A Community Thank You
Published: February 1, 2013
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They work hard, this is the community's chance to say thanks.
The Jermyn Events Committee will hold its 10th annual awards dinner on Saturday, Feb. 9, at St. Michael's Center, 403 Delaware Ave., Jermyn. The social hour begins at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The dinner will be family style with roast beef, chicken strips, and cabbage rolls as the main feature. Soda, wine, and beer will be served all evening. Tickets are $30 and they may be purchased from any Events Committee member, and at most of the businesses in Jermyn including Avery's and Debbie's Boutique Florists, Sterling Pharmacy and Longworth's Restaurant, or by calling 876-1477.
The awards this year will be: Volunteer of the Year: Robyn Smith; Lifetime Achievement Award: Jeanne Reeves Bell; Community Service Award: Sheila McDermott Wilkes; and special commendation: former State Rep. Ed Staback.
"During Staback's 28 year tenure, he has been a friend of the citizens of Jermyn Borough," said Events Committee president Katie Hosey. "During Jermyn's disastrous floods of 2003 and 2006, his immediate heartfelt response to the plight of the citizens and borough of Jermyn was appreciated by the whole community."
He played an important part in the redevelopment and welcoming effect we have achieved in the town of Jermyn, she said.
"One of the unique features of Rep. Staback's tenure was a policy that he initiated early on: Any Friday, anyone from his district was welcomed to vent their complaints or petition him for their personal or community attention," she said.
Lifetime Achievement awardee Jeanne Reeves Bell, Hosie said, has been a member of Jermyn's Primitive Methodist church, and the choir director for 30 years, as well as a member of the church's Board of Trustees. She is a charter member of the Jermyn Events Committee and Jermyn Community Chorus. She is a member of the original Jermyn Light Committee, whose function was and is to provide Christmas lights for the town of Jermyn.
Her philosophy is very simple. "My life is here in my home," she said.
Volunteer of the Year awardee Robyn Smith "in her own quiet way, rejuvenated the Junior Girl Scouts, and then the Senior Girl Scouts in Jermyn," Hosie said. "She quietly organized a nucleus of girls who were interested in the goals and ideals of Girl Scouting." The result is Girl Scout Troop No. 50440, which encompasses Jermyn, Carbondale, Mayfield and Dickson City.
The highlight of the Girl Scout's year is their annual trip camping at Camp Archbald. Robyn truly delights in planning, arranging, shopping and being with her girls for a weekend. It sounds so simple, and yet the girls will remember this all their lives. Robyn stated, "This is their favorite thing to do. They are talking about it even now." Her group has also introduced the Jermyn Winter Light Parade.
"The reason for Robyn's success is that the girls love her," Hosie said. "She is fun, and she takes the time to laugh and enjoy these young people. In this hectic age of our culture, there are not many people willing to give of their time to a bunch of girls and teach them crafts and how to have fun in a simple way."
Community Service awardee Sheila McDermott Wilkes is the granddaughter of William J. McDermott Sr., one of the founders of the First National Bank of Jermyn and later was a beer supplier to nearby miners camps. Sheila and her husband Pete are now the present proprietors of the business of the Bottlers tavern.
When various organizations in town run benefits, and Sheila gladly sells the chances for the various events. She is very active in her church, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, and has co-sponsored the pork dinner. She is one of the founders of the Jermyn Light Committee, which was so instrumental in bringing Christmas lights back to the Main Street and side streets of Jermyn. She is a member of the church council and choir; and she is also a member of the Jermyn Events Committee.