United Way presents educator with award

The Lycoming County United Way hosted its annual meeting at the Holiday Inn, Thursday night, to present the Douglas C. Dickey Humanitarian Award to Dr. Oscar W. Knade Jr., the Lycoming County United Way treasure, and retired public school educator.

The award is named in honor of Douglas C. Dickey, a past Lycoming County United Way president, who died in the crash of TWA Flight 800. The award was first presented in 1947 as the Lycoming United Way Award, but was renamed in 1997 to honor Dickey’s memory and his contributions to the local United Way.

Executive Director of the Lycoming County United Way Scott Lowrey spoke about Dickey and the last conversation he had with him. He explained that Dickey called him to tell him that he would have to miss the upcoming board meeting, because he was going to help his wife chaperone students on their trip to France.

“Every time we present the Dickey Award, that memory comes back to me,” Lowrey said.

Each year the award is presented to an individual whose dedication, commitment and leadership has made a significant contribution to the welfare of Lycoming County.

Knade is the 68th person selected for the award. He served school districts in Delaware County, New Jersey and Philadelphia, before settling in the Williamsport area. Knade has a long history of support for the Lycoming County United Way, dating back to his days as superintendent of the Williamsport Area School District. After he retired from the school district, he taught at Penn State University for eight years.

He and his wife, Shirley, who also served as Lycoming United Way Board Secretary for many years, have been active in a number of civic and charitable organizations in Lycoming County including: Preservation Williamsport, Victorian Christmas, Williamsport Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, the James V. Brown Library, Lycoming County American Red Cross, Hope Enterprises, Leadership Lycoming, Meals on Wheels, Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and Lycoming County Historical Society.

Last year’s recipient of the award, Thomas O’Connell, introduced Knade. When Knade took to the podium, he spoke about all the good work the local United Way does in the community and how he felt honored to be a part of it.

“I am truely honored by this recognition,” Knade said.

Knade also gave credit to his wife, because most of the work he has done in the community, he did with her.

“Much of the work we’ve done in Lycoming County the past 40 years, we’ve done together,” Knade said.

Local business were also awarded for their contributions to the United Way at the meeting. Some of the awards received included: Top 25 Employee Campaign, President’s Club, Gold Award, Silver Award, Bronze Award and Forest of Philanthropy. The awards were received based off the amount of contributions the businesses raised for the Lycoming County United Way.

Among the many award winners, Lowrey acknowledged 10 companies that were present at the meeting including: the Kellogg Co., Auto Trakk LLC, M&T Bank, Larson Design Group, Jersey Shore Hospital, Jersey Shore State Bank, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Northwest Savings Bank, Williamsport Crosscutters and Woodlands Bank.

The annual meeting concluded with the new president of the Lycoming County United Way, Dr. William Martin, who will be replacing Mary Wolf, thanking everyone for their support and for coming out to the event.