EDITORIAL: Local family shares true spirit of Christmas

York Dispatch
  • The Appell Center for the Performing Arts moniker a fitting tribute
  • Secret Santas succeed in easing the holiday financial crunch

Thumbs Up: 

Anne-Marie Wolfe, 12, of Stewartstown, passes out a handful of gift bags to residents at the White Rose Senior Center, during a special Christmas celebration Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. Asked what she'd like for Christmas, Anne-Marie chose to do something for the people at White Rose Senior Center.  Amanda J. Cain photo

To the Stewartstown family who this past week brought good cheer to senior citizens at the White Rose Senior Center.

An honorable mention goes to Anne-Marie Wolfe, 12, and her sisters Rylee, 13, and Hailey, 16, who told their father, Brandon, what they really wanted for Christmas was to give gifts to others.

“Daddy, we have everything,” Brandon Wolfe recalled his daughter saying just after Thanksgiving. “There’s nothing that we need, so we want to give our money away.”

Stewartstown family brings early Christmas to senior center

The sisters thought of the senior center after remembering a volunteer stop with grandmother Ruby Beasley a couple of years ago.

So the Wolfe sisters started collecting — hats and gloves for men, hats and scarves for women, books and clementines. The word spread fast. Neighbors donated money to purchase gifts, and local stores contributed, as well.

To everyone in the community who contributed, to the family who instilled these important values in their children and to the girls who gave up their gifts to do something kind for others, we offer our gratitude and admiration.

You are living the true spirit of the holiday.

Thumbs Up: To the board of the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in honoring the late Louis J. Appell Jr. and his family by creating the new organizational banner, The Appell Center for the Performing Arts.

Appell, his father, Louis Appell Sr., and grandfather, Nathan Appell, built the Strand Theatre in 1925 and the family has ever since been closely involved with the performing arts center.

The Appell Center for the Performing Arts will be the umbrella for the performance spaces within the building.

"We literally would not be what we are today, we wouldn't be standing where we are today, without the Appell family," said President and CEO Todd Fogdall during the announcement of the naming.

In attendance at the announcement were community members and elected officials, including President and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance Kevin Schreiber, York City Mayor Kim Bracey and state Rep. Kristin Hill-Phillips, R-York Township.

Appell was regarded as a major contributor to downtown York, so much so that Downtown Inc named its lifetime achievement award after him and his wife, Jody.

The Strand-Capitol announces the Appell Center for the Performing Arts

The Appell family was supportive of using the family name for the center.

"Nothing made Louis happier than to see a full house the night of the show," the family said in a statement.

Thumbs Up: To Pennsylvania’s handful of philanthropists who have been lifting the financial burden for families during the holidays.

One secret Santa has paid off the outstanding meal accounts for students at a western Pennsylvania elementary school.

The anonymous donor asked to settle all unpaid accounts, and also paid for the lunches for one child for the rest of the month after learning that pupil had an especially large outstanding balance.

'Secret Santa' pays off meal accounts at Pennsylvania school

A man who goes by the name “Santa B” has been paying off layaway accounts at central Pennsylvania Wal-Mart stores for the past three years. This year, he paid $166 thousand to clear accounts in Harrisburg and surrounding areas.

Another generous donor near Philadelphia has spent the last several years paying off layaway accounts at a Kmart. He specifically asks to pay for those with toys and gifts.