WAYNE COUNTY—Recognizing the efforts of dedicated community volunteers, the Wayne County Community Foundation (WCCF) will be holding its annual “Ben Franklin Awards Dinner” this year on November 2 at Silver Birches in Hawley.
This year's honored recipients of the “Ben Franklin Award for Community Service” are Gail and Arthur Frey who currently reside in Lake Ariel.
The Ben Franklin Award is accompanied by a grant of $1,000 from WCCF's Ben Franklin Fund to be given to a charity of the Frey's choosing.
“This is a very prestigious award,” stated WCCF Executive Director Paul Edwards. He explained this is the 21st year WCCF has awarded it to avid volunteers in the community.
“We know there are great things going on in all corners … of the county and so we're especially glad this time to recognize people that have done so much for the southern part of the county,” said Edwards.
According to a WCCF press release, both Arthur and Gail are a members of the Tobyhanna/Newfoundland Lions Club.
Through the club, Gail has chaired many community projects. She is also a local girl scout leader.
In addition to being a Lion, Arthur is a former funeral director, serves on the Advisory Council for Wayne County, is an honorary life member of the Greene-Dreher Fair and a Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church.
The pair have received the Newfoundland Rotary “Citizen of the Year” Award and the “Melvin Jones” Award.
They have been married for over 55 years and they have three children and five grandchildren.
“We're proud to be able to highlight Art and Gail Frey who have done so much,” said Edwards.
He continued, “One of the things that we're so fortunate to have in the county are so many outstanding volunteers for the non-profit organizations.”
“We hope that by way of this dinner we are able to encourage others to become committed volunteers to the … nonprofit organizations within their communities.”
The dinner is open to the public but seating is limited. Tickets are available at a cost of $75. Those interested can acquire them by calling the WCCF at (570) 499-4299.
Special dinner guest
This year's awards dinner will be visited by special guest Benjamin Franklin to celebrate the WCCF's 25th year of operations.
In addition to the dinner, Franklin will make appearances and presentations throughout the county during his tenure here between October 30 and November 3.
Franklin's public appearances include a free family event at Honesdale High School on October 30 from 7-8 p.m., the aforementioned WCCF annual awards dinner on November 2 and a boarding of the Stourbridge Line Presidential Car at 6 p.m. on November 3.
Franklin will also give presentations to various schools in numerous districts in the area during the week he is here.
Other opportunities for events and photoshoots with Franklin are also available. Those interested should contact Bill McAllister at 570-253-5005.
Also helping with the program are the Wayne County Library Alliance and the Wayne County Historical Society.
The WCCF is looking for sponsors to help fund the week-long event.
Those interested can make their contributions to: The Wayne County Community Foundation, 214 Ninth Street, Honesdale, PA, 18431.
Donors are asked to include their name, address and essential tax information as needed.
Donations should be made payable to WCCF – Bring Ben to Town and specified as to whether donors wish to be publicly recognized for their contributions.