Marvin and Jean Staiman shared the spotlight Sunday - although unknowingly at first - with 2013 Central Pennsylvania State of Israel Bonds award recipients Virgil Probasco and Carol Savoy.
Calling it a "switcharoo," the couple - who will celebrate their 66th anniversary this year - also were honored at the Community Arts Center's Capitol Lounge among family, friends and community leaders for their dedication to supporting Israel bonds.
The bonds, which are purchased as investments by individuals, corporations, banks and other institutions, are used to strengthen Israel's national infrastructure development.
In a surprise move Sunday night, Marvin and Jean Staiman were recognized along with Virgil Probasco and Carol Savoy for their support of Israel Bonds, which are used to strengthen Israel’s national infrastructure. Above from left are Jean Staiman, Savoy, Probasco and Marvin Staiman.
In what has been recognized as their unassuming nature, the Staimans were thankful for the award but quickly moved to honor the evening's other award recipients.
"It's really been an honor for us to do something to help our beloved Israel," Jean said.
Savoy, who was honored with the Lion of Judah Award from the bonds organization for her work with local nonprofit organizations and fundraising efforts, noted how it took Moses 40 years to lead his people out of Egypt.
"Marvin and Jean have been working for Israel and hosting this event for 55 years. I think that's 15 more years of work than Moses did," she joked.
The Staimans have served a combined 47 boards of directors with local nonprofit organizations and have had a hand in 23 major fundraising campaigns, J. Michael Wiley said as he told the audience about the couple's community involvement.
"If records are kept for community service, Marvin and Jean are first-ballot hall of famers," he said. "Quite frankly, it is hard to find a major community organization or a not-for-profit in our area that has not benefited from the involvement of Marvin and Jean Staiman over the years. What these two remarkable people have been able to accomplish over the years is worthy of our recognition."
The couple also received proclamations from U.S. Rep. Thomas A. Marino, R-Cogan Station, and state Reps. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township; Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport; and Garth Everett, R-Muncy.
Harold Marcus, executive director of the Philadelphia office of Israel Bonds, praised the Staimans for their dedication to support the organization and presented them with a sculpture from Maryland artist Gary Rosenthal that depicts religious emblems on a three-tiered Jewish totem pole.
"I can honestly say that in the 32 years I've been with Israel Bonds, there are no two individuals in any community in this region - in the Pennsylvania region - who have single-handedly been successful and as hands-on as Marvin and Jean," Marcus said. "Please know how much you are loved by the people in this room and in the community."