Thursday, November 17, 2016

Red Cross Honors Local Heroes during Annual Award Breakfast


The American Red Cross South Central Pennsylvania Chapter, which covers Adams, Franklin, Fulton, and York Counties, will honor 16 people with nine different awards during the 14th Annual Spirit of the Hero Award Breakfast being held at the Wyndham Garden York Hotel on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Recipients are honored for their heroic and/or selfless acts that improve our communities and show all of us that not all heroes wear capes.

This year’s honorees include:


Frank Roloson, Jess Miller, Shannon Shutika, Shannon Bair (category – Medical)
Things were going well at SpiriTrust Lutheran, The Village at Utz Terrace in Hanover, on November 4, 2015. The staff was going about its normal routine, with a couple of them performing physical therapy on an elderly patient who was in the facility for rehab following bypass surgery. The patient wasn’t feeling well, but no one was expecting her wound VAC (vacuum-assisted closure) to blow, causing instant severe and massive bleeding. Without hesitation, the center’s staff sprang into action. Frank Roloson, Jess Miller, Shannon Shutika, and Shannon Bair worked closely to slow the blood flow and move the patient to bed while keeping her calm and conscious until the paramedics arrived to transport her to a local hospital for emergency surgery. Their quick-thinking response to a potentially fatal situation bought the woman valuable time, time that was needed to get her the emergency medical care that ultimately saved her life. VIEW VIDEO


Erik Swanson, Chad Deardorff, Miguel Cabrera, Christina Sneeringer, Ted Hake (category – Animal Rescue)
In December 2015, the York City Fire Department and White Rose Ambulance were dispatched to a multi-home fire on the 700 block of West Princess Street in the city of York. As the flames were brought under control, firefighters were told that two dogs were still inside the structure. Entering the building, Firefighter Erik Swanson located the first pet and quickly removed him from the home. Barely breathing and suffering from smoke inhalation, Deputy Fire Chief Chad Deardorff, Paramedic Miguel Cabrera, and EMT Christina Sneering administered oxygen using a pet resuscitation mask. Meanwhile, Swanson reentered the building, where he located and removed the second dog, who appeared to be unharmed. As the condition of the first dog stabilized, Paramedic Ted Hake transported both pets to the veterinary hospital, where they were able to receive emergency care. Our pets are part of our family, and thanks to the efforts of these fine first responders, both dogs are happy, healthy and back home with their owners. VIEW VIDEO


Andrew Shaffer (category – Good Neighbor)
Honor, Fidelity, Service. Those are the three pillars of the Northern York County Regional Police Department and the three words that define Officer Andrew Shaffer. In July 2016, Officer Shaffer was dispatched to a residence in Dover Township for a report of an elderly male in cardiac arrest. Officer Shaffer arrived at the home to find the gentleman, who had been mowing the lawn, collapsed in the backyard from what was determined to be a fatal heart attack. Before resuming his 12-hour shift, Officer Shaffer stayed at the home to notify the family and to assist the coroner and funeral home. After completing work later that evening, Officer Shaffer returned to the residence, offered his condolences to the family, and then proceeded to finish mowing the lawn that the elderly gentleman had started before he passed away earlier in the day. Officer Shaffer’s act of kindness and compassion make him a shining example of what it means to serve others. He is a true role model for us all. VIEW VIDEO


Timothy Himes (category – Good Neighbor)
Timothy Himes was out behind his wife’s North York Borough office building when he stumbled upon a man lying unconscious and barely breathing June 2016. As police were being dispatched, Himes began performing CPR in an attempt to revive the gentleman who was later determined to have overdosed on some type of illegal drug. A police officer arrived quickly to the scene and immediately joined Himes in administering CPR – while one person handled the chest compressions, the other breathed air into the now nearly lifeless man. Minutes passed and Himes and the officer noticed no improvement, so Narcon was administered. More time passed and still no improvement, but the two kept giving CPR, not willing to give up hope. When the paramedics arrived, more advanced emergency care was provided, ultimately resulting in the man being revived while still on scene in the ambulance. “Thank God I learned CPR through the American Red Cross,” Himes was noted as saying after the ordeal was over. VIEW VIDEO


David Riley (category – Adult Good Samaritan)
When a masked, armed robber entered Waynesboro’s Antietam Pharmacy in June 2016, owner and pharmacist David Riley saw a situation rapidly go from bad to worse for he and his two employees. Upon entering the store, the robber quickly went to the cash register, where he pulled money from the drawer before turning his attention to the pharmacy counter. Trapping one employee against a wall, the man handed Riley a bag and demanded drugs. Riley, attempting to calm the robber, told him he would give him whatever he wanted if he would just put the gun down. With the perpetrator becoming more and more agitated, Riley began to realize the lives of he and his employees were in jeopardy. Without hesitation he pulled and fired the gun he kept holstered at his side, striking the bandit and bringing the ordeal to an end moments before the police arrived. Riley’s ability to take concise action during an extremely stressful and potentially deadly situation enabled he and his staff – although greatly shaken – to go home to their families unharmed at the end of the day. VIEW VIDEO


Emmah Bowers (category – Youth Good Samaritan)
Emmah Bowers, a senior at New Oxford High School, loves to dance. A longtime student of the Unabashed School of Dance in Hanover, Bowers decided she wanted to share her passion for dance with others – especially children with special needs. So, with the support of the dance studio, Bowers started First Position, a distinctive free dance program designed to inspire special needs children in trying something new in a warm and inviting climate. Over 20 students took part in this year’s classes, which ran from June through August and covered ballet techniques, jazz, and contemporary movement. The sessions culminated with a special showcase, complete with costumes, where the students were able to demonstrate what they learned throughout the summer. Bowers shows us that all people can be a part of something great if they are given the support they need to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way. VIEW VIDEO


Michael Ryan (category – Community Impact)
How many times while driving have you witnessed other drivers playing on their mobile devices? How often have you, yourself, looked away from the road to check a text, an email, or to take a selfie? After losing close friends in a horrific head-on collision that took the lives of five young adults, New Oxford High School senior Michael Ryan decided he wanted to do something to honor the memory of his friends and protect others from suffering the same fate. Realizing that distracted driving was becoming a major problem and a common cause of fatal automobile accidents, Ryan took $10,000 he had set aside to purchase his first car and instead purchased the software he needed to create a mobile app designed to block incoming notifications whenever a vehicle reaches a speed greater than 20 mph. Ryan put the safety of others above his own materialistic desires and, in the process, set the stage to make our roads a safer place for all. VIEW VIDEO


Nathan Tracey (category – Firefighter)
When a call went out concerning a car crash on the 100 block of Indian Rock Dam Road in December 2015, York Township’s Goodwill Fire Company Chief Nathan Tracey was first on scene, where he found a vehicle with its front end crashed into a utility pole and was fully engulfed in flames from the back. Realizing the driver was trapped inside the car, Tracey sprang into action. He approached the burning vehicle, opened the driver’s door, and was faced with an unconscious, yet breathing, person behind the wheel. Using his own protective gear to shield the man from the heat and flames, Tracey pulled the gentleman safely from the vehicle before fire crews had arrived to extinguish the flames. Though Tracey would say he was only “doing what he was trained to do,” we realize it takes a true hero to place one’s own life at risk to save the life of another. VIEW VIDEO


John Salvadia (category – Military)
Dog T.A.G.S. (Train Assist Guide Dogs) is a Mechanicsburg nonprofit that incorporates veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma in the training of their own service dogs. In this unique approach, veterans are able to bond with their dogs from day one, working with them as they are trained to be their own service providers. At the same time, veterans in the program participate together with a social worker as a support group where they are able to share their thoughts and experiences. Lewisberry resident John Salvadia, a former member of the United States Air Force and a retired Harrisburg Police Corporal and K-9 handler, was named the organization’s president in 2013 and was tasked with helping the relatively new and struggling group get a foothold in the marketplace. His leadership, fundraising ability, and training acumen have helped to solidify the group as a vital resource for veterans in the area. VIEW VIDEO

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Red Cross Assisting Following North Pennsylvania Floods

Volunteers and staff from the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region have been assisting those impacted by the storm that caused flooding in Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, and Sullivan Counties.

The Red Cross operated a shelter at Bald Eagle Area High School in Bellefonte (Centre County) on Thursday and Friday nights and another shelter at McCall Middle School in Montoursville (Lycoming County) on Friday night. Close to 80 people stayed in the Bald Eagle Shelter on Thursday night and four people stayed on Friday night. No residents stayed the night at McCall Middle School. Both shelters have now been closed.

The Red Cross has transitioned the relief operation to disaster assessment. Red Cross staff and volunteers are making their way out into the community are and working with those impacted to assess their needs and help them on their road to recovery.

If you are in need of disaster assistance due to the storm and flooding, please contact the Red Cross at 866-311-3832.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Red Cross Central PA Region Shelters - Oct 2016

Heavy rains have caused flooding in parts of Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, and Sullivan Counties. The American Red Cross is working with state and local emergency management agencies, as well as first responders and our community partners to assess the situation and respond appropriately.

The Red Cross urges those in flood prone areas to watch the weather closely and heed any weather alerts that are issued. You can also also download the Red Cross Emergency App to learn what to do to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a flood (as well as other emergencies).

Both shelters have now been closed.

Shelter Locations:
  • Bald Eagle Area High School - 751 South Eagle Valley Road, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (Centre County)
    • now closed

  • McCall Middle School - 600 Willow Street, Montoursville, Pennsylvania (Lycoming County)
    • now closed

Friday, October 14, 2016

Red Cross Hosts Mill Hall Fire Safety Event



Red Cross and community volunteers joined together with the Mill Hall Fire Department to install nearly 150 free smoke alarms and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in Mill Hall on Friday, October 14, 2016.

“Every seven minutes, someone dies in a home fire,” noted Steve Leauber, Red Cross North Central Pennsylvania Chapter Disaster Program Manager. “Working smoke alarms and home fire escape plans can increase your chances of evacuating safely by over 50%. The service our volunteers provide today will save a life tomorrow.”

The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is a five-year initiative aimed at reducing the number of home fire related deaths and injuries by 25%. Now in its third year, the American Red Cross can document over 110 lives saved nationally due to the program. 

Volunteers and financial support for the Mill Hall install event came from the American Red Cross, Tri-M Group, LLC, Wayne Township Landfill, Citizens & Northern Bank, Lock Haven University Red Cross Club and other students, UGI, and PPL.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Manheim Auto Auction Kicks off Annual Totes of Hope Campaign



The good folks at Manheim Auto Auction kicked off our annual Totes of Hope Campaign when they delivered close to 70 backpacks plus additional items to be used to fill even more backpacks to the Red Cross office in Harrisburg on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

Since 2011, the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region has joined with individuals and area corporations to secure the items needed to prepare backpacks for homeless veterans throughout our footprint through a partnership with the Lebanon VA.

“I am so very grateful to everyone who supports this campaign, and am especially grateful today for the extremely generous donation by Manheim Auto Auction,” noted Kathy Doran, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Regional Service to the Armed Forces Director. “We must all do what we can to support our veterans, and the Totes of Hope Campaign is one way to let our homeless veterans know that they have not been forgotten.”

This year, the Red Cross hopes to collect enough items to assemble 400 backpacks! To learn more about the program and where you can drop-off donations, please contact Lori Demchack at lori.demchak@redcross.org.

Items needed this year include:
  • Socks (mens size 9-11)
  • Rain Poncho
  • Fleece Lap Blankets
  • Flashlight/Batteries
  • Pocket Mirror
  • Decks of Cards
  • Puzzle Books
  • Pens
  • Notepads
  • Sewing Kits
  • Safety Pins
  • Adhesive Bandages
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Lip Balm
  • Toothbrushes (toothbrush cover)
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Mouthwash (small bottle)
  • Deodorant
  • Bars of Soap
  • 3-1 Body Wash
  • Lotion (small bottle)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Combs/Brushes
  • Pocket Tissues (no boxes)
  • Hand Sanitizer (travel size)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Sturdy Backpack (at least 17” deep and a dark color)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Red Cross Holds Mifflin County Home Fire Safety Event



Close to 100 American Red Cross and United Way of Mifflin-Juniata Day of Caring volunteers joined forces with the Lewistown and Juanita Borough Fire Departments and the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy to install close to 350 free smoke alarms and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in Lewistown and Juniata Terrace on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

“Every seven minutes, someone dies in a home fire,” noted Stephanie Fost, Red Cross Mid-Central Pennsylvania Executive Director. “Working smoke alarms and home fire escape plans can increase your chances of evacuating safely by over 50%. The service provided here today will someday save a life.”

The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is a five-year initiative aimed at reducing the number of home fire related deaths and injuries by 25%. Now entering its third year, the American Red Cross can document over 110 lives saved nationally due to the program.

Volunteers for the Mifflin County install event came from Philips and Community Service Group and were organized by the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata. They were complemented by staff and volunteers from the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region. A special note of thanks also needs to go to the Lewistown and Juanita Borough Fire Departments, Mifflin County Emergency Management Association, Pennsylvania Fire Academy, Juniata Terrace Borough Council, Grace United Methodist Church, Lewistown Boy Scout Troop 4, Giant in Lewistown and Burnham, Weis Market in Burnham, Subway in Lewistown, and Sheetz in Lewistown.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Red Cross and Local Partners Hold Harrisburg Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Event



Over 200 American Red Cross and United Way of the Capital Region Day of Caring volunteers joined forces with the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire to install over 800 free smoke alarms in close to 200 home and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in the Uptown Neighborhood of Harrisburg on Friday, September 9, 2016.

Jeri Sims, Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region CEO, started the event by welcoming the volunteers and reminding them how important their service was to the community.

“What you do here today has the potential of saving a life,” stated Sims. “Since The American Red Cross started our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign nearly two years ago, we have been able to document over 100 lives saved throughout the country due to efforts such as this. On behalf of the people we serve, I say thank you.”

Angela Leopold, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Board Chair, reinforcing comments made by Sims, added, “Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire. Working smoke alarms can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Leopold then noted how thankful she was for the organizations and corporations who have partnered with the Red Cross to make events such as this possible, commenting, “We are so very grateful for the support of our financial sponsors – UGI, PPL, PinnacleHealth, Giant, and Isaac’s. Their generosity and commitment to our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign enables events such as this to occur. We are also extremely grateful for the support of The United Way of the Capital Region. In addition to being a financial supporter of the Red Cross, they are also the ones who – through their annual Day of Caring – brought many of today’s volunteers to us. A huge shout-out goes to Chief Brian Enterline and the entire Harrisburg Bureau of Fire as well for their continued support of this program, and we need to show our appreciation to the good folks here at the Zembo Shrine for allowing us to use this great facility for our event. Finally, thank you to Bob Hauer and the crew at The River 97.3 for being here with us this morning.”

Pennsylvania State Senator Rob Teplitz and Harrisburg City Mayor Eric Papenfuse also addressed the crowd, welcoming them to the city and thanking them for their service to the community.

A brief training session followed before the group, comprised of Red Cross staff and volunteers and additional volunteers from Penn National, Highmark, Aetna, Capital BlueCross, IBM, and Helping with Pride, dispersed to go door-to-door into the Uptown Community, where they checked existing smoke alarms to make sure they worked properly and installed free smoke alarms where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also educated the residents on how to create and practice home fire escape plans.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Williams Atlantic Sunrise Donates $7,500 to Support Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region recently received a $7,500 grant from Williams Atlantic Sunrise in support of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in Lancaster. The money will be used to help the Red Cross reach its goal of reducing the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25% over a five-year period. The American Red Cross is one of 57 Pennsylvania organizations to receive a grant this funding cycle.

The Williams Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program is designed to assist in the development of projects that directly benefit the communities in which the proposed Atlantic Sunrise project would be constructed and operated. Grants are awarded based on community need and can be used to provide environmental benefit, economic development, and community benefit.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Red Cross Partners with PinnacleHealth to Reconnect Family Torn Apart by West African Violence

By Dan Tobin, Red Cross Central PA Director of Marketing & Communications

Victoria, Liberian Refugee living in Harrisburg
Imagine being separated from your children due to war and not knowing how to contact them. Years go by and you wonder whether or not they are still alive. Had they managed to escape the violence? You have little information about their whereabouts and don’t know where to turn. You, yourself, are alone in a different country and speak little of the native language. Where do you go for help?

This was the situation facing Victoria, a refugee from Liberia now living in the United States.

Liberia, a country in West Africa, ended the last century rocked by two civil wars that left the nation deeply divided. Ethnic conflict and the resulting land disputes caused thousands of refugees, some of whom resettled in the United States.

Victoria had lived in the village of Pleebo with her three children, two sisters, and two brothers. Her husband was deceased and she was in a relationship with another man. This was near the end of the country’s second civil war, which ended in 2003.

“There were rebels fighting in my little city of Pleebo,” commented Victoria. “We became refugees as a result of the violence.”

Victoria’s boyfriend told her that the United States was accepting refugees and that they should go and start a new life there. Although hesitant to leave her children, she followed him to America, settling in Harrisburg in 2004.

“My boyfriend used to help me contact my family when we first arrived since I did not know how to contact them on my own,” she stated. “When he left me, I could no longer contact them.”

Victoria, who speaks little and can write no English, relied on her boyfriend of seventeen years for everything. Although their relationship was rough, he made it possible for her to survive in this country and provided her with the means to stay in contact with her family back in Liberia. When he walked out on her three years ago, she found herself all alone. She had no friends and no local support mechanism. She had nowhere to turn and no one to help.

In Steps PinnacleHealth

Mike Dolatoski, PinnacleHealth Case Manager
It was during this time that she began working with Cori Drenning, a Licensed Social Worker at PinnacleHealth, an outpatient health clinic located in her neighborhood. In addition to providing healthcare, PinnacleHealth offers support services to assist individuals with their non-health-related needs. Three years ago, Mike Dolatoski, a PinnacleHealth Case Manager, joined the team and started working directly with Victoria on a regular basis.

“My role as a case manager is very similar to social work,” noted Dolatoski. “After completing an initial assessment and getting to know someone, we work together to set personal goals. Those related to basic needs are focused upon first. We then look at additional goals and figure out how best to attain them.”

One of Victoria’s long-term goals was to once again make contact with her children, brothers, and sisters. She had no idea where they might be and Dolatoski had no idea where to start. He approached a colleague for advice, and she directed him to the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Red Cross Restoring Family Links

“My supervisor mentioned the Restoring Family Links Program and was able to connect me with the right person,” he added.

The American Red Cross Restoring Family Links Program is a joint effort of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that reunites people who have become separated due to armed conflict or other situations of violence, natural or man-made disasters, or migration. In 2015, Restoring Family Links was able to distribute over 100,000 messages and facilitate close to 500,000 phone calls between relatives in countries throughout the world. Close to 1,000 children were reunited with their families through the program.

Dolatoski noted, “I reached out to the Red Cross in December 2014. My Red Cross contact at the time met with Victoria and me to gather all of the available information. He was very upfront that the process could take a long time and that there was no guarantee of success.”  

Following the meeting, the Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region based in Harrisburg initiated a Restoring Family Links case with the greater Red Cross Network. At this point, the local Red Cross, working in conjunction with the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., reached out to the Red Cross in Liberia with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross. For the next several months, representatives from the Red Cross in both countries worked collaboratively to exchange information needed to locate Victoria’s family.

A Message from Home

Hope Roaten, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager
In May 2016 word came through the Red Cross network that contact had been made. The family was located in a very remote area of the country, which was a 90-minute drive followed by a 60-minute walk to the nearest communication center. No cell service was available, so all communication would be done via handwritten messages.

“I immediately contacted Mike and told him I had news to share with him and Victoria,” commented Hope Roaten, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Disaster Program Manager. “We setup a meeting for the three of us at PinnacleHealth.”

Roaten had received messages and photos from Victoria’s family. She decided she wouldn’t tell Dolatoski or Victoria until she could do it in person.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” Roaten stated. “The look of relief, satisfaction, and gratitude on Victoria’s face was wonderful to see. It was as if a heavy weight had been lifted from her.”

Victoria added, “I saw the pictures and letters and was very happy. It had been three years since I spoke to my children and 12 years since I’d seen them. I was so happy.”

Dolatoski commented, “We were both not expecting this to happen. It was such an exciting day. For Victoria, the moment was so profound.”

Despite all that she has been through, Victoria has an infectious glow about her. Her smile and laugh brighten the room. Her gratitude to those who help her clearly shines through.

She is now torn between two lives – the one she left behind so many years ago in Liberia, and the one she has started here in Harrisburg. One moment she wants to travel home to be with her family, the next she talks about finding a way to bring her now grown children here.

“I sent them a letter,” she said. “I want to see them. I miss them so much.”

A Perfect Partnership

Using the American Red Cross global network, Victoria was once again able to connect with her family. Since the initial connection was made, Victoria has now been able to send messages through the Red Cross network back to Liberia. In addition, the Red Cross has been able to provide PinnacleHealth with referrals to resources that might enable Victoria to meet some more of her long-term goals.

“It’s wonderful to see the impact our partnership with PinnacleHealth has had on Victoria. Being able to reconnect her with her family shows how multiple organizations working together can enact positive change in our communities,” noted Jeri Sims, Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Regional CEO. “PinnacleHealth has been a strong partner with the Red Cross, providing financial support for our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign and supplying volunteers for our home fire install events. Victoria’s story highlights a new chapter of collaboration between our organizations. Working together, there’s no end to what we can accomplish.”

Friday, July 8, 2016

Red Cross Installs Smoke Alarms in Wysox



Close to 50 American Red Cross staff and community volunteers joined forces with the Wysox Fire Department to install over 230 free smoke alarms and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in Wysox on Friday, July 8, 2016.

“With the help of community volunteers, the fire alarms we installed in Wysox have the potential of saving a life,” noted Jeri Sims, Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region CEO. “Since the Red Cross started our Home Fire Preparedness Program close to two years ago, we have been able to document nearly 100 lives saved throughout the country due to efforts such as this. On behalf of the people we serve, I say thank you to our partners and volunteers for helping us to make the community a safer place.”

Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire. Working smoke alarms can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them. The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness program looks to change that, holding events in communities that have an increased risk of home fires and a lower chance of buildings that contain working smoke alarms.

Sims continued, “We are so grateful for the support of our community partners – UGI, PPL, the United Way of Bradford County, Gannon Associates, Tuscarora Wayne Insurance Company, Citizens and Northern Bank, Repsol, Woody's Ale House, Claverack Rural Electric Company, Marlene's Floral, and the Wysox Fire Department. Their generosity and commitment to our Home Fire Preparedness Program enables events such as this to occur.”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Colonel Fisher Receives Red Cross Legacy Award


Pictured l-r: Ed Barben (Red Cross Central PA Board Member), Kathy Doran (Red Cross Central PA Regional Service to the Armed Forces Director), Colonel Carla Fisher, and Jeri Sims (Red Cross Central PA Chief Executive Officer).


Retired Army Colonel Carla Fisher of Carlisle was awarded the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Legacy Award during the Rotary Club of Mechanicsburg-North Breakfast on Thursday, June 23, 2016. Colonel Fisher earned the award for her service as a Red Cross Donut Dolly in Vietnam.

Donut Dollies were young female college graduates who, beginning in 1965, deployed to Vietnam to provide entertainment and audience participation programs to the troops. Traveling by helicopter, truck, and jeep, they also provided refreshments and a sense of home to military forces serving in the field. During their peak in 1969, 110 women operated in 17 units throughout the country, reaching an estimated 300,000 troops.

Colonel Fisher served from July 1968-July 1969. Her tour took her to troops stationed in Cam Ranh Bay, Pleiku, and Dong Tam.

She noted, “The intensity of the friendships formed from sharing cold meals, hot sun, time in the bunker, cold showers, and the sounds of fighting, along with the joys of a letter home, a care package, and the day [I] actually boarded the plane to go on R&R or [for the] trip home, made me truly appreciate the service of our soldiers, their resilience, and their values.” 

Colonel Fisher was so moved by the experience that she joined the Army herself, obtaining the rank of Colonel and specializing in personnel and tactical communications during a 25-year career. Since her retirement, she has been an active Red Cross volunteer, supporting the Service to the Armed Forces Program in the Central Pennsylvania Region.

The Red Cross’ legacy of service to members of the military began with Clara Barton providing comfort on the battlefields during the American Civil War. Since then, American Red Cross staff and volunteers have served in every major military combat or conflict operation around the world. They are among a select group who have proudly worn the Red Cross emblem to provide care and comfort to members of the United States Armed Forces, their families, and our veterans.

The Legacy Project honors and recognizes the legacy of Red Cross staff and volunteers who have served side-by-side with members of the United States Armed Forces. Since the program’s inception in 2010, the Red Cross has received nearly 500 nominations. The stories and memories many of these people bring are an opportunity for the Red Cross to engage the families and individuals who share the distinct experience of serving alongside members of the military during conflicts, wars, and humanitarian operations.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Red Cross Receives $50,000 From CommunityAid



The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region received $50,000 from CommunityAid during a special presentation held at their Lancaster store on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The Red Cross is one of several organizations to receive a gift during today’s event.

“We are extremely grateful for our partnership with CommunityAid,” noted Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Regional CEO Jeri Sims. “Their support improves our ability to serve people in our community whose lives have been impacted by local disasters.”

CommunityAid seeks to raise funds for distribution to local schools, churches, synagogues, temples, and nonprofit charitable organizations by partnering with area businesses and organizations that agree to host clothing collection bins. Items donated through the bins are then sold at one of four area CommunityAid thrift stores, with the proceeds being returned to the community in the form of grants.

“Since all Red Cross disaster assistance is provided free of charge, we rely on the generosity of our corporate and individual donors to provide the resources necessary for us to support the community during disasters big and small,” added Sims. “Thank you, CommunityAid, for all you do to support our mission and the people we serve.”

Pictured Above: CommunityAid Executive Director Glenn Chandler (second from left) with Red Cross staff members l-r Tom Szulanczyk (North Central Pennsylvania Chapter Executive Director), Jenn Wiggin (Major Gift Officer), and Jeri Sims (Regional Chief Executive Officer).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Red Cross Mid-Central Pennsylvania Chapter Honors Heroes at State College Event



The American Red Cross Mid-Central Pennsylvania Chapter honored local individuals and organizations for their heroic and selfless acts during the Spirit of the Hero Reception held at Celebration Hall in State College on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

This year’s nominees include:

Pennsylvania State Police Rockview Criminal Investigator Trooper Brian Wakefield and Trooper Trevor Danko (category – Law Enforcement)
Pennsylvania State Police Rockview Criminal Investigator Trooper Brian Wakefield and Trooper Trevor Danko were quick-thinking and quick-action during an investigation into a reported natural death at a home in Brenner Township this past June. While removing the body from the residence, area funeral director Mark Heintzelman became short of breath and incoherent before slipping into unconsciousness. Both troopers were already springing into action to assist Heintzelman when he stopped breathing and lost his pulse. Without hesitation, the troopers administered CPR until an EMS crew arrived to transport Heintzelman, who has since made a full recovery, to Mount Nittany Medical Center. By providing lifesaving CPR to Heintzelman at the first sign of his distress, Troopers Wakefield and Danko played a pivotal role in the man’s ultimate survival.

Penn State LionCare (category – Medical Professional)
Amidst clinical rotations and long days of studying, third-year Penn State College of Medicine students at the University Park Regional Campus are putting their education into practice in a new setting. They have spent the last several months preparing for LionCare Tyrone, a student-run free clinic, which opened its doors to the public in March. “This is reminding me why I went to medical school in the first place – to help people who really need medical care,” said Clay Cooper, co-director of the clinic. “There’s definitely a need for this type of service in Tyrone, and it’s an exciting opportunity to help start this from the ground up.” To start, the clinic will be open the first Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will treat acute care needs and general health and mental health needs, as well as offer work and driver’s physicals and blood pressure checks to adults over age 18. Childcare will be provided during appointments. The clinic, a partnership between the College of Medicine University Park Regional Campus, Penn State College of Nursing and Tyrone Regional Health Network, operates out of the Tyrone Hospital Rural Health Clinic building.

Harvey Corrigan (category – Adult Good Samaritan)
As he pulled behind the Subway on West College Avenue, Advanced Disposal truck driver Harvey Corrigan noticed a pickup truck blocking the roadway. Approaching the vehicle he found a man unconscious and unresponsive in the driver’s seat. Corrigan pulled the gentleman from the truck, placed him on the ground, and attempted to resuscitate him using the CPR skills he had learned the year prior. A short time later he was joined by two Ferguson Township Police Officers, who used their AED to restart the man’s heart just as Centre LifeLink EMS was arriving to transport the gentleman to Mount Nittany Medical Center. Corrigan’s CPR training, coupled with his willingness to help a complete stranger he found to be in distress, worked together to keep a man alive until first responders were able to arrive at the scene with advanced life-saving equipment.

Pet Recovery Centre County/Susan Harpster (category – Animal Rescue)
Serving Centre County lost pets and their owners, Pet Recovery of Centre County is a volunteer organization that provides information and access to resources that help to bring missing pets back home. Using the power of social media, Pet Recovery of Centre County is able to turn a truly traumatic experience into a less-stressful situation that most times results in a happy ending. By encouraging its clients to stay calm and act quickly, they are able to blanket their extensive network of followers with pictures and other important information concerning the missing pets. They also work with area agencies to cast an even wider net in the community. Since its inception, Pet Recovery of Centre County has successfully reunited countless pets with their owners, creating happy endings for many area families.

Bob Perks Cancer Fund/Doreen Perks (category – Community Impact)
The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund helps to ease the financial burden of individuals and families in our community who are battling cancer by providing funding for basic necessities such as rent, utilities, and food so the families’ focus can be on treatment and recovery. The Fund was established in 2006 in memory of Bob Perks, a State College native, who passed away in 2005 after a long battle with melanoma. Devoted to helping cancer patients long before he faced his own challenges with the disease, his wife, Doreen, family, friends and colleagues founded the Bob Perks Cancer Fund to fulfill his wish of making a difference in the lives of those who faced cancer. Over the past ten years the Fund has raised and allocated over $1 million to local cancer patients who have encountered financial hardships in Blair, Centre, Clearfield and Huntington Counties.

Brent Andrews (category – Miltary)
Brent Andrews has served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard since March 1990, and continues to make a difference in the lives of the next generation of soldiers. While deployed to Iraq on combat operations in 2009, he served as the mounted vehicle commander for his platoon. It was during enemy actions on more than two occasions that he directed the mounted element to provide security for the dismounted squads while maintaining communications with higher headquarters to provide necessary support.

Katherine Spicer (category – Youth Good Samaritan)
As Katherine Spicer approached her tenth birthday, she decided she didn’t need things for herself and set out to raise money to help animals. With the help of her mother, Christina, she started a GoFundMe page called, Katherine’s 10 Years for $10,000. Katherine decided to raise the money to benefit Centre County PAWS, an organization that has been committed to finding forever homes for cats and dogs and educating citizens on responsible pet ownership for over 30 years. Her goal was to raise $5,000 by her mid-April birthday, and the rest as the year progresses. Katherine exudes a wisdom beyond her years. Her desire to help others over gaining material things for herself humbles us all, reminding us of what is really important in life.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Red Cross Holds Two Fire Safety Events




Over 100 American Red Cross and community volunteers joined forces with the fire departments in Mifflinville and Mount Carmel to install close to 500 free smoke detectors and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during special events held in Mifflinville and Mount Carmel’s Ward 3 on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

“Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire,” noted Tom Szulanczyk, American Red Cross North Central Pennsylvania Executive Director. “Working smoke detectors can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Since its inception in October 2014, there have been close to 80 documented lives saved throughout the country due to the Home Fire Preparedness Program, underscoring the importance of the Mifflinville and Mount Carmel events.

Szulanczyk added, “When a home fire strikes, you have roughly two minutes to escape safely. The smoke detectors you install and the escape plans you help residents to create today have the potential to save a life.”

Pennsylvania State Representative David Millard greeted the group gathered in Mifflinville, and Mayor Philip Cimino, Pennsylvania State Representative Kurt Masser, and Fire Chief James Reed welcomed those in Mount Carmel. In all cases, the importance of the service being offered was stressed.

Opening remarks and a brief training session preceded the volunteers, grouped into teams of four, being dispersed into the community, where they traveled door-to-door to check existing smoke detectors and install free smoke detectors where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also worked with the residents to create home fire escape plans.

The American Red Cross would like to thank our sponsors who helped to make both events possible – UGI, PPL, First Keystone Community Bank, BB&T Bank, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, Clover Hose Company, Rescue Hose Company, American Hose Company, and Mifflin Rangers. We would also like to thank The Lower Anthracite Region United Way for helping to secure the volunteers for the Mount Carmel event and Mount Carmel Police Chief Todd Owens for his support and assistance.

Friday, April 29, 2016

CD East Students Raise Money, Throw Pies

Pictured Above: Members of the Central Dauphin East High School Red Cross Club.


The Red Cross Club at Central Dauphin East High School in Harrisburg donated over $1,600 to the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region on Friday, April 29, 2016. The money was raised through their “May Day Pie Throw” event held in the school gymnasium.

The students worked hard in the weeks leading up to the event and easily surpassed their $1,500 goal. As more money was raised, more faculty members were in line to be pied. Lists hung around the school naming which teachers would be added at what dollar level, with the school principal being the “grand prize” should the students hit their mark.

The Red Cross would like to thank the Central Dauphin East High School Red Cross Club, as well as the entire student body, faculty, staff, and administration, for taking part in such a great event. The money raised will be used in support of our Disaster Services Program here in Central Pennsylvania. We would also like to thank Weis Markets for donating the pies.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Charli O’Neill Recognized at Area Dinner



Longtime Red Cross Volunteer Charli O’Neill (pictured center with his wife, Mary, and their son, Patrick) was recognized at a special volunteer appreciation dinner by the Centre County Council for Human Services on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

The dinner, held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, honors local Centre County volunteers whose service furthers the missions of the Centre County Council for Human Services member agencies.

Charli was honored for his ten years of service to The American Red Cross, where he is an active Disaster Action Team member, leads Home Fire Preparedness Campaign efforts in Centre County, sits on the Chapter’s Board of Directors, and is an active blood and platelet donor.

“After volunteering for the Katrina operation,” noted Charli, “I wanted to continue helping others when they find themselves faced with an unexpected need. Continuing with the local Red Cross was the perfect opportunity.”

* Information for this piece was taken from the Centre Daily Times.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Home Fire Prevention Comes to Lancaster






Close to 200 American Red Cross and community volunteers joined forces with the Lancaster Fire Department to install over 500 free smoke detectors in nearly 200 homes and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in Lancaster City on Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Jeri Sims, Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region CEO, started the event by welcoming the volunteers and reminding them how important their service was to the community.

“What you do here today has the potential of saving a life,” stated Sims. “Since The American Red Cross started our Home Fire Preparedness Program close to two years ago, we have been able to document nearly 80 lives saved throughout the country due to efforts such as this. On behalf of the people we serve, I say thank you.”

Angela Leopold, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Board Chair, reinforcing what Sims had said, added, “Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire. Working smoke detectors can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Leopold then took a moment to thank all of the program’s corporate sponsors before accepting a $20,000 donation check from PPL in support of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Program. Presenting the check on behalf of PPL was Jess Long, PPL Regional Affairs Director.

“We are so grateful for the support of our financial sponsors – UGI, PPL, Isaac’s, the Anne & Philip Glatfelter Family Foundation, Highmark Blue Shield, Capital Blue Cross, and Millers Mutual. Their generosity and commitment to our Home Fire Preparedness Program enables events such as this to occur. Thank you for making such a huge impact in the community,” commented Leopold.

Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Sturla and Lancaster City Mayor Richard Gray also addressed the group, welcoming them to the city and thanking them for their service to the community.

A brief training session followed before the group, comprised of close to 200 Red Cross staff and volunteers, Lancaster City Firemen, UGI, PPL, Isaac’s, Highmark Blue shield, Millers Mutual, Paul Davis Restoration, Armstrong, RETTEW, The Infantree, First National Bank, SACA, and Benchmark Construction employees, and Millersville University students dispersed into the Musser Park, Mussertown, and Cabbage Hill areas of Lancaster City. Split into teams of four, they checked existing smoke detectors to make sure they worked properly and installed free smoke detectors where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also educated the residents on how to create and practice home fire escape plans.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ed Robertson Celebrates 60 Years of Red Cross Service

Pictured: Ed Robertson with American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region CEO Jeri Sims.

The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region recognized Ed Robertson for completing 60 years of service to the Red Cross during a Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast held in Harrisburg on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

“On March 19, sixty years ago [last month], it snowed in Boston,” noted Ed in a social media post to his Red Cross Family. “That snowstorm changed the direction of my life, and it started me on a Red Cross journey that still continues.”

It was 1956, and Boston was hammered by 29 inches of snow over an eight-day period. Ed, a college student at the time, was living in Boston’s Back Bay when he heard a radio announcement from the Red Cross asking for volunteers to help with the storm’s aftermath.

“Where I lived on Newbury Street was only a block from the location of the Greater Boston Chapter at that time, so I walked over and introduced myself,” Ed added. “The first question from the gentleman at the door was, ‘Can you drive in snow?’ Very quickly after I said, ‘Yes,’ he gave me the keys to a station wagon, told where the cots and blankets were and where they needed to be delivered.”

Ed continued to volunteer in Boston until he moved to North Carolina in 1980. From North Carolina he traveled to Maryland, volunteering for the local Red Cross Chapters at each stop along the way. In 1998, he made his way to Harrisburg and took a position as the Manager of Emergency Services, which he held until his “retirement” in 2001. Since that time he has held numerous additional staff and volunteer positions.

He concluded, “I’m not ready to stop. Our Mission keeps me going.”

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Volunteers Install Smoke Detectors for Adams Electric Customers



Pictured – Western Lancaster/East York SERVPRO employees Tim Brown, Anna Lasher, and Alex Lasher learn how to install a smoke detector from Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist Allen White (3rd from left) while South Central PA Chapter Executive Director Matt Leininger (right) keeps track of the progress. 

Through a partnership with Adams Electric, The American Red Cross joined forces with volunteers from Western Lancaster/East York SERVPRO to educate Adams Electric customers in York County on the importance of having a home fire escape plan and install free smoke detectors where needed.

Earlier this year, all Adams Electric customers were sent via their monthly bill a brochure that discussed the importance of home fire preparedness and working smoke detectors. Customers who wished to have free smoke detectors installed were encouraged to contact the Red Cross to arrange for the installation. Today, the SERVPRO group joined with Red Cross staff members to visit the homes who requested a smoke detector in York County. This Saturday, another group of volunteers will hit customers from the Hanover area of York County and Adams County.

The effort is part of The American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Program, which seeks to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25% over a five-year period. So far this fiscal year, which runs from July 2015 through June 2016, The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region has installed over 2,000 smoke detectors throughout its 22 county footprint.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Central PA Region Hosts Disaster Institute

The crew at the Friday evening, western-themed dinner and reception.


Over 60 volunteers from throughout The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region footprint came together to participate in a Leadership-Level Disaster Institute on Thursday-Saturday, April 7-9, 2016. Held at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, the institute featured a number of courses designed to improve our ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any situation that might arise.

Courses ranged from Mass Care to Crisis Management, from Supporting Volunteers to Collaboration. It was a great time to brush up on current skills, while learning new ones that will ultimately be used in support of the people we serve in our community.

Classroom instruction was complemented by group meals, giving the participants an opportunity to meet new people and rekindle old friendships. A Friday evening western-themed reception brought everyone together for some much-needed downtime in a relaxing and fun environment.

Thanks to all who participated.

You can view all photos from the event by visiting our Facebook Page.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Jeri Sims Named Red Cross Regional CEO

The American Red Cross is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeri Sims as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region. Sims comes to the Red Cross from the Community Arts Center in Williamsport, where she served as Assistant Executive Director and Director of Development since 2007. Her leadership, professionalism, and vision, helped to elevate the organization to a widely-supported, top-ranking arts center with over 250 strategic community partners.

Sims is also active in the local community, having served on the Loyalsock Township School Board (President), the Loyalsock Township Recreation Board (Vice-President), the board of the Williamsport Lycoming Arts Council (President), and the boards of many other area organizations.

“With her dedication to nonprofit work and her strong leadership skills, we are very excited to have Jeri join the team,” noted Angela Leopold, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Board Chair.

Sims will be based out of the region’s Harrisburg office and will start on Monday, April 11. A welcome reception will be planned for later this spring.

“The Red Cross plays a huge role in the community, helping people to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters big and small,” stated Jeri Sims. “I’m excited to be joining the team, and I look forward to working with the staff and volunteers who give so much of themselves to help others in time of need.”

Friday, April 1, 2016

Local Heroes Honored in Lewisburg

The American Red Cross North Central Pennsylvania Chapter honored several individuals for their heroic actions during a Spirit of the Hero Breakfast, which was held at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg on Friday, April 1, 2016. This year’s award recipients included:


Rudolph Frazier (category - Adult Good Samaritan)
As Rudolph Frazier of Sunbury went to the register at the Family Dollar Store in Sunbury to pay for his purchase this past July, he saw a masked person holding a knife to the cashier’s throat, who was placing money into a bag from the register while being verbally threatened by the assailant. Not hesitating for a moment, Rudolph jumped on to the counter then to the back of the robber, taking her to the ground. During the fight that ensued, Rudolph managed to pull the mask from the robber’s face, but also suffered cuts to his legs and bruising to his hands. Despite his injuries, Rudolph was able to hold the robber to the floor until the Sunbury Police Department arrived on scene and arrested the suspect. Rudolph’s willingness to take action despite the risk of personal injury not only resulted in the apprehension of an armed robber, but it also potentially saved the cashier and others from injury.


Jacob Bobersky (category - Youth Good Samaritan)
Jacob Bobersky and his father, both from Benton, were enjoying a beautiful fall day fishing from their kayaks on Lake Silkwood this past October when things went suddenly wrong. The father accidently flipped his kayak. Realizing his father was in distress and not able to pull himself from the situation, 10-year-old Jacob quickly paddled his way over to the overturned kayak, grabbing and towing it to shore, ultimately saving his father from drowning. Jacob’s ability to stay calm and act quickly during a potentially tragic situation meant the difference between life and death for his father, who will now be able to enjoy many more days fishing and paddling across Lake Silkwood with his son.


Abby Erdley (category – Animal Rescue)
So often in the news we hear of families going through tough times and of food banks and shelters looking for individuals to provide donations to support their efforts in the local community. We seldom hear of the pets, the most vulnerable and often overlooked members of families in need. Abby Erdley of Lewisburg has worked hard to address this pressing issue through her nonprofit pet food pantry, Arthur’s Pet Pantry. The Pantry’s mission is to provide for people who might otherwise not be able to afford food for their animals. The ultimate goal is for families to be able to care for their pets without needing to turn them over to local shelters. This past January alone, Abby’s shelter helped to feed 235 local pets, animals that might have otherwise gone hungry or needed to be given up due to unfortunate circumstances in their families. Abby’s dedication has not only helped families stay together, but has also enabled them to properly support their pets during times of economic crisis.


Borough of Berwick Police Chief Kenneth Strish, Detective Brandon Shultz, Detective Gregory Martin, Officer Reagan Rafferty, Officer Holden Sprung (category – Emergency Services Personnel)
Police officers never know what they will encounter during their shifts. They place their lives on the line each time they wear the uniform in order to keep our communities safe. This past November, when a shooter opened fire in the Berwick Industrial Development Association Complex, Berwick Police Officer Holden Sprung was the first to arrive at the scene and was able to notify his fellow officers of the potential deadly situation that was unfolding. Fellow Officer Reagan Rafferty, Detectives Gregory Martin and Brandon Shultz, and Police Chief Kenneth Strish were quick to respond. Negotiations with the suspect commenced and lasted until the suspect opened fire on the officers. Forced to take action, Officer Rafferty returned fire, neutralizing the threat. Placing their own lives in danger, Strish, Shultz, Martin, Rafferty, and Sprung did what they needed to do in order to shield the public from harm by confronting an individual determined to do damage to others. 


Sidney Apfelbaum (category – Military)
They are often referred to as our “Greatest Generation,” the men and women who played a huge role in the events that surrounded the Second World War. Sidney Apfelbaum of Northumberland epitomizes what it means to be part of that generation. Though today known by many as a local lawyer, Sidney’s early life saw him as a solider during World War II, where he found himself in the middle of one of the war’s most terrible battles – The Battle of the Bulge. Serving as a scout for his unit, Sidney was far ahead of his fellow soldiers when he stumbled upon two armed German soldiers. Reaching for his weapon that was slung over his shoulder, he accidently fired into the air, catching the Germans complete off-guard and resulting in their surrendering. Instead of glamorizing the events leading up to the capture, Sidney downplayed the event, telling the truth of how he apprehended his prisoners. His honesty and integrity on and off the battlefield have defined all aspects of his life, and have earned him the respect of his family, friends, and the community he calls home. Photo courtesy of Rob Inglis, photographer, Daily Item.


John Pagana, MD (category - Dr. Charles P. Fasano, D.O. Medical Award)
Since the 1980s, Dr. John Pagana, affectionately referred to as Dr. John by his patients and coworkers, has brought medical care to those who need it most in Sunbury. Realizing the need to serve individuals who couldn’t afford medical care or were uninsured, Dr. John started a small, free clinic from inside his private medical practice. In 2001 he was asked to expand his outreach by opening and becoming the volunteer Medical Director of a free clinic in Sunbury that would go on to serve patients in 4 counties who were working, yet unable to afford medical insurance coverage. Since then he has served the clinic, working closely with Geisinger Medical Center and Evangelical Community Hospital to provide laboratory, radiology, and specialist services. He has also worked to secure free medications to those who need it most. Dr. John’s willingness to volunteer his time and expertise has literally meant the difference between life and death for countless individuals who, without his caring and compassionate commitment to the community, would have not been able to receive vital medical services.


Nala (category – Special Recognition)
As everyone was sleeping on a cold Turbotville February night, Nala, the family’s four-month-old German Shepherd, realized something wasn’t quite right. As flames and smoke began to overtake the home, Nala started to bark frantically, waking Tim from his sleep. Immediately understanding the danger, Tim sprang into action, quickly gathering his three children – Kiflin, Logan, and Zachary – and rushing outside. With his children clear of the burning building, Tim turned to retrieve Nala and their other pets. He tried desperately to re-enter the house, but the flames were too intense, the home fully engulfed. In all, three pets died that night. Sacrificing her own life to save that of her family, Nala reminds us that “not all heroes wear capes.”