Plankenhorn Foundation Marks 50 Years

Greevy Serves as President

Charles Greevy and Abram SnyderThe Harry Plankenhorn Foundation was founded in 1958 with the goal of providing assistance to Lycoming County's needy, particularly people who are visually impaired. Lycoming Law Association member Charles Greevy, III has served as president of the Foundation for a number of years.

Greevy was recently quoted in an article appearing in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette on the occasion of a luncheon celebrating the organization's 50th anniversary, on November 19, 2008.

"The seeds for the foundation were planted long before 1958, according to foundation president Charles F. "Skip" Greevy III.

"Harry Plankenhorn's life had been influenced by Theodore L. Weigle, a blind chair caner, and a friend, Thomas Miller, who had lost his sight during World War I.

"In 1927, Plankenhorn organized the Williamsport Sightless Club on Vine Avenue property he owned. In 1939, he donated the property to the club and it became incorporated as the Williamsport Sightless Home.

"In 1941, a workshop for caning and weaving was set up in the home. Later that decade, the workshop was turned over to the Upper Susquehanna branch - later the Lycoming County branch - of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. In 1988, the association became the North Central Sight Services.

"Harry and his brother Augustus G. "Gus" Plankenhorn were recognized for their work with the blind when they received the 1935 Grit Award for Meritorious Community Service.

"According to Greevy, the award was a prestigious honor.

"Harry died in 1959 at the age of 81. Augustus died in 1978 at the age of 90. "The foundation was formed about a year before Harry's death. According to Greevy, the foundation was chartered by the Plankenhorn brothers and several prominent members of the community.

"Among them was Abram M. Snyder, who at age 97, was in attendance at the luncheon. "Greevy described Snyder as a gentleman and "a gentle man" who did much to enhance the foundation's service to the community. Snyder was "a rock and guiding light" to the foundation since it began, Greevy said.

"The luncheon, Greevy said, was held to celebrate the foundation's 50 years, as well as Snyder's service to it.

"In honor of Snyder, Greevy announced a bequest from the foundation to assist in the construction of the North Central Sight Services' Vision Center, which will help low income people with eye care service.

The article also noted that since the foundation was launched in November 1958, it has distributed more than $8 million to nearly 200 county programs and agencies. One of the organization's main beneficiaries is North Central Sight Services.

Skip Greevy is to be commended for his service to the community with the Plankenhorn Foundation.