‘Agriculture Recognition Night’ Includes New Scholarship in Memory of Past Ag Society President
Allentown, Pa.- Highlighting its roots and reason for being, The Great Allentown Fair held its annual “Agriculture Recognition Night” Wednesday, September 2 to honor accomplished students and adults that have contributed to Pennsylvania’s number one industry.
The ceremony was held last week inside the Agri~Plex exhibition building sponsored by Lehigh Valley Health Network while the fair was in full swing. Each year, it shines a spotlight on the mission of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society (LCAS), the fair’s 163-year-old operator, to improve and advance agriculture, horticulture, livestock, domestic and mechanical arts.
New for 2015, a $1,000 scholarship to honor the memory of William F. Greenawald, society president from 2005 until his passing in 2008, went to went to Adam Minnich from Topton. Adam is a 2015 graduate of Brandywine Heights High School, and has been participating in the Allentown Fair since 2009. Presently, he is pursuing a Civil Engineering Degree at Penn State Berks. Greenawald’s wife Patricia was on hand to present the first award of this scholarship.
As a special presentation, the Lehigh County Farm Bureau honored Beverly Gruber, President of the Allentown Fair. Gruber has had a lifelong involvement in fairs, first in western Pennsylvania, and then the Schnecksville and Allentown fairs after he move to New Tripoli in 1992. Since moving east, she has been active in the Lehigh County Farm Bureau and her vast fair experience resulted in her being hired as the Ag Manager for the Allentown Fair in 2000. She continues to hold that position and in 2014, she was elected as the first woman president of the fair in its163 year history.
President Gruber served as master of ceremonies for Ag Recognition Night giving details about each of the award recipient’s contributions to the agricultural community. She introduced and brought on stage family members of persons for whom the awards were dedicated.
Four awards annually go to 4-H and FFA participants in the names of seven deceased members of the Ag Society: Reuben S. Geiger, Clydan Handwerk, Frank H. Krause, Richard E. Miller, Rewellien Mohr, Raymond O’Neill, and Charles J. Rutz, who were dedicated to the fair.
This year’s 4-H winners were Adam Dietrich from New Tripoli, PA and Abby Starner from Barto, PA. Both 4-H recipients are accomplished young farmers and fair exhibitors.
The awards that acknowledge FFA contributions went to two Kutztown Chapter members, Kennedi Cavalier and Ayla Blatt, active and accomplished members of the organization.
The family of Richard E. Miller, who served as secretary of the Ag Society for many years, contributed two $300 scholarships in his memory that recognize high academic records of a 4-H and FFA member. The 4-H honor went to Jessica Tondt, Stroudsburg. She is attending Fairleigh Dickinson University. The FFA recipient was Katie Beekman from Oley Valley, a student at Delaware Valley University.
The $300 recurring Ben Lazarus Award, named in the memory of a former fair livestock exhibitor, was bestowed on Amanda Witt, Germansville. This monetary award recognizes an Allentown Fair animal exhibitor that is 17 to 23 years old. Amanda has shown diary, market steers, market goats and dairy beef.
The Henry Newhard Award commemorative plaque went to Sydney Ochoco, the 4-H member who received the most blue ribbons for non-animal exhibits at this year’s fair. Sydney had 23 blue ribbons for baked goods, flowers, vegetables and sewing projects. She is a member of Danboro 4-H Club, Bucks County.
The June M. Stas Supreme Baking Award was presented to Sharon Kurtz from Emmaus for her Bacon-topped Sticky Buns. This award, along with the Preserved Product Award is new to the 2015 fair. Both awards are for $250 and are given by June M. Stas and her family, long time exhibitors at the fair. The June M. Stas Superior Preserved Product Award was given to Barbara Bolez from Allentown for her delightful winning entry of flavored ginger-garlic chili oil.
Every year, two special plaques are awarded by the families of deceased board members in honor of their devotion to the Ag Society. Donald Bassler from Coopersburg won the Mae Rutz Award for his magnificent antique scale in the Antique category that was pre-selected as the award category for 2015. They vary each year.
In recognition of her beautiful bird house flower arrangement, Carrie Spangler from Allentown was the winner of the $250 award in the memory of Bill E. Serfass that honors an outstanding youth competing in the fair’s competitive exhibits which include needlework, crafts, woodwork, baked products, flowers, art and sewing.
The newly crowned Allentown Fair Queen, Aliza Nyce from Germansville, was presented her scholarship award from the Lehigh-Northampton Pomona Grange #68. The presentation was made by the Grange President, Leonard Heim. Nyce is a junior at Northwestern Lehigh High School.
The Lehigh County Agricultural Society congratulates all the award winners.
Contact: Bonnie Brosious/Terri Schwenk
The Great Allentown Fair
For comments: Beverly Gruber
The Great Allentown Fair