STEP demonstrates its community impact at annual meeting

When STEP employee of the year Tammy Frye received her award at

STEP’s 47th annual meeting Thursday, her sentiments embodied the intent within the organization.

“My mom used to tell me, ‘Pick what you do in life – laugh or cry.’ I’d rather laugh,” Frye said. “Always remember to be kind, as we only have each other.”

Frye is manager of STEP’s Lincoln Senior Center, and has served over 2,000 seniors over 33 years.

STEP’s mission is to engage diverse individuals, families and communities in the pursuit of social and economic success, and STEP President and CEO Terry Roller outlined how that has played out with major recent projects.

It fulfills its mission through early learning, housing options, workforce development, community collaboration and independent living.

One of its major projects is the Brodart Neighborhood Improvement Project, which STEP has partnered with Lycoming County, Williamsport and Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity to realize. STEP is overseeing a Homes in Need housing rehabilitation program as part of this project to complement the new home construction that will replace the vacant Brodart warehouse. Through PHARE funds, homeowners with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines will be assisted with compliance home issues.

The Clinton County Community Center opened two years ago, and brings weekend and evening activities such as ballroom dancing, painting, along with programs such as tax preparation assistance. Early Head Start complements conventional Head Start.

STEP partnered with CAPPA and The Center for the Summer Counts program, where 119 elementary and middle school students have participated in this eight-week, full-day academic and recreation program.

STEP gave the following awards:

Public Service: Harold “Bud” Yost, former STEP board chair, past Clinton County commissioner. He helped birth some major initiatives, such as the Clinton County Community Center.

Public Service: Rebecca Burke, former Lycoming County commissioner and past STEP board member. She played a key role in housing rehabilitation projects.

Customer Achievement: Montgomery Borough for its renewal and development achievements. Mayor Andrew Onufrak received the award on the borough’s behalf.

Volunteer of the Year: Richard Wehler, an Ombudsman volunteer who visits those at nursing homes, personal care homes and others and advocates for residents.

Outstanding Contribution: Park Homes Inc. for contributing $250,000 to benefit seniors and their transportation. Chairman Jeff Sims received the award on the board’s behalf.

Employee of the Year: Tammy Frye, manager of STEP’s Lincoln Senior Center, who has served over 2,000 seniors over 33 years.

Employee service recognition: 42 STEP employees