Derry volunteer, 92, wins applause
President Andy Stofan said if the Latrobe Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner was the Oscars, Louis V. Kasperik certainly would have earned the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 92-year-old retired Derry pharmacist and former Latrobe Area Hospital board member was honored with the annual Community Service Award by the chamber on Oct. 3 at the “Hooray for Hollywood” dinner in the Fred M. Rogers Center at St. Vincent College in Unity.
“We're proud to present that (award) to one of Derry's most outstanding and caring citizens,” Stofan said
Kasperik, who was given a standing ovation before accepting the honor, said he appreciated the award and encouraged others to volunteer.
“All my life, I will preach the fact that by giving back to your community and giving back to other people in any way that you could is the way to do it because that comes back many-fold to you,” he said.
Kasperik is a World War II veteran who played professional basketball. He was involved in the development of Derry's Community Center, senior housing development, swimming pool and other recreational facilities.
When Kasperik finished his remarks, he was given another standing ovation and a citation from state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Oklahoma, who commended him as a “fabulous resource” for his service and knowledge of the community and its history.
Guests at the dinner included representatives from 16 businesses recognized for their growth or investment during the last year with “LACCy” awards.
Champagne was served during cocktail hour, and photos were taken on a red carpet outside the center as guests arrived.
Each table represented a film with a connection to the Pittsburgh area, some of which were mentioned during the keynote address by Jessica Conner of the Pittsburgh Film Office.
Conner spoke about the history of the office, a nonprofit organization that markets Southwestern Pennsylvania as a location for film and TV productions.
Films featuring Westmoreland County include soon-to-be-released “Promiseland,” shot in Delmont, and “Jack Reacher” starring Tom Cruise.
Pittsburgh's connection to the film industry stretches back to 1914, when a film called “The Perils of Colleen” was shot in the city, she said.
Stars such as Christian Bale, Viola Davis and Anne Hathaway have visited Southwestern Pennsylvania just in the last few years, Conner said.
“When you hear that list, it's hard to believe these names have shot on-location in our area and walked the streets in our city over the last couple years. They've shopped in our stores, they lived in our hotels and dined in our restaurants,” she said.
Begun in 1990, the Pittsburgh Film Office has attracted 190 productions, including 42 major productions since 2007, when the Pennsylvania film tax credit was introduced, she said.
For every $1 invested in the film office, $121 in new spending is generated through the film and TV productions, Conner said.
A “road closed” sign for a film shoot, although inconvenient, means jobs for local people, including crew, vendors and extras, she said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.