COBYS Adoption COBYS Adoption
COBYS Counseling COBYS Counseling
COBYS Education COBYS Family Life Education
COBYS Foster Care COBYS Foster Care
COBYS Permanency Unit COBYS Permanency Unit
COBYS on Facebook

2014 Bike & Hike Aims for $110,000; Silent Auction Added

2014 Bike and HikeAfter eclipsing the $100,000 mark for the first time in 2013, we're back at it, planning for a bigger and better Bike & Hike in 2014. New this year is a silent auction.

The Bike & Hike is slated for Sunday, September 7, at the Lititz Church of the Brethren, 300 W. Orange St., Lititz. Goals of 600 participants and $110,000 have been set. Last year 538 participants raised more than $104,000. Proceeds benefit COBYS ministries to children and families.

The Bike & Hike consists of a three-mile walk, 10- and 25-mile bicycle rides, and the 60-mile Dutch Country Motorcycle Ride. Participants choose their event, and then donate a registration fee, raise money from sponsors, or some of both. At the conclusion of the event, everyone gathers on the grounds at Lititz Church of the Brethren for refreshments, fellowship, and prizes, as we celebrate the outpouring of giving and thank participants and sponsors. Youth groups who raise $1,500 or more earn a gym and pizza night.

We are continuing to add auction items for our first ever silent auction. A sampling of donations received so far includes a hand-painted vintage Harley-Davidson gas can; a night's stay at the elegant Hurst Family Bed & Breakfast; a Campbell Hausfeld one-gallon air compressor; a Lancaster Beverage Dispenser, mugs, and accessories; bicycle-theme gift basket; tickets to the Fulton Theater, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire; and more. Please contact Don at or 717-656-6580 if you have auction items to donate. Merchandise, services, gift certificates, stays at vacation homes, and more are welcome!

Business sponsors have committed nearly $20,000 so far. The Event Sponsor is Cocalico Automotive, Inc., and Hagy's Towing. Major Sponsors are Fillmore Container; The Hess Agency; Speedwell Construction, Inc.; and Carl & Margaret Wenger through The Wenger Foundation, Inc. Sponsors are Bomberger's Store; The Furniture Doctor, Inc.; Gibbel Kraybill & Hess LLP; Hawthorne Electric, Inc.; Scenic Ridge Construction; TCW Computer Systems, Inc.; Toothsmiths, Inc.; and Young & Young Attorneys at Law.

The three-mile walk travels through scenic Lititz Springs Park and on sidewalks through the streets of "America's Coolest Small Town."

The 10-mile bicycle ride for kids and casual bikers is relatively flat, traveling through the countryside between Manheim and Lititz. Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

The more challenging 25-mile route includes some of Lancaster County's finest scenery and some moderate hills. A drink and fruit stop is provided.

This year's motorcycle ride travels north along some of Lancaster, Lebanon, and western Berks County's most scenic roads. Sights include the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, historic churches and meetinghouses, beautiful farmland, and more. Included is a break stop at Camp Swatara's Family Camping Area. (The route will be posted here, when finalized.) Support vehicles follow the bicycle and motorcycle routes.

More information, including a sponsor sheet and a pre-registration form is available in the event brochure. Or contact, Don Fitzkee at or 717-656-6580.


Sponsor sheet

Silent Auction List

Walk Route

10-mile bicycle route

25-mile bicycle route

60-mile motorcycle route



'Nightly News Banquet' Sets Giving, Attendance Records

Nightly News BanquetThe COBYS Nightly News Banquet ended up being big news.

Held March 6 at the Middle Creek Church of the Brethren, the event established a new attendance record and shattered last year's giving record. As of mid-March, total donations were nearing $51,000, up from $44,100 in 2013. Attendance was 558, up from 549 in 2013.

Attendance would have been higher, but seating was limited, forcing planners to turn some people away for the first time. At one point, the 550 banquet slots were filled and 60 additional people were on a waiting list.

"We were thrilled with the strong response to our banquet invitation," said Director of Development Don Fitzkee, "and we really hated to turn people away."

To accommodate people who wanted to see the program, arrangements were made to live stream it into the church sanctuary. People who came just for the program were offered a coupon for some ham loaf and gourmet potatoes at Gene Wenger's Meats & Fine Foods. While only 14 people came for the live stream, that was enough to establish the new attendance record.

The banquet program took the form of a nightly news broadcast, with a mixture of fun and serious features. The King's Strings, comprised of John & Cindy King and some of their eight children, provided lively gathering music and then wowed the crowd during the "Arts & Culture" segment of the "newscast."

Less serious items included the "Top Six-and-One-Half at Half Past Six" to kick off the broadcast; traffic updates from Nicole Lauzus that highlighted the abundance of skunks and lack of cars on the lightly traveled country roads near the church; the therapeutic weather report from weather therapist Laura Miller; sports by Mark Cunningham; and two original commercials for Gene Wenger's ham loaf. Wenger's donated the ham loaf for the meal and the coupons for live stream attenders.

"People really seemed to enjoy the humor," said Don. "We sure had fun. But we hope they were paying attention to the real news too!

The serious news included a Work for the Well-Being of the City campaign update with a "live look in" at classes at the COBYS Family Life Center; a report on foster/adoptive resource parent training taking place the night of the banquet at Lancaster Church of the Brethren; and a feature on respite parents Dave & Marj Stoddard and the Dupler family.

For your enjoyment, here is a video of the COBYS "Nightly News" Banquet 2014...

More videos of the complete program and some of the individual segments are available on the COBYS YouTube page.

A photo album from the banquet is available on our Facebook page.

Next year's banquet is slated for March 5, 2015, at Middle Creek. We are exploring the option of supplementing the main banquet with a daytime event at another venue to address space limitations.



Video Clip Highlights Adoption as Life-Affirming Option

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 the video, contact Becky Frey or to learn more about COBYS Birth Parent Counseling services, please contact Melanie Swansfeger or go to


Annual Reports & Newsletters

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

Fall 2013 Fostering Hope Newsletter

August 2013 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Summer 2013 Fostering Hope Newsletter

April 2013 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Spring 2013 Fostering Hope Newsletter

January 2013 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Winter 2012 Fostering Hope Newsletter

November 2012 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Fall 2012 Fostering Hope Newsletter

August 2012 COBYS Connection Newsletter

February 2012 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Summer 2012 Fostering Hope Newsletter

Spring 2012 Fostering Hope Newsletter


Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view brochures and newsletters.

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