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Alumni Spotlights

Alumni Spotlights 

Alumni, we would love to tell your story.  Email jfausnight@hmsk8.org for a questionnaire to help us do that!

 

Rachael (Fry) Martin, Class of 2001 

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What is your occupation?  
I am primarily a homemaker, but my husband and I also own and manage First Fruits Farm and Orchard. I enjoy helping with our business in various capacities.

What was your educational path?
I attended K-8th grade at Hinkletown, graduating in 2001.  I went to Ephrata High School and graduated in 2005 and also graduated from Lancaster County Career & Technology Center for Cosmetology my senior year.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
I fondly remember Middle School as being my favorite years of schooling.  Many people feel that 6th-8th grade are awkward, difficult years, however, I look back on them and remember the teachers and experiences that helped to shape who I am today. Friendships are really important to me, and I’m blessed to still have a close relationship with friends who I met in Kindergarten.  I have so many great memories of our time at HMS, but maybe the most encouraging thing is seeing our friendships stand the test of time.  A group of us still get together regularly for playdates with our kids and to catch up, and I just love that I am able to walk through this stage of life with people who have basically known me forever!  

RMartin quote box_0.jpgAs you reflect on how others invested in you at HMS, are there any other thoughts or ideas that come to mind?  I was always aware that HMS was just kind of “different”, but I didn’t realize how special it was until I entered adulthood.  Now that my children attend Hinkletown, and I’m immersed back in the “family” that is HMS, I realize how special this community is.  I’m so thankful for the parents and community members who went out of their way to make my education possible.  I really do believe the families that make up HMS are what make this place so special, and I want that same learning environment for my children. 

As a parent, how do you see HMS as a good fit for your family?  I love seeing how much the school has grown in the past 25 years!  I commend HMS for staying relevant, but not compromising on the things that are important.  I know my children are getting a quality education, but more importantly, I know they are surrounded by an incredible family of believers who will support them, and that’s what makes HMS perfect for us.     

 The Martins attend Middle Creek Church of the Brethren, where they have served as youth advisors for 8 years and Rachael has enjoyed serving at HMS including set props and design using her artistic skills for the middle school drama.

Jeremy Horning, Class of 2000 

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What is your occupation?  
I am a Middle School English and Bible teacher at Hinkletown Mennonite School and also serve as the Middle School Coordinator. 

Where did you go to high school? 
Lancaster Mennonite, graduating in 2004.

Any post-secondary education following high school and where (trade school, business degree, specialized training, etc.)?
BSE in English from Millersville University.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
My HMS education prepared me well academically for high school and set a foundation for my college and career path in education as well. I look back at Mrs. Miller’s English class in middle school as one of several factors that sparked my decision to pursue teaching English myself. I probably wouldn’t have said English was my favorite class then, and I certainly wouldn’t have said that I would become a teacher. However, as I look back now, I’m grateful for the way that Mrs. Miller set high standards and challenged me to achieve success.

Beyond academics, my HMS education also had a great impact spiritually. I’m extremely grateful for the mentoring I received from men and women of faith as I learned in their classrooms during my time as an HMS student. My teachers taught spiritual truths through their lessons and through their daily examples of following Christ. Also, exposure to people from different cultures through the IVEP program had spiritual influence for me. I learned respect for other people and cultures, saw what God was doing around the world, and began to consider how He might want to use me in His kingdom.

What did your HMS education provide you that you now realize was an asset to your adult life and career? 
I value the emphasis on teamwork and using our God-given gifts at HMS. When I was a student at HMS, I knew that teachers and parents made up a caring community, but I didn’t realize how many people are actually involved. There are so many people using their gifts to further God’s kingdom through their commitment to HMS! It’s truly incredible what is accomplished by those willing to work together – the auction, hot lunches, Servathon, the middle school play, and Enrichment Clusters are a few ways I see this teamwork in action. Now, as a teacher at HMS, this is a huge asset to my life and career. I’m surrounded by a great team of colleagues and supportive parents who lend their time, energy, and talents to support education and the vision of HMS.

As you reflect on how others invested in you at HMS, are there any other thoughts or ideas that come to mind? 
I am truly grateful for those investments! I know that there are a lot of options for education, and in our area of Lancaster County there are a lot of good schools. For myself, I’m grateful that my parents made the decision to send me to HMS as a kindergartener and continued to send me through 8th grade at HMS. Now, as a teacher, I’m glad that I can give back to the HMS community and continue to invest in the future through a commitment to today’s students.

Jeremy Horning is involved in the HMS Community with his wife Casey as directors for Solid Rock Camps held at HMS each summer.  Jeremy has served as middle school drama director for a number of years and still volunteers as a production advisor.  He also serves in Kid Ministries at his church, Lancaster Evangelical Free Church, in Lititz.  

Scott & Heidi (Baker) Charles, Classes of 2001 & 2003

Charles Scott&Heidi - alum spotlight photo Jan 2017_0.pngWhat is your occupation?  
Scott is currently a Fleet Mechanic at Brubacher Excavating.  Heidi serves as a part-time Staff Accountant at Mennonite Disaster Service in addition to her role as primary caregiver to their sons, Dylan and Logan.

What about school after Hinkletown? 
Scott attended Garden Spot High School and Lancaster County Career & Technology Center in Willow Street for Automotive Mechanics training.  Heidi graduated from Lancaster Mennonite in 2007 after which she went to Hesston College for an Associate degree in business and a Bachelor degree in accounting from Elizabethtown College.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? Scott says, “I learned that I enjoy working with my hands.  Working on computers and running the sound system gave me hands-on experiences that led me toward a program at LCCTC and employment as a mechanic.”

Heidi says, “I enjoyed most subjects and learning often came easy for me.  At HMS, I was encouraged to extend my learning and experiences beyond what was easy.”  In addition to her accounting classes in college, Heidi chose elective courses in computer networking and desktop publications. “I also participated in extracurricular activities that stretched me and prepared me for opportunities in life beyond my comfort zone.”

What did your HMS education provide you that you now realize was an asset to your adult life and career?  HMS provided opportunities for service and diverse experiences – learning about other cultures, helping in younger classrooms and playing sports.  We are thankful for the safe environment we had to discover our own gifts and interests, as well as the confidence instilled by encouraging teachers.  We both felt ready to pursue appropriate training and education after HMS as well as service opportunities throughout our lives.  Although we first met as students at HMS, we became friends during a youth service project in Vermont, and have since served in various places and church roles.

As you reflect on how your parents, teachers and others invested in you at HMS, both personally and financially, are there any thoughts that come to mind? Christian education is a financial commitment, as well as a commitment to being involved in the school community.  As kids, we valued the time our parents spent supporting school life – as lunch moms, taxi service after athletic events, chaperones on field trips and a proud audience for numerous plays and musical programs.  As we consider school options for our children, we also understand the significance of the financial investment that our parents and churches made to provide for our education at HMS.

Scott and Heidi and their children live in Fivepointville and attend Bowmansville Mennonite Church where Scott serves as a sound operator and Heidi volunteers in the nursery, as a Junior Girls’ Activities leader and on the Bible School planning committee. 

Ryan Zimmerman, Class of 2000

Zimmerman R&J photo Jan 2017_0.pngWhat is your occupation?  
I work for Weaver Construction in East Earl doing residential estimating, drafting and permitting. As part of the commercial team in 2009, I assisted in the construction of the classroom addition for HMS.

What was your educational path?
I attended K-8th grade at Hinkletown, graduating from Garden Spot High School in 2004.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life?  HMS gave me a solid foundation academically, spiritually and morally. I feel it put me in position to succeed in school and in the workplace.

As a parent, how do you see HMS as a good fit for your family?  The children get an education that not only teaches them academically but also encourages them spiritually. As a private school, there is more flexibility with the curriculum that is being taught and teachers have the freedom to teach in a way that they feel will help the kids learn the best. I enjoy seeing parents who are actively involved in volunteering throughout the school day or helping out at special events and fundraisers. A lot of teachers also continue teaching after the school day by coaching a sports team, directing the school play, preparing for the Christmas program or many other events and activities. 

The Zimmerman family attends Petra Church where Ryan has served in children’s ministry and ushered on Sundays and helps coach the church softball team.  He also coached basketball for several years through the Upward program.

Tina Horning, Class of 2006

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What is your occupation?  
I currently work as a full-time Office Manager at Martin Tree Service, LLC and for my husband’s business, Horning Exteriors, Inc.

What was your educational path?
I attended K-8th grade at Hinkletown, graduating in 2006.  I went to Garden Spot High School, graduated in 2010, and also graduated from Lancaster County Career & Technology Center as a Certified Medical Assistant.  After high school, I worked in the medical field for 5 years.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
HMS helped instill the same values and beliefs my parents raised me with.  I am very grateful for having a Christian education at HMS as a child.  I can now appreciate all of the funds, time and energy my parents put into my Christian education.

The Hornings attend Weaverland Mennonite Church where Tina serves in the nursery and they are involved in small groups ministry. Tina has also volunteered as a past clothing bank coordinator at Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services.

Kornel Kurtz, Class of 1985

Kornel Kurtz Family_0.jpgWhat is your occupation?  
Founder and President, Webtek, Akron, PA.

While working for my father's manufacturing company, I became bored with the day-to-day duties.  My thirst for learning new things led me to buy some cheap books at Ollie's (one being HTML, aka: website language).  I started researching and learning all I could until I started a side business building websites, which eventually became full-time for me.  Today WebTek works with over 500 clients and employs 12 people.  I am the owner and give oversight to my team who does most of the day-to-day operations.

 

What years did you attend HMS?
I attended as a fifth grader the first year HMS opened and continued through 8th grade, graduating from HMS in 1985.

Where did you go to high school?  Lancaster Mennonite High School

Any post-secondary education following high school?
Following graduation from high school, I took some accounting classes at Harrisburg Area Community College.  However my career ended up being in website development and internet marketing which was mostly self taught by researching and learning from resources online.  There is an immeasurable wealth of information readily available throughout the Internet for self-motivated people to learn almost anything.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
I believe private school with Christian teachers helped ground me even more in God's truth as an adolescent, in addition to what I was fed at church and home. God's teachings are a blueprint for life, so I was fortunate to be surrounded with truth and to absorb all I did at a young age.

What did your HMS education provide you that you now realize was an asset to your adult
life and career?
  
I developed my love for computers at HMS and remember 7th grade, when the school bought it’s first computers, two Texas Instruments.  My teacher at the time, Mr. Charles Brubaker, was my biggest fan and encouraged me as we worked together to figure them out.  For the next 2 years at Hinkletown, I learned a lot about computers and Mr. Brubaker was there to nurture my skill set. I believe it was the private, small school atmosphere with a Christian teacher, that enabled me to flourish in this area.  It was then my following year, while a freshman at LMH, that I received the tragic news that Mr. Brubaker (along with his wife) died in a car accident.  He was like a second dad to me and will be forever missed.

As you reflect on the way others (teachers, parents, donors, etc.) invested in you at HMS, what memories or thoughts come to mind?
The school today is probably twice the size or more of what it was when I attended.  Plus it offers so much more today, than it could back in the day….While learning basketball in gym class, I remember we had to shoot at construction paper taped up on the wall because we had no equipment.  And the ceilings were only like 12' high so we had to line drive our shots so we wouldn't break the ceiling tiles (which teaches terrible form).  I mention that to illustrate how much better students have it today at HMS and for everyone to appreciate all the school is able to do on a limited budget.  Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who make that possible for the students today.

 


Sherry Martin, Class of 1990

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What is your occupation?  
Registered Nurse at Lancaster General Hospital.

Where did you go to high school? 
Garden Spot High School.

Any post-secondary education or specialized training following high school and where?
I went to Lancaster General School of Nursing and graduated with a diploma in 1998.   I then completed a B.S.N. with Millersville University in 2000.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life?
HMS prepared me for life by teaching and modeling servanthood to all people regardless of who they are or where they come from because all people are loved by God and Jesus died for every single person. I was taught that hurting people deserve our attention, respect, and most of all, love.

As you reflect on the way others (teachers, parents, donors, etc.) invested in you at HMS, what memories or thoughts come to mind?
Teachers made learning special by letting us get to know them and their families and sharing their life with us. When parents came into the classroom for special projects or came along on field trips, it showed that we were important enough that they would spend their time and talents with us. Each class had a milestone or field trip that was unique and the anticipation for our turn when we got there was very exciting.

As a parent, how do you see HMS as a good fit for your family?
As a parent I see that HMS still holds the value of family, community and people. HMS is still teaching an attitude of service and compassion. I like that the school can echo my family values and that of my faith and church.

What are the roles in which you have served your church or community after HMS?
I volunteered for 4 years as the director of the Before-and-After-School Program at Bowmansville Mennonite Church. I was a junior youth leader and youth leader along with my husband. I have helped with Vacation Bible School and other special Sunday services. At HMS, I have served on the auction steering committee and help out in other ways around school.

 


Lee Zimmerman, Class of 1993

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What is your occupation?  
Information Technology Manager at Paul B. Zimmerman Inc. and Associate Pastor at Indiantown Mennonite Church.

Where did you go to high school? 
Terre Hill Mennonite High School

Any post-secondary or specialized education following high school and where?
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) - Computer Network and System Administration; Eastern Mennonite University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) - Management and Organizational Development; Capital Seminary and Graduate School - A Division of Lancaster Bible College, Master of Arts (M.A.) - Pastoral Ministry.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
At HMS, I found a safe environment in which to experience the normal challenges of growing from a child into a teenager. With the Christian foundation of the school, most importantly displayed in the lives of the teachers, I was surrounded by believers who set for me an example of following Christ that would challenge me, especially in my last few years there and beyond, to consider my own walk with the Lord.

What did your HMS education provide you that you now realize was an asset to your adult life and career?  The teachers of HMS were, without exception, encouraging of my academic efforts.  They obviously viewed their teaching as more than just a job and cared about each student.  It was with their encouragement that I began to gain the confidence to pursue post-secondary education, becoming the first person in my family to do so.

In what ways have you had the chance to server in your church and/or community?  Prior to serving as a pastor, I served as a Sunday School Teacher, Youth Leader, Sunday School Superintendent and Church Cabinet Member all at Indiantown Mennonite Church. I have also served oversees with EMM (Eastern Mennonite Missions) as a young adult in Trinidad for 8 months and later with my family in Kosovo for 3 years.

As you reflect on the way others (teachers, parents, donors, etc.) invested in you at HMS, what memories or thoughts come to mind?
The common theme I find in reflecting on my time at HMS is exposure to new ideas and different cultures.  Specifically, I remember exchange teachers from Switzerland and Kenya who gave me a glimpse into a different way of life. I remember middle school teachers like Mr. Stout and Mrs. Miller who planted the seeds of new ideas, both through the subject matter they taught and how they went about teaching it.

As a parent, how do you see HMS as a good fit for your family?
I see HMS as a good fit for my family because it combines three important things:  strong academics, Christian adults who care about and teach my children, and a location close to our home.   Many schools offer one or two of these advantages but few offer all three. It is also important to me that we have an administrator and board who are very intentional about preparing for the future and communicating with the school community.

 


Theresa Witmer, Class of 1995

Bare Joel&Sara-provided 2015_0.jpgWhat is your occupation?  
I am a wife and mother and work part-time waitressing at Shady Maple Banquets.

Where did you go to high school? 
Garden Spot High School.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
I enjoyed my experience very much at HMS. HMS gave a wonderful foundation for my life. I am thankful for the biblical based teaching that I could carry on with me throughout my life.   My husband has commented on the difference he see's in me because of the Christ-centered teaching I received as a Christian school graduate (in my) knowledge of the Bible and of Christ's teachings.

As you reflect on the way others (teachers, parents, donors, etc.) invested in you at HMS, what memories or thoughts come to mind?
I had some pretty great teachers over the years who helped in making me the person I am today. I am also grateful for my parents who have invested in me by sending me to HMS. I grew up in a family with seven siblings who have all attended HMS. There are lots of great memories that I have as an alumnus of HMS. One is always looking forward to auction day (which is still carried on to this day at HMS)!  I have made lasting friendships from my years at Hinkletown.

As a parent, how do you see HMS as a good fit for your family?
HMS is a great fit for our family! When it came time for us to select a school for our children I knew without a doubt that I wanted to send them to HMS. My experience was so positive there that I also wanted my children to have the same experience I had -- a wonderful Christ-centered education with great teachers and a chance to build wonderful relationships. The sacrifices that are made by our family are worth every one…. when you see your child praising Jesus and saying they want to live for Him.

 

What are the roles in which you have served your church or community after HMS?
We attend Bowmansville Mennonite Church where I have served on a women’s retreat committee and taught Sunday school to grade school girls.  Tony and I have also been Jr. Youth leaders.

 

 


Debby Rissler, Class of 1995

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What is your occupation?  
Homemaker.  After graduating from high school, I worked for 8 years as an administrative assistant at a drywall company until my first son was born.

Where did you go to high school? 
After 6th grade, I attended middle school and high school at Garden Spot.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
My education at HMS prepared me very well academically when I transitioned to a different school. Even more valuable though was the spiritual training I received which helped me to have a solid faith and foundation in Christ. There were also many opportunities to serve at HMS, which helped me to develop a strong work ethic and learn to work well with others -- this is helpful in every part of life.

As you reflect on the way others (teachers, parents, donors, etc.) invested in you at HMS, what memories or thoughts come to mind?
I am so thankful that my parents decided to send me to HMS! Only as an adult do I realize the financial investment they made in my education and the many things they willingly gave up in order for me to be there. They believed that the foundation I would receive at HMS was worth more than material things for which the money could have been used. They invested many hours of time serving at the school and I have good memories of being there with them and helping. I have fond memories of each of my teachers and am so thankful for the ways they helped me to grow academically and spiritually.

As a parent, how do you see HMS as a good fit for your family?
At HMS, we are thankful that our children are being nurtured spiritually while also receiving an excellent education. There are many opportunities for hands-on learning, which our boys thoroughly enjoy. The teachers are wonderful and we enjoy coming into the classroom for different activities and field trips.

What are the roles in which you have served your church or community after HMS?
Currently, I serve as librarian and am a member of the women's retreat planning committee at my church.  (As school parents) we volunteer and contribute in many other ways to the continued success of HMS.

 


Justin Weaver, Class of 1999

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What is your occupation?  
Physical Education Teacher/Athletic Director at Hinkletown Mennonite School

 

Where did you go to high school? 
Lancaster Mennonite High School

Any post-secondary education or specialized training following high school and where?
Associates of Arts, Hesston College; B.S. in Health and Physical Education from Lancaster Bible College.

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life?
Attending Hinkletown helped me gain an appreciation for different cultures and people groups around the world. During my time at Hinkletown, my family hosted several MCC trainees (currently the International Volunteer Exchange Program) into our home who worked at the school.  I have memories of playing soccer with one particular guest from Brazil, which may have been the start of my interest in soccer.  After high school, I traveled to Kenya on a mission assignment to work with refugees, interacting through a common interest in sports.

What did your HMS education provide you that you now realize was an asset to your adult life and career?  
My HMS education was formative in giving me opportunities to try a variety of activities that were unique and valuable for my future decisions.  Through science and state fairs, clubs, field trips and athletic teams I appreciated the opportunities to learn and experience the world in practical and unique ways.  In my vocation as a teacher, hobbies of gardening, and enjoyment of physical activity, I look back and value Hinkletown’s emphasis on hands-on learning.                  

As you reflect on the way others (teachers, parents, donors, etc.) invested in you at HMS, what memories or thoughts come to mind?
As I look back, I don’t think I realized the sacrifice and service of so many teachers, coaches, and parents to invest in others and myself at this school.  I have memories of traveling to Lancaster City and Philadelphia on field trips, biking throughout Lancaster’s countryside in bike club, and dressing up for the state fair.  Looking back I can see that these things didn’t just happen.  People invested a lot of time, energy and care into my education at Hinkletown, and I’m very thankful for that.

 


Sara Bare, Class of 2000

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What is your occupation? 
I am the owner of New Holland Coffee Company, 840 West Main Street, New Holland, PA. 

What year did you graduate from HMS?   2000 

Where did you go to high school?   Garden Spot High School, graduated in 2004 

Any post-secondary education following high school and where (trade school, business degree, specialized training, etc.)?
I earned an Associate's degree in Business from Harrisburg Area Community College's Lancaster campus. 

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
HMS helped me learn how to establish relationship with others, the importance of helping those in need, and was part of the process in my growing relationship with Jesus Christ. 

What did your HMS education provide you that you now realize was an asset to your adult life & career?
HMS helped me realize the importance of being part of a community that works to help others. As a business, we want to provide for our community: a gathering place for all who want to experience high quality coffee, delicious food, and excellent service. This is combined with an atmosphere that fosters conversation and connections to make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. . . We care about community building and want to do our part to share in. . . (its) growth. 

What is your philosophy about Sunday business in a world where so many service businesses (retail, grocery, banking, etc.) are "expected" to be open on a Sunday?
I chose to remain closed on Sundays to reserve a day for a break for myself and my staff. I was raised with the practice of taking a Sabbath and still believe that is an important part of my relationship with Christ.  

Sara (Kauffman) Bare is involved in the HMS Community as an alumnus who donates coffee for special events and the annual benefit auction at HMS. She and her husband, Joel, live in Bird-in-Hand, Pa. 

 


 

DJ Weaver, Class of 2003

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What is your occupation? 
I am currently the Lawn & Garden manager at Bomberger's Inc. so I...(oversee) everything related to power equipment (John Deere, Honda, Toro) sales, parts & service. I'm also involved in our operations team which is made up of the various department managers throughout the store. I do get to taste a bit of everything which makes it fun. 

What year did you graduate from HMS?   2003 

Where did you go to high school?  
Lancaster Mennonite, graduated in 2007 

Any post-secondary education following high school and where (trade school, business degree, specialized training, etc.)? 
I graduated from Messiah College in May of 2010 with a degree in Business Administration. 

How did your HMS experience help to prepare you for life? 
I think the biggest thing HMS helped me with was providing me a foundation for relating to the people around me. As a student, I was able to build personal relationship with my teachers that proved to be very valuable. I had teachers that cared enough to help me develop as a whole person and not just be focused on teaching me reading & writing. This helped me to develop mature relationships with my peers as well as peple who are older than me. With my managerial position, I am leading people who have been at the store for 30 years and are 20 years older than me. My success in working with these people is directly related to my relationship with my coworkers.

HMS also helped me to look at a job as more of a vocation. What I mean is that I view my job, my life at church, being a good husband as all being interrelated. I want to be the same person at home as I am at work and be able to view my role/opportunity at Bomberger's as a way to bring honor to Christ and be an example of him to our customers and employees. A lot of those basic values were instilled in me while at HMS. The education at HMS is also top notch, I felt very prepared as I transitioned to LMH and Messiah and that comes back to getting a great foundation at HMS. 

What did your HMS education provide you that you now reliaze was an asset to your adult life & career? 
...Academically, I was very prepared to succeed in school. I also have a knowledge of the Bible that I realize is more in-depth than what my peers would have received at public school. 

What is your employer's philosophy about Sunday business in a world where so many service businesses (retail, grocery, banking, etc.) are "expected" to be open on a Sunday? 
We view Sunday as a day of rest which is why our store is not open. We would not want to be open and require that our employees miss the opportunity to attend church because they need to work. Financially, it would be a very smart decision to be open on Sunday's because it gives another opportunity for weekend sales. However, we believe that it's important to rest and it's a way we can honor the Sabbath. I would say the next generation (of leaders in this long-time family business) would feel strongly with this as well and don't have any desire to change our hours to be open on Sunday. 

DJ Weaver is involved in the HMS Community as an alumnus who serves on the HMS Board of Trustees and its finance committee. He has been an active contributor to the success of the historic business at Bomberger's, Inc. in Lititz, Pa., established in 1887. The company now features involvement of its 6th generation of family members in the business serving across seven home improvement departments. DJ, and his wife, Emily Bomberger Weaver, are 5th generation family members active at Bomberger's Inc.