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Lilac Springs: the veterans resort of Meadville

Located outside of Meadville, Lilac Springs serves as a resort for veterans.

Located outside of Meadville, Lilac Springs serves as a resort for veterans.

Annabelle Menla

Annabelle Menla

Located outside of Meadville, Lilac Springs serves as a resort for veterans.

Annabelle Menla, Contributing Writer

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Veterans are considered the nation’s highly respected members of society to Lilac Springs. These men and women sacrifice themselves for a very long period of extended absence from comfort, security and families. Their hard work and dedication is even exemplified to the highest with observance of a day for them, Veterans Day. But when they arrive home, they often feel like a stranger in a foreign land and go through an excessive amount of trauma. This is where the Veterans Project at Lilac Springs comes in and saves the day.

Lilac Springs is 68 acres of fertile grass, ponds, trails, a labyrinth and pure relaxation. Located about four miles south of Meadville, PA, Lilac Springs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides three day breakaways for combat veterans and their partners.

Designed to be a resort, Lilac Springs is owned by Marsha and Anthony Pedone. “RECOURSE” is the motto for the organization because the property has served as a recourse to combat veterans and their loved ones. Since 2008, it has been a place where veterans can feel at peace because they can escape from reality.

“A place of safety, support and understanding. While here, individuals are able to re-integrate spiritually, physically, psychologically, socially, emotionally,” Marsha Pedone said.

Ralph Gomora is a long time resident of Meadville and owns a construction company named Ralph Gomora Concrete and Construction LLC with his sons. Gomora and the company are one of the key organizations that helped build Lilac Springs and are currently constructing a pavilion area outside. It will serve as a place veterans can use to relax, conduct meetings or hang out.

“Time is the most important and valuable thing to man. That makes it the most valuable thing worth sharing. No other cause is more perfect to dedicate time to then helping people who dedicated their time for the country,” Gomora said.

Marsha and Anthony Pedone have been positively changing veterans’ lives for nearly a decade. Marsha and Anthony said that their belief in God will bless and sustain their lives for choosing to help others.

“These people sold their lives for this country. Don’t they at least deserve a weekend to enjoy themselves?” Anthony Pedone said, “Even if that means riding a tractor outside, gazing flowers or simply walking into nature. We owe them peace at the least.”

Since the Veterans Project at Lilac Springs is a nonprofit, there are no paid staff. Therefore, the organization is open to all that would like to donate their time. Students and people from all backgrounds are welcomed to come to the farm and help with its maintenance.

“We’d appreciate all the help we can get before the bad weather arrives and limits our work,” Anthony said.

Lilac Springs is open for all students and volunteers looking for community service. Lilac Springs and its owners encourage people to take the chance to influence someone’s world that has been shaken up. For any additional information and questions, feel free to send the organization a email at or call at 814-282-9380.

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3 Responses to “Lilac Springs: the veterans resort of Meadville”

  1. Anthony Pedone on September 29th, 2017 5:20 pm

    Thank you for your kind words, Annabelle.

    It was nice of you to “spend some of your time” and Lilac Springs and to “spend your time” writing this article. You are welcome to visit, any time. We have had more students from Allegheny than any other year and it means a lot. People who have been in combat have had some very bad experiences, and it is nice to have others help us make the property pretty..


  2. Mark Springer on September 30th, 2017 12:50 am

    Excellent article on an excellent humanitarian endeavor. Thank you.


  3. Robyn dobos on October 1st, 2017 6:04 am

    My husband is a veteran of the Marine Corps and has, since his transition into civilian life, has developed ALS.

    We frequent Lilac Springs since my husband is originally from Meadville. My husband’s disease as progressed enough that he is a in a power chair and unable to move most of his body. Not only have we been to two “breakaways” but we also stay here when visiting family in Meadville because of the adaptations they have made that can more easily accommodate Tim ( my husband).

    You will not find two more genuine hearts than those of Marsha and Tony. They are always welcoming us with open arms and have become dear friends.

    The grounds have offered us a peaceful and relaxing environment to enjoy time together and simply be quiet in mind and spirit. I have always enjoyed the hard work that Marsha puts into the garden and making things beautiful. Living with ALS keeps me always up and moving in order for my family to function rather normally. I absolutely view lilac springs as a retreat and a safe haven for us to unload our stress from daily life. My family would love to see anyone give of their time to keep this place an option for any veteran and their loved ones to come and find the peace they search for.

    Thank you.


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Lilac Springs: the veterans resort of Meadville