Wolfe’s General Store among Champions of the PA Wilds Awards winners

ROB HINKAL/Sun-Gazette Wolfe’s General Store, a Lycoming County business located in Slate Run, was among the winner of the 2021 Champions of the PA Wilds Award, winning 2021 Business of the Year. The award was presented by LaKeshia Knarr, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Director at PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship.

A Lycoming County business, Wolfe’s General Store, is among the winners of the 2021 Champions of the PA Wilds Awards, winning the 2021 Business of the Year Award.

Tom and Debbie Finkbiner owned and operated Wolfe’s General Store in Slate Run on Pine Creek for 45 years and recently sold it to a local couple, Kim and Tom Kozlowski, who will continue to operate both the general store and the famous Slate Run Tackle Shop, according to a news release.

The Tackle Shop became a very strong asset for trout fishermen who were attracted from all over the Eastern U.S. Tom helped to lead the citizen support for the formal designation of portions of Pine Creek and several other tributary streams as Wild Trout Exceptional Value stream by the state Fish and Boat Commission. Deb operated and managed the General Store, offering all the supplies that campers and fishermen and visitors needed.

“Together they were a treasure trove of important information and help for visitors and input to Township and Lycoming County Planning deliberations,” the news release said. “They own a home in the Pine Creek Valley just north of Slate Run and can be seen daily helping the new owners at the store. The economic impact for the Pine Creek Valley and even beyond has been measurably enhanced by the Finkbiners’ enterprise and gracious demeanor. Tom has advocated to develop a section of Pine Creek now known as ‘the stretch’ in which trophy trout are stocked in addition to state Fish and Boat Commission stockings. This has attracted fishermen from all over the country. Tom has formed a 501(c)(3) organization which fishermen can donate to and their mission is to stock above average German brown trout several times during the season.”

Two entries from Clinton County — artist Bill Crowell and the LH Jams and Art on Main Street Festival — also won Artisan of the Year and Event of the Year, respectively.

“It’s a full afternoon of music, art, and entertainment that flows into the evening where jazz and blues fans enjoy combos playing in intimate settings at local establishments,” the news release said of the festival.

Crowell uses his creative photography and graphic design skills both professionally and personally to celebrate the PA Wilds region and the beauty, bounty and rural traditions for which the region is known, according to the news release.

“We are so incredibly excited to honor the recipients of these nine awards,” Ta Enos, founder and CEO of the PA Wilds Center, said, according to the news release. “The artists, entrepreneurs and volunteers involved in these pursuits have shown pride in our region and commitment to our natural assets and communities.”


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