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Pictured (l-r) are the Bluestone Lodge #338 of F&AM elected officers for 2009: first row – Brian Hepler - Jr. Deacon, Mark Dorunda - Senior Warden, Tom Koes - Worshipful Master, Robert Di Palma - Junior Warden; second row – Wes Harris - Senior Deacon, Mark Marble - Sr. Master of Ceremonies, Bob Whitney - Secretary, Bill Hunter - Pursuivant, Johnnie Florance - Treasurer, Rich Warner - Chaplin.
At the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association's annual meeting, held on January 31 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Montrose, an interested crowd listened to annual reports, heard a fascinating report on Emily Blackman and the Soldiers' Aid Society during and after the Civil War, and enjoyed refreshments.
Rev. Cesaretti welcomed everyone to St. Paul's and talked about the architecture of the sanctuary, which includes three Tiffany stained glass windows. Cathy Chiarella, President of the Board of Directors, opened the annual meeting and asked Treasurer Duane Hinds to give the financial report. Mr. Hinds said that while the Association has a balanced budget for 2009, it was a struggle. Costs that the Association can control are being looked at very carefully (resulting in the cutting of hours at the Main Library), but many costs are not controllable.
Pictured (l-r) are the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association 2009 Board of Directors: standing - Susan Stone (Administrator/Librarian), Anna Ruegner, Diane Conigliaro, Kim Harwood, Carol Carpenter, Duane Hinds, Bill Whittaker; sitting - Carol Korutz, Cornelia Page, Cathy Chiarella, Mary Jo Bayer, Gladys Bennett, Nan Baker. Not pictured: Jed Garm, Eleanor McKeage.
Mrs. Chiarella then gave the President's report. She thanked the many people who make the Association successful, especially departing board members, and welcomed new members. Mrs. Chiarella touched on the highlights of the year, including the auction (to be held again this year on April 18) and the Blueberry Festival (which raised an all-time high of $60,000). She also commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Hallstead-Great Bend Library joining the county system. Mrs. Chiarella then invited Kim Harwood, chair of the New Library Committee, to give a report. Mr. Harwood said that the capital campaign has now raised over $800,000, thanks to efforts like Shea and Haley Skinner's Yule Logs. Sales of the logs, supported by the Butternut Gallery and generous families, raised over $5,000. Fundraisers for this year include the Library Lottery (see www.susqcolibrary.org/lottery for details) and a dance marathon at the high school. The committee is hoping that the federal economic stimulus package will include building new libraries, and of course foundation grants are being explored. Green building techniques is another area that could help bring grants.
The Historical Committee report, presented by Nan Baker, detailed the many activities of the Historical Society. Flo Whittaker, Chair of the Library Friends, encouraged new members to join this active group.
Mrs. Susan Stone, Administrator/Librarian, gave a talk about the many programs which filled 2008, complete with photos from the events, ranging from Santa with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Forest City to the remarkable Mock Trial from Susquehanna County Reads To Kill a Mockingbird.
Annette Varcoe then took the stage with a fascinating presentation about Emily Blackman and the changing role of women in public life before and after the Civil War. Ms. Varcoe, who resides in Brackney and teaches at UE High School, is completing her dissertation at Binghamton University on the Soldiers' Aid Societies in Pennsylvania. Blackman, the first historian of Susquehanna County, had a fascinating life, and the audience asked questions about her life in Montrose.
The audience of 75 then adjourned for delicious refreshments provided by the Historical Committee. For more information about the Association or any of its programs and services, visit www.susqcolibrary.org and www.susqcohistsoc.org, or call (570) 278-1881.
Proctor and Gamble in Mehoopany has become a tremendous asset to the United Way of Susquehanna County. The United Way recently completed its annual campaign and is very grateful for the continued support that Proctor and Gamble gives each year. Ruth Donnelly, Executive Director of United Way of Susquehanna County says, “Because Susquehanna County has no large businesses to draw larger donations from, we are very fortunate to have the support of Proctor and Gamble employees and corporate office. Proctor and Gamble is an integral part of our success.”
Pictured are Ruth Donnelly, Executive Director of United Way and campaign prize winner from P&G, Jim Bartells.
P&G Mehoopany provides yearly contributions to five local United Ways in Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford/Sullivan, Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley. Through corporate and employee donations, they annually give nearly $300,000 to these United Ways, making them one of the largest United Way contributors in Northeastern PA. Alex Fried from Proctor & Gamble says, “We find that United Way’s mission is a great match with our corporate purpose, which includes giving back to the communities in which we live and work.”
This year, the United Way of Susquehanna County is pleased to report that P&G has raised nearly 11% of the funds needed for their annual campaign. Ruth Donnelly adds, “It was with great pleasure that I was able to announce that one of Proctor and Gamble’s employees won a fantastic campaign prize!” Jim Bartells won $750 in gas and merchandise from Pump N Pantry.
For the sixth consecutive year, Peoples National Bank has made generous contributions to the Pre-School and K-12 Scholarship Programs administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties. People’s has donated $20,000 to the foundation’s Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship program, $50,000 to the Kindergarten through 12th Grade Scholarship program, and $30,000 for Educational Improvement Projects, which brings their giving for the year to $100,000. These donations help nearly 90 local children receive essential pre-kindergarten education, and assist 120 elementary and high school students with tuition and program assistance.
Pictured (l-r) are: April Harvey - Peoples National Bank Montrose Branch Manager, Joe Ferretti - Peoples National Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, Debbie Dissinger - Peoples National Bank Executive Vice President, Peter Quigg - President of The Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties.
The scholarship programs supported by companies like Peoples National Bank are helping struggling local parents provide opportunities for their children through tuition assistance for private schools, career and technology education, dual-enrollment in college courses while in high school, and other educational programs. The scholarships are available to families with low to moderate income. Without these generous donations some of the nearly 200 children served so far this school year would not have been able to participate. Last year Peoples’ also helped with equipment and renovation costs to update the Computer Lab at the Montrose High School, the results of which are available for students and residents of the district.
Peoples National Bank has by far been the most substantial supporter of these scholarships, with this most recent donation bringing the bank’s total level of funding to $480,000, thus helping The Community Foundation provide over 800 scholarships to local children and their families. Peter Quigg, Director of Development for The Community Foundation states, “Peoples National Bank has provided tremendous support for these scholarships and for projects in our local schools. This ongoing assistance illustrates the interest and concern the bank’s directors and administrators have for our communities, and their assistance is appreciated very much.”
For more information about Foundation activities, visit www.community-foundation.org.
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