Saturday, March 26, 2011

Businesspeople and college president receive awards at gala

Epic Photopgraphy, Dan Robrish of the Elizabethtown Advocate and Elizabethtown College President Theodore Long received awards last night at the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce's annual gala. The dinner was held in the Susquehanna Room at Elizabethtown College.

Epic Photography, owned by Jamie and Andrew Schoenberger, received the 2011 Chamber Appreciation Award for their dedication to the community and their volunteering time and services to a wide range of community events.

In remarks after receiving the award, Andrew Schoenberger, an Elizabethtown native, urged gala attendees to get involved in the community and volunteer. He said he is a big fan of events such as the holiday parade and the town's New Year's celebration Let E-town Ring, but he said "these events don't happen by themselves."

The chamber honored Robrish, owner and publisher of the Elizabethtown Advocate, with the 2011 Rising Star Award. Robrish quit his job with the Associated Press in Philadelphia to start the weekly newspaper from scratch at the beginning of 2009.  A recent article in the journalism trade journal Editor & Publisher reported that Robrish is close to making a profit on the venture.

Elizabethtown Borough Council President Phil Clark presented Long with the Vincent O'Connor Public Service Award. The award, named after a former borough councilman with a lifelong devotion of service to others, is presented annually to an individual who has selflessly devoted tme to the public good of residents in Elizabethtown through community and civic endeavors.

Long, who is retiring from his post this summer after 15 years, "has exemplified the spirit of the late Vincent O'Connor," according to the program for the award. In addition to leading the college and being active in academia and higher education, Long has served the Elizabethtown community as a board member of the former Elizabethtown Economic Development Corp. and helping to integrate the college into the community.

Speaking briefly after receiving the award, Long said that he and his wife, Betty, have come to call Elizabethtown their home. He noted that one of the reasons that students choose to attend college here is because Elizabethtown is a special community.

(Let me offer full disclosure: My wife is employed at Elizabethtown College.)

I'd like to offer my congratulations to all of the recipients. For years, I've said that Elizabethtown is a great town with a tremendous amount potential -- and it's great to see others who don't just recognize it but are living out the potential in real ways.

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