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Volunteers, business of year to receive Armstrong Chamber of Commerce awards

| Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010

Twila Williams is always telling everyone how much she likes being around people.

That's a good thing if you're the second oldest of nine children.

It's good, too, if you've given more than 3,300 volunteer hours since becoming an ACMH Hospital volunteer in 2000, helping patients and staff in the cancer center, and in the skilled nursing unit and outpatient surgery unit, along with doing fundraising.

Being around people is a good way to earn the Armstrong Chamber of Commerce 2010 "Volunteer Citizen of the Year" award, which is just what Williams has done.

"Twila Williams is a very generous and caring volunteer, sharing her time unselfishly to help other people," said Geraldine Hansotte, ACMH Hospital volunteer services liaison, in nominating Williams. "Her volunteer activities span so many aspects of her life, and she is an inspiration to those of us who know her."

The 2010 presentations will take place at the annual luncheon meeting of the Kittanning Country Club on Wednesday.

Williams will receive her award along with 2010 "Business of the Year" Farmers and Merchants Bank and co-winners for the 2010 "Junior Volunteer Citizen of the Year," Brandon Harriger and Tarah Stewart.

"Twila loves to organize people, events and fundraising activities," Hansotte said.

During the past six years, her fundraising efforts have resulted in more than $140,000 for the hospital, according to Hansotte.

Williams' volunteering, in addition to programs associated with the hospital, includes the Chicora Alliance Church. There, she is choir director, helps with summer Bible school and chairs the Winter Tea, the Mother-Daughter Banquet, the Sweetheart Dinner and Fall Outreach Dinner. She also helps with funeral dinners and monthly community outreach dinners.

Stewart and Harriger tied for the "Junior Volunteer of the Year" award. Both volunteer with many organizations.

Stewart, a student at West Shamokin High School, is a volunteer for the American Diabetes Association, Camp Sunshine and Leo Club activities such as food drives, collections for soldiers and Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless. She organized a fundraiser for a patient who needed a liver transplant and raised $6,000.

Harriger is a student at the Lenape Technical School. He is a junior firefighter with Ford Cliff Fire Department and has been involved with the Armstrong County Reality Tour Drug Awareness Prevention Program. He has volunteered at the New Life Center Church's free community Thanksgiving dinner for the past three years and recently at the church's community soup kitchen.

The list is three pages long naming all of the events sponsored and organizations donated to in 2009 by the recipient of the 2010 "Business of the Year," Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Farmers and Merchants Bank officials said they are very serious about helping out in the community, whether through the renovations at the main office in downtown Kittanning that enhance the community or through the volunteerism efforts of their employees.

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