artist Judith Hummel
Judith Hummel hangs her paintings as part of Homeland Center's program that features rotating exhibits from area artists.  

When the art exhibits unique to Homeland Center go on the Florida room wall, it’s not just residents who benefit from exposure to great art. Staff, too, find a few moments in their busy days to rejuvenate and recharge.

“It’s something nice to look at when you’re walking through the hallways,” said Homeland Certified Nursing Assistant Kaneice Foster. “It’s not just plain walls.”

Homeland Center’s Florida room art gallery is devoted to quarterly rotating exhibits offered by members of the Art Association of Harrisburg. AAH selects artists whose works they believe will appeal to Homeland’s residents.

Juggler Chris Ivey
One-time juggling world champion Chris Ivey delivers laughs and thrills during an hour-long show at Homeland Center.  

The juggler knew what his audience wanted to see – the dangerous stuff. So he displayed a bowling ball, a garden rake, and “a very real ninja katana sword . . . case.”

Fifty-plus people filling the Homeland main dining room groaned. The actual sword would be much more dangerous. The juggler gave in, adding the sword to his rotation.

“You guys don’t let me get away with anything,” he mock-complained.

On the day before New Year’s Eve, Homeland gave residents a special treat. Character juggler Chris Ivey, a one-time juggling world champion, gave an hour-long show that delivered laughs, thrills, and audience participation.

A “character juggler” is an entertainer who juggles while spicing up the act with comedy and costumes, Ivey said as he set up for the show. The Marietta-based entertainer arrived with cases full of classic and unique items, from juggling pins and rings to that garden rake and a battle ax.

Shari Yahner
Homeland Center Activities Coordinator Shari Yahner  

Teamwork is rewarding for Activities Coordinator Shari Yahner.

With an extensive career in long-term care, Shari Yahner knew that she wanted for work for Homeland Center. When a friend told her about an opening, she was thrilled to get the job.

“The staff is so caring and wonderful,” she says. “I feel so blessed to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Yahner first came to Homeland as a part-time dietary technician in June 2016, but soon, she was working full-time, spending one day a week on nutrition and the rest as a skilled-care activities coordinator. Some days, she’s helping residents make music by distributing homemade maracas to shake while a visiting musician sings familiar songs.

Other days, she works one-on-one, playing games or helping residents color adult coloring books. She’s always searching the internet for new ideas. She brought one favorite game from home – the classic Pass the Pig, when players toss plastic pigs like dice and earn points depending on how the pigs land.

Editor's note: We are saddened to report that Ellen passed away unexpectedly and quietly on Saturday, Jan. 28. Our sincere sympathy to her husband, Bill, and her family.

Ellen Warren min
Ellen Warren  

Ellen Warren devotes her life to community service!

When she was in first grade, Ellen Warren would sneak into the art room while her classmates went to recess. Ostensibly, she was helping clean the chalkboard erasers, but the teacher knew she just wanted to draw.

That introduction to art launched a lifetime of devotion to artistic endeavors and to supporting the performing and visual arts wherever she lived.

“I believe the soul needs creativity,” says Warren, a Homeland Center resident since late 2016. “The spirit needs creativity.”

Warren was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Scranton. Her father was a mining and metallurgical engineer. Her mother was a homemaker and community volunteer for “anything and everything” – American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, a local performing arts center, a health care facility.

kathryn steigler

Kathryn Steigler reminisces about working in a Bavarian porcelain factory after World War II.


Porcelain maker and seamstress found life in America!

The German province of Bavaria is home to one of the world’s rare deposits of kaolin, the clay mineral capable of withstanding the intense firing needed to produce delicate, translucent china. In the unsettled days after World War II, Homeland Center resident Kathryn Steigler worked in a Bavarian porcelain factory, and like Bavaria’s durable clay, emerged from hardship to find her life in America.

Kathryn Schlafman Steigler was born in Hungary in 1925, in a village of ethnic Germans. Her family worked a small subsistence farm, raising their own food and livestock. Her brother tended the horses. She learned from her mother and grandmother to bake bread every day and to weave fabric on a loom and sew it into clothing. Any extra crops were sold to a neighbor’s shop.

“Mom and dad, they worked so hard, and the young ones had to help, too,” she recalls.


Zoom A+ A- Reset