An exceptional, diverse brotherhood team

With its honorees, the 2019 Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance dinner connected leadership, teamwork and brotherhood in an exceptional way.

The value of sports as a conductor of all those things was an overriding theme of the evening, starting with keynote speaker Frank Girardi, longtime Lycoming College football coach and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame for his achievements. He spoke of how each season a team of diverse players representing all religious, political, ethnic and racial backgrounds would come together under one banner.

P.D. Mitchell, who was honored posthumously for his promotion of brotherhood among races, used sports among his vehicles for decades. Those of a certain age know the indelible mark he left as a promoter of togetherness among people of all backgrounds at a time when our community desperately needed someone to take the mantle of brotherhood.

Brotherhood comes through pathfinders, too. Frank Lupacchino was honored for his work promoting Little League Baseball in Europe and his many years engineering excellence in the St. John Neumann High School athletic program.

Paul Missigman was honored with the Ray Keyes Sports Award — named for the longtime sports editor of the Sun-Gazette — for starting the Williamsport Area High School baseball program 25 years ago.

But not all teams come with uniforms and numbers.

The Blue Star Mothers of American North Cental PA Chapter 12, formed just a few years ago, was honored for the work its members do to support deployed troops, local veterans and Gold Star Families who’ve lost loved ones.

The qualities of brotherhood don’t require special shirts with a name on the back. What they do require is a sense that we are all on one team.

The speaker and honorees at the Brotherhood Alliance all have exemplified that.

And we, as a community, are so very blessed to have folks of the caliber of the honorees living in our midst.

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