Community Spirit Award
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Gary Fedorcha, right, accepts "The 17th Annual Spirit Award" from Jason Breidinger, left, president of the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, at a dinner Monday at the Terrace Restaurant in Walnutport.
For as long as anyone can remember, he's always been a mover and a shaker.
A community activist with a vision toward the future, Gary Fedorcha has earned another accolade to add to his mantle.
That's because the Washington Township resident is the proud recipient of the 17th annual Community Spirit Award.
Fedorcha was presented with the award on behalf of the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce at a dinner Monday at the Terrace Restaurant.
Jason Breidinger, president of the GNLCC, said the organization, as well as he, have benefited from Fedorcha's presence.
"He saw the broader picture, and could see further down the line," Breidinger said. "His family has really made that commitment with him."
Breidinger said he's been proud to walk in Fedorcha's footsteps.
"Gary has made me a better individual and better member of the Chamber of Commerce," he said. "It's really been a privilege for me to know Gary, who I've had the luck and time to follow."
Fedorcha's daughter, Kori Dibilio, and sons, Kyle and Kody Fedorcha, also heaped praise on their father, while his wife, Lynne, and brother-in-law, Bill Merluzzi, also shared insight.
"He is so giving and so involved and caring about so many aspects," Lynne Fedorcha said. "I know he gets it; he gets the big picture."
Chamber member Marilyn Kaul, as well as Allen Sachse, executive director of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, also spoke highly of Fedorcha.
State Rep. Julie Harhart said Fedorcha has always been passionate about education and his family.
"He puts every effort into it, plus shows leadership," Harhart said. "You certainly have been a great role model to them."
State Sen. David Argall also expressed kind words toward Fedorcha.
"It's evident that you care greatly about this community," Argall said. "And, it's very evident that the community feels the same about you."
Fedorcha was also presented with citations from U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent and state Sen. Pat Toomey.
Virginia Savage, of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, presented Fedorcha with a proclamation on behalf of Lehigh County.
Ellie Passman, Vice President, Regional Councils, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, lauded Fedorcha for his achievements.
"It's been so great working with you," Passman said. "You're such a great asset to the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, and to me."
After he accepted all his accolades, Fedorcha told the audience "never in my life have I been so nervous."
"I never did anything to have glory for it," Fedorcha said. "I always wanted everybody else to look better than me."
Fedorcha said it was because individuals such as those in attendance that made him want to serve the community.
"Everyone of you, I'm in awe," he said. "You're the reason I became involved."
Fedorcha was quick to signal out his wife, three children, five grandchildren, and his extended family.
"Part of my family is the community," he said. "I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for you."
Fedorcha lauded the Northern Lehigh area for its ability to grow over the years.
"We've come a long way, and we're continuing to come a really long way," he said. "I am not responsible for this; you are all responsible."
A partner of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the GNLCC presents the Spirit Award to a citizen who has served not only the chamber, but also its community.
Fedorcha's extensive volunteer efforts over many years have benefited Slatington, Walnutport, and the surrounding communities.
Over the years, Fedorcha has been, and continues to be, an active member on multiple educational organization boards, as well as boards serving the community. He currently serves as the vice president of the Northern Lehigh School Board.
He is committed to the revitalization of the Northern Lehigh community, as evidenced by his involvement in the efforts to build the Trailhead along with members of the Venture Group. Fedorcha also organizes Christmas on Main, bringing Santa to greet the children, and the lighting of the community trees at Slatington Memorial Park, in which he has been instrumental in the development.
In addition, Fedorcha currently serves on the following local boards: Northern Lehigh Community Center, Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Corridor, Future Focus, and the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce.