Volunteers of the year: Annual Rose Cologne Awards to honor local community service contributions

Penn State Extension Centre County

Herb Cole Jr., of Bellefonte, has served six years on the Penn State Extension advisory board and on the finance subcommittee to the extension board. With his background and experience in agriculture and familiarity with Penn State and the College of Agriculture as well as connections throughout the state and beyond, Cole’s role on the extension board and advice on extension educational programming and operation has proven to be very valuable.

He is knowledgeable of the organization’s programs and represents Penn State Extension well.

He supports Penn State Extension 4-H and has donated money to help youth enroll in 4-H who may not have the funds to do so.

Cole truly loves Penn State and believes in Penn State Extension and what it has to offer the community.

He continues to volunteer and advocate for Penn State Extension because he sees the difference Extension can and is making in the community.

Cole came to Penn State from a farm in Northampton County in 1950.

In 1957, he received his doctorate in plant pathology and biochemistry.

He served as an extension faculty member in the College of Agriculture for 48 years, until he retired in 2005.

During that time, he was a department head, chairman of the university Faculty Senate, and member of the search committee that brought Bryce Jordan and Bill Richardson to Penn State.

In 2006, he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Agriculture.

Cole said he believes that lifelong learning is important for everyone and that every person can contribute to the betterment of the community as a result.

State College Area

Meals on Wheels

Vic Campbell, of State College, wears a number of different hats at State College Area Meals on Wheels. He started as a substitute driver and would deliver meals when the regularly scheduled drivers could not.

He “moved up” to substitute cook, helping to prepare cold and hot meals for clients. Campbell is now one of the regular Friday cadre of volunteers who help with food preparation and meal delivery. Every Friday morning, he arrives at 7:30 a.m. and works until 12:30 p.m. He is devoted, reliable, organized and funny.

When asked why he volunteers at Meals on Wheels, he answered, “It is a way to give back or pay it forward.”

Campbell, who has served with the organization for 15 years, is not the kind of guy to sit still during his retirement from the Navy. In addition to volunteering at Meals on Wheels, Vic works part time and volunteers with two additional programs: Special Olympics and Toys for Tots.

Park Forest Day

Nursery Preschool

Helen Haugh has volunteered as a nutritional meal planner, shopped for the food and created the menus for the hundreds of children that have been through Park Forest Day Nursery program during the past 25 years.

She retired from Penn State, where she worked for 33 years, as a food service supervisor.

She has engaged the staff in her great stories of the many adventures of travel and human interactions she has had over her lifetime. She has traveled the world and said that the most beautiful place on earth is Alaska, but her home is here in State College.

Haugh has volunteered in the community in many capacities, including for Girl Scouts, the Civil Air Patrol, ski patrol and Meals on Wheels. She said she believes it is important to volunteer, especially in retirement.

Child Development

and Family Council

of Centre County Inc.

Samuel Turner is a student intern at Discovery Child Development Center, a Child Development and Family Council program. He volunteers in Discovery’s toddler room regularly and occasionally helps out in the pre-K classroom.

Turner interacts with all the children, and parents love having a male role model in the classroom.

“Growing up, I always had a heart for helping people. … I was interested in working at Discovery because I am the oldest of seven children. …I knew this position would be good for me because I have a lot of experience with my little brothers,” Turner said.

When he graduates, Turner would like to go to graduate school to become a child life specialist. He has a job working with four adult males with special needs.

The Parkside native is a member of Phi Kappa Psi, named “Chapter of the Year,” which was first in philanthropy and community and helped raise money toward pediatric cancer.

Mount Nittany

Medical Center

As a volunteer at Mount Nittany Medical Center’s emergency department and gift shop for 30 years, Susan Klein has contributed nearly 4,000 volunteer hours to date. She describes herself as dedicated and reliable.

Klein, a Greenburg native, moved to State College more than 47 years ago, working in the catalog department at Penn State. She also has volunteered with several organizations, including the American Red Cross, State College Area Food Bank, Geri Reeve Open Golf Tournament and State College Walk MC.

State College Food Bank

Michael Williams is the face of the food bank with its Feeding America Partners. He facilitates the transfer of products Wednesdays and Fridays from Wal-Mart on North Atherton Street, Target, Sam’s Club and Red Lobster. These donations are then incorporated into client distributions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

More than 25 tons of Feeding America donations were transported to the State College Food Bank in 2013.

In addition, Williams, of Bellefonte, coordinates the maintenance of the State College Food Bank van. He was key in the nonprofit’s move from 276 W. Hamilton Ave. to 1321 S. Atherton St.

Williams is a retired from retail management and has been with the food bank for five years.

Centre Volunteers

in Medicine

Ellen Houser, of State College, has served Centre Volunteers in Medicine since 2007. As an eligibility assistant, she helps new patients complete medical history forms and financial documents.

Having participated in American Lung Association training, Houser also facilitates Freedom From Smoking groups at CVIM. In addition, she has assisted in the clinic’s medication distribution area, volunteered as a receptionist and worked on special projects at the agency.

Retired from Student Affairs at Penn State, Houser is a former assistant director of Career Services. Houser has volunteered more than 930 hours for CVIM over her seven years here.

Score-Central PA

Alice Tam, office manager, secretary and social media coordinator for Score-Central Pa., has been with the agency for four years.

Tam, a financial analyst who hails from Hong Kong, has co-mentored clients, provided Web assistance for clients and helped with the Entrepreneurial Women’s Expo.

Foxdale Village

Mavis Stapleford and her miniature poodle, Mozart, provide companionship for residents and staff at Foxdale Village in both individual visits and group pet therapy programs. Mozart often arrives to volunteer dressed in a costume, and Stapleford enjoys engaging in reminiscing conversations with those they visit.

Mozart is a trained therapy dog, receiving his certification through Therapy Dogs Inc. He also is affiliated with Kindly Canines.

Stapleford hails from St. Catherines, Ontario, and has served at Foxdale for one and a half years.

Centre HomeCare Inc.

Nancy and James Williams help with mailings, blood pressure clinics and flu clinics at Centre Home Care Inc.

They are a husband and wife volunteer team from Boalsburg. Both are retired and have worked with the agency for 10 years.

Aging in Place/

Centre County

Stuart Dance, of State College, has served on the board of directors for Aging in Place/Centre County since its inception five years ago. He served as president of the board for three years.

Dance was instrumental in conceptualizing the idea of “friends helping friends remain in their own homes for as long as possible,” and has led the Aging in Place/Centre County organization to the point where direct services to members will begin within the next few months.

Services will include grocery shopping, transportation to medical appointments, handyman services and referrals to respected companies to do work to enable seniors to remain in their own homes.

CentrePeace Inc.

Katherine Hackenberg is a volunteer cashier at CentrePeace.

The Milesburg native also volunteers at Centre Crest and the senior center three days a week. She enjoys knitting and crocheting and is a grandmother and a great-grandmother.

She has served with the agency for 10 years.

Community Help Centre

Jon Lorenzo is a hotline counselor with Community Help Centre, where he answers the hotline with calls pertaining to emotional support, crisis intervention, information and referral, and short-term counseling.

Lorenzo, originally from Pottstown, often helps by picking up additional daytime or overnight shifts when needed. He is a great counselor and always remains positive.

He is very responsible, and he shows great initiative. Lorenzo also has been extremely helpful when registering students, shopping for the agency, helping with the move, and organizing and tidying up the agency as needed.

Lorenzo, a Penn State student, plans to pursue a career as a doctor. He’s been with the agency for two years.

Youth Service Bureau

Anita and Lee Morris shop for kids clothing and food for families, finding amazing deals and buying for Youth Services Bureau every week for three years.

The State College couple are retired from the federal government and attend church at Park Forest Baptist Church. Lee Morris is a Vietnam veteran.

In addition to YSB, they also have donated to Housing Transitions Inc., Hearts for Homeless, Red Cross, House of Care, Catholic Charities, Dyslexia Center, Strawberry Fields, Centre Region Food Bank, FaithCenter, The Salvation Army, Toys for Tots and Boy Scout Troop 380.

Interfaith Human Services Inc.

Esther Lauchle is an office volunteer, fundraiser, board member and chairwoman of Interfaith Human Services’s Community Outreach Committee.

Lauchle has been a State College resident for 43 years, originally from Warren.

She worked at Penn State for 38 years, retiring from the Applied Research Lab as human resources manager. She has traveled throughout Europe and the U.S.

Lauchle volunteered for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts for several years, served on the Penn State Credit Union board of directors, is active with her church, has been a weekly volunteer at Interfaith Human Services for the past three years and is an active member of the IHS board of directors.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State

Joyce McKay has been a Technology Committee member for the past 10 years with OLLI. She helped select and set up the ProClass Online Registration System and is the developer of OLLI’s website and enhancements for the past six years. She also is an office helper for course registrations.

She is the OLLI representative to Fund for Adult Continuing Education Support Auction Committee and developed an online auction site for FACES Auction. She’s an OLLI course instructor and was the featured OLLI volunteer in 2009.

McKay lived in Midland, Mich., for 31 years and moved to State College in 2004.

She is a volunteer for Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Centre County, Centre County Senior Environmental Corps Data Manager and Nexus Pen Pal Program.

Centre County Women’s Resource Center

Katherine Hamilton’s volunteering has spanned such areas as hotline counseling/advocacy, prevention education, outreach, assisting in the shelter, and as one of the volunteer representatives on the board of directors.

In the past 15 months, Hamilton has taken more than 200 hotline shifts in which she has helped clients by providing counseling and advocacy in areas such as filing emergency protection from abuse orders, coordinating shelter intakes and helping clients with general safety planning.

She’s assisted in prevention education, delivering anti-bullying and child assault prevention programs for various schools throughout Centre County, and was the lead volunteer at multiple outreach tabling events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April 2013.

When the center was short-staffed last summer, Hamilton held office hours, helping to answer phones and run errands.

Hamilton hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica. She’s a lecturer in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State.


Barry Johnson has been on the FaithCentre’s board of directors for a decade and has served as treasurer since 2011.

Most recently, Johnson has overseen the construction work needed to bring the nonprofit’s new food bank building up to code. He has worked numerous hours ensuring that contractors are hired, space is physically cleared, renovations meet code requirements and all work is completed to transform 131 Allegheny St. into the new food bank.

Johnson is a Bellefonte native and an active lifelong member of Faith United Methodist Church. He has served as high school Sunday school teacher, youth fellowship coordinator, and member of the Foundations Sunday school class and Wednesday night men’s Bible study.

He served four years in the Navy and retired in 2002 from Cerro Metals after 40 years of service.

American Red Cross-Centre Communities Chapter

Nikki Shariat volunteers primarily with Disaster Services at the American Red Cross, where she responds to local disasters such as home fires and is a Disaster Action Team captain.

She helps with fundraising events such as Centre Gives and the holiday gift wrap in December at Nittany Mall. She volunteers at educational events, such as Operation Military Kids, and manages the chapter’s Facebook page.

Shariat volunteered during the Nashville floods in May 2010 and joined a Neighborhood Emergency Response Team in San Francisco.

She has been the outreach director for the State College Young Professionals for nearly two years.

She plans to finish her post-doctorate studies at Penn State. She hails from the United Kingdom.

Housing Transitions Inc.

Jane Taylor, Kathy Miglani amd Jere Willey are Housing Transitions board members whose commitment to the organization spans 69 years of dedicated service. Each of these individuals consistently have provided time, talent and financial contributions that in the early years kept the shelter’s doors open. The work of these volunteers has helped HTI evolve to better meet the challenges within our community.

Taylor is retired from the Centre County Office of Aging, Miglani is a retired business owner and Willey is retired from Penn State.

Tides Inc.

Brynn Ion began at Tides helping with the preschool group and the middle group, ages 8-10, before moving to the young group, ages 5-7, and spending about four years there co-facilitating.

In 2012, she moved to an adult group, where she remains. Ion always is first to volunteer with whatever is needed at all outside events.

She was a high school English teacher for the past seven years but has recently gotten a job as an academic adviser at Penn State.

She hails from Clarion.

Habitat for Humanity

of Greater Centre County

Dan Trevino is a volunteer who fills many roles as a Habitat Affiliate board member, ReStore committee member, construction site volunteer and regular ReStore volunteer. He fills roles that only a truly dedicated and passionate volunteer could do. Without volunteers who have his enthusiasm and willingness to help the nonprofit’s mission to end poverty housing and the ReStore’s mission to reduce landfill waste and support the Habitat affiliate, it could not be the success it is.

Staff unanimously nominated Trevino to provide a small token of gratitude for his service.

His hometown is Edinburgh, Texas, and he is retired.

Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA

Susan Kennedy has been an audio describer for the Sight-Loss Support Group’s View Via Headphones Program, an audio description service that describes theatrical and dance performances for blind and visually impaired patrons.

Kennedy enjoys describing the rich visual detail of the costumes and scenery, as well as the movements and expressions of the actors and dancers. She also is a describer for special tours of local gardens, arboretums, art exhibits and historic homes. She enjoys making these cultural experiences accessible to people with sight loss through the senses of touch, smell and hearing.

She also serves on the board of directors of the Sight-Loss Support Group.

Kennedy, of Port Matilda, received her doctorate in health education at Penn State in 1983. She stayed on at Penn State as an associate director for University Health Services, where she served as an administrator and educator, developing health promotion initiatives. She is an active community volunteer, and is involved with Centre Crest and the Penn State Extension Master Gardener Program.

She’s been with the agency for five years.

Brookline Nursing Home

David Provan has volunteered with Brookline in many capacities over nine years, including serving at its annual family picnic, bartending at social events, parking cars at the annual Fall Festival at Harner Farm, serving residents and families at our Thanksgiving-time Harvest Fest, and playing Santa for residents and on behalf of Brookline during the Salvation Army “We Are the Kettles” Christmas bell-ringing campaign.

Provan hails from Bellefonte, where he enjoys woodworking and is an active community volunteer. He’s retired school teacher and owner of Provan enterprises, local maker and distributor of desktop Nittany Lion shrines.

Center for Alternatives

in Community Justice

Marc Warren, a volunteer for the youth aid panel, has been with the nonprofit for more than four years.

A past board member of Youth Service Bureau, he has owned own a business for 17 years, Customer Follow Up Inc. He’s a self-published author and a firefighter. He is a Navy veteran.

His hometown is Levittown.

Centre County Council

for Human Services

For the past six years, Calvary Baptist Church has provided a warm and inviting space to meet in the community for the Centre County Council for Human Services monthly membership meetings.

This space has been provided free of charge. The church volunteers also provide the noontime meal three times a year, free of charge, to the Human Services Agencies that attend the monthly meetings.

Calvary Baptist Church continues to provide space for several of educational seminars throughout the year.

Centre County Child Access Center

Shirley Boldin helps to facilitate safe child custody exchanges between parents with a history of domestic violence. Her most important role is the warmth, love, compassion and comfort she gives to the children who walk through its doors. Her presence makes both the parents and children feel at ease during what can be a very difficult situation.

Boldin and her husband, Tom, are two of our original volunteers who continue to provide their services to the organization. The Bellefonte native spends multiple evenings at the Child Access Center. Over five years of volunteering, she has dedicated hundreds of hours to the safety of children and their parents through her work at the Child Access Center.

Boldin is a medical billing specialist.

Retired & Senior Volunteer Program

Ken Criste has been an RSVP volunteer for 25 years and has been a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance preparer. VITA volunteers are retired military personnel, math teachers, accountants, business owners, insurance executives, etc.

VITA volunteers provide free tax preparation for individuals with an annual income of $52,000 or less.

Nineteen VITA volunteers are busy completing taxes at sites around Centre County.

To date, more than 500 returns have been filed on behalf of taxpayers, many of them retired. In 2012, 1,200 returns were filed by this group of volunteers, saving low income taxpayers approximately $288,000 (average savings of $240 per return).

Gregg Township

& Old Gregg School Advisory Committee

Cathy Walton is an advisory board volunteer, webmaster, events advertiser, events volunteer, and Lending Library and craft fair volunteer with Gregg Township and the Old Gregg School Advisory Committee.

She is the founder Nittany Shop with Heart, past volunteer for American Cancer Society and PA Breast Cancer Coalition, and team captain for Relay for Life.

A retired teacher, she is from Spring Mills.

Centre Crest

nursing home

The Rev. Alex and Ellen Dyakiw are Centre Crest volunteers in Bellefonte.

Alex Dyakiw (19 years) has volunteered in church services, hospice care, fellowship and counseling. Ellen Dyakiw (5 years) has volunteered with the Quilting Club, Garden Club, flower arranging, craft circle and book club.

Alex Dyakiw is also involved with the Prison Drug and Alcohol Program, Community Lunch Program and St. Johns Episcopal Church, and Ellen Dyakiw is a Sunday school director, co-coordinator of the Children’s Free Craft at Bellefonte Arts Fair and school volunteer.

Alex Dyakiw is a chaplain, and Ellen Dyakiw is a retired teacher.


Literacy Council

Lori Shontz is a five-year volunteer English as a Second Language tutor and instructor; One-on-One ESL tutor; instructor of ESL Current Events & Conversation Class, Beginner ESL and 2012 Presidential Election Conversation Class; and with Conversation over Lunch.

A Penn State graduate from Pittsburgh, Shontz is a board member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State and a lector at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, and has been a literacy tutor since 2004, tarting with the YMCA of Greater St. Louis.

She is a senior editor of The Penn Stater alumni magazine and adjunct lecturer in Penn State’s College of Communications.

Centre LifeLink EMS

Matthew Langston was a volunteer, now recently paid EMT, for Centre LifeLink EMS. He treats patients and responds to calls in the Centre Region. Langston responded to 260 calls and contributed 1,156 volunteer hours in 2013.

He’s originally from Harrisburg and has been with LifeLink for two and a half years.

AAUW State College Branch

Connie Wheeler co-chairs the Philanthropic Priorities and Funds Distribution Committee at AAUW and served on the task force on Funds Investment and Management. She is one of the leaders of the book sale.

Wheeler is active in Centre County Women’s Resource Center, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, First Night State College and State College Friends Meeting.

Her hometown is Bellefonte, and she’s CEO of Penn State Federal Credit Union.

She’s worked with AAUW for 12 years.

Global Connections

Vanda Mikóné Hurnyi is a volunteer coordinator with Global Connections who has been with the agency for 14 months.

Hailing from Köszeg, Hungary, she also volunteers with Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

She is a social worker and community volunteer.

The Village at Penn State

Helen Manfull is a 10-year volunteer with The Village at Penn State, where she often uses her expertise in the theater arts.

She is an honorary alumna of Penn State and a Lion’s Paw recipient.

Her hometown is State College, where she works as a professor emerita.

Girl Scouts

in the Heart of PA

Katherine Nurmi is a Brownie leader, assistant Cadette leader and Girl Scout Community 415 leader, and helps organize events with Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA.

She is an active member of State College Presbyterian Church as a FISH mentor/leader, confirmation mentor and choir member, and a member of Essence of Joy 2 Choir. She also volunteers with Windy Hill Village and Hearts for Homeless.

Originally from Kent, Ohio, she has been with the Girl Scouts for nine years.

State College Community Land Trust

Michael Joyce is a homeowner, board member and president of the board for the State College Community Land Trust.

He has lived in State College for 10 years, the last four as a State College Community Land Trust homeowner. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Penn State graduate.

Joyce is a staff assistant in the chemistry department undergraduate office at Penn State, and has been a Land Trust volunteer for three years.

Cancer Survivors Association

Taylor and Carol Billett have been volunteers with Cancer Survivors Association for three years, and they have helped get donations for the organization and helped at Relay for Life.

Both retired, they live in Bellefonte.