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South Williamsport, PA
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Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance Honors Local Community Members

Each year the Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance recognizes individuals in the area who promote the spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, and community service at their annual banquet. Holding these annual affairs the past two years has proven problematic due to the COVID pandemic. This year’s banquet was slated for October, but a major uptick in COVID

Each year the Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance recognizes individuals in the area who promote the spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, and community service at their annual banquet. Holding these annual affairs the past two years has proven problematic due to the COVID pandemic. This year’s banquet was slated for October, but a major uptick in COVID cases forced Brotherhood officials to postpone their annual banquet until May 2022.

The inability to hold these annual banquets has severely reduced the profile of this worthy organization in our community. Members of the board of directors of Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance want to remind people they are still very much involved in the promotion of brotherhood and its promotion and our community.

The mission of LCBA is to actively promote tolerance of all religious, civic, and political beliefs to demonstrate commitment to the promotion and maintenance of the cultural, racial, and social fabric of the greater Williamsport Area and all of Lycoming County.

The LCBA sponsors an annual trip to the Holocaust Museum located in Washington, DC. This annual trip is for high school and college students and has taken place every year since the Museum opened.

The LCBA sponsors a Diversity Tour. The Diversity Tour was started in 2018 to allow individuals to better understand the different cultures in our immediate area.

The Community Outreach mission of the LCBA is focused on promoting brotherhood throughout the community through the use of speakers, projects, and events throughout the year. LCBA designs these programs in conjunction with community leaders with a two-fold purpose: meet a specific need within the community and, by doing so, promote brotherhood, tolerance, and harmony through the activities or functions of the project/event.

Several individuals are to be honored at the rescheduled banquet now to be held in May 2022.

Two individuals were nominated to receive the 2020 William Picklener Award, with one being the Reverend Gwen Bernstine, well known for her recent and long-standing role as ecumenical leader and retired Executive Director of United Churches of Lycoming County. Rev. Bernstine recognizes the need for strong and healthy relationships and enjoys watching those bonds grow to strengthen our community. She finds inspiration in the quiet courage and loving actions of others each and every day. Through her writing, a daily telephone devotion line, public speaking, and leading worship services in nursing homes and the county prison, Rev. Bernstine encourages each person to be the best person God has dreamed them to be. Her ministry also includes leading discussions, a campus ministry at Penn College, and advocating for all those she encounters. She has served with multiple community groups that advocate for the uplifting of the masses regardless of socio and economic status. Congratulations to Gwen and her many years of work and volunteerism that quietly promoted “brotherhood” throughout Lycoming County.

The second individual nominated to receive the 2020 William Picklener Award is Barry Rake; his father was afflicted with polio during the epidemic in 1952. He was paralyzed from the waist down, living the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Barry was deeply and forever touched by individuals of area communities who assisted the family through some very difficult times. Early in his adult life, Barry decided that he wanted to pass the same compassion he had been shown onto others in his community through unending acts of “brotherhood.” Barry has served in numerous capacities and organizations such as the Montgomery Positive Action Committee, Montgomery Area Arthritis Foundation, Montgomery Lions Club,

Montgomery Centennial Committee, Lycoming County United Way, Watson Township Concerned Citizens, Watson Township Supervisors, Children’s Development Center, Hope Enterprises, Williamsport Nittany Lion Booster Club, while currently serving on the board of the NAMI North Central PA Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the Lycoming County Children’s Development Center. Barry is active with his local St John’s Newberry United Methodist Church as well as the School of the Arts. While Barry has served with several political campaigns, one of his greatest accomplishments was the facilitation of the “Say No to Drugs” campaign and “Too Smart to Start” sponsored by West Branch Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission and Lycoming County Commissioners dispensing over 13,000 reusable water bottles to youth ages 5-13 in Lycoming County. In 2015 Mr. Rake was appointed to the Board of Directors of Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance and elected President in 2020. In his professional life as a life insurance agent, Barry has also served his industry in numerous capacities throughout his career. Barry’s great love of baseball is evident through his 55 years as a Little League volunteer, eight years coaching and 47 years umpiring for Little League Baseball/Softball, as well as other numerous roles within the sport. Barry has received many awards that celebrate his original passion for helping others in his community. One of his greatest honors was being inducted into his high school Hall of Fame in 2014 (Warrior Run High School).

Nominated to receive the 2020 Ray Keyes Sports Award is John Brink of Muncy, Pennsylvania. Brink boasts a five-year Little League career and went on to play intermediate baseball for three years as well as American Legion baseball for

three years and three years on the Muncy town team in the West Branch League. Graduating from Muncy High School in 1966 and Goldey-Beacon Business College in Wilmington, Delaware in 1968, John served his country through three years of service in the United States Army with a tour in Vietnam. Inducted in 2015 into the Muncy High School Athletic Hall-of-Fame, Brink has coached nearly one thousand student-athletes in Muncy over the last five decades, emphasizing teamwork, sportsmanship, fair play, dedication, and responsibility. He coached Muncy varsity girls basketball for 22 years, 1985-2007, with a 299-251 record, capturing the Class AA District title in 1993 and the Class A District title in 2001. Brink was selected as Coach of the Year twice and is a two-time recipient of District IV’s Coaches Sportsmanship award as honored by the local referee chapter. He was the elementary boys’ basketball coordinator from 1978-88 and the Muncy girls basketball coordinator from 1981-2007. Brink will be the varsity JV coach this coming season. Brink has coached Muncy Little League for 47 years, accumulating more than 400 wins and 13 league titles. He coached several all-star teams in both district 12 and 13. Brink was the recipient of the Thomas A. Kline Sportsmanship Award for 1997-98 and 2005-6, awarded by PIAA Basketball Officials (Lycoming Chapter). He was also named Mid-Penn League, Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993, and 2001.

A new award that was introduced during 2020 by the LCBA Board of Directors was named the 2020 Unsung Hero Award. This award was created for individuals practicing acts of “brotherhood” in everyday living; individuals not working or serving in positions that are set up to receive recognition. The Unsung Hero Award is an award for someone that was quietly making an impact on the lives of others through unselfish, kind, and generous acts. The LCBA is excited to announce that their first nominee and award recipient for the Unsung Hero Aware is 11 years old, Aly Creasy, and her mother, Kristy of Aly’s Monkey Movement. Aly was experiencing a tough time in her life that resulted in a visit to the emergency room. It was during this scary and apprehensive visit that her Nana gave her a stuffed monkey for comfort. It made such an impact on Aly that she wanted to do the same for other children that found themselves in a scary or similar situation. For her 10th birthday, Aly decided that instead of receiving gifts, she wanted to raise money to purchase monkeys to give to children going through a difficult time. At the time of this nomination in 2020 and with her mother Kristy in total support of her mission, Aly had given out over 850 monkeys, and her goal was to deliver 1,500 more by her 11th birthday. So many children have found kindness from this simple act, and their stories can be found on Aly’s Monkey Movement on Facebook. To refer a child to receive a monkey, one can register on Aly’s website at http://www.alysmonkeys.org to support Aly’s Monkey Movement; there are support shirts, hats, stickers, and vehicle decals that are also available for purchase at this same website. Aly and her mother, Kristy Creasy, were nominated for the Unsung Hero Award by Rachelle Eddy.

The keynote speaker for the postponed banquet will be Ann Weiss. Ann is the daughter of two survivors from Poland. She has worked as a researcher, writer, documentary filmmaker, librarian and educator, Founder and director of Eyes from Ashes Educational Foundation. Weiss is an interviewer and analyst for the Transcending Trauma Survivor Project at the University of Pennsylvania and has served on the Second Generation Advisory Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. since its inception.

The Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance Board of Directors consists of Barry Rake, President, Lee Miller, Vice President, Joseph Girio, Treasurer, Cody Hoover, Secretary Dawn Astin, and Debbie Hurwitz, Lester Loner, Phil Preziosi, Anthony Seagraves, and Connie Tobias.

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