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Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance honors five

Top row from left: John Brink, Rev. Gwen Bernstein and Barry Rake. Bottom from left: Ron Insinger and District Judge Allen Page III

Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance will honor five community members for their service at its annual citation banquet May 4 — two with the Ray Keyes Sports Award, three with Pickelner Brotherhood Citation Awards.

It will be the first citation banquet since 2019. Ann Weiss will be the keynote speaker. Weiss, the daughter of two survivors from Poland, a region that is now in Ukraine, is an author and founder/director of Eyes from the Ashes Educational Foundation, Weiss has interviewed hundred of Holocaust Survivors in an effort to identify pre-war photos found in a locked room in Auschwitz — photos that Hitler never wanted anyone to see. Her research of these precious photographs that Jews carried into Auschwitz, when they believed they would be worked, not murdered, resulted in a traveling exhibition, a film, many seminars and her book. Copies of her book, The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau will be on sale for $30 a copy at the event.

Tickets can be reserved by April 25 by calling Connie Tobias at 570-447-2182 or Kent Bennet and Associates at 570-244-5184.

The organization promotes “understanding, tolerance and community harmony through brotherhood,” according to its website.

Nominated to receive the Ray Keyes Sports Award is John Brink of Muncy. Graduating from Muncy High School in 1966 and Goldey-Beacon Business College in Wilmington, Delaware in 1968, Brink served his country through three years of service in the U.S. Army with a tour in Vietnam. Inducted in 2015 into the Muncy High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Brink has coached nearly 1,000 student-athletes in Muncy over the last five decades, emphasizing teamwork, sportsmanship, fair play, dedication and responsibility, a news release said. He coached Muncy varsity girls basketball for 22 years, from 1985 to 2007 with a 299-251 record. Brink was selected as Coach of the Year twice and is a two-time recipient of District IV’s Coaches Sportsmanship award as honored by the local referee chapter. Brink has coached Muncy Little League for 47 years, accumulating more than 400 wins and 13 league titles. He coached several all-star teams in both district 12 and 13. Brink was the recipient of the Thomas A. Kline Sportsmanship Award for 1997-98 and 2005-6, awarded by the Lycoming County chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials.

Ron Insinger also is nominated for a Ray Keyes Sports Award.

In 48 years of guiding the Loyalsock Township High School basketball teams, Ron Insinger’s teams have won a combined 1,090 games. As coach of the boy’s team those totals include 1,010 wins, 39 twenty-win seasons, 31 league titles, 25 district championships and the crowning achievement of winning the PIAA AAA state tournament in 2021. He became the first boys’ basketball coach in Pennsylvania to accomplish this task. His win total puts Insinger into the top 25 winningest high school basketball coaches of all time, and in the top dozen active high school boys’ basketball coaches nationwide.

While his coaching accolades have made headlines, Insinger’s behind-the-scenes concerns for others have also been of championship caliber, the news release said. He has supported numerable charitable organizations including a longtime member of the former Lycoming County United Way Home Run Team and extended numerable acts of kindness to individuals facing difficult times. He provides annual scholarships to graduating Loyalsock seniors based upon academic achievements, need and athletic ability. During the 45 years he has operated a summer basketball program he has never turned an inspiring camper away who couldn’t afford to attend.

The Rev. Gwen Bernstine. Barry Rake and Allen Page III are nominated for William Pickelner Brotherhood Citation Awards.

Bernstine is well known for her recent and long-standing role as ecumenical leader and retired executive director of United Churches of Lycoming County. Bernstine recognizes the need for strong and healthy relationships and enjoys watching those bonds grow to strengthen our community, the news release said. She finds inspiration in the quiet courage and loving actions of others each and every day. Through her writing, a daily telephone devotion line, public speaking and leading worship services in nursing homes and the county prison, Bernstine encourages each person to be the best person God has dreamed them to be. Her ministry also includes leading discussions, a campus ministry at Pennsylvania College of Technology, and advocating for all those she encounters.

Rake was deeply and forever touched by individuals of area communities who assisted the family through some very difficult times. Early in his adult life, Rake decided that he wanted to pass the same compassion he had been shown onto others in his community through unending acts of “brotherhood.” Barry has served in numerous capacities and organizations such as the Montgomery Positive Action Committee, Montgomery Area Arthritis Foundation, Montgomery Lions Club, Montgomery Centennial Committee, Lycoming County United Way, Watson Township Concerned Citizens, Watson Township supervisors, Children’s Development Center, Hope Enterprises and Williamsport Nittany Lion Booster Club, while currently serving on the board of the NAMI North Central PA Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the Lycoming County Children’s Development Center. Barry is active with his local St John’s Newberry United Methodist Church as well as the School of the Arts. In 2015 Rake was appointed to the board of directors of Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance and elected president in 2020. Rake’s great love of baseball is evident through his 55 years as a Little League volunteer, eight years coaching and 47 years umpiring for Little League Baseball/Softball, as well as other numerous roles within the sport.

Page was born and raised in Williamsport, a member of a distinguished family with deep roots in the community. He graduated from Williamsport High School, then attended and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, majoring in criminal justice. He returned home and started working as a member of the Lycoming County Adult Probation staff for three years. He was involved with the establishment of the community service program for adult offenders and volunteered time as a member of Friends of the Court and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. He worked in real estate from 1979 to 1986 with Peggy L’hreaux Real Estate. While there he participated in the appraisal of the Divine Providence Hospital prior to its inclusion in the Susquehanna Health System. He was elected as district judge in 1988 and served for six terms before retiring in 2020. In 2015 he earned the “Themis” award for lifetime achievement as a Magisterial District Judge. Following his retirement he serves as a Senior Magisterial District Judge. Page is very active in the community, according to the news release. Among his activities are: memberships on the Board of the River Valley YMCA, Tressler Lutheran Services (Diakon), Pine Street United Methodist Church Leadership Committee and Chairman of the Pine Street United Methodist Church Foundation.

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