Early spring predicted by Sweet Arrow
By Robert Wheary, Staff Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
PINE GROVE – While the entire world is moaning about Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction about six more weeks of winter, Schuylkill County may just see an early spring.
At least that’s the way Pine Grove’s Grover the Groundhog and Sweet Arrow Sue see it when they didn’t see their shadow on Feb. 2.
More than 90 people packed the Schuylkill County outdoor recreation area at Sweet Arrow Lake to hear the predictions of Pennsylvania’s “third and fourth most famous groundhogs” an event that began back in 2006 by members of the Pine Grove Grundsau Lodge No. 5.
“The lodge members would come to the lake to make this prediction and we would have an event for them,” said Denise Donmoyer, president of the Sweet Arrow Lake Conservation Association.
With the lodge disbanding, this year was the first time that the association planned the entire program, from the prediction to planning entertainment by musician Matthew Dodd, who created songs related to the groundhog.
“Ground-Hog,” Dodd sang to the tune of the Troggs’ hit “Wild Thing.” “You are the weather log. Will there be rain or fog, please tell me, Ground-Hog.”
With a few remaining members of the lodge in attendance, former lodge Hauptmann Donald L. Potts turned his derby over to Bob Evanchalk to read the prediction.
Evanchalk told a story about how Grover saw “a guy with a lot of money and really bad hair who had been elected president” and how the hair reminded him of a long-lost relative.
From there, Evanchalk said the words everyone was waiting to hear.
“Grover emerged from his den this morning at 7:15 a.m. and did not see his shadow, and declared that there will be an early spring,” Evanchalk said as the crowd let out a cheer.
The prediction was a contradiction to that of Grover’s counterpart, Phil, in western Pennsylvania. Donmoyer though explained that.
“Grover’s prediction is more centralized for Schuylkill County, that’s what we like to say,” she said. “You can see it starting to form cause we have sunny skies outside and no ice on the lake.”
Of course, those in attendance could also take part in a special raffle for prizes and enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast. Proceeds from both benefitted the conservation group, which puts on programs at the late.
“All the money that we raise here today goes back into the lake, promoting it and having everyone enjoy themselves when they visit Sweet Arrow Lake,” Donmoyer said.
While everyone was enjoying themselves inside the clubhouse, a survey that Donmoyer took of the crowd showed that many of the people enjoyed having the prediction festivities outside, so that will be in the works for next year.