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TACC Commemorates Local Business Achievements

The Tuscarora Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner on Thursday, April 4th. Over 175 business and community leaders gathered to help the Chamber commemorate the achievements of area businesses and organizations. The event was held at the Solstice Restaurant at Whitetail Ski Resort.

TACC Executive Director, Chris Ardinger, presented the first award of the evening, Volunteer of the Year. “This individual has been active in our Chamber long before I was even in this role”, Ardinger said of the winner, adding that she has worked for the First Community Bank of Mercersburg and most recently is the office manager at Whitetail Resort. “She has been a huge asset to the Chamber and her bubbly personality makes every event and initiative more enjoyable; she volunteers for just about every event that we have; except of course on her wedding day, which happened to take place during Townfest last year” said Ardinger. After a few more teasers, he announced that Erin Berry Parker was the 2019 Volunteer of the Year.

Next on the agenda was the Not for Profit of the Year award, being presented by Barb Danowski, TACC Chairwoman. Danowski stated that the organization is 90 years old and was originally presided over by Vaughn Byron, the son of Harry Byron, who owned and operated the Mercersburg Tannery and also built the house where the Mercersburg Inn stands today. One of the most notable accomplishments is that this club started the MMP&W Ambulance Club and purchased the first ambulance in 1965, which was a beautiful new Cadillac.

Today, the club is very active and has around 25 members; they meet once a week. The organization supports several non-profits and causes throughout the community, and offers scholarships to James Buchanan High School students. One of organization’s major projects is Santa’s Toy Box, which provides toys and supplies to hundreds of children and needy families across the Tuscarora School District. Soon enough, Danowski announced that the Rotary Club of Mercersburg is the recipient of the 2019 Not for Profit of the Year award. Several Rotarians were present to receive the award; President David Moore thanked the Chamber and the community for recognizing their efforts and stated that the group looks forward to many more years of service to the community; they are always looking for new members as well.

The nominee for Business of the Year is family-owned and operated, and has been doing business in Franklin County for 39 years. State Senator Judy Ward presented this award, and spoke about the business’ extensive track record and community-mindedness. The business originally started out in Waynesboro and eventually moved to Mercersburg, currently being operated in an old train station

In 2006, the business was purchased by Harry and Lori McCullough. The couple had been regular customers of the business during their high school years at the Mercersburg Academy. Harry was originally from Gettysburg and Lori was boarding from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They relocated to Mercersburg shortly after their second child was born when Harry transferred his position with his employer, Sodexo, when it purchased the dining services contract with the Mercersburg Academy. He served as the manager of the Mercersburg Inn from 2003 to 2006 before he and Lori purchased their own business.

The business remains a unique blend of local haunt and an Academy hang out spot. Senator Ward described how the business participates in numerous charitable community causes and how it is not uncommon to see an entire little league team in the restaurant for pizza and ice cream after a victory.

It was clear soon enough that the 2019 Business of the Year was Romeo’s Café. The McCullough family was present to accept the award, along with long-time employee Jack Flarehty. Owner, Harry McCullough thanked the community for their many years of support and expressed just how wonderful Mercersburg is.

The highest commendation that the Tuscarora Area Chamber of Commerce presents each year is the Business Person of the Year Award. This award is given to a person who is unselfishly committed to the business community. Ardinger asked that Doug Hoffman and Gloria Pine join him at the podium to help present this award.

Hoffman is an integral part of the Mercersburg community; he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017. He described his battle with cancer and the effort that his wife, Marcy and the girls at Marcy’s Creative Touch put into the ‘Cruisin’ for a Cure’ event, which raised over $30,000 towards the recently formed Hospice of Franklin County. He described Marcy as his rock and someone who works hard in her business, “you can ride by our house and see the garage door go up at 6 AM and it goes down at 9 PM”.

Friend and community leader, Gloria Pine described Marcy as a caring person who treats staff and clients like family. “As a business owner, she is always willing to donate to a cause and thinks of others before herself”.

After three standing ovations, Marcy was given her commendation as the 2019 Business Person of the Year. Senator Ward and Rep. Topper also provided Pennsylvania Senate and House citations in honor of the achievement.

Among the other honored guests were: State Senator Judy Ward; Nancy Bull from Congressman Joyce’s Office; Bonnie Mellott Keefer from Rep. Topper’s Office; Franklin County Commissioners Dave Keller and Bob Ziobrowski; Mike Ross, President of FCADC; Janet Pollard, Director of FCVB; as well as several TSD School Board members, Borough Council members, Borough staff, Township Supervisors, and neighboring Chamber of Commerce representatives from Chambersburg. John Flannery, Candidate for Franklin County Commissioner and Mary Beth Shank, Candidate for Court of Common Pleas Judge were also in attendance.

As the evening’s events concluded, Ardinger thanked attendees for coming out to celebrate the successes of Tuscarora area businesses and organizations, and thanked Orrstown Bank for being the event sponsor and Whitetail Resort for being excellent hosts.

Nominate the Business of the Year - 1/31

Nominate the Business Person of the Year - 1/31

Nominate the Not for Profit of the Year - 1/31

FCMC Bluegrass & BBQ - 1/18

95th Annual Membership Breakfast - 1/23

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