Summer Picnic – Details

Hi fellow WPW members,

It’s time again for our annual summer picnic, and hopefully you’ve all saved the date of Saturday, August 8. This year’s picnic will be held at the Mars Area History & Landmark Society, at 1 Brickyard Road, Mars, PA 16046 (both Apple and Google maps find this address easily, and will direct you there), starting at 11:00 AM, with food to be served at noon. For those of you who prefer your directions the old-fashioned way, written directions appear at the end of this email. Here is a link to their website, which is informative:

Okay, right up front before we go any further, here’s the first reminder: Please RSVP no later than this Sunday, August 2, by sending a simple email to Ben Abate ( Put RSVP in the subject line and simply tell Ben how many will attend. Spouses, partners, significant others, etc. are welcomed, as are children (although the building is right off a main road; as such it’s not an ideal venue for kids — sorry). Go ahead, do it right now, you know you’re going to attend…

Two of our members, Bill Doughty and Al Zamba, along with many others in their community, have volunteered many hours in helping to transform an old train station into a wonderful small museum that centers around local and railroad history in the area. In addition to having access to the museum, there will also be people on site to explain as many of the museum’s artifacts as you desire, as well as answer questions. There is also the Mars Shortline Railroad, a small, narrow-gauge train on site that loops around the property, which will be operational and provide rides for all who wish to give it a try!

In addition to having an opportunity to relax, share lunch, and socialize with your fellow WPW members and families, and have an opportunity to learn something about the history of Mars and its railroad, we will also haveanother program of general interest that is sure to be enjoyed by all. Our speaker will be Chuck Doughty (brother of longtime WPW member Bill Doughty), who will be speaking about the history of the enormous underground storage facility, Iron Mountain, in Boyers, PA (about 20 miles north of Butler). Chuck is an engineer who has been associated with many aspects of the facility for 43 years, and has given many presentations about its history and current operations to many local, regional, and national publications and media stations (you’ve probably already seen one of these programs/articles on WQED, NBC News, etc., or in articles in local papers, etc.). Chuck’s talk will take us through the original limestone mining use of the facility (1902-1950), the conversion to the National Underground Storage facility (1951-1998), and the current operation as Iron Mountain, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. You will be amazed at the kinds of things/documents that are stored there, nearly right in our own backyards.

And finally, the food and other venue information. Here are the details:
As in past years, the WPW will provide two or three hot food selections (roasted chicken, pulled pork, and probably some sort of a potato side dish), as well as soft drinks, water, and plates/utensils.
If you’d like beer or wine, please bring your own and drink responsibly.
To supplement the club’s catered food, we are asking each club member to bring a hot or cold dish to share (only one per family). This should be something small, being able to serve about 6-8 people. You can make it, or buy it, and it doesn’t need to be fancy. In order to minimize duplication (to be sure that we don’t end with 1000 brownies and no cole slaw!), please try to adhere to the following guidelines. Of course, no one is going to be checking dishes against your ID, so if you have a favorite family recipe, we’ll gladly look the other way. We also realize that one person’s appetizer is another person’s side dish, so don’t get too hung up on what we call stuff. Anyway, here’s our suggestion:
If your last name starts with A thru H, please bring an dessert.
If your last name starts with I thru P, please bring an appetizer.
If your last name starts with Q thru Z, please bring a side dish.
We will have indoor seating available if the weather is too wet (or hot!), but you’re encouraged to bring your own chairs if you’d like to sit outside. For many members, this chance to just sit and get to know fellow members a bit better is a really enjoyable part of the picnic. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a grassy area to set up chairs, so the gravel parking lot will have to do. We will try to have a covered canopy or two to provide some more shade in the outdoor areas.
If you’d like to bring games appropriate for an outdoor picnic (ladder golf, corn hole, etc.), please do. The gravel probably won’t be kind to your horseshoes or Jarts, so be forewarned.

So that we can plan with the caterer, it is really important that you RSVP to Ben Abate no later than Sunday, August 2. Ben’s email is:, and please put RSVP in the subject line so that Ben can easily see it, and simply state how many will attend. If you have a last-minute change of plans and show up without having RSVP’d, we’re not going to turn you away, but why not email Ben RIGHT NOW, while you’re thinking about it. A late RSVP is better than none at all, but please try to help the committee plan for this event.

Looking forward to seeing you,

Your WPW Picnic Committee

Directions to Mars Area History & Landmark Society:
Mars, PA is right on Route 228, so we’ll provide directions from the east and west and let you get to Route 228 on your own.
From Cranberry, take Route 228 east for approximately 5 miles. At the traffic signal (Mars-Valencia Road), turn left and go 1/2 mile to Brickyard Road (red caboose), turn right and then left into parking lot.
From Route 8, take Route 228 west for approximately 4 miles. At the traffic signal (Mars-Valencia Road), turn right and go 1/2 mile to Brickyard Road (red caboose), turn right and then left into parking lot.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.