Fair? It was great

York Dispatch

Thumbs up: To the organizers of the 250th York Fair, for another successful 10-day run of fun, food and music.

By the time gates closed Sept. 20, 574,865 visitors had strolled through the York Expo Center, an 11 percent increase over last year's turnout.

Although not a record, York Fair General Manager Mike Froehlich counts this year a triumph.

"It's more than numbers," he said. "I like to say I measure success one smile at a time."

Thumbs up: York College now offers a course called Philanthropy, Social Impact and the Nonprofit Sector, aimed at activists, go-getters and students who want to extract more than a GPA from their college experience.

Co-instructor Karin Swartz said students will get an introduction to "the idea of philanthropy and how philanthropic dollars are used" by partnering with one of 15 local nonprofits.

They'll meet with the organization's executive director, make site visits and immerse themselves in the organization's mission.

At the end of the class, students will team up to decide which organization or organizations should receive a $5,000, funded in part by college President Pamela Gunter-Smith's office.

Co-instructor Tom LaForgia said students originally came up with the idea for the course, adding, "They understand the importance of taking what they learn into their community."

Thumbs up: We're feeling lucky, "punks" — that you're making such a positive change in York City.

The grass-roots nonprofit that calls itself Punks for Positivity, known for its regular trash cleanups around the city, now intends to rehab an overgrown plot of land that was a popular community garden in the 1960s and '70s.

The group recently signed a one-year agreement with York City's Redevelopment Authority, which owns the land at 343-351 Cottage Hill Road, and new volunteers and a trained horticulturist are committed to resurrecting the garden.

Punks co-founder and president Steve Klinedinst said he hopes the plot will provide affordable fresh produce in the neighborhood while bringing the community together.