Monday, April 18, 2011

Community honors Betty Long

Over the weekend, about 75 members of the Elizabethtown community gathered at Lynden Gallery downtown for a great event that had a dual purpose: It was a fundraiser for Elizabethtown Area Communities that Care and the Elizabethtown Public Library, and it was an evening to honor Betty Long, wife of Ted Long, the retiring president of Elizabethtown College.

Full disclosure: My wife is employed at the college and recently joined the board of directors for EACTC.

In the 15 years that the Longs have lived in Elizabethtown, Betty has left an indelible mark on the community, said those who have worked with her. Gail Viscome, executive director of EACTC, District Justice Jayne Duncan and Betty collaborated to get that organization up and running. Thanks to Betty's focus on obtaining data, Duncan said, these women became more than "meddlesome do-gooders."

The result: Over the past 15 years EACTC has brought in more than $2 million in grants to help people in need -- and especially young people.

Betty has also been a friend and mentor to students at the college, providing a shoulder to cry on and no-nonsense advice about everything from classes, careers, life in general and even boys.

In remarks to the crowd, Betty said that Elizabethtown has become her hometown and that she believes it is "a gem in south central Pennsylvania."

As for the fundraiser part of the evening, credit goes to Koser Jewelers in Mount Joy for donating four jewels. Everyone who attended had one chance to win, with the opportunity to buy additional chances for $5 each. The sales of additional chances during the evening brought in at least $2,500, which will be split evenly between EACTC and the library.

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