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"Food For Thought"
ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth to Honour Stanley and Audrey Merves with Community Leadership Award at “Food for Thought” on May 5, 2013
Bryn Mawr: ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth, a 501 c-3 organization that helps seniors and disabled individuals remain living in their homes by providing a wide array of free volunteer and social work services, will honour Stanley and Audrey Merves with the 2013 Community Leadership Award at their Spring Event, “Food for Thought,” to be held on Sunday, May 5, 2013 from 3-5 pm at Appleford in Villanova. The event will celebrate ElderNet’s volunteer work, as well as ElderNet’s Ada Mutch Community Resource Food Pantry, open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which gave out over 63 tons of food in 2012. Marc Howard will serve as Master of Ceremonies and the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia will entertain. There will be spectacular silent auction.
Also honoured at the event will be Joan Toenniessen and Susan Greenspon, former and current editors of The Main Line Times, and St. Christopher’s Church in Gladwyne.
Community Leadership Award: Audrey and Stanley Merves, both as individuals and as a couple, exemplify the finest in volunteer service. They have had extremely successful careers. Audrey was a staff writer for NBC television, on the Tex and Jinx show, one of the first coast to coast live TV shows. She was an assistant producer in the television industry. She also worked in the textile business, where she was one of very few women selling to both chain and department stores. Audrey was head of Volunteer Services at Temple University, and ended her very varied career by serving as a travel agent for 20 years in the Philadelphia area. Stanley is a Certified Public Accountant, and is one of the founding shareholders of The Franklin Mint. Both Audrey and Stanley Merves serve as trustees of the Gilroy and Lillian P. Roberts Charitable Foundation.
Audrey received a B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Art History. She sits on the Library Board of Temple University, and the Board of the Walnut Street Theatre. She served on the Board of the University of Pennsylvania Jewish Studies Program and as President of the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center.
Stanley is a graduate of West Philadelphia High School (he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2002). He has a B.S. from Temple University (he received the Conwell Award in 2002) and has his CPA certificate. He is recognized as an expert witness in both Federal District and Tax Courts. Stanley serves on a number of Boards, including The Bryn Mawr Hospital, The Chapel of the Four Chaplains, The Harriton Association, of which he is the Treasurer, ElderNet’s Community Advisory Council, and Temple Adath Israel.
Audrey continues her involvement in community and synagogue volunteer efforts. In retirement, Stanley spends much of his time in charitable endeavors, helping educate the young and helping to care for the elderly, “of which class,” he says, “I am a member.”
Good Neighbor Award: Begun many years ago when Joan Toenniessen was Managing Editor of The Main Line Times, “Operation Holiday” raises funds for ElderNet’s Emergency Fund. “Operation Holiday” runs in the paper (and now online) from Thanksgiving until December. ElderNet staff provide vignettes of clients’ served, the Editor writes a column asking readers to donate whatever they can afford to help neighbors in need, and generous readers of The Main Line Times send in contributions. Best of all, every cent donated stays in the community to help neighbors whom readers may never meet but who all live in Lower Merion or Narberth. Joan Connor was a correspondent, reporter and then 19-year editor of the paper from 1976 to 1995. Joan moved to Editor of News of Delaware County, until she retired in 2004. Joan was one of nine children of Mike and Marion Connor and grew up in Berwyn and Paoli. She graduated from T-E High School (now Conestoga) and Syracuse University School of Journalism. She resides in Drexel Hill with her husband, Lowell. They raised four children and are enjoying 11 grandchildren. Joan has been a member of Ardmore Rotary Club since 1990 and was the Club’s first woman president in 1998-99.
Susan Greenspon has been with The Main Line Times and News of Delaware County since she was hired by Joan Toenniessen in 1983. Susan has been Managing Editor of Main Line Suburban Life, The Main Line Times, and The King of Prussia Courier since 2008. Susan has continued the “Operation Holiday” initiative started by Joan in The Main Line Times and carried on by all of the editors between. Susan has lived in Ardmore since 1983. She is married to lifelong Ardmore resident, Joseph Odorisio, Jr., and is the mother of three daughters, who all attended Lower Merion District Schools. Says Susan, “Working for community newspapers has been my passion for over 30 years. I’m lucky to work with a polished team of professionals.” Susan’s wish is that “The Main Line Times and its sister papers that have served their communities for generations are around for many years to come.” ElderNet and the beneficiaries of “Operation Holiday” resoundingly agree!
Community Good Neighbor Award: The mission at St. Christopher’s Church, Gladwyne, is “To provide a thoughtful and active community of faith, fellowship, and ministry.” With about five hundred members, the parish is large enough to inspire a sense of community and small enough so that new members feel immediately at home. The worship is thoughtful, the music inspired, the learning is ongoing, and appreciation of one another is constant.
St. Christopher’s maintains an active Outreach program designed to improve the lives of disadvantaged people and also to facilitate the operation of numerous groups working for the good of the community. The centerpiece of the Outreach effort is our program that provides grants to organizations that work to alleviate hunger and poverty, as well as to those that provide services to young people, the elderly, the sick, the homeless, and victims of disaster. In 2012, grants were made to twenty-one different groups, including ElderNet. St. Christopher’s has long been an enthusiastic supporter of ElderNet and the programs that it fosters to benefit so many members of the local community.
Two of the most dedicated members of the Outreach program recently left St. Christopher’s. The Reverend William H. Wood III retired after twenty-one years as our well-loved Rector. St. Christopher’s commitment to Outreach has been inspired by Reverend Wood’s superb leadership as well as by the wonderfully generous and caring spirit of the late Reverend Mary E. Laney, beloved Parish Associate for the past seven years, who was also a passionate believer in the importance of community outreach.
Committee co-chairs are Patricia Cosgrave and Jane Carton, both of Haverford. For tickets or more information, please contact Paula Troy at 610.525.0706 or email [email protected].