The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the Community Achievement Award to Eric and Gary Linde.

The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the Community Achievement Award to Eric and Gary Linde.

Earlier this year the Lindes began an effort that rallied the community. Upon reading that the local public pool may not open, they knew something had to be done.

"We thought we could make some repairs and get the pool opened, but we never could have imagined what happened next," Eric Linde said.

What followed was a groundswell of support within the community to actually rebuild the pool complex. At last count more than 70 businesses, families and groups have come forward with donations of equipment, products and time.

The result is a completely rebuilt pool complex. The overwhelming response from the community saved the borough an estimated $50,000 in repair costs.

"I wouldn't have been able to drive by the pool all summer and see the 'closed' sign," said Gary Linde. "We had to do something about it and fortunately, many others felt the same way."

The Lindes are no strangers to community service.

Gary and his wife Valerie recently began sponsoring a tree seedling program through the school district. The move was inspired by Gary's fond memories of receiving seedlings in grade school and bringing them home to plant. Prior to their involvement, the program had been discontinued for some time.

Their generosity can be seen in many areas of the community where they have assisted others without need for acknowledgment, but just because it was "the right thing to do."

Whether the project is excavation for the Honesdale Shade Trees or the expansion of the parking area at the Little League Baseball complex, the Linde family and Leeward are quick to offer a helping hand.

"You can always count on the Lindes when our community needs support," stated General Daniel J. O'Neill. "I am absolutely certain the pool would have remained closed if not for Eric and Gary's efforts."

Eric Linde was raised in Honesdale and has been part of the local business community for nearly 40 years. He has served as president of the Pennsylvania Utility Contractors Association, as a member of the Honesdale Area Jaycees and various community advisory boards.

With his wife, Mary Anne, they recently launched the Linde Family Business Mentoring Program at Penn State University. Eric currently serves on the advisory board for Geisinger Wyoming Valley, on the executive board for Penns Northeast and is a 30 year board member of the Pennsylvania and National Utility Contractors Associations.

Gary Linde is also a Honesdale native who, like his father, attended Penn State where he received a degree in Business Administration. Gary manages the day-to-day aspects of Leeward Construction where he holds the position of executive vice-president. He is an avid outdoorsman who also enjoys contributing to his community as well as traveling and spending time with family.

"I want our young people to see that this is how a community should work," said the elder Linde. "My grandchildren were at the pool during construction and it's our duty to pass this sense of community along to them."

Eric & Gary Linde will be honored at the Chamber's annual Community Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Lukan's Farm Resort in Hawley. For tickets, congratulatory ads and additional information please call the Chamber at (570) 253-1960.