Jeremiah M. Kling, Jr. 1948–2009
Jerry began his long career of serving the public after leaving the U.S. Army as a sergeant in the military police. He served as a police officer for several local townships, including Hummelstown. Jerry was a member of, and served on, many boards and numerous organizations in the mid state. These included; Hummelstown Borough Council since 2001, president since 2006, co-chair of the 250th Hummelstown Anniversary Celebration, past president and a board director of the Hummelstown Arts Festival, former president and was currently treasurer of the Dauphin/Lebanon Boroughs Association since 2004, former president and currently vice president of the Hummelstown Civic Association, and the founder and chair of the Hummelstown Lollipop Drop New Year’s Eve celebration since 2002. He was also a township supervisor and chair of Conewago Township from 1988 to 2000, president of the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area from 1993 to 2000, chairman of the Community Committee of the “Connecting the Community in the Heart of Hummelstown” Capital Campaign, which successfully raised $1.5 million for the new Hummelstown branch of the Dauphin County Library System, and was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Board. Jerry was employed by the Office of the Attorney General as an Agent Supervisor.
Jerry has been selected for the Sara Haldeman Haly Impact Award for both his lifetime of community involvement and his dedication to literacy as evidenced by his efforts to help build a new library for the Hummelstown area through his work on the capital campaign, his support of related events and in many other ways.
Jerry’s posthumous “Impact” award will be presented to his wife, Carol Ann Kling, who supported him in his many efforts.
Person of the Year
Joe Bedard grew up in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania with six brothers and sisters. After attending West Virginia University and receiving his degree in marketing, Bedard worked for Hershey Chocolate Company selling truckloads of candy bars and kisses for more than four years. In 1988, he started his commercial real estate career at NAI CIR specializing in sales and leasing of office and industrial buildings, investments and land.
Listening to Debbie Reuvenny, the Early Childhood Development Director at Harrisburg School District, during a 2004 Rotary meeting, he identified an opportunity to collect and distribute books to low income kids for free. His idea has become a program called Share Kids Books. Many of the top employers in the area hold Kids Book Drives and then Share Kids Books distributes them to schools and organizations serving low income kids. More than 225,000 books have been delivered, including 100,000 new books from
publishers and more than 100 schools and organizations have received free books through the Share Kids Books program.
Bedard has two children in college, Brie, 22 and Greg, 19 and loves yoga, cycling, personal development and travel.
Organization of the Year
Grantville Area Food Pantry
Richard Williams began his career as a public school teacher in Pennsylvania and New York. Eventually he enrolled in graduate school and earned his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. While working on his doctorate, he began teaching at Harrisburg Area Community College, a career that lasted from 1965 to1998. In 1998, when he retired from HACC, Williams co-founded the Grantville Area Food Pantry at Faith United Church of Christ in Grantville with Pastor George Robertson.
The Grantville Area Food Pantry operates in a new 1,500-square-foot addition in the back of the former parsonage at Faith United Church of Christ in East Hanover Twp., Dauphin County. The function of the pantry has been to distribute food and household products to families with demonstrated needs. The pantry has expanded its mission to include preparing and serving one meal per month, at the Penn National Race Course, and provides an extensive collection of free, sorted and seasonal clothing.
Early on, someone dropped off a box of books. In that box, Williams saw an opportunity to nurture minds as well as bodies and supply the many children of the pantry’s clients with free books. When he was contacted by Maureen Farley, the Dauphin County Library System’s Born to Read Coordinator, Williams began working with her to obtain free books for distribution. Each year the pantry gives away hundreds of books, many of them new. The pantry also maintains two bookcases full of books for adults.
Throughout his career as an English teacher, Williams experienced first-hand that students, especially young ones, really do enjoy reading and believes that we need to do all we can to make it possible. Williams also believes that there is no activity that contributes as much to learning as the ability and desire to read.
Dottie & Henry Swartz Volunteer Excellence Award
Cheryl A. Peters
Cheryl A. Peters retired in 2001 from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare after 24 years in financial management, most recently as an audit specialist. She has an MBA from Kutztown University and is a Certified Government Financial Manager. Currently, Peters is employed part time as an accountant with Peters Rice Associates of Harrisburg.
The years since retirement have been filled with travel, volunteering for DCLS, and art. She is a porcelain artist and recently began working in watercolor.
Peters patronized the Harrisburg Uptown Branch of the Dauphin County Library System because it was the closest to where she worked. After retirement her extensive reading made her decide it was “time to give back” and she began volunteering. That was about eleven years ago. “I have always been a reader. My mother would bring home books from the Library. I would finish one in a day. When I was old enough, I would ride the bus to town to visit the Library myself. It was there I was introduced to classical music – which was not available on the local radio stations.“
As a volunteer at the Harrisburg Uptown Branch Library, Peters helped organize Friends group activities, creating signage for book sales. When the manager took photographs during the construction of the new library on North Third Street, she pulled together a memory book and slide show that was featured at the Grand Opening.
At the new Madeline L. Olewine Memorial Library she has been able to devote her energies to many little things including repainting the children’s table to expand its life and use, constructing a cardboard Gingerbread House last year for the children’s area, and trying to keep things organized in the closets, cupboards, and drawers, so materials are readily accessible. Peters says that the best part of volunteering at DCLS is that the staff is so appreciative of even the smallest things she does.