Homeland’s Lottery Calendar! Check here for the 2017 winners!


A Homeland Center Lottery Calendar is truly a gift that keeps giving – to its owner as well as the community!

Through the end of December, 365 checks totaling more than $13,000 have been distributed to the winners of our daily drawings. Thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Anniversary calendar. 

2018 calendars are now available. To order online, please go to https://homelandcalendar.fasttransact.net/ (sold out) or contact Ed Savage at esavage@homelandcenter.org or 717-221-7885.

Not only will the money collected for every calendar benefit Homeland’s benevolent care fund, but calendar owners have a chance to win daily prizes ranging from $30 to $500. Another $13,000 will be awarded throughout 2018!

Thank you for your support of the 2017 Lottery Calendar for Homeland Center.  We started it as part of our 150th Anniversary Celebration and will be continuing it for 2018.  You can see a list of the 2018 winners by clicking here.

The 2017 winners are listed here.

Imaginative art in Homeland gallery energizes staff

artist Judith Hummel

Judith Hummel hangs her paintings as part of Homeland Center’s program that features rotating exhibits from area artists.

When the art exhibits unique to Homeland Center go on the Florida room wall, it’s not just residents who benefit from exposure to great art. Staff, too, find a few moments in their busy days to rejuvenate and recharge.

“It’s something nice to look at when you’re walking through the hallways,” said Homeland Certified Nursing Assistant Kaneice Foster. “It’s not just plain walls.”

Homeland Center’s Florida room art gallery is devoted to quarterly rotating exhibits offered by members of the Art Association of Harrisburg. AAH selects artists whose works they believe will appeal to Homeland’s residents.

Foster was enamored of the textural, imaginative works of Judith Hummel as the artist herself was hanging her works on the wall.

“This is love!” she enthused. “I love it. I want one of these paintings in my house. They’re very unique and different, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”

Kaneice Foster and Anna Marie Kraft

Homeland Certified Nursing Assistant Kaneice Foster and resident Anna Marie Kraft admire artist Judith Hummel’s paintings.

Hummel reaches into her imagination to produce her attention-getting works. She layers such materials as cardboard, cloth, papers, and paint additives to add sculptural dimensions, and then paints the images in vivid colors.

Many of her works put clever, modern-day twists on old stories and phrases. The old lady who lives in a shoe is selling her home. An ogre blocking a billy goat from crossing a bridge is wearing an E-Z Pass vest, in a work titled, “Troll Bridge.” The painting called “Pig in a Blanket” literally wraps the image of a pig in a multi-colored blanket.

The gallery brings the works of regionally recognized artists directly to Homeland’s residents, staff, and visitors. Hummel, of Shiremanstown, is a resident artist at CityFolk Gallery, on Lancaster’s Gallery Row, and many of the works displayed at Homeland were prize winners.

The Homeland exhibit was her first in a retirement facility. The concept is “wonderful,” Hummel said. Her works suit the residents because they feature animals, familiar stories, and past pop-culture figures, such as portraits of actresses named Shelley – Shelley Winters, Shelley Duvall – encased in shells.

“I hope the residents can get some enjoyment from it and have memories,” Hummel said. “The topics span the years. Hopefully, they can relate to them.”

A painting called “Ant Hill” featured three famous aunts – Auntie Em from “The Wizard of Oz,” Aunt Bee from “The Andy Griffith Show,” and Aunt Clara from “Bewitched.” Sharp-eyed Asia Goodbee, walking by as she finished her day as a member of Homeland’s dietary staff, caught the image of Aunt Emma from “The Jeffersons” glowing dimly in Aunt Clara’s crystal ball.

Goodbee and her colleague Unique Thomas had paused to view and discuss the works.

“It’s different,” Thomas said. “Each has got a story behind them.”

Hummel’s work is beautiful “because it just pops out at you,” Goodbee said. She enjoys the art exhibits, “especially how they change it all the time.”

“Everybody has their own take on it,” added Thomas.

CNA Foster was guiding resident Anna Marie Kraft through the exhibit.

“It’s beautiful,” Kraft said, adding with a laugh, “It’s something I can’t do!”

Juggler Chris Ivey awes Homeland residents

Juggler Chris Ivey

One-time juggling world champion Chris Ivey delivers laughs and thrills during an hour-long show at Homeland Center.

The juggler knew what his audience wanted to see – the dangerous stuff. So he displayed a bowling ball, a garden rake, and “a very real ninja katana sword . . . case.”

Fifty-plus people filling the Homeland main dining room groaned. The actual sword would be much more dangerous. The juggler gave in, adding the sword to his rotation.

“You guys don’t let me get away with anything,” he mock-complained.

On the day before New Year’s Eve, Homeland gave residents a special treat. Character juggler Chris Ivey, a one-time juggling world champion, gave an hour-long show that delivered laughs, thrills, and audience participation.

A “character juggler” is an entertainer who juggles while spicing up the act with comedy and costumes, Ivey said as he set up for the show. The Marietta-based entertainer arrived with cases full of classic and unique items, from juggling pins and rings to that garden rake and a battle ax.

Ivey balanced the battle ax on his head while juggling several balls.

Chris Ivey juggles knives

Juggler Chris Ivey thrills his audience with an agile display of flashing knives.

“I have a splitting headache,” he told the crowd, earning another groan.

Juggling has been “a beautiful outlet” for his skills and personality since he first started practicing at 10 years old, Ivey said. “I was always the kid who couldn’t sit still. I love the movement.”

In 2002, Ivey and a partner won a gold medal at the World Juggling Championships. He has appeared on television and performed in theaters and world-famous venues, including Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Today, Ivey performs regularly and also teaches fourth grade. Retirement-community shows are a favorite.

“They’re so appreciative,” he said. “So kind. I love them.”

Throughout the hour-long show, Ivey kept the residents and staff fully engaged. They told Ivey he’d enjoy living at Homeland. They said “uh-oh” when he promised to catch a concrete bocce ball on his head (and he did catch the ball, but then showed that it was rubber).

When it was time for audience participation, he took the show to the residents. Running from one end of the room to the other, he kept plates spinning on slim poles he handed to three different residents. When all the plates were spinning at full speed, he collected them back and kept them spinning until, with a flourish, he let all three sets drop in unison to the floor.

“My wife won’t let me in the kitchen anymore,” he said.

After the show concluded with an agile display of flashing knives, Ivey told the crowd he had just presented his 73rd and last show of 2016.

“We get to end the year with you, and I can’t think of a better place to wrap up 2016,” he said.

Among residents, there were smiles all around. Harry Zimmerman said he enjoys getting out of his room for Homeland activities whenever possible. Joe Bowers said he never juggled – just “chinked things around.”

Mary Anna Borke remembered plate spinners who used to appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Ivey, she said, “did a variety of props, so there wasn’t all the same stuff.”

“He was very personable,” added Phoebe Berner. “He has a good sense of humor. You have to, I guess.”




Employee Spotlight: Teamwork is rewarding for activities coordinator Shari Yahner

Shari Yahner

Homeland Center Activities Coordinator Shari Yahner

Teamwork is rewarding for Activities Coordinator Shari Yahner.

With an extensive career in long-term care, Shari Yahner knew that she wanted for work for Homeland Center. When a friend told her about an opening, she was thrilled to get the job.

“The staff is so caring and wonderful,” she says. “I feel so blessed to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Yahner first came to Homeland as a part-time dietary technician in June 2016, but soon, she was working full-time, spending one day a week on nutrition and the rest as a skilled-care activities coordinator. Some days, she’s helping residents make music by distributing homemade maracas to shake while a visiting musician sings familiar songs.

Other days, she works one-on-one, playing games or helping residents color adult coloring books. She’s always searching the internet for new ideas. She brought one favorite game from home – the classic Pass the Pig, when players toss plastic pigs like dice and earn points depending on how the pigs land.

“They really enjoy it,” she says. “It doesn’t take up much room, and it’s fun. It calls for adding numbers, to keep the mind working.”

Shari Yahner with a resident

“I feel so blessed to make a difference in someone’s life,” Shari Yahner says.

Homeland’s versatile staff members don’t draw boundaries on their roles but work as a team, ensuring Homeland’s continuity of care, Yahner said.

“Not only do we know the residents, but we interact with each other to make sure the quality of care is as good as it can be,” she says. “Instead of relying on agencies and contractors, Homeland is wise in using the people they have.”

With her dietary background, Yahner brings a nutritionist’s eye to Homeland’s many food-related activities. At a recent Chef’s Choice with Gill program, when residents gather in Homeland’s unique Olewine Diner to make delectable treats, the menu called for pizza bagel bites, but she helped those with difficulty chewing make little donuts, “and they really enjoyed that.”

“We have people on modified texture diets, or with disease-related illnesses, like diabetes,” she says. “I can keep an eye on those kinds of things to make sure they’re being safe while they’re having fun.”

Soon, Homeland might help Yahner learn some nursing skills, adding to her usefulness and demonstrating that Homeland “cares about the staff and helping us grow.”

“There’s a sense of caring all around, from the housekeepers to the laundry to nursing to the administrator,” she says. “It’s noticeable, and I’m so proud to be part of a team like that.”

Outside of work, Yahner enjoys walking along nature trails, reading, spending time with family and friends, and cooking especially Italian dishes or grilling chicken kabobs. Her daughter is a senior at West Chester University, studying business management and marketing.

Yahner loves hearing stories from Homeland residents. “It educates me, and it helps them reminisce,” she says. “Sometimes they’ll look at you and smile and say, ‘I love you,’ and that’s so rewarding.”

Even when she was giving manicures – “not one of my stronger suits” – she learned a lesson about Homeland teamwork when a nurse stopped to help, saying “You don’t have to be perfect at everything you do.”

“That’s the kind of care they give at Homeland,” she says. “People step in to give you a hand. The residents were laughing at us. We were like a bunch of women at the beauty parlor.”

Resident Spotlight: Ellen Warren devotes her life to community service


Editor’s note: We are saddened to report that Ellen passed away unexpectedly and quietly on Saturday, Jan. 28. Our sincere sympathy to her husband, Bill, and her family.

Ellen Warren min

Ellen Warren

Ellen Warren devotes her life to community service!

When she was in first grade, Ellen Warren would sneak into the art room while her classmates went to recess. Ostensibly, she was helping clean the chalkboard erasers, but the teacher knew she just wanted to draw.

That introduction to art launched a lifetime of devotion to artistic endeavors and to supporting the performing and visual arts wherever she lived.

“I believe the soul needs creativity,” says Warren, a Homeland Center resident since late 2016. “The spirit needs creativity.”

Warren was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Scranton. Her father was a mining and metallurgical engineer. Her mother was a homemaker and community volunteer for “anything and everything” – American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, a local performing arts center, a health care facility.

The mother’s community spirit continued in the daughter. In Scranton, Warren was involved with the YWCA and the Everhart Museum. In neighboring Waverly, she chaired the F. Lamott Belin Arts Scholarship committee, fielding applications from artists worldwide seeking the prestigious award that helps them pursue their dreams.

“Whatever your child wants to do that is creative, encourage them,” she believes. “If it’s dance, if it’s violin, if they play the tuba, encourage them,” she says.

She moved to Harrisburg in 1988, when her husband, Bill Warren, joined the administration of his Scranton law partner, Gov. Robert P. Casey, Jr. In the capital city, she dove into a thriving arts scene. She has served as board president for Theatre Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Symphony Society, on the boards of Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and Harrisburg Art Association, and was very supportive of the Historical Society of Dauphin County.

Warren is most proud of her fundraising and “friend-raising” skills that have helped sustain the arts and community causes. With the Harrisburg Symphony Society, she co-chaired its first – and to date, most financially successful — Symphony Showcase, where local decorators display their works in a mansion, room by room.

Warren also had a long career in commercial interior decorating, helping businesses craft efficient workspaces. It started when she worked at Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City, where she haunted the renowned design and furniture floor. In her career, she has worked with the Palumbo Group in Scranton, as director of interior design for Harrisburg-area Benatec Associates, and with her own business.

All the while, Warren pursued her artistic talents, loving the immediacy of pencil on paper, or producing landscapes and seascapes in oil or acrylics.

“Three hours can go by on one painting, and I’ve no idea that time has passed,” she says. “I think most painters are like that.”

At Homeland, Warren enjoys the quarterly art exhibits. Homeland is another of her causes, with past service on the Homeland Board of Managers.

“It’s very friendly,” she says. “The aides and the nurses care about people on an individual basis.”

The Warrens have two grown children and “three beautiful granddaughters,” ages 12 through 25.

“They make me happy,” she says. “They tell me they love me all the time.”

Warren and her husband decided long ago to do most of their charitable giving locally, to help strengthen community bonds. As she learned from her mother, volunteering is “perfectly normal and acceptable. It’s part of who you should want to be in your community.”




Resident Spotlight: Porcelain maker and seamstress Kathryn Steigler found life in America


Porcelain maker and seamstress found life in America!

kathryn steigler

Kathryn Steigler reminisces about working in a Bavarian porcelain factory after World War II.

The German province of Bavaria is home to one of the world’s rare deposits of kaolin, the clay mineral capable of withstanding the intense firing needed to produce delicate, translucent china. In the unsettled days after World War II, Homeland Center resident Kathryn Steigler worked in a Bavarian porcelain factory, and like Bavaria’s durable clay, emerged from hardship to find her life in America.

Kathryn Schlafman Steigler was born in Hungary in 1925, in a village of ethnic Germans. Her family worked a small subsistence farm, raising their own food and livestock. Her brother tended the horses. She learned from her mother and grandmother to bake bread every day and to weave fabric on a loom and sew it into clothing. Any extra crops were sold to a neighbor’s shop.

“Mom and dad, they worked so hard, and the young ones had to help, too,” she recalls.

kathryn steigler 1960

Kathryn Steigler (center, front) started working at a Steelton garment factory and, with her seamstress skills, became “forelady.”

Porcelain maker and seamstress found life in America!

World War II upended the family’s way of life. Kathryn’s father died during the war. Her brother vanished. The Communists who regained control of post-war Hungary collectivized the nation’s small farms and expelled ethnic Germans, even though they hadn’t supported the Nazis or the German war effort. Their land confiscated, Kathryn and her mother trekked through East Germany and crossed into West Germany. Settling in northern Bavaria, they lived in old barracks among thousands of other displaced persons hoping to reach America.

In the same region where the Goebel factory was producing its famous Hummel figurines — including those in the collection adorning Homeland’s gathering room – Kathryn found work in a porcelain factory. She worked with the clay mixture that would become plates and cups for diners. Workers would make the mix, put it in a mold, and let it sit until it dried. After the mold was cracked to release the piece for firing, the mold had to be rubbed clean for its next use.

“That’s the way I made my life,” she says. “It wasn’t easy. You had to work for something.”

In Bavaria, Kathryn met her future husband, Alois Steigler, a fellow Hungarian refugee of German heritage.

When they immigrated to America, the sponsor they expected to meet in New York never showed up. Instead of going to Ohio, as originally planned, they went to Steelton, PA, home of Steigler’s uncle.

kathryn steigler dress factory 1960

Kathryn Steigler (underlined, front) and the women she oversaw at Deborah Dress Co., Steelton, posed for a group photo on a winter day in 1960.

In Steelton, the Steiglers joined an immigrant community. Kathryn, raised in a German-speaking village and taught Hungarian in school, learned to speak English. Alois worked in the Bethlehem Steel plant for 30 years before retiring. She worked for 30 years in a factory producing high-end designer clothing for sale in New York. Using her seamstress skills, she became the factory “forelady,” making patterns and teaching the other workers – all women – to turn them into garments.

“I had to teach different girls how to sew a sleeve together, and how to put it on the machine,” she says.

The Steiglers had two sons, one still in the Harrisburg area and another now in Boston. Her two grandsons live in New York City and Boston. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Steelton.

In all her years, Steigler says she would “keep working wherever I can find it.”

“I know how to work a little bit,” she says. “That’s how I got along, one after another. That’s life. One after another.”