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    October 5, 2018
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Hickory Gets Ready for 35th Annual Apple Festival This weekend, the town of Hickory will once again welcome thousands of visitors who descend upon the small Pennsylvania community once a year, ready to celebrate all things Apple Preparations for the famous Hickory Apple Festival have been underway for months, including the baking of thousands of apple pies, carefully prepared by a group of dedicated local volunteers who show up at the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Company in mid-September, paring knives in hand, ready to tackle the task ahead. The Hickory Apple Festival is the Fire Department's largest fundraiser, typically netting somewhere between $70,000 and $90.000 for the department, which services Mt. Pleasant Township. Cross Creek Township, and the surrounding communities. With that goal in mind, the apple pie making is serious business. Fortunately, the lunteers have it down to a science. You have to weigh the dough so that the same amount is used for each pie, you want to be consistent," explains volunteer Linda Schweitzer. "You can't have some crusts be really thick and others turn out too thin." Linda has been volunteering with the Festival for 21 years. She has watched how the process has gained precision over time as volunteers honed their skills, and she goes on to explain how-after the apples For any Range employees, the Festival is also are peeled, cored, and cut-the rest of the pie comes together. "Its a a family tradition. Jocelyn Ebert grew up in simple process: a layer of dough on the bottom, then the filling which Hanover Township. "I remember going to the consists of chopped up apples topped with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and flour. Another layer of dough goes on top, its edges are carefully crimped, and the excess dough is trimmed away. After the pies are baked, they're laid out in rows with a giant fan blowing cool air over top of them. Each pie is then wrapped in cellophane, boxed, and stacked in a freezer-ready to be sold to Apple W estival attendees who also come to enjoy apple butter, apple cris Range Resources Volunteer Danielle Ouens helps to prep pies for the Hickory Apple festival Apple Festival as a little girl and now, working for Range and in the community, it's taken on a new meaning for me. I loved learning more about the significance the festival has to the people in Mt. Pleasant Township and working ith them. I loved getting to know them better nd hearing their stories while baking. Not to music and dancing, face-painting, and family-friendly fun. mention, who doesn't love apple pie and getti the chance to get creative in the kitchen? It was a fun day helping out a good cause, and I anm Kathy Farner and her husband, Gary, have volunteered with the festival for over 20 years, and have been in charge of it for a decade. Gary is also the President of the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Company, and a Township Supervisor. The Farners are proud of the funds they ve helped raise, but after thousands of hours planning and executing the festival for the past 10 years, they are hoping to soon pass the torch. "It's a lot of work." says Kathy. "But we have a wonderful group of volunteers. Many of those volunteers have also been with the Festival for decades, and are now well into their 70's and 80's. And while the group continues to prepare thousands of perfect pies, new volunteers who can bolster their ranks are appreciated. Range Resources has been a sponsor of the Hickory Apple Festival for over a decade, regularly covering expenses for face painting and live music, along with the cost of the buses used to transport visitors from the parking area to the festival grounds. But this year. when Range also offered help in the kitchen, the Farners and their dedicated volunteers welcomed the new bakers into the fold. Range Resources Volundeer Jocelyn Ebert (middie) with Hickory Apple Festival organizers Kathy Farner & Mt. Pieasant Volundeer Fire Company President Cary Farner proud that Range supports first responders throughout Washington County!" The Hickory Apple Festival kicks off on "My job was being a pie crust crimper, and let me tell you it was harder than it looks!" says Range's Allie Ondash. "But had plenty of help, and it was great to meet the men and women who are at the heart of the festival Saturday, October 6 and runs through Sunday, October 7. For more information visit: Range's Jessica Fitzgerald also made it into the Mt. Pleasant kitchen. It was my favorite volunteering event of the year! The ladies and gentlemen of Hickory made the experience so much fun by sharing their apple pie making skills. They couldn't have been any nicer! And I saw firsthand why they've been so successful with the festival over the past 35 years. Sponsored content brought More than 1500 pies wil be prepared for the 2018 Hickory Apple Festiual Range Resources