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Family Fun Walk Slated for May 1Family Fun Walk 2016

COBYS Family Services will host the 22nd annual Family Fun Walk on Sunday, May 1, at Peter Becker Community, 800 Maple Ave., Harleysville. The walk begins at 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 3:30.

The event consists of a three-mile walk, followed by ice cream, refreshments, and awarding of door prizes. Walkers donate, enlist sponsors to benefit COBYS ministries to children and families, or both. Nearly 100 participants raised more than $11,100 at last year's walk.

Top fundraisers can choose between grand prizes of two tickets to Samson, donated by Sight & Sound Theatres, Lancaster, or a Cracker Barrel rocking chair. All participants receive a free t-shirt, ice cream and refreshments, and a chance to win a door prize. Additional prizes are available for those who reach certain levels of support. Youth groups who raise $1,000 or more receive a free gym and pizza night.

Costs of the event are partially underwritten by Bauman Family Fruit Butters and Cider, Sassamansville. Additional business supporters are being sought. The event will be held rain or shine.

The walk benefits the ministries of COBYS Family Services. Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential. COBYS carries out this mission through adoption and foster care services, counseling, and family life education. Based in Lancaster County, COBYS serves children and families from several counties, including Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Lancaster.

For more information about the event, print a brochure or contact Don Fitzkee at 800-452-6517 or


Additional Sponsor Sheet



Sigman, The Taylors to Provide Inspiration for the 21st Annual Praise Dinner
Mike SigmanSpeaker Mike Sigman and gospel artists The Taylors will provide inspiration and entertainment at the 21st annual Wenger Foundation Praise Dinner on Thursday, April 21, at 6:00 p.m., at the Lebanon Expo Center. The event will benefit COBYS Family Services and three other ministries.

Sigman is the Lead Pastor at Grace Community Church in Lancaster and a frequent preacher at area churches and camp meetings. In addition to serving as both a pastor and bishop in the Evangelical Congregational denomination, he is past president of Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown.

The TaylorsThe Taylors are a nationally known brother-sister quartet from North Carolina. In 2008, The Taylors won First Place in the Talent Showcase of the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. They have had the opportunity to perform on national and international stages.

The Praise Dinner will include a buffet meal catered by Country Home Catering. Other ministries benefitting from the event are Evangelical Seminary, Friendship Community, and On Fire Youth Ministries.

The cost to attend is $125 per person or $1,250 per table of 10 guests. All donations support the designated ministries. Underwriting all of the event's expenses are: the John & Judy Byler Charitable Foundation; Brightbill Body Works; Country Fare Restaurant; Roger & Marjorie Gerhart; Good's Disposal Service; Kline Kreider & Good Auctioneers; Tom B. Morrissey TV & Appliance; Roger & Carolyn North, North Group Consultants; Sight & Sound Ministries, Inc.; Bill & Nancy Smeltzer; Jim & JoAnne Speers; Gene Wenger's Meats & Fine Foods; Wengers of Myerstown; and other anonymous donors.

The Wenger Foundation, Inc., was established in 1996 as the charitable giving arm of the Wenger Family of Companies. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to a variety of Christian and community ministries.

Last year's Praise Dinner attracted some 850 people, and raised more than $130,000, including $26,038 for COBYS. Since 1999 COBYS has received more than $331,000 through the Praise Dinner.

For more information about the event, please contact the Wenger Foundation at 717-866-2130 or



'Reunion-Goers' Set New Marks in Giving and Attendance
COBYS Offers Daytime Banquet Option for First Time

COBYS BANQUET 031016"Alumni" attending the COBYS Family Services School Daze Reunion Banquets at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren on March 4 had some fun, learned a thing or two about COBYS ministries, and gave a lot of money to support the "class project," which just happened to be COBYS.

The banquet setting was the 35th reunion of the class of '82 from the imaginary Mid-Central High School, where quite a number of COBYS-related folks were said to attend. While the school and the reunion were just pretend, the program included some real high school photos and information from presenters and quite a bit of genuine information about COBYS ministries.

As of March 9, income totaled $54,500, up from last year's record amount of $53,277.58. By the time all the gifts are in, income is expected to exceed $55,000. "The strong financial support of our ministries felt really good," said Director of Development Don Fitzkee. "We are grateful for the many generous people who gave through the banquets."

For the first time COBYS hosted both daytime and evening programs. Volunteers from the Middle Creek Church of the Brethren served a total of 588 people (230 daytime, and 258 evening), but 14 of those were program participants who attended both times. After subtracting the duplicates, we were left with 574 unique attenders. The previous high attendance was 558 two years ago.

"We were thrilled with the strong daytime attendance," said Don. "After maxing out the facility the past few years it is nice to have room to grow again."

Program highlights included sharing from Stan Bucher, daughter Rachel Swank, and foster twins Jenni & Jessi, telling of the lasting impact they have had in each other's lives over a quarter century, and a video segment featuring the story of COBYS adoptive parents Brad & Mimy Rollman and their four children, the youngest of which was adopted the day before the banquets. COBYS staff provided additional updates about programs and services.

Mixed in with these presentations was some of the usual silliness that goes with COBYS banquets, including the singing of the school alma mater, greetings from a presidential candidate who graduated from Mid-Central, and an amazing scientific discovery from alumnus Doug Balmer.

A photo gallery from the banquets can be viewed on the COBYS photo gallery.

Video of the program is available on YouTube. Individual segments of the program, such as the Rollman family video, will be posted separately on YouTube in the near future.

Special thanks to Mark Myers of S.R. Film & Video for providing video and photographs.




The politically charged debate surrounding abortion sometimes drives people apart, but adoption is a life-affirming option that people of diverse perspectives can embrace.

COBYS Family Services has prepared a three-minute video segment for churches to use in their observance of Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 20. The video highlights the story of Beverly, who received free birth parent counseling through COBYS and chose to make an adoption plan for her soon-to-be-born daughter.

View and download the video here. Or check it out on Facebook and help spread the word to your friends. DVDs also are available for congregations who request them.

For more information about COBYS Birth Parent Counseling services, please contact Melanie Swansfeger or go to





Annual Reports & Newsletters

Spring 2016 Fostering Hope Newsletter

February 2016 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Winter 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

November 2015 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Fall 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

2015 Annual Report/Contributors List

August 2015 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Summer 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

Spring 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

February 2015 COBYS Connection Newsletter

2014 Annual Report/Contributors List

2014 Staff Christmas Card

Winter 2014 Fostering Hope Newsletter

November 2014 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Fall 2014 Fostering Hope Newsletter

August 2014 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Summer 2014 Fostering Hope Newsletter

April 2014 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Spring 2014 Fostering Hope Newsletter

February 2014 COBYS Connection Newsletter

2013 Annual Report/Contributors List

2013 Staff Christmas Card

Winter 2013 Fostering Hope Newsletter

November 2013 COBYS Connection Newsletter


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COBYS 1417 Oregon Road Leola, PA 17540    1-800-452-6517    717-656-6580    717-392-0504    Fax: 717-656-3056
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Services are provided without regard to race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age, or sex.