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The beloved Fred Rogers professed, "It's easy to say, 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."
And so it was in the spirit of Mr. Rogers and local heroes that PBS39 held the Good Neighbor Celebration on Wednesday, March 30 at the PPL Public Media Center at PBS39. Two Lehigh Valley-based corporate partners and three local individuals were honored with awards, while PBS39 Board members, major donors, community partners, and other friends attended the Celebration.
Good Neighbor Award recipients included: PPL; Air Products; Barry Dobil, Co-owner of Josh Early Candies; Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board; and Joseph Martocci, PBS39 retiree with 47 years of service.
PPL believes their success as a company is tied to the success of all the towns and cities they serve. On October 1, 2015, PPL partnered with PBS39, and secured the naming rights to the PBS39 building. This has allowed PBS39 to expand core initiatives that include: creating more local productions; expanding educational programs; launching strategic partnerships with educational organizations; and providing digital communications for local students.
"We are privileged to play a role in furthering PBS39's mission to educate, entertain and inspire the public," said William Spence, PPL CEO. "We can't think of a more worthy goal."
Air Products has built customer and community relationships that stand the test of time. The company has earned a reputation around the world for integrity and accountability. At PBS39, Air Products is the lead partner for the 2015/2016 educational initiative "Full STEAM Ahead!"-- a multi-faceted campaign that teaches children all about science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math through classroom, community, and on-air outreach.
Barry Dobil is committed to serving others. He is part of the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army of the Greater Lehigh Valley and was named the honorary chairman of the Red Kettle Campaign in 2014. In 2016, the Salvation Army celebrates its 150th anniversary and thanks to Dobil's commitment to championing a cause, a documentary about the Salvation Army is currently in production and will be completed in May.
Nancy Dischinat has helped thousands of people in the Lehigh Valley find rewarding careers that help them live better lives. She has more than 30 years of experience aligning workforce development with economic development, education, and the community. She also helped develop the Lehigh Valley Business/Education Partnership, a collaboration that helps align school districts with career preparation and pathways.
Joseph Martocci spent a lifetime supporting the efforts of PBS39. During his 47-year tenure as an engineer, he literally helped build the station from electronic parts. Martocci was instrumental in the production of thousands of local sporting events in the 1970s, including Lehigh wrestling, football, and basketball. He also engineered national PBS programs like the Fourth of July Celebrations in Boston and Washington.
"Thanks to the support of our 'Good Neighbors,' PBS39 remains actively connected to our community through culture, music, arts, and education," said Tim Fallon, PBS39 CEO. "The largest impacts are made when organizations and individuals band together to further their missions and we are seeing the results of that synergy here in the Greater Lehigh Valley."