PANDORA - Dr. Oliver Lugibihl, retired Pandora and Bluffton physician, is a real nut. Nut-lover that is. As a hobby and avocation, he harvests hickory nuts from undisclosed locations around Bluffton and turns them into tasty treats. As a member of the Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio (MHCO) Service Group, many of his hickory nut pies and cakes end up at bake sales, silent auctions and pie contests that benefit projects and programs at MHCO campuses. In November he took several pies to Hilty Home's annual Craft Bazaar where he sold them by the slice for $3 per slice. It wasn't long and the pies were gone, enjoyed by the patrons. All the proceeds were donated to the Craft Bazaar. The funds raised by the Craft Bazaar support the programs and services at Hilty Home.

This Christmas, Dr. Lugibihl and the Service Group are offering homemade, hickory nut pies to the first 25 persons who order. Each pie sells for $25 with all proceeds supporting the work of the Service Group.

The Service Group of MHCO began in 1954, prior to the opening of Mennonite Memorial Home (MMH), and has been operating continuously since then. Representatives from eight local congregations host bake sales, provide fundraising meals, and volunteer their time at MHCO. Annually, the Service Group contributes approximately $10,000 to support projects and programs that directly benefit the elders living at MMH, Maple Crest and Willow Ridge. Recent projects The Service Group has supported include the Memory Garden and Pier Project at Maple Crest, a new canopy for the Dogwood patio at MMH, new patio furniture at Maple Crest and MMH, the New Vision Campaign which made Willow Ridge possible, and Christmas candies and fruit for elders to enjoy on Christmas morning at MMH.

To order a pie, call MMH at 419-358-1015 by Friday, Dec. 20. Fresh pies can be picked up at MMH on Dec. 21, 23, 24, 26 and 27 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Only 25 pies will be sold so individuals interested are encouraged to call soon.