Gemma’s Angels Spirt of Gemma 2018 Award Recipients

Hershey-based nonprofit Gemma’s Angels, which works toward hunger alleviation in Dauphin and Lebanon Counties, named several local individuals and groups as recipients of its 2018 awards breakfast held on Saturday, April 21.

The recipients are as follows:

Humanitarian of the Year: Thomas Poole, Mechanicsburg, PA, Owner, Testing Services, Inc., was recognized as a long-time financial supporter of Gemma’s Angels and for recently securing a grant from the Carlisle Corvette Club;

Volunteer of the Year: Tina Hornberger, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., Harrisburg, PA. Hornberger, a nutritionist, developed the concept of and constructed the Gemma’s Angels Truck Farm Trailer, a traveling, edible garden-on-wheels that teaches young children the job of growing food and about sustainability.

Heroes for the Homeless:

  • Vickie Shutt, Communications Manager for Penn State Health Human Resources, Newport, PA: Vickie led a purse collection project for Gemma’s shelter holiday program, collecting nearly 50 purses filled with cosmetics and toiletries for homeless shelter residents at Christmas.;
  • The Gap Outlet, Hershey, John Fisher, manager. John led his store employees to purchase toys for an entire shelter for Gemma’s shelter holiday program and arranged a support grant from The Gap Foundation.

“Spirit of Gemma” Awards:

  • CocoaPacks, of Hershey: Cocoa Packs, founded in 2015, distributes supplemental food providing nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner items to students in the Hershey area on weekends, holidays and summers when they are not able to access school food programs;
  • Margie Groy & RSVP of the Capital Region: Margie conceived and operated, with the help of Gemma’s Angels Mobile Farmer’s Market, the “Fruit & Fun” Program in Lebanon City Playgrounds in the Summer of 2017;
  • Shirley McGowan, Lebanon, PA: Shirley was recognized as the founder of the first Little Free Pantry in Lebanon. Little Free Pantries are a grassroots, crowdsourced answer to immediate and local need. Whether a need for food or a need to give, the Little Free Pantry assists neighbors helping neighbors. Through her efforts, there are now three pantries in the city of Lebanon.

New Volunteers of the Year:

  • Eugene Pasquale, Harrisburg, PA,  Pasquale serves as the organization’s official event photographer and provided hundreds of hours volunteering in the Mobile Farmer’s Market.
  • Melissa Fritchey, Harrisburg, PA, Gemma’s Angels new Manager of Social Media, has boosted the organization’s profile on social media, resulting in significantly increased exposure and funding from the public.