Being a staple in both the Williamsport and Jewish communities and giving whatever they could to help others, Jean and Marvin Staiman were honored Sunday at Congregation Ohev Sholom by more than 150 people.
The tribute dinner highlighted the couple's careers, their involvement in community groups and work with helping anyone they could. A slideshow of the couple's life together showed how the two grew from their marriage to seeing children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Ken Sawyer, who was the master of ceremonies, called the Williamsport natives "two of the greatest people our community has ever known."
Marvin Staiman, left, listens as his wife, Jean, speaks during a dinner Sunday honoring the couple for their contributions to the community.
The idea to recognize the Staimans came to Cliff Rieders, president of the congregation, after spending time at another function where the couple was honoring others. He told the audience that he said to someone at the function, "Don't you think it's time that we honor them?"
Rieders said everyone he told about the dinner had a great deal of enthusiasm about it and were willing to help in any way they could.
"Everyone has high regards for who they are and what they do," Rieders said.
Marvin has served as the president of the Greater Williamsport Chamber of Commerce, president of Hope Enterprises among other positions.
Marvin also spoke about how he and Jean held a fundraiser and contributed to the construction of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
"I can't recall a time when he said, 'No,' to anything," Jean said.
Marvin credits his mother with teaching him the value of helping others.
But Jean, who Marvin remembered their first encounter as "love at first sight in the third grade," also shaped who he is.
"Jean introduced me to love, marriage, our family," he said.
Along with remarks from State Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, Mayor Gabriel Campana declared a proclamation that today be known as Marvin and Jean Staiman Day in the city of Williamsport.
"This is a community event and they have made a contribution that has touched virtually everyone here," Yaw said.
Jean said that they understand how lucky they've been in life and don't take anything for granted.
"We have a lot to be thankful for and we say our blessings every day," she said.