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Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance to honor 4 recipients; annual dinner slated for May

The honorees will be given tributes for their outstanding community roles, but there will not be an annual Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance dinner.

Two individuals were nominated to receive the alliance’s highest honor the William Picklener Award this year, and they are the Rev. Gwen Bernstine, and Barry Rake.

Berstine is a longstanding ecumenical champion and retired executive director of the United Churches of Lycoming County.

Rake is a life insurance agent who has served his industry and community in numerous capacities though out his career.

“Rev. Bernstine recognizes the need for strong and healthy relationships and enjoys watching those bonds grow to strengthen our community,” said Dawn Astin, secretary of the alliance.

“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, Rev. Bernstine encourages each person to be the best person God has dreamed them to be.”

Additionally, Berstine’s ministry includes leading discussions, campus ministry at Pennsylvania College of Technology and providing advocacy for all those she encounters.

She has served with multiple community groups that advocate for the uplifting of the masses regardless of socio and economic status.

At the age of 10, Rake went through struggles but said he was touched by members of his community who assisted them 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.”

Rake 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, Children’s Development Center, Hope Enterprises, Williampsort Nittany Booster Club, while currently serving on the board of the NAMI North Central PA Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Rake is active with his local United Methodist Church. While rake has served with several political campaigns one of his greatest accomplishments was the facilitation of the “Say No To Drugs” campaign and “Too Smart To Start” sponsored by West Branch Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission dispensing over 13,000 reusable water bottles. The campaign was for youth ages 5-13 in Lycoming County.

In 2015, Rake was appointed to the board of directors of Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance and elected president in 2020.

His great love of baseball is evident through 55 years as a Little League volunteer, eight years coaching and 47 years umpiring for Little League Baseball/Softball as well as other numerous rolls within the sport.

Over the years, Rake’s received many awards that celebrate his original passion to help others in his community and one of his greatest honors was being inducted into his high school Hall of Fame in 2014 (Warrior Run High School).

Nominated to receive the 2020 Ray Keyes Sports Award is John Brink of Muncya. Brink boasts a five-year Little League career and went on to play intermediate baseball for three years as well as American Legion baseball for three years and three years on the Muncy town team in the West Branch League. 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 United States Army with a tour in Vietnam.

Inducted in 2015 into the Muncy High School Athletic Hall-of-Fame Brink has coached nearly one thousand student athletes in Muncy over the last five decades, with emphasis on team work, sportsmanship, fair play, dedication and responsibility.

He coached Muncy varsity girls basketball for 22 years, 1985-2007, with a 299-251 record, capturing the Class AA District title in 1993 and the Class A Districts title in 2001. 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. He was the elementary boys basketball coordinator from 1978-88 and the Muncy girls basketball coordinator from 1981-2007. Brink will be the varsity JV coach this coming season.

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 districts 12 and 13.

Brink was the recipient of the Thomas A. Kline Sportsmanship Award for 1997-98 and 2005-6, awarded by PIAA Basketball Officials (Lycoming Chapter). He was also named Mid-Penn League, Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993 and 2001.

A new award that was introduced during 2020 by the LCBA Board of Directors was named the 2020 Unsung Hero Award.

This award was created for individuals practicing acts of “brotherhood” in everyday living; individuals not working or serving in positions that are set up to receive recognition.

The Unsung Hero Award is an award for someone that was quietly making an impact into the lives of others through unselfish, kind and generous acts. We are excited to announce that our first nominee and award recipient for the Unsung Hero Aware is 11 years old, Aly Creasy, and her mother Kristy of Aly’s Monkey Movement.

Aly was experiencing a tough time in her life that resulted in a visit to the emergency room. It was during this scary and apprehensive visit her Nana gave her a stuffed monkey for comfort. It made such an impact on Aly that she wanted to do the same for other children that found themselves in a scary or similar situation.

For her 10th birthday Aly decided that instead of receiving gifts, she wanted to raise money to purchase monkeys to give to children going through a difficult time. At the time of this nomination in 2020 and with her mother Kristy in total support of her mission, Aly had given out over 850 monkeys and her goal was to deliver 1,500 more by her 11th birthday.

So many children have found kindness from this simple act and their stories can be found on Aly’s Monkey Movement on Facebook. To refer a child to receive a monkey one can register on Aly’s website at www.alysmonkeys.org. To support Aly’s Monkey Movement there are support shirts, hats, stickers and vehicle decals that are also available for purchase at this same website. Aly and her mother Kristy Creasy were nominated for the Unsung Hero Award by Rachelle Eddy.

These above mentioned recipients were to be awarded during the 2020 LCBA Annual Brotherhood Awards Banquet however, the prestigious dinner was postponed in 2020 due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. A new date to recognize the 2020 award recipients as well as new nominees is being planned for May 2022.

The Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance Board of Directors consists of Barry Rake, President, Lee Miller, Vice President, Joseph Girio, Treasurer, Cody Hoover, Secretary, Dawn Astin, Debbie Hurwitz, Lester Loner, Phil Preziosi, Anthony Seagraves and Connie Tobias.

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