Vespers Service kicks off Heritage Days|
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
PHILIPSBURG- The 15th edition of Heritage Days in Philipsburg is under way, as the Vespers Service and awards ceremony were held last night at the First Presbyterian Church. The Vespers Service had a myriad of representatives from the local parishes take part in the event in various roles, as this year's Heritage Days theme is "Celebrate Philipsburg."
Chairman Jim Pollock said after they had their original Vespers Service, it has almost become somewhat of a "rule" that they have the service to kick off Heritage Days in order to show thanks.
"We'll never start Heritage Days without praising God," said Pollock.
The Reverend Jean Martin of the First Presbyterian Church welcomed the crowd, as the church itself was also being honored for its 150-year anniversary. Valley Voices later performed three songs from its repertoire. Conductor Patty Coldiron led the group, along with pianist Nathan Myers. They performed "All Day Sunday Sing," "The Prayer" and "An American Celebration."
Last night's sermon was conducted by the Reverend K. Joy Kaufmann, General Presbyter of the Huntingdon Presbytery.
The sermon was entitled "Building on the Past - Moving into the Future."
Kaufmann said at many times in history, people tend to long for the past. This is because the past is a known commodity, in that you already know what you're dealing with.
Kaufmann said even if the past was not so great, many people still choose the past over the present because at least they know what's going to happen.
Kaufmann said to put your faith in the future and your faith in God, and move forward, as great things will come in all facets of life.
After the service, the awards ceremony was held, honoring businesses or organizations celebrating an anniversary.
The three local businesses and organizations honored last night were Hi-Way Pizza, 40 years; the Girl Scouts of America, 100 years; and the First Presbyterian Church, 150 years.
The recipients were gracious in receiving their awards.
"I just want to say thank you to everybody who bought pizza over 40 years," said Jerry Lese, owner of Hi-Way Pizza. "Philipsburg is my home. I wouldn't want to live in any other place or have a business in any other town."
"Thank you so much for recognizing us," said Lois Rea of the Girl Scouts of America. A handful of Scouts were also in attendance to accept the award, with Rea saying they are the "future leaders of Philipsburg."
"It is my honor to receive this award (on behalf of the First Presbyterian Church)," said Martin. "It is a joy to work with them (the congregation)."
Also presented at last night's ceremony was the Chairman's Award, which is given to an outstanding citizen of the community. While its name is the Chairman's Award, Pollock said they decide as a committee who to honor.
This year's recipient was Jean Fooks.
Pollock said Fooks has led a life of service to her family, her church and the Philipsburg community.
She has been involved with the General Federation of Women's Clubs as a member and past president, the Philipsburg Council of Republican Women, the North Lincoln Hill PTO, the Philipsburg Bicentennial Committee, the Philipsburg Heritage Days Committee, and the Philipsburg Revitalization Committee.
Pollock said, most importantly, she is a member and past president of the Philipsburg Area Hospital Auxiliary.
Her resume from her service in the auxiliary included supporting an addition of a new wing to the then Philipsburg State General Hospital, and she was instrumental in the opening and operating of the snack bar.
Pollock said proceeds from the snack bar's operation and the auxiliary's fundraising efforts resulted in the purchase of many pieces of equipment for the hospital, furnishings for waiting rooms, the chapel and funding for Philipsburg School of Nursing scholarships.
Fooks was previously honored as the Philipsburg Business and Professional Womens' Club Woman of the Year and the Philipsburg Revitalization Committee's Volunteer of the Year.
Fooks received a standing ovation from the crowd.
"On behalf of my mother and family, I'd like to say thank you," said Ella Forcey, daughter of Fooks. "It's greatly appreciated."