The Berks-Mont News (

White elephant auction, tour of charcoal barn highlights at annual MABA picnic

By Matthew D’Ippolito,

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The MABA held its annual picnic on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Joanna Furnace, and a white elephant auction and informative tour of the site’s new charcoal museum provided the evening’s entertainment for the 77 attendees.
The picnic began at 6 p.m., with members and their families catching up with each other and some of the children playing games on the expansive property while the barbecue chicken and hot dogs finished cooking on the grill.
Along with the barbecue, grilled by Sam Zook of Chief Osceola Builders, there were sides of potatoes, potato salad, garden salad, vegetables, chips and more, as well as various desserts brought by members, including pies, cheesecake, cookies and even homemade whoopie pies.
After dinner, the auction was held with auctioneer Shane Huyett, assisted by his wife Kristy. Auctioned items included a dvd, a mirror, a printer and an automated vacuum cleaner, among other things. All proceeds were donated to the Hay Creek Valley Historical Society.
Even State Rep. Mark Gillen and his wife and daughters got in on the action, going home with some items themselves. And Huyett wasn’t afraid to egg on bidders light-heartedly to raise the proceeds and make the bidding more interesting.
Before the end of the night, members of the historical society took attendees on a tour of Joanna Furnace’s new Charcoal Barn, a museum featuring the history and community around Joanna Furnace.
“The picnic was such a success because of the cooperation of members,” said Roseann Thomas, vice president of marketing for MABA. She wanted to thank Zook, Bridget Graul of Café 110 for making the salads and Reilly’s Produce and Plant Outlet for providing the fresh vegetables, as well as all those who brought desserts and who helped set up.