July 25, 2022
Recipients of the Robert N. Pursel Award for Community Service will be honored at the 2022 Holiday Happenings Gala on Saturday, December 10th at the Pine Barn Inn. The annual event is a fun, festive evening that showcases the community service-oriented citizens in our hometown. Proceeds from Holiday Happenings benefit the Neighbors Helping Neighbors endowment fund of the Community Giving Foundation: Danville. This unrestricted fund supports unmet needs in the Danville community by granting to local nonprofit organizations. Sponsorship opportunities are currently available—visit csgiving.org/holiday-happenings for more information. Individual tickets will go on sale mid-October.
The Holiday Happenings committee is pleased to announce two recipients of the Pursel Award. Joanne and Mike Benjamin, announced as recipients last year, will be honored at the December event due to last year’s event cancellation. The Benjamins have been committed to helping their neighbors for their entire lives and continue to show devotion to the Danville community through much volunteer involvement. They led the planning, organization, and celebration of Holiday Happenings for many years, raising funds to support the unmet needs of local organizations.
The committee will also honor Bill Lavage as a Pursel Award recipient this year. Mr. Lavage moved to Danville in 1981 to lead the Geisinger Employees Federal Credit Union. Under his leadership, the organization became Service 1st Federal Credit Union, and grew to over $620 million in assets and 11 locations throughout the region. It has grown from a business of 4 employees to 75 employees in Danville and 124 system wide.
One of the seven core values that guide the Service 1st team is “support community”, and Mr. Lavage leads this value by example. His board membership, service, and leadership with community organizations have included: Danville Area Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Montour Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Danville Area Little League, St. Joseph’s CYO Basketball Team, Danville Area Community Center, Danville Area Community Foundation, Danville Business Alliance, Columbia-Montour Partnership for Community Development, Montour Area Recreation Commission, ThinkBIG, Going Gold Pediatric Cancer Awareness Campaign, and the Iron Heritage Festival.
For full biographies on the Benjamins and Mr. Lavage, visit csgiving.org/holiday-happenings. The committee looks forward to honoring these deserving individuals at the event in December.
Community Giving Foundation: Danville is an affiliate of the Community Giving Foundation, which manages over 320 charitable funds and makes grant investments throughout the region to improve the quality of life in the Central Susquehanna area. For more information, visit csgiving.org or call the Foundation at 570-752-3930.