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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, December 31, 2020

NorCo Honors 14 Seniors

The list is long and distinguished. I was omitted because county officials likely think I'm still in my 20s. Also, this might shock you, but some people have a very low opinion of bottom-feeding bloggers. 

Terry Andrews Northampton Borough — Terry Andrews was instrumental in applying for a grant for the Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development Center that funded the reconstruction of several restrooms at the Northampton Senior Center. He has also worked on projects that promote safety and the wellbeing of senior citizens. Now the Department is looking at other Senior Centers to make sure they are meeting the needs that Terry championed.

Ann Brodhead Easton — For the last eight years Ann Brodhead has volunteered her time and resources to teaching crocheting and knitting to the residents of Manor Care in Palmer Township. She has now increased her skills to include loom knitting. As a member of the Easton Weed & Seed Project, Ann assisted in the preparation and serving of lunch at Centennial Park. In past years, she ran a Bible Class, arts and crafts and choir for 24 youngsters at the Rose of Sharon Legacy Church in the West Ward in Easton.

Raymond Campbell Bethlehem— After college he enlisted in the Army National Guard and served during the Vietnam War in Communications. Raymond has volunteered in many ways including: Saucon Valley Little League Coach, worked on High School Play Sets, and was an Assistant Boy Scout Leader. He is very involved with church events such as Sunday School, Consistory and Spiritual Council, Ushers Team, Soup Kitchen, and Fix-it man. He volunteers at the Boutique at the Rink and is very involved with the Saucon Valley Lions Club holding many offices. He has chaired the Lions Club Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show for over 30 years and has been the recipient of the Saucon Valley Lion of the Year Award and the Melvin Jones award. Raymond is also a Miller Keystone Blood Donor.

Gail DeWitt Bangor — Gail serves as coordinator of her church fall and spring Rummage Sale. In that capacity she oversees the collecting and sorting of used items, books and clothing for the sale. She also enlists volunteers to help with the sales and to provide refreshments. Gail continues the tradition of reaching out to area organizations inviting them to choose items for families in need in the area. At the end of each sale, all usable items are donated to the local Salvation Army. Gail and her clothing helpers set aside any gowns and gently used evening dresses which are then donated to My Sisters Closet in Bethlehem for their annual prom dress event. Gail then helps with that event.

Elsie Frey Nazareth — Elsie Frey has been involved with many clubs and committees in her community: she has volunteered for Meals on Wheels for many years, helped at the local Food Bank, volunteered at her church and is currently meeting with Lafayette College students who are receiving credit for their time spent with Elsie. She loves to attend Nazareth Girl’s basketball games and a few years ago, she was asked to throw out the first pitch at an Iron Pigs game. Elsie just turned 100 years this past March and exemplifies a life well-lived and well deserving of this award.

Ellen Knecht Wind Gap — Ellen Knecht has been volunteering for over 50 years and at age 78 is still volunteering for the Pen Argyl Salvation Army. She is currently helping at the food bank at a local church in the Slate Belt area. She has an “I want to help others attitude.” She has volunteered for the Wind Gap Ambulance as an EMT and later for the Plainfield Ambulance Corp working day or night as needed.

Alan Lynch Mt. Bethel — Mr. Lynch is a Deacon and a former Trustee of Portland Baptist Church. Alan is a Veteran having served in the Army for three years. He has been a member of the Portland Volunteer Fire Department for over 22 years serving as its President, Vice-President and Secretary over the years. Alan is a Merit Badge Counselor for the Portland Boy Scouts. He exhibits his faith in his devotion to his family, friends, and community.

John Mauser Lower Mt. Bethel — John Mauser’s volunteer leadership is in the establishment of open space and preservation of those areas that have fallen into disrepair. He is a member of the Martins Jacoby Watershed Association and has led community involvement in securing additional open space along Martin’s Creek. He has worked numerous hours with The Boy & Girl Scouts of the area in teaching the importance of the preservation of wildlife habitats and the maintenance of our local trails and waterways. He is a founding member and Chairman of the Friends of Minsi Lake, which raised $150,000 to create the largest fish habitats in the County at Minsi Lake.

Margery Metzger Bethlehem — Margery Metzger has been a volunteer for Lehigh Valley Hospice providing support for the patients and their families in their homes from the start of their hospice journey to the passing of the patient. She also is a “No One Dies Alone” volunteer at LVHN. She drives patients to their cancer treatments 2-3 times per week for the Road to Recovery Program. She delivers library books to the homebound; this amazing woman also plays cello in 2 community orchestras.

Lynn Ratzell Nazareth— Lynn Ratzell, a retired environmental manager from PPL, is using his expertise in serving on the recently established Lower Nazareth Open Space Commission, helping to preserve farmland, woods and wetlands in the Lower Nazareth area. He has been a long-time volunteer at his church’s soup kitchen. Lynn displays his elaborate electric train complex during the Holidays with the America on Wheels Museum - a special attraction for the local children. He was involved with organizing The Lower Nazareth Village, an “Aging in Place” association - an innovative approach to serving seniors at home, similar to the College Hill Village in Easton.

Carol Reid Pen Argyl — Carol Reid was a great lady always thinking of others and how she could help. She worked tirelessly for many years as an EMT volunteer seven days a week for ambulance and fire calls in Plainfield Township. She volunteered at the local Farmers Fair taking blood pressure and offering her services for emergency care when needed. She is so deserving of this award and more. [ NOTE: the award was given Posthumously to her family - Carol died November 12, 2020.]

Bill Ryan Easton — Bill Ryan is a Marine Veteran who served in Vietnam and a recipient of the Purple Heart. He continues to serve today with visits to Veterans residing in Gracedale, stands with a flag at attention with others outside of funerals of fellow Veterans and gives talks at local schools on Veterans Day. In period uniform, Bill actively participates in the annual Christmas Day re-enactment of George Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware River.

Ronald B. Smith Bangor — Ronald Smith, member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Mt. Bethel, has exhibited leadership many times during past difficulties. He assisted the church in starting a Fellowship Time following services. His patience and supportive leadership has helped the congregation to experience a positive worship atmosphere. In keeping with his Service above Self, he has been President of the Richmond Lions Club more than once. Ron is also a member of Portland Lodge No. 311 F & AM - the Lodge hosted the “Toys for Tots” last December 2019, helping the U.S. Marines in their annual drive event.

Bonnie Winfield Easton — Dr. Bonnie Winfield developed an art-based support program “The Journey Home” involving art therapy for female inmates in the Northampton County Jail. It includes restorative practices and compassionate listening, practicing mindfulness-based yoga and forming new pathways in their thinking. Today even though she is retired, she spends four to five nights a week inside the jail working with the women and giving them hope and the courage to tell their stories through art and creative writing. She continues to be a lifeline for many of these women who are without friends or family. She serves as a teacher, spiritual counselor, guide and art therapist to all these women. She is an inspiration with her energy and her heart - as hundreds of women whose lives she has touched will agree.

Social Ministry of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Pen Argyl, PA 18072 — St. Peter’s Social Ministry has been visiting Gracedale’s residents for many years. They donate birthday and Christmas presents, spending quality time with the residents during each visit. They also host Birthday Parties several times a year in the Chapel for any resident celebrating a birthday that month providing the cake and entertainment for the residents. In addition to Gracedale, the Social Ministry volunteers for Easton’s Safe Harbor and for the Garden of Grace which produced over 11,000 pounds of produce that was donated to local food banks. They donate hand-made items to the Meals on Wheels program, Lehigh Valley Hospital, Easton Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Fresenius Kidney Care Center, Veterans Hospital in Wilkes-Barre and food to Pen Argyl Salvation Army. The wonderful individuals involved in the Social Ministries Outreach Program are truly dedicated to their calling.


Anonymous said...

I'm humbled and I hope to be the kind of individual this group includes.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding citizens and worthy of the recognition, though I am sure they are all humble and would say they don’t need said recognition. On a personal note, this list makes me feel like quite the slug. Thanks, Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Greatest generation inspired boomers like these to sacrifice for the common good. How about some awards for the snowflake ME generation? Like number of days living rent-free in their parent's basement? Or number of protests attended? Or how many calls from student loan lenders they have ignored? Or how many people they have publically shamed on social media? But no awards. Just participation trophies, please.

LVCI said...

This may not be the time nor place but I wanted to express my appreciation. I want to thank you for your contributions informing people of the Lehigh Valley. Too many people take your blog for granted and give you a lot of crap you don't deserve.

I may not comment on every post but know I read every one of them. The Lehigh Valley would be a lot less informed if it were not for your efforts. Thank you and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I read each and every one. Such remarkable individuals, all of them! I had the honor of volunteering as an EMT with both Ellen and Carol (who recently passed away). Sixty is not what it used to be, and I hope I’m still able to do half of what these fine folks are doing when I’m their age.

Anonymous said...

Love this article!!! Bernie, did the recent Lehigh grad and family find an apt in Nazareth?