming ... a special time in York when the community rallies to raise money in the struggle against cancer.

Last year, York countians invested $145,000 in the Flower of Hope. Hundreds of volunteers are involved every year in the project that touches schools, businesses, churches and the community at large.

Why the widespread support?

Can you name a family or that of a friend that the dreaded, relentless disease hasn't hit?

As she has for so many years, Jeanie Bentzel chairs this year's Daffodil Days campaign that runs March 14-20.

Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society's research, education, advocacy and service programs.

To order your Flowers of Hope in advance, call the York cancer office, 1-888-227-5445.

Suggested donations: $10 for 10 daffodils, $12 for potted mini-daffodils, and $15 for a vase of 15 flowers.

From March 15 through March 20, you'll find the flowers at numerous locations around the county.

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What needs to be done to "minimize union influence on our schools"?

That's one of the topics on the agenda of the York 912 Patriots at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at the Holiday Inn, 2000 Loucks Road.

On the panel addressing the questions will be Matt Brouil lette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation, state Sen. Lloyd Smucker, state Reps. Eugene DePasquale, Seth Grove and Ron Miller, all representing York County in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Six months ago, the non-partisan York Patriots unveiled a strategy at getting its 900 associates involved politically on the local level.

Encouraging people to run for school board seats, plus promoting attendance at school board and municipal meetings is part of the plan.

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"Our cupboards are very bare ... and we are in immediate need of all food staples and household items," Red Lion Area Community Services reports.

Involved in Red Lion and 12 nearby communities since 1975, the agency already serves 300 households and "continues to grow its client base as the result of the overall economic difficulties of our times."

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York Habitat needs volunteers to help with home construction projects as well as office-type work ... details, 854-6168.

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Would you or your group like to tour the new Judicial Center, perhaps observe an actual trial? The Area Agency on Aging can arrange that ... details, Beth Grove, 852-4904.

Columns by Hank Merges, a local writer, appear Tuesday and Thursday in The York Dispatch. Reach Hank at hmerges@yorkdispatch.com or 854-1575.