The Che-Hanna Rock and Mineral club is hosting its 44th annual gem & mineral show at the Athens Township Volunteer Fire Hall today and Sunday.

The highlight of the show each year is Bob "UV Bob" McGuire and his fluorescent mineral show. McGuire, who shares an undeniable passion for rocks of the glowing variety, caters his show towards kids. During each show he will allow children to come up and take part in the presentation in various ways. His exhibit, which is set up in the fire company's garage, features two high powered 100 watt fluorescent bulbs which shine down on a myriad of rocks, minerals, and gems. Under the glow of black light, what originally looked like plain rocks now show off a glowing display of multicolored crystals and particles.

"When I first turn the lights on during a show, the crowd usually starts with 'oohs and ahs' and the kids get really excited," McGuire said.

For McGuire, its all about showing the younger generation that rocks aren't always as boring as they may appear.

McGuire will be hosting five shows over the course of the weekend; Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m..

If interested in purchasing fluorescent rocks after the show, a total of 14 dealers will be on hand from open until close both days. Dealers will also be selling minerals, gemstones, fossils, jewelry, and hobby supplies. While there will be some rare items for sale demanding high prices, some rocks can be purchased for as little as $1.

Marc Wilson of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh will be displaying a meteorites exhibit and a brand new collection of specimens. The samples were collected in late February and have not yet been seen by the public eye.

Of the approximately 15 items that make up this new collection, the most impressive is an Azurite from Australia.

"This Azurite is one of the best in the world for its size when you consider perfection of form and color," Wilson explained.

Yet another 'must see' exhibit at the show will be that of Dominic Ferrante. Ferrante, who has been deaf and mute since birth, will be displaying his collection of rocks and minerals, most of which he mined himself in Ontario, Canada. His love for rocks came early in his life as a young boy living in New Jersey where he would build tiny houses out of rocks. Now, Ferrante is living in Standing Stone Township, and remains extremely active in the rock and mineral club.

This year's show is asking a suggested donation of $3 for adults and $1 for students for those wishing to attend. Children eight and under are free.

The club, a 501c3 non profit organization, uses the money that is generated from the show for education purposes. Most of the funds received goes towards field trips and working with schools and youth groups to show children that geology can be fun.

The hours of the show are: Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..

If interested in joining the club, please contact Frank Meadows at (607) 277-0629. Yearly dues are $8 per person or $12 for a family.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: tzyla@thedailyreview.com.