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Chester County Press

Oxford has heart—and it shows during First Friday

02/08/2016 02:02PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Oxford has heart—and it was on full display at the First Friday event on Feb. 5.

From the author who was talking lovingly about her novel and book of poetry to the owners of the Bog Turtle Brewery who were cheerfully serving up their newest brew to the dozens of people who donated their blood during the Red Cross Blood Drive, Oxford’s big heart was evident in many different ways. That made the theme for the February First Friday—“Oxford Has Heart”—very appropriate.

There was plenty of food, music, and fun for attendees to enjoy during the chilly early February evening. The Bog Turtle Brewery is now offering samples of its brews at its location in the OASA building at 14 South 3rd Street. The Bog Turtle Brewery is a collaboration of six owners—Tom King, John Ewing, Johnny Topmiller, Steve Applegate, Jon Campbell, and Chris Davis.

The brews have been enormously popular since they were made available to the public for the first time in December—so much so that Bog Turtle Brewery can’t keep up with demand.

King said that they are working on boosting production so that they can have an inventory of each of the beers on hand. Growlers of beer are currently available on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights from 6 to 8 p.m., and on weekends when brewing is taking place.

Oxford’s First Fridays always feature an eclectic mix of vendors. Kirsten Hurley, of Cochranville, and Grace Gutzler, of East Nottingham, were selling Mary Kay products at the First Friday.

I’m here every First Friday,” Gutzler said.

Author S. G. McAfee, a resident of Nottingham, has been coming to the events for nearly a year and a half. McAfee was at J & K Slightly Touched Furniture offering copies of her 2013 novel, “Chance of Snow,” and a book of poetry called “Windswept.”

I’ve been writing poetry since I was 11,” she said.

The Red Cross Blood Drive at the Oxford Firehouse fit perfectly with the “Oxford Has Heart” theme.

Everybody who donates could be saving three lives,” explained Jose Perez, the team supervisor with the American Red Cross.

Perez noted that the Red Cross is currently experiencing an inventory shortage. Donors like Kodi Baughman are working to fix that.

I’m a regular donor,” said Baughman, a resident of North East, Md. She donates double red blood cells three times a year because she wants to help others who find themselves in need of a blood donation.

It could be helpful to someone,” Baughman explained. “I don’t need it and it seems selfish not to give it to someone who needs it.”

Volunteers like Gwen Cornell helped make sure that everything ran smoothly during the blood drive. She and her husband, Francis, often volunteer to help out with blood drives.

You have to give back,” Gwen Cornell explained.

Oxford’s next First Friday event, on March 4, has a “Going Green,” theme and will feature Celtic music, Irish food, and Irish step dancing. April’s First Friday, with the theme, “Spring into History,” will be a celebration of the history of Oxford.

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