Philanthropy Awardees

Blair County Philanthropy Award Recipients

Each year, Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation recognizes an outstanding person in our midst who exemplifies our mission and has generously given of his or her resources to help better lives and build stronger communities.

2016 | Don and Nancy Devorris

Don and Nancy have devoted their lives to serving our area. Together they have served on over 40 community and philanthropic boards. Their service, as well as their generous financial contributions, have had a positive impact. Don and Nancy have spearheaded many major community improvement projects, and actively seek out ways to continue supporting the organizations that make our area vibrant.

Don has served on many boards including the Altoona Redevelopment Authority, Blair County Business Round Table, Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, UPMC Altoona, HealthSouth Altoona, and Penn State Altoona. He has also given his time and leadership to Home Nursing Agency, Blair County Chamber of Commerce, Penn’s Woods Boy Scout Council, Rotary Club of Altoona, St. Francis University, I-99 Enterprise Committee, Agudath Achim Synagogue and many more. He was recently named as a Pennsylvania State University Distinguished Alumni.

Nancy was one of the founding members of CPCF. She volunteers for numerous organizations and serves on the boards, including UPMC Altoona Foundation for Life, Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, Blair County Arts Foundation, Southern Allegheny’s Museum of Art, Agudath Achim Synagogue, Agudath Achim Sisterhood, and the Greater Altoona Jewish Federation. She earned an honorary doctorate as a community philanthropist from Mount Aloysius College in 2010.

2015 | Fred N. Imler, Sr.

As a dedicated and longtime member of the Jaffa Shrine, Fred served as its Potentate. During his tenure, he created the Shriners Hospital Crusade, which began in Altoona and is now recognized in six centers across PA. He served as State Chairman of the Crusade for over 20 years, and in 2003, was one of only three members to be recognized with the Imperial Potentate Award of Merit for his extraordinary contributions to the Shriners’ Hospitals. Fred serves on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Shriners’ Hospital For Kids, the Martinsburg Homewood Retirement Community, the Homewood Foundation Board and is an active member of Grace United Church Of Christ. Fred also sits on the board of Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, and currently serves as its Treasurer.

2014 | Stephen G. Sheetz

Steve and his wife, Nancy, support many charitable organizations financially and with gifts of their time in our community, such as: Sister Paula and the Soup Kitchen; Penn State Altoona, particularly student scholarships and the Sheetz Fellows Program as well as the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the Enactus Program, ARC of Blair County and the Becky Sheetz Building, Blair County Arts Foundation, Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Project Soar at the Altoona Area School District Foundation just to name a few.

2013 | Barry J. Halbritter

Barry and his wife, Marlene, are well known for supporting many organizations both financially and with their time, such as: Juniata College, The Village at Morrisons Cove, Home Nursing Agency, Blair County Arts Foundation, Skills of Central PA, Kiwanis International, Central PA Community Foundation and Carson Valley Church of the Brethren to name a few.

2012 | Donald L. Detwiler

Don is known for quietly supporting many organizations both with his time and financially, such as: ABCD Corp, American Rescue Workers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Easter Seals, First United Methodist Church of Hollidaysburg, Home Nursing Agency, Juniata College, Penn’s Woods Council Boy Scouts of America, Rotary, United Way and Your Father’s House to name a few.

2011 | Michael W. McLanahan

Mike has been a Rotarian for over 40 years, a supporter of the education offered by Mount Aloysius College, a former Cubmaster for the Boy Scouts of America Pack 55 for 17 years and member of the Hollidaysburg Borough Council. He contributes to Operation Our Town, Penn State Altoona, Hollidaysburg YMCA, Hollidaysburg Area Free Public Library and various other charitable organizations.

In 2000, Mike had the vision to start the first corporate endowment fund within the Community Foundation. At the time of this gift, it was the largest fund and a turning point in the history of the organization.

2010 | Willard E. "Bill" Campbell

Bill was recognized for his lifelong support of many charitable and education organizations including: 4-H, FFA, National MS Society, American Cancer Society, Saint Francis University, Juniata College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania to name a few.

2009 | John P. Kazmaier

John served and/or financially supported the following organizations and projects: Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries, Altoona Area School District, Altoona Mountain Lion Project, American Cancer Society, Blair County Arts Foundation, Central PA Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Gospel Hill Flag, Greater Altoona Economic Development Corporation, Junior Achievement, Leap-the-Dips Preservation Foundation, Penn State Altoona, Railroaders Memorial Museum, Rotary Club of Altoona, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, State Transportation Commission of PA and others.

2008 | Dorothea Nelson

Dorothea served and/or financially supported the following organizations: Altoona Symphony Orchestra, The Arc of Blair County, Blair County Arts Foundation Home Nursing Agency, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and numerous others. Known for her “quiet giving”, she often makes gifts anonymously.

2007 | Ann Benzel

Ann served and/or financially supported the following organizations: Governor’s Council on the Arts, Altoona Area Public Library, Home Nursing Agency, St. Francis University, Central PA Community Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation (Baltimore, MD), Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Blair County Arts Foundation, Citizens for the Arts (Harrisburg), Altoona Regional Health System, ABCD Corporation, Mt. Aloysius College, PA Arts & Humanities Council (Philadelphia) First Commonwealth Bank and the Mishler Theatre.

2006 | Shirley Pechter

Shirley served as a Board Member for: American Cancer Society, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital, Home Nursing Agency, Steering Committee for Penn State Altoona in Altoona and New York City, and served in every executive position on the board of Temple Beth Israel. In 1999, she was selected as the first female president in the temple’s 125-year history and only the fifth for a reform temple in the United States Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. 2002 YWCA Tribute to Woman award winner.

2005 | Gerald P. Wolf

Gerald served as a Board Member: Ecumenical Conference, Wolf-Kuhn Foundation, Central PA Community Foundation, SAMA, Blair County Chamber of Commerce, American Heart Association, ABCD Corporation, Altoona Hospital, Keystone Financial, GAEDC, Altoona Redevelopment Authority, Altoona Merchants Association, Downtown Altoona Rehabilitation Effort, and Altoona Catholic High School Athletic Association and Alumni Association; Co-Founder of Penn Mont Academy and Founding Treasurer of the Railroaders Memorial Museum.

2004 | The Hite Family

embers of the Hite family have served on numerous boards and financially supported many 
organizations such as: United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Second Mile, Central PA Community Foundation, American Cancer Society, Chamber of Commerce, Easter Seals, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Home Nursing Agency, Junior Achievement, Blair County Historical Society, Altoona Community Theatre, Broad Avenue Presbyterian Church, Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Blair County Arts Foundation, Homerun Against Drugs, Altoona Hospital, Women’s Club, Blair Co. Blind Association, Penn State Altoona, Altoona Planning Commission, Altoona Central Catholic, Altoona Blair County Development Corp., Central Blair Recreation Commission, many local fire departments and YMCA.

2003 | Anthony Misciagna

Anthony financially supported such organization as: Cornell University, Mount Aloysius College, Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children and Burn Institute, Geisinger Foundation Children’s Miracle Network, Altoona Habitat for Humanity, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and Altoona Area School District.

2002 | Donald E. Wissinger

Donald financially supported such organizations as: Altoona Symphony, Altoona Community Theatre, Hollidaysburg YMCA, SAMA, United Way of Blair County and Zion Lutheran Church. He was involved in the community through the years as a Board Member for: Allegheny 
Lutheran Social Ministries, Blair County Chamber of Commerce, Blair Concert Chorale, First 
Commonwealth Bank, Hollidaysburg Rotary Club, United Way and volunteered for numerous others.

2001 | G. William Ward

William served on numerous Boards across our community and the state such as: ABCD Corp., Rotary Club of Altoona, Blair County Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Blair County, just to name a few. He financially supported United Way of Blair County, Penn State University, SAMA and numerous others.

2000 | T. Dean Lower, Esquire

Dean was the first recipient of the Blair County Philanthropy Award, was instrumental in developing The Lower Trail in Williamsburg and Lower Lookout at Chimney Rocks, endowed a chair in the Altoona Symphony, and supported many charitable organizations.