The David Frey Community Service for Peace Award

The Peace and Justice Center established the Service for Peace Award in 1997. In 2004, it was renamed the David Frey Community Service for Peace Award in honor of David Frey, a tireless founding member of the center. The award honors an individual or group whose actions have contributed, either by direct support of the mission of the Peace and Justice Center, or by making a contribution to the community, to the civic or corporate cause of peace and justice.

2019 Honoree: The League of Women Voters Wilkes-Barre
As we approach the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which finally gave American women the right to vote, the Peace and Justice Center honors the women and men of our local League of Women Voters for carrying on the tradition of protecting this fundamental pillar of democracy. The League of Women Voters does not oppose, support, or otherwise endorse any political party or candidate. Rather, it focuses on educating voters about issues and the voting process.  Moreover, the League advocates for the expansion of opportunities to vote, and challenges changes in legislation that would create obstacles for citizens to vote. Annually, the League of Women Voters of the Wilkes-Barre Area sponsors a Legislative Breakfast as well as candidate forums/debates prior to the general election. In addition, the League annually publishes an updated Government Directory, and the Voters’ Guide, which appears in The Citizens’ Voice newspaper prior to each election. Lastly, the League gladly assists organizations and colleges with their voter registration drives.  These activities are invaluable to our community. Recognizing that the League shares many of the same values of the Peace & Justice Center, and appreciative of the consistent and dedicated effort members of our local League have made towards education, dialogue, and partnership, it is our privilege to honor the League of Women Voters of the Wilkes-Barre area with this award, which bears the name of a kindred spirit.

2019 Honoree: Camp Orchard Hill
Camp Orchard Hill has provided fun, exciting and life-changing experiences for children, youth and their families since 1972.  Its mission is to meet the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs of campers, families and the community through the love of Jesus Christ.  Camp Orchard Hill provides a safe place that offers a hands-on learning experience while having fun.  Programs throughout the year include summer day and overnight camps, family events, retreats, school field trips, birthday parties, recreational leagues, and banquets. Since 2011 Camp Orchard Hill has provided a fully inclusive Day Camp program that serves over 2000 campers each summer from the local community and benefits both special needs and typically developing children.   The program focuses on building skills and gaining confidence as part of the outdoor experience offering special needs campers the opportunity to participate in all activities to the best of their ability alongside their typically developing peers. One of the core values of Camp Orchard Hill is to serve those in need and to partner with others in service.  For example, the Camp opens its doors for two weeks every Christmas to area men experiencing homelessness, and partners with Mother Teresa’s Haven, area churches, families and civic groups to provide meals, clothing, identification and more.  They desire to show the men that they matter, that they are valued and that they are loved.  Camp   Orchard Hill has also partnered with Misericordia University to host A Taste of Syria – a community benefit dinner for local Syrian refugee families.  And, they work with the Keystone Mission and Crosswalk to provide after-school programs to the children and youth in area low-income housing developments.

Past Honorees:

2018 Honoree: Verve Vertu
Verve Vertu is a community-based art studio that taps into creative energy. Directed by Gwen Harleman, the studio works with the whole community, building and forging relationships through the arts. The core group of artists who work in the studio have special needs, and their immense talents are diverse and in demand. Their work has found homes all over the world and can be seen in the most interesting and diverse places. The studio has a boutique studio and gallery at 24 Main Street, in Dallas, Pennsylvania, where the artists’ work is created, displayed and sold. Verve Vertu collaborates with organizations, universities, and businesses to enrich and beautify the community one brush stroke at a time. Just ask and they will be happy to share a story or two.

2018 Honoree: The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm
The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm was founded as an organic farm to provide produce for those in need and act as a place of hospitality. Its founders, Larry and Carmina Chapp, are both Catholic theologians. The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm strives to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through simplicity of life and the performance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Raising a variety of crops and a small herd of sheep, the farm provides organic produce and hand-made wool products to people of limited means. Following a Benedictine spirituality, daily life on the farm is a rhythm of prayer and work that respects the dignity of the human person and God’s creation. The farm’s founders view giving the poor access to healthy food as the primary peace and justice issue in the world today. They also use their farm to teach and empower people to be self-sustaining in the local area. Additionally, they view the plight of refugees as a critical issue. In 2015, they hosted a refugee family from Eritrea and became very close.

2017 Honoree: Hazleton Integration Project
The Hazleton Integration Project’s mission is to provide educational, cultural and athletic opportunities for economically disadvantaged children. Under the guidance of Chicago Cubs Manager and Hazleton native Joe Maddon, HIP operates the Hazleton One Community Center with programming designed to engage children in wholesome activities while fostering trust and respect among all of our region’s ethnic cultures. One such project HIP hosted was the Luzerne County Disproportionate Minority Contact Youth and Law Enforcement Forum which brings together youth and law enforcement officers to foster communication, understanding, and trust in the community. HIP offers classes in Spanish, computers, ESL, GED, citizenship, ballet, and jazz, etc. HIP leaders believe that diversity can be a city’s greatest strength and through interacting with different cultural groups they develop a greater understanding of common humanity while learning to appreciate our cultural similarities and differences. For their efforts, the Hazleton Integration Project was awarded the 2014 Human & Civil Rights Award from the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

2016: Interfaith Council of Wyoming Valley

2015: Peace Community of LEPOCO

2014: St. Therese’s Social Justice Committee and Bette Saxton, MFHS

2013: Nancy Frey, Commission on Economic Opportunity

2012: WFTE-FM Community Radio Collective, Inc.

2011: Susan & Judd Shoval

2010: Juvenile Law Center, Frank Sindaco, NEPA Organizing Center

2009: Jim Davis

2008: cds creative, inc., 24-hour Create a Thon for nonprofit agencies.

2007: The Rev. Keith & Julie Benjamin, founders of Ruth’s Place Shelter for Homeless Women, & the Book Concern, giving employment to people who encounter employment difficulties.

2006: Back Mountain Free Medical and Legal Clinic, and Jewish Family Service Kids Care Club, and Dawn Morton, Director Volunteer Services, King’s College

2005: Stefanie Wolonik, REACH, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

2004: Donna Wench Peace Camp, and Miles of Mules

2003: Firwood United Methodist Church, Wilkes-Barre, host for Peace Camp

2002: Journey’s End, Kristin and Carl  Curtis

2001: Girl Scouts, for PEACE patch

2000: First Presbyterian Church of  Wilkes-Barre

1999: St. Jude’s Church, Social Action Committee

1998: Dr. Linda Trompetter, founding director,  Diversity Institute at College Misericordia

1997: Scranton Chapter of the F.O.R.