Residents recognized at ‘Togetherness’ Fest

BY TOM FONTANA
Correspondent

Doreen Henstell, age 104, was honored as the oldest resident of Forest City during the town’s 150th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Aug. 2.  PHOTO BY TOM FONTANA

Doreen Henstell, age 104, was honored as the oldest resident of Forest City during the town’s 150th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Aug. 2. PHOTO BY TOM FONTANA

“Togetherness” was the theme as Forest City Borough marked its 150th anniversary during the last week of July.

The week-long Main Street festival included sidewalk sales, worship services, remembrances of veterans and coal miners, and historical programs.

One highlight was held on Monday night, July 28, at the new Forest City Historical Society Museum, where local residents were invited to perform as a ‘Celebrity Look-A-Like.’ In particular, Joyce Spenard presented a rendition of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, which took everyone back to the era of the 75th anniversary of the town.

Forty-seven residents, all 90 years of age or more, were honored Saturday afternoon with a program at the Historical Society museum. Doreen Hentsell was noted as the eldest at 104 years old. Anna Drasler, at 101, proudly sat in the front row.

Jean Miscavage, 96, excitedly stood up to joyfully announce, “I feel like a celebrity!”

During the 150th anniversary festivities in Forest City on Saturday, Aug. 2, Mayor Pauline Wilcox (center) presented the ‘Key to the City’ award to the borough’s 2014 Distinguished Citizens Joseph Sterchak, left, and Marianne Stratford.  PHOTO BY TOM FONTANA

During the 150th anniversary festivities in Forest City on Saturday, Aug. 2, Mayor Pauline Wilcox (center) presented the ‘Key to the City’ award to the borough’s 2014 Distinguished Citizens Joseph Sterchak, left, and Marianne Stratford. PHOTO BY TOM FONTANA

Later, across from the town’s historic borough hall, dignitaries and visitors gathered to recognize Forest City’s 2014 ‘Distinguished Citizens,’ an annual recognition of significant contributions to the betterment of the community. In the spotlight were Marianne Stratford and Joseph Sterchak.

Stratford has been a local music and art teacher for many years, and a noted musician and artist in her own right. One of her most visible accomplishments is a mural depicting aspects of the borough’s history painted on the side of one of the town’s red brick landmark buildings. She also served as organist for St. Agnes Church for 40 years.

Sterchak, an engineer, is the owner of a firm that specializes in engineering and architectural projects. He as lent his services as an advisor on a variety of local projects, and has been a generous benefactor to help the community grow and prosper.

A Light Parade down Main St. Saturday night featured Mayor Pauline Wilcox atop a sparkling birthday cake singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the town, followed by a fireworks display.

To top off the anniversary, a pig roast is planned for Saturday, Aug. 9, at DG’s Bar & Grill on Main St. starting at noon.