It's not about the longest or fullest, darkest or lightest.
It's really not about the beards at all.
Rather, it's about helping others. The beards are just the way Smith Middle School staffers are encouraging students to contribute to the community.
"It's a real opportunity to do some good," teacher Al Freas said.
Early this month, staffers decided to participate in No Shave November.
They formed two teams, each supporting a local nonprofit.
Members of Little Britain Presbyterian Church are working to save the Solanco Coats for Kids program.
For more than 30 years, Solanco students collected coats which were then cleaned and displayed so people can pick out the ones they need.
Until this year.
That's when the church congregation stepped in.
"In the second week of October, we realized the school district wasn't going to do it this year," organizer Lynne Hart said.
Nine girls will vie for the title of Miss Solanco in the annual Miss Solanco Scholarship Pageant this weekend.
The 61st annual pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, at Solanco High School, 585 Solanco Rd.
Competing in this year's pageant are:
Emily Zook, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doug Zook of Kirkwood. Miss Zook will be accompanied by Jona Linnenbaugh. She will play the cello in the talent portion of the contest. Her platform is the importance of music therapy. She is sponsored by the Lancaster County Sportsman Association.
There were two winners in the recent grocery sweepstakes.
Lisa Zumbuto of Conowingo, Md., got a $1,000 shopping spree at Ferguson & Hassler Supermarket.
And the children's programs at Johns Hopkins Hospital got almost as much.
The sweepstakes is Jamie Paxton's most recent project to benefit the hospital. While still a student at Solanco High School, she helped start Santa's Sleigh, a program that continues to collect toys for children hospitalized over Christmas.
It's time the weather changed.
For the past four years, members of the Southern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce have had to cope with rain on the night they light a community Christmas tree.
They have had drizzle, showers, and at least one cold downpour.
This year will be different, organizer Pete Rush said last week as he stood under a roof and watched rain soak the tree.
In past years, the weather has probably kept attendance down, Rush said. Last year, about 400 people braved a cold rain to listen to music, drink hot chocolate, and welcome Santa.
"This year, we're going to have either a clear day or snow," he said. "There will be no rain."
The idea came to her when she saw the hometown hero banners along Quarryville's streets.
"I thought 'every one of them must have a cool story behind it'," Swift Middle School teacher Emily Mankin said last week.
Now students in the school's Junior National Honor Society are compiling those stories.
Mankin, who has been the society's mentor for a decade, presented the idea at the beginning of the school year.
"I let them vote on every project, and they all voted to do it. They're an extremely eager bunch," she said. Most students were willing to interview either the veterans or their families; only three were reluctant to talk with the veterans.
First-time contributor Amy Mueller couldn't work from the original when she began her pen and ink drawing of Parker Shank's store at Peach Bottom.
The building no longer exists and the site itself was drowned when the lake formed behind the Conowingo Dam.
"I never would have chosen this because the picture [of the store] is so dark," Mueller said. "I had to use my magnifying glass for the details."
Solanco teacher Greg Lyon had a summer reading project.
"I read Les Misérables, the entire thing," he said.
He did that so he could choose the play that most accurately reflected Victor Hugo's 19th century novel.
That led him to the version by Michael Druce, a retired English teacher.
Merle Aukamp, left, and Nevin Book salute after placing a wreath at the entrance to Quarryville's Memorial Park on Saturday morning, November 7. About 100 people attended the annual Veterans Day commemoration at the park. Click read more for photo gallery.
Making books available to families with young children is just part of the district's efforts to help kids be better prepared when they enter kindergarten. The district has also put together a team of administrators, teachers, and parents who are working on ways to help parents learn to teach their children.
"They are their children's first teacher," said Bart-Colerain Elementary School principal Sandy Haines. "This will help them make sure their kids are ready for kindergarten."
Students who will be the first in their families to attend college face more challenges than those whose parents are also university graduates.
One major obstacle is finding enough money to pay for the high cost of post-high school education.
"Scholarships will help remove some of the barriers these students face when they try to get a post-high school education," said Dr. Robert Dangler, assistant superintendent of the Solanco School District.
Solanco High School senior Cameron Buchheister celebrated his 17th birthday on October 19 by earning his private pilot's license.
He had passed the written test in June, but had to wait until he turned 17 to take the flying portion of the examination.
"The written test was the hardest. It covers regulations, how a plane works, how to read a weather chart, and a lot more. I went to Florida a week early and studied non-stop," he said. "I love flying, but the book work isn't too fun."
The Quarryville Lions Club will host a Veterans Day program at Memorial Park, Park and S. Lime streets, Quarryville, on Saturday, November 7.
This will be the third time the club has held a Veterans Day commemoration at the park. In 2013, the ceremony rededicated the restored memorial pillars at the entrance to the park.
The Quarryville Family Restaurant raised the most money in the recently-completed boot drive fundraiser for the Quarryville Fire Company.
On Thursday afternoon, organizer Sherry Wertz presented a trophy to restaurant staff members for their efforts.
The drive brought in $3,078 from 11 restaurants in the fire company's primary service area. Fire company officials did not release the amounts each restaurant raised.