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March 4 COBYS Banquet to Spoof a High School Reunion
New This Year Is a Second Daytime ProgramMark and Don Graduation photos - Ryan Shenk and Mark DeRose

COBYS Family Services invites you to their version of a high school reunion at the annual informational/fundraising banquet. The School Daze Reunion Banquet is slated for Friday, March 4, at the Middle Creek Church of the Brethren. In addition to the evening banquet, for the first time we also will include a daytime program. For the noon program, doors open at 11:30 and the banquet begins at noon. For the evening, doors open at 6:00 for the 6:30 banquet. (For more details, view the invitation.)

Both events will include a family style meal, followed by a program in the guise of a 35th class reunion for the imaginary Mid-Central High School Class of '82. (Math was never our strong suit.)

The program will feature alumni of our imaginary school who have gone on to accomplish great things. Along with those Middlers who have become excessively rich, invented truly amazing gadgets, found cures for incurable diseases, and are running for high office, a remarkable number of MCHS alumni have a connection to the ministries of COBYS Family Services. We'll feature some real people who have dedicated themselves to providing compassionate care for children, walking alongside parents facing challenges, or encouraging people who need help. We think you'll enjoy meeting some of these genuine people who aren't just putting on airs.

Acoustic duo Ryan Shenk and Mark DeRose will provide music for each program. Ryan is Worship Arts Professor at Lancaster Bible College, and Mark is a performing songwriter with numerous recordings and extensive touring experience. Ryan and Mark have been performing together for about two years.

Seating for each banquet is limited to 450 (a reduction of 100 from previous years). If both time slots fit your schedule, we encourage you to choose the daytime event. Your chances of getting a good seat toward the front are higher at noon, and we are anticipating possible over-booking for the evening. We'll have the same delicious food and an inspirational, informative, and entertaining program each time.

Reservations are required, and the event will include an opportunity to support COBYS ministries. Guests may reserve a table of eight for $300 or a table of 12 for $450. Guests also may come as individuals or couples without reserving a table and give as they feel led at the event. Those not at reserved tables will be assigned seating at unreserved tables in the main hall.

Invitations are being mailed the last week of January. To reserve your place, please tear off the response slip from the invitation, or contact Nicole Hurst at 717-656-6580 or by Monday, February 22, 2016. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A table is considered reserved when payment is received.

If you are unable to attend, you can support COBYS ministries by sending a check designated for the banquet to COBYS Family Services, 1417 Oregon Road, Leola, PA 17540. Or give online and write "banquet" in the description.

For more information, please contact Nicole Hurst at 717-656-6580 or or Don Fitzkee at




COBYS Family Services is gearing up for the fourth annual ExtraOrdinary Give, Lancaster County's largest day of giving. COBYS is one of 365 local organizations participating in this 24-hour giving marathon.

Every dollar donated at on November 20 will be stretched with at least $300,000 from the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Rodgers & Associates, and other corporate sponsors. In addition, at least $50,000 in prizes will be awarded.

Here's how it works: With credit card in hand, donors simply need to visit between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 20, choose COBYS from the list of organizations, and give a donation of $25 or more.

The "stretch fund" will be divided proportionately among participating organizations. The more our donors give, the greater COBYS' proportion of the $300,000. For example, if a total of $5 million is given to all organizations and COBYS receives $50,000 from its donors, we would receive one percent or $3,000 of the match.

On top of the match, an additional $50,000 will be awarded in prizes. The first 10 organizations to receive 50 "unique gifts" will earn a $1,000 Early Bird prize. We are looking for people to give at the stroke of midnight to help us win an Early Bird Prize for the fourth year in a row! (A unique gift is one person giving with one credit card. A couple can give two unique gifts if they use two different credit cards.)

In addition, during certain time periods, individual donations will be randomly selected. If a COBYS donor is chosen, sponsors will add $1,000 to that donation. The more individual donations COBYS receives during designated times, the greater our chance of winning one or more prizes. Click here to learn more about prizes and the best times to give.

This year COBYS is joining hands with Brethren Village to host a giving station at the Village. Stop in at Chives American Grill (Fieldcrest C) between 11 am and 2 pm to make your online donation to COBYS, Brethren Village, or other participating organizations and receive a COBYS tote bag (ideal for grocery shopping) as our thank you gift. Computers will be set up and development staff from COBYS and Brethren Village will be available to assist. While you are there you can grab a treat and view the live leader board to see how your favorite organizations are faring. If you already gave, feel free to stop in just to say hello and pick up a tote bag (while supplies last).

Last year, COBYS finished 25th in dollars raised out of 306 organizations. COBYS donors gave $38,915-an increase of about $5,000 from the previous year. Included in that figure was nearly $3,000 from first time donors and a $1,000 Early Bird prize. It took just 12 minutes for COBYS supporters to reach 50 donations to win the prize.

Please mark your calendar, tell your friends, and remember COBYS on November 20. Additional information will be mailed to COBYS supporters with a year-end appeal letter in mid-November. If you know a potential donor who doesn't have access to a computer or just have questions about the ExtraOrdinary Give, contact Don Fitzkee at 717-656-6580 or




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 COBYS Birth Parent Counseling services, please contact Melanie Swansfeger or go to





Annual Reports & Newsletters

Winter 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

November 2015 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Fall 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

2015 Annual Report/Contributors List

August 2015 COBYS Connection Newsletter

Summer 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

Spring 2015 Fostering Hope Newsletter

February 2015 COBYS Connection Newsletter

2014 Annual Report/Contributors List

2014 Staff Christmas Card

Winter 2014 Fostering Hope Newsletter

November 2014 COBYS Connection Newsletter

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


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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.