Evangelical Community Hospital Holds Inaugural Event to Honor Community Givers

November 22, 2022


On National Philanthropy Day, November 15, 2022, Evangelical Community Hospital held its inaugural Evangelical Honors the Community banquet at Rusty Rail Brewing Company, Mifflinburg. The event was designed as an outward sign of appreciation for way the Hospital and the community work together to build a place where people want to live, work, and raise families.

A strong and vibrant community is built upon multiple pillars—basic services and infrastructure, economic development, business and nonprofit organizations, leadership and elected officials, healthcare, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, and education.

Opening the event, Kendra Aucker, President and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital stated, “We are honored to be able to recognize and appreciate some of our most extraordinary community members, who have influenced one or more of the foundational community pillars through their own philanthropy, leadership, and service.”

Setting the tone for the event, guest speaker Barbara Hudock, Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner of the Hudock Capital Group, LLC, spoke to attendees about the benefits of giving, not in the traditional sense of benefits but in the feelings of accomplishment it evokes when knowing that what is contributed—funds, time, commitment—creates the betterment of a bigger picture, making a difference where a difference can be made.

Receiving the very first Lifetime Achievement Award was James Apple. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated more than 20 years of service as a volunteer and philanthropist to Evangelical Community Hospital and the greater community. In addition to involvement with the Boy Scouts of America Susquehanna Council, Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA Board of Directors, Gettysburg College Board of Trustees, and Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Apple joined the Hospital’s Board of Directors in 1967.

Aucker stated in her presentation, “Evangelical has been serving the community for 96 years and Jim has served it 57% of the time it’s been in existence.” She shared how over those years, Apple has provided leadership to the Board and the future direction of the Hospital, as well as gifts that have supported both patients and the workforce.

“Kindness is Jim’s superpower, and he espouses it every day. Whether he recognizes it or not, it is a force that has changed the lives around him for the better. From his example, I have learned that kindness is really an act of courage that matters. Kindness is life changing. And it is kindness that binds us together like nothing else,” said Aucker. 

Other awards given recognizing contributions to the Hospital and the community-at-large were:

Philanthropist of the Year–

  • Gloria Faylor Karchner
  • Philanthropy Advocate of the Year– W. Gale Reish, MD
  • Physician Philanthropist of the Year– John P. Furia, MD, SUN Orthopaedics of Evangelical
  • Business Philanthropist of the Year– Silvertip, Inc.
  • Young Philanthropist of the Year– Kylie Kuhns, Kelsey’s Dream
  • Community Service Award of the Year– Emily Gorski, DIG Furniture Bank

President’s Awards –

  • Robert Gronlund (presented to wife, DeOnne Gronlund, in his memory)
  • Dale Miller
  • Joseph McGranaghan
  • U.S. Representative Fred Keller
  • Milton Fire Department, Inc.

“The work of building a vibrant community is never done. Those we are honoring today are examples of individuals who are keeping a hopeful future in front of us. These are hard times but also extraordinary ones. We must remember, revive, and celebrate the principles that built our communities,” Aucker said as she closed the event.

The Evangelical Honors the Community banquet will be continued annually in the future.

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