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Waynesboro woman honored for community service

October 11, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Longtime Waynesboro, Pa., community service leader K. Marilyn Smith receives a hug Thursday from Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce Director Carlene Willhide at the chamber's banquet.
By Jennifer Fitch

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A Waynesboro woman who dedicated her time, including many sleepless nights, to helping her hometown’s children received special recognition from the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

The chamber honored K. Marilyn Smith for her community service at its annual banquet. Chamber members showered Smith, 76, with applause as she tearfully accepted the honor.

“She became my mentor, my sounding board,” said Pat Heefner, who served on the Waynesboro Area School Board with Smith.

Washington Township (Pa.) Manager Mike Christopher read a lengthy but incomplete list of organizations in which Smith was involved. Those included Communities That Care, the Youth Aid Panel, and the Waynesboro Area Business, Education and Community Foundation.

In a Herald-Mail profile of Smith from 2008, the former community health nurse listed more than 17 organizations of which she served on the board of directors.

“I really and truly care about the kids. I think we’re letting them down in some areas, and I wish we could get to the parents more than we do,” she said at the time.

Smith, who is retiring from her community service because of health problems, has stayed up overnight hosting parties for Waynesboro Area Senior High School teenagers to offer them a safe place to go after graduation and other key events. She started a talent show, provided one-on-one mentoring for young people facing criminal charges, and raised funds for billboards with messages about the dangers of underage drinking.

Realtor Paul Gunder praised Smith during the Chamber banquet for her work with the Vision 2015 organization. He said she never missed a meeting and kept the group organized.

“Marilyn, thank you for a lot of years,” he said.

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