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Hagerstown Community College's 12th Annual Tribute honors Jack and Anna Hershey

Couple has been involved with several community organizations

March 25, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Lori Schmidt talks with Anna Leiter Hershey, and John R. "Jack" Hershey Jr., center, talks with longtime family friends Jeff and Jamie Yingling of Hagerstown during Hagerstown Community College's 12th Annual Tribute, a reception and dinner held to raise money for scholarships while recognizing contributions to the community.
By Chris Tilley, Staff Photographer

From the Wall Street-themed entranceway to the Hershey's Kisses scattered on each table, every detail Friday night at Hagerstown Community College was inspired by the guests of honor, John R. "Jack" Hershey Jr. and his wife, Anna Leiter Hershey.

The Hersheys were the honorees at the college's 12th Annual Tribute, a reception and dinner held to raise money for scholarships while recognizing contributions to the community.

Jack Hershey, 85, a retired investment banker, has been involved with more than a dozen local organizations, including the Rotary Club, the Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Hospital, and Trinity Lutheran Church, according to a biography presented during the program.

Anna Hershey, 84, has also been involved with several community organizations, including Girls Inc., which in 2006 dedicated its gymnasium to her and named it in her honor.

"The whole family just have been wonderful members of our community, and we are fortunate that they agreed to be honored," said Lieba Cohen, executive director of the Hagerstown Community College Foundation.

Between posing for photos and greeting guests at the event held in the college's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, Jack Hershey said he and his family appreciated the recognition and the opportunity to support HCC students.

"Anything we can do to help the community college, and, of course, the student (scholarship) program is very important — essential, really — to the growth of the college," he said.

Guest speakers on the event program included Karen Hershey Spessard, the Hersheys' oldest child, and John R. Hershey III, their youngest.

"We're really excited," the younger John Hershey said before the dinner. "The college, we found out through this process, just has so many supporters, and the energy that went into this event — it's kind of like a community Academy Awards. It's a lot of fun."

Spessard said she remembers as a young girl hearing her parents tell her that if she had a roof over her head and enough to eat, she needed to make sure she was giving back to the community.

"They have always done that by example," she said.

More than 550 people attended the tribute, event co-Chairwoman Ellen Gercke said.

Each guest was asked to make a $125 donation.

Proceeds from the night are expected to fund at least four endowed scholarships, Cohen said.

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