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Looking Ahead to a New Year with New Goals and Fresh Resolutions
Written by Sergei Blair, Correspondent

            From the box office booth at a local theater, to the table at a popular diner, to the living room at a residential home, people are sharing about the highs and lows of

the past year and setting New Year's resolutions.

            Ed Buchinski, owner the Grand Theater in East Greenville, said 2017 brought several tragedies to this family with the sudden passing of his eldest sister in September due to health complications and losing a beloved family pet in May.

            "I'm really looking forward to 2017 coming to an end personally," Buchinki said

            Despite the personal losses, Buchinski said his business has stayed afloat at a time when the movie industry suffers a setback from the competition with online streaming services. According to Buchinski, the Grand Theater remains to be highest grossing privately-owned single screen theater in the state.

            The theater opened in July 2005 after extensive renovations and has since grown as a primary destination for local entertainment outings.

             Buchinki said he anticipates to bring in more film goers in the new year by introducing better film titles.

            He said in 2017 there weren't a lot of must-see movies, but there's certainly many coming out in 2018. He said Disney's "The Incredibles 2" coming in June is promising to be a very successful film.

            2017 helped open the doors for goodwill for the St. Mark's Church in 

Pennsburg. Pastor Charles Romanowski said the church was grateful to take part in re-introducing  the lighting of the community Christmas tree which attracted about 300 residents. Church members  also landed a helping hand at the traditional Christmas hometown parade, an event that drew nearly 600 people. The church served refreshments and and offered several Christmas-related activities for the children.

            In partnership with seven churches of the 500 Year Reformation celebration, St. Mark's helped assemble 10,000 meals in March which were shipped throughout the country, while some went for donation to places like Pennsburg Manor and the community thrift shop.

            Following its success, the church official decided to continue the event into the next year.

            "We always looking for ways to serve the community through outreaches and we will continue to do that," Romanowski said. "I feel grateful for this past year and I see no reason why I won't be grateful in 2018."

            With a rebounding national economy and a stock market remaining at the all-time high, the good news of economic growth is motivating local residents to find ways to cash in on the success.

            After enjoying a late-afternoon lunch with her friend at a Shady Nook diner in Pennsburg, Patti, who declined to give her last name, said she resolves to be more resourceful with her money and save some in the process.

            "To try to save money this year because I like to get ahead, "Patti said.

            While sipping a cup of hot coffee at the Pennsburg Diner, Tammy, a business regular who also declined to provide a last name, said that she's excited to ring in a new year with a goal to finally pay off her credit card debt. The Sumneytown resident said she's already halfway through paying off the credit card, setting her on a road to personal financial freedom.

            She said the 2017 was a good year for her in more ways than one.

            Tammy said she was thrilled when her son got engaged on Thanksgiving Day and with that, according to her her, bigger and better things are promised in the new year.

            The fleeting year brought uncertainty for some like Greg Rist, of Gilbertsville.

            The self-employed contractor was involved in an auto accident in July 2016, causing Rist, 52, to have a dislocated disk and an excruciating pain at his lower back.

            Following a tumultuous year of chiropractic treatments, a constant rescheduling of a vital surgery, and an ever-growing stack of medical bills, Rist said he and his wife plan to welcome the new year by downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary things.  

            "I want to pair things down for a basic life to make it simple and easy way of living," Rist said. "I just want to simplify my life."

            Rist is scheduled to undergo an eight-hour spinal surgery in February.

            Taking a good care of yourself and others has always been Rosalie Karcher's life principle. She  advised that people should set resolutions to smile more and ask people how they're doing. "That's more reasonable and it makes you feel good. Those are resolutions that are good," she said.

            The long-time Upper Perkiomen native who now lives in North Carolina was on a holiday visit to spend time with her aging mother.

            After paying her bill at Pennsburg Diner where she took her mother for an afternoon luncheon, Karcher said she has set a personal goal for the new year to start helping her husband to eat healthy because it makes her feel good.  

            "Her New Year's resolution should be to treat her husband really good and with respect," husband Patrick Karcher chimed in .

            "Well, that would be for next year," she replied, "I'm overloaded this year."





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