Written By Silas Chamberlin
Last Thursday evening, the D&L hosted its second annual Partners Recognition Dinner at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem. This is our chance to honor those people and organizations that have made significant contributions to the D&L’s vision and to celebrate our many accomplishments during the last year. The last twelve months have been trying—both in terms of securing state and federal funding and weathering the general economic climate—but the D&L has still managed to work with our partners to complete several high-profile projects and continue the crucial work of conserving historic and natural resources and building the D&L Trail.
Guest and D&L staff mingle outside the ballroom at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.
The diversity of our attendees was a testament to the variety and scope of the D&L’s projects. We welcomed guests from across the five-county Corridor, heritage areas across the state, and Harrisburg. In attendance were the Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Keith McCall, DCNR Secretary John Quigley, US Representative Charlie Dent, state officials, mayors, city planners, business owners, trail advocates, preservationists, volunteers, and private members of the D&L. PPL, McTish Kunkel & Associates, the Holland Group of Janney, Montgomery, Scott, the City of Easton, and DCNR all had tables full of representatives, and our other sponsors, Scheffey Integrated Marketing—who helps us with our awesome website and blog—and Nacci Printing, were also in attendance. Looking around the banquet room on that night, there was little question that the D&L has an vast reach that transcends eastern Pennsylvania.
The D&L staff poses for a rare group photo.
As guests arrived, they had the opportunity to pose with Mulegellan, our official mascot, for a quick photograph. During the cocktail hour, everyone had a chance to mingle and check out this year’s photo contest award winners. Some attendees, such as our Trail Steward Scott Everett, promised to restrain from talking business—and failed! But we can forgive them; when you do work over such a large region, you relish a chance to talk face-to-face with people you otherwise know only through emails and phone calls. Guests also had the opportunity to enter a ticket auction to win one of the more than twenty Corridor-themed prizes, which included free stays at local Bed & Breakfasts, selections of regional wines and beers, concert tickets, and more.
Common Ground performs at the D&L's annual dinner.
As the guests sat down to a dinner of steak, chicken, or—in my case—eggplant, board member Gary Fedorcha began the presentation of this year’s partner awards. (For a full list of this year’s award winners, click here.) Halfway through the presentation, we paused for a lively performance by the barbershop quartet Common Ground, which features D&L Accounting Manager, Steve Adams, as bass. Speaker McCall was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service to the Corridor and the state, and Secretary Quigley gave a candid yet hopeful assessment of the state’s new political landscape. Then, everyone ate their cake, finished their wine, and said their goodbyes.
We couldn’t have asked for a better evening or a more accomplished group of awardees. We hope to see you at next year’s dinner!
Jack Koehler accepts the Commandant Award for his many years as a volunteer.