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Celebrating the Centennial!

A well-attended summer picnic on July 12, 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the Ruth M. Smith Center. Abundant picnic-style food, guest speakers, and special entertainment from the residents kept the Centennial event fun and festive from beginning to end.

After a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing from the Reverend Doctor Sang Choi, Smith Center residents, staff and board members, and invited guests filled their plates with traditional picnic foods. Pastor Doug Brink and Kurt Lyle, both board members, grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs while other board members helped serve a wide array of casseroles, salads, and cold drinks. Birthday cake was served at the close of the program.

RMSC Board President Diane Miller emceed a fast-moving program as guests finished their meals. The programs featured numerous official proclamations recognizing and honoring the Center’s 100 years of ministry and service—first to orphans, later to at-risk youth, then to the elderly, and today to physically and mentally handicapped residents.

Pennsylvania Senator Scott Hutchinson provided a ‘keynote’ observation saying that Americans are unique for their willingness to step forward to help one another regardless of time, place, or situation. He saluted the Center’s 100 year history of exemplifying that practice. Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston observed the ministry has distinguished itself in its ability to change with the needs people are experiencing at a given time in history. That fact, he explained, warranted respect and support not only on a special day but also in the future.

Brad Moore, representing U.S. Congressman Glenn Thompson, read from a proclamation introduced on July 12th into the U.S. Congressional Record. The proclamation recognized and honored the Ruth M. Smith Center for its years of service to the Sheffield community and those in need throughout the area. LouAnn Munksgard, speaking on behalf of PA Representative Kathy Rapp, spoke briefly, as well. The one hundred or so guests enjoyed memories and reflections from Fred Smith, a former resident from 1944 to 1948 when the Center was ‘home’ for orphans. Mr. Smith reflected on the nurturing care he and others received—a parental type care that allowed him and many other orphans to move forward productively in life.

Greetings and reflections were given also by Madeline Adams, Bob Sokolski, and Board President Diane Miller.

Everyone was treated to Centennial birthday cake while enjoying entertainment by the

Firefly Drumfit Drummers under the direction of YMCA Supervisor, Jenn Goerlich. The five drummers, using drumsticks to strike large plastic balls, played two fast-moving songs,

including the well-recognized “Wipeout.” Christine Brown, Charles Meyerink, Maryanne Lindell, Donna Larson, and Fred Fox were the lively, entertaining drummers. All but Fred are residents of the Ruth Smith Center.

Among the invited guests to the celebration were Sheffield Township supervisors, United Methodist Church personnel, officials from local agencies, and former employees.

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