Members Gather for Annual Banquet: Celebrate Public Service, Longevity and Little League Baseball
The year 2024 started off well with the Lycoming Law Association annual banquet. This year's well-attended event was held at Chef Hosch & Ann Catering at the Carriage House, the old Women's Club.
Hors d'oeuvres were followed by a fine meal with multiple selections. About 85 members and guests enjoyed the food and watched the awards and keynote speech by Little League executive Stephen Keener.
The first order of business was to recognize the work of our immediate past president Liz White. Current president Joy McCoy presented her with a plaque and a gift certificate for Liz's favorite shop. Well done Liz! PBA President Michael McDonald spoke briefly about our pro bono efforts, but he also noted that Liz was featured in the most recent edition of the Pennsylvania Lawyer (which he displayed).
Pro bono awards followed. John Pietrovito listed those members of our bar who performed extraordinary work in the past year to assist the poor. Lisa Glick was awarded the Honorable Thomas Wood Jr. Equal Access to Justice Award and a PBA Pro Bono award.
This year's public service award went to the Lycoming County Sheriff's Department, particularly for their work in Protection From Abuse cases.
Judge Brown was recognized for 50 years of membership in the bar. Judge Dudley Anderson feted Judge Brown for his accomplishments in those 50 years.
The keynote speaker was Stephen Keener, President & Chief Executive Officer of Little League International. Of course, Little League has always been a big part of the heritage of Lycoming County, and Keener's presentation reinforced the connection with the county and the kinds of efforts that we have emphasized as lawyers.
by mentioning how much he loved "pro bono" as little league is very dependent on its volunteers. He acknowledged the volunteer efforts of a number of local attorneys who have served on its board and assisted with area programming.
This year commemorates the 50th year of girls' involvement in the Little League program. Current President McCoy was one of those girls. He talked about how the organization initially opposed girls in the program, and how it took a settlement of litigation for the organization to do the right thing. The plaintiff in that lawsuit is now enshrined in the Little League Hall of Fame, even though she never played for the organization.
He talked about how the organization has been instrumental in improving relations with Cuba, as Cuban teams are now playing in the series. Unfortunately, the organization was unable to have a direct impact on U.S. Cuban relations as the president of Cuba had hoped.
As would be expected with someone how has spent so long with the organization, Keener had a lot of stories to tell. One particularly heartwarming story concerned a firefighter who lost his life fighting a fire at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Michael Cammarata played in the Little League World Series in 1991. When they looked up the details about Michael, the organization discovered that he hit in the 9 slot and wore number 11. An incredible coincidence!
After these inspiring comments, the banquet concluded.