Ken Vogel, bus contractor for the Weatherly Area School District, was recently honored at an Appreciation Dinner held at Capriotti's in Tresckow. Approximately 115 residents of the school district, along with family members and friends, attended the dinner honoring Vogel for his 50-plus years of dedication and service to the district.
The evening began with a welcome from Packer Township Supervisor William Swinesburg, master of ceremonies, followed by invocation by Lawrence Suravicz, also a Packer Township Supervisor. Susie Gerhard, chairman of the Vogel Appreciation Dinner Committee, provided the history of Vogel and his bus company before a presentation was given to Vogel from the committee. Also honored was Jim Faust, who has been employed for Vogel Bus Company since its inception in 1959.
Carbon County Commissioner Tom J. Gerhard presented Vogel with a citation from the Carbon County Commissioners. Remarks were given by Commissioner Gerhard, Supervisors Larry Suravicz and Bill Swinesburg, former Carbon County Commissioner Tom C. Gerhard, Tom McLaughlin, Superintendent of the Weatherly Area School District and several residents, praising Vogel for his dedication, service and generosity to the school district.
Vogel started driving school bus in 1949 for the Billig Bus Company. In 1959, he started the business of transporting school students from Packer Township to the Weatherly School. His fleet was one bus and one driver, Jim Faust.
In1965, the company expanded with two new buses, after a four-year contract was negotiated with the Weatherly Area School Board. Two more buses were added in 1971. Currently, the Vogel fleet is composed of five in service buses, 5 spare buses, one mini bus and two vans.
During this time, Vogel also worked at Tung-Sol and started a charter coach business with charter trips for various organizations and transported workers to Tobyhanna Army Depot for approximately five years. He also started the White Water bus runs, transporting rafters for ten plus years. The charter business was dissolved in 1989.
Vogel employs five drivers, one mechanic/driver, one substitute driver and one bookkeeper/secretary. He also keeps his school bus driver's license current for those unexpected times when his driving experience is needed
He also owns a state certified inspection station, which has been in operation for 40-plus years.
A plaque noting his years of dedicated service was presented to him, then placed in the Weatherly Elementary School lobby.