The Kutztown Community Partnership presented its 2022 Volunteer of the Year and Organization of the Year awards to Jerry Schearer and the Rotary Club of Kutztown, respectively, at its Feb. 2 annual meeting.
“It was unexpected and humbling,” Schearer said of the Volunteer of the Year award.
“I created this award through the Organizing Committee seven years ago because I knew how important and special our volunteers are, but I never expected to receive the award myself. “
Schearer served nine years on the KCP board, including one as vice-chairman and four as chairman. He is also entering his 10th year as president of the organizing committee.
“We have a very special city. There’s more here than meets the eye and I love that KCP can help make the city even more special, both with public events, but also with lots of advocacy, promotion, grants, etc. . behind the scenes,” he said.
Schearer is Senior Associate Dean and Director of Diversity at Kutztown University and a volunteer at Friend, Inc.
“I’ve always thought you should give back to the community you live in and KCP and Friend Inc. have been a great way for me to do that locally. I hope I can help continue to bridge the gaps between university and borough, between students and residents, and most importantly make Kutztown a great place to live and work,” he said. he declares.
Even after stepping off the board last year, Schearer continues to volunteer in a number of ways, including at the KCP concession stand at Kutztown Borough Pool, which KPC runs as a community service and fundraiser. He volunteered to help start and close the concession stand at the start and end of the season, ran numerous errands to stock up and keep food stocked, made bank deposits when the manager was absent and even filled the kitchen or running teams. the registry when they were short-staffed.
“It was a pleasure to serve on the board with so many great people – all very dedicated and hardworking,” he said. “My years as President have been rewarding and I have been able to meet even more great people in the community representing KCP. fundraising and assisting with some administrative tasks as needed.
Also during the meeting, Schearer presented Kutztown Community Organization of the Year to the Rotary Club of Kutztown.
“The Rotary Club of Kutztown is such a great organization,” Schearer said. “The amount of fundraising they do for local projects and the volunteers they provide for KCP events is truly impressive. I have been happy to give back to them a little each year by volunteering at the Taste of Kutztown event organized by Rotary.
Last year, the Rotary Club supported more than a dozen community projects and donated thousands of dollars to various community organizations. The club hosted its first annual Kutztown Ghost Tour, raising more than $3,000 for the Kutztown Area Historical Society to help with renovations.
“The Rotary Club of Kutztown is honored to be recognized as the Organization of the Year by the Kutztown Community Partnership,” said Rotary Club of Kutztown President Tom Kulp. “The Rotary Club of Kutztown focuses on local needs in Kutztown, Topton and surrounding communities. We have partnered with KCP on many initiatives and look forward to continuing to support KCP and the community. We plan to continue our mission to support community efforts through our major fundraisers, the Taste Of Kutztown in June and the Kutztown Ghost Tour in October.
The KCP Annual Meeting, led by incoming new KCP President Allison Fuller, brought together the current Board of Directors, Community Liaison Officer Sandy Green, KCP volunteers, community members, the Board of Kutztown Borough and Kutztown Borough Planning Commission.
Two new council members began their terms this year – Jonathan Quier, co-owner of Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc. in Kutztown, and Kutztown Borough Council member George Kusterer.
Each member of KCP’s Board of Directors serves a two-year renewable term. With the addition of the new members, the 2022 KCP Board of Directors will be Fuller, Chair; Pete Smith, Vice President; Amanda Garcia, Treasurer; Jeremy Curry, secretary; Alexander Elliker; Christian Temchatin and Christina Galdi.
“The Kutztown Community Partnership is made up of volunteers who share a passion for making our town a better place,” Fuller said. “After two years of having to postpone events and plans due to the pandemic, we look forward to moving forward into 2022.”
The KCP leaders and committee reported on the past year’s challenges with COVID-19, successes and events, as well as a positive outlook for the coming year.
“Having listened to tonight’s discussions, it’s clear that our board members and volunteers are ready to put plans in place and pursue our mission of building community, positive relationships and economic collaboration. said Fuller.
The economic development committee looked at the rental housing/downtown strategic plan produced in 2020 and the granting of the Multimodal Subsidy.
Kutztown Thriving said they continue to maintain three pollinator gardens in the borough and help trap and release feral cats. Plans for 2022 include the installation of a split rail fence around the entrance garden on Constitution and more murals.
The Peace.Love.Kutztown Committee continues to raise awareness of social justice issues and bring unity to the community.
The Events Committee was pleased to host at least one major event in 2021, Christmas in Kutztown. Moved from Main Street to the train station, the successful event brought together 49 vendors and was fun for the community. Plans for 2022, pending final details and Borough approval, include KU Senior Send Off on May 7 (rain date May 8), Dinner on Main on August 5 (rain date August 6 ) and the Block Party on October 1.
KCP Community Liaison Officer Sandy Green said the Kutztown area Hero banner program currently has 265 banners sold. Veteran stories will be shared in the Kutztown Area Veteran Heritage Book Project. The Kutztown Vietnam Veterans Breakfast Club is soliciting funds for the “Welcome to Veterans Way” sign at Kutztown Park. For more information, contact KCP at [email protected].
Green also spoke about the two additional murals painted in 2021 and two more in 2022. KCP and Green will continue to focus on economic development, marketing and rebranding and promoting Kutztown as a safe and accessible community to foot.
“The future for Kutztown and KCP is bright, but it depends on volunteers and donations. There are many ways to volunteer with events, committees and other projects, so please stop by the KCP office and find out how you can get involved or perhaps sponsor an event,” Schearer said.
The Kutztown Community Partnership office is located at 306 W. Main St., Kutztown. For information on events, volunteer opportunities and more, visit http://kutztownpartnership.org/. Dial 484-646-9069.