Swift Cloud Farm

Doug Dalrymple, right, estimates that Little River has given more than 4,000 children rides over the years.

THE ISSUE: It’s Friday, the day we take a few moments to highlight the good news in Lancaster County and the surrounding region. Some of these items are welcome developments on the economic front or for area neighborhoods. Others are local stories of achievement, perseverance, compassion and creativity that represent welcome points of light during the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and with other stressful developments enveloping our nation and world. All of this uplifting news deserves a brighter spotlight.

The nonprofit Live Like Libby Inc. is doing some amazing good in memory of Libby Miller, a 10-year-old who died in a vehicular collision in East Hempfield Township in February.

The good is focused on something Libby was passionate about during her too-short lifetime: dance. The nonprofit’s mission is to “reduce the financial barriers associated with the high cost of competitive dance training for deserving students,” according to its website, livelikelibby.org.

The description continues: “Not all families are lucky enough to make it work for their aspiring dancers. That’s why Libby’s family and friends created LiveLikeLibby.org in her honor — to provide financial assistance so that no dancers who want to take classes or participate in competitions have their dreams dashed because of the financial burden.”

LNP | LancasterOnline’s Olivia Estright wrote about the nonprofit and Libby’s life earlier this month: “Libby spent dance classes helping younger students, school days making sure everyone felt included and night times telling her parents how amazing they are.”

The nonprofit was launched with excess funds from a GoFundMe campaign that had been created to help Libby’s family with funeral costs. It has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships this year.

“The foundation awarded the first Libby Miller Memorial Dance Scholarship scholarships of $3,000 to Braedyn and Keaira Jones,” Estright reported. “The foundation also awarded two ‘mini-scholarships’ of $1,000 each to Dance Dynamix graduated seniors Taylor Shaffer and Cristina Elliott, both of whom will continue to dance at the collegiate level.”

These dancers will be keeping Libby’s memory and passion for the art form alive.

“Libby wanted the world to dance,” Live Like Libby states. “We want to help.”

It’s absolutely helping. And we hope it’s able to continue doing so for many years.

In other good things:

— We enjoyed Lancaster Farming’s recent article about Doug Dalrymple and Little River, a 16-year-old miniature horse.

Dalrymple has provided free rides atop Little River at Lancaster Family Farm Days at Oregon Dairy market for several years.

“It’s his gift to the community,” Lancaster Farming’s Jason Guarente wrote. “He asks for nothing in return. There’s something wonderful about those 50 yards he walks in each direction.”

Dalrymple runs Swift Cloud Farm, which is dedicated to miniature horses, in Peach Bottom. The farm welcomes church groups and Bible schools. And Dalrymple and Little River go on the road to provide some entertainment for kids at places like Oregon Dairy.

For Dalrymple, the reactions he gets to witness are the best kind of “payment.”

“All the giggles I’ve heard through the years,” Dalrymple told Guarente, “you just can’t buy that. I wish I had a recording of it. That’s my motivation. For the joy of the kids.”

He added: “I bet 75% or 85% of the kids have never been on a horse before. I think that’s pretty special. I want to give back. To see these kids here smiling.”

We suspect the smiling kids are getting a memory they won’t soon forget, too.

A July 17 letter by Clyde McMillan-Gamber of New Holland, “Caring actions by county residents,” reminds us of more good happening across the county.

“I was pleased to see two recent examples of Lancaster County people caring about nature enough to contribute to its well-being,” McMillan-Gamber wrote. “I am happy to know many people help wildlife in ways they can, but do so without media acknowledgment.”

The first item he mentioned was the Organization for Responsible Care of Animals in Lancaster County, which rescues animals, including baby birds, from storm drains. It’s available 24/7 and responds to most emergencies concerning animals. It can be reached at 717-397-8922.

McMillan-Gamber also praised the fundraising campaign in New Holland to create a 2-acre community butterfly garden. That’s something we also applauded in this space on July 8, and we agree with McMillan-Gamber when he writes, “The garden, like all natural habitats, will promote beauty, peace and intrigue for human visitors. This is another win-win for nature and people.”

— Today’s final good thing is that Humane Pennsylvania is celebrating Dog Days of Summer this weekend with a fee-waived adoption event, LNP | LancasterOnline’s Ann Rejrat reported.

The event runs from today through Sunday and Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical is covering adoption fees for all cats, dogs and other animals. Hats off to it for doing so.

Adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lancaster Center for Animal Life-Saving at 2195 Lincoln Highway. Fee-waived adoptions include Humane Pennsylvania’s 30-day adoption health supplement; spaying or neutering (prior to adoption); vaccinations (including current rabies vaccination) and de-worming medication; flea treatment; microchipping and chip registration; and a free one-pound bag of Science Diet pet food.

More information can be found at HumanePA.org. If you’re looking to add a cuddly and grateful new member to your family, this might be just the weekend to do so. 

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