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Grange Fair Brings Joy to Four Diamonds Family

by on August 25, 2014 3:45 PM

Like most kids his age, Noah Benner isn’t look forward to the end of the summer.

Many of his friends may be upset about returning to school, but nine-year-old Noah – a shy, but fiercely intelligent child – didn’t seem overly concerned about the upcoming school year while spending time with has family at the Grange Fair on Sunday.

His father, Craig Benner, says Noah is a Four Diamonds child, with surgery to deal with a brain tumor tentatively scheduled for early next month.

It will be his third surgery.

Benner says he and his wife, Tiffany, have been coming to the Grange Fair since they were children, so they would’ve likely brought Noah to the fair this year regardless of his medical situation. 

“The atmosphere here is great. We always get to see friends from high school and college that we don’t see anywhere else,” Tiffany Benner says.

But this year’s trip to the annual county fair has an added importance.

“He really wants to enjoy all of his summer, and we thought coming to the fair was a great way to do that,” she says.

Noah says he’s loved coming to the fair, and says the various carnival games and rides have been his favorite part. He also enjoyed playing in the Discovery Space museum exhibit on Sunday, where he took part in educational games and activities. 

He built several working circuits – bringing life to a light-emitting diode (which he admits is a difficult phrase to pronounce), a flying saucer and a musical doorbell. Though some children found the instructions complicated, Noah proudly says he got all three circuits to work flawlessly.

His father says Noah has always enjoyed building things and solving problems.

“I want to be a video game designer someday,” Noah says. “My dad’s a computer programmer, and I want to be like him.”

Discovery Space science educator Elizabeth Ceres says she was happy to give Noah, and the many other children at the fair, a space to learn and have fun at the same time. She says children who make a connection between fun and learning – much like Noah – will help lead to innovations in the future.

“Curious minds are so important,” Ceres says. “They’re how new inventions are made.”

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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