Radio/television broadcaster Larry Berg to be recognized with community award
You've most likely heard his voice.
Larry Berg has spent seven decades talking on radio and television telling peoples' stories.
Now, he is the one being discussed.
Berg, of Butler, has been selected as the recipient of the Jean B. Purvis Community Cornerstone Award. He will be honored at a dinner June 15 at Butler Country Club.
The award was established by the Community Health Clinic of Butler County to honor those who have made significant contributions to the well being of the Butler County community through their time, actions, talents and dedication.
The Community Health Clinic of Butler County is a non-profit, community-based volunteer organization established to provide primary healthcare and dental care to individuals who have no or limited health benefits and do not quality for other services.
“I was overwhelmed when they told me about the award,” Berg says. “It was so unexpected. It took me by surprise. I am honored. A lot of people deserve awards and never get them.”
Berg is more than deserving of the recognition, says John Righetti, director of development for Community Health Clinic.
“It was easy to select him because of his service and dedication,” says Righetti. “He has helped us raise funds to start the clinic. He has stepped up in any way we have asked him to and then some.”
Berg, 87, has a resume that includes president of both the Butler County Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Butler. He has served on the following boards -- Visiting Nurses Association of Western Pennsylvania, Maridon Museum in Butler, Butler Memorial Hospital, Alzheimer's Association of Pennsylvania, Moraine Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Lifesteps, American Cancer Society, Butler County Music and Arts Festival, Butler Public Library, Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau and Butler Symphony Association.
He's also received numerous awards and citations such as Butler Junior Man of the Year in 1966, Pennsylvania's Most Outstanding Radio Program about Cancer 1992 by the American Cancer Society and the 2001 Humanitarian Award, Endowment for Butler County.
“The reason I got into the business was to be on-air,” says Berg. “Being on talk shows was the most enjoyable time of my career. I just love it.”
He started working broadcasting at the age of 16 for small station in New York, He moved to Butler in the 1960s to buy a radio station. Berg says he has probably interviewed 40,000 people, including Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney. He still does the show “Faces and Places” on Armstrong Cable. Berg says his passion for interviewing people is based on getting the story – an interesting story – and “asking someone something they have never been asked before.”
When he and his wife came to Butler they didn't know anyone but the people in the community made them feel welcome, he says. In a small town like Butler it's all about the people, where so many of them are so devoted to this community. It's a marvelous place to live, he says.
“I love radio and I had some trepidation about television because I was self-conscious about the way I looked,” Berg says. “It is amazing how many people have seen me on television and comment when they see me.”
Tickets are $125.