One of the greater Boyertown region’s premiere annual events is taking shape as the Berks-Mont Business Association has announced the 2019 recipients for the prestigious Boyertown Area Citizen of the Year Awards.
The 65th Annual Boyertown Area Citizen of the Year Gala is set for Saturday, April 13, at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, 85 S. Walnut St., Boyertown. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the formal program getting underway at approximately 6 p.m.
The event is being hosted by the Berks-Mont Business Association.
Donald Heimbach has been named the 2019 Citizen of the Year, and he will be recognized that evening along with these award honorees: Tony Boyd, Outstanding First Responder; Mackenzie Engle, Outstanding High School Senior; Loretta Pavie, Outstanding Mentor; Boyertown Junior Woman’s Club, Special Recognition Award.
Here's a brief look at the winners:
• 2019 Boyertown Citizen of the Year Donald Heimbach has lived his whole life in the Boyertown community and has been described as a model citizen. For nearly four decades he operated his own successful contracting business. His solid reputation was built upon the high level of professionalism and high ethical standards he maintained.
Heimbach is a dedicated family person. He and his wife have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Ten years ago, the Heimbach family suffered a terrible loss, when one of their grandchildren passed away at a young age. In the memory of 4-year old Ally, the Heimbach family has raised thousands of dollars for the Gift of Life charity, allowing research and hope for other organ donor families.
Since 2008, Heimbach and his wife, Mary Kay, have been key members of the J-Walkers/Relay for Life of Boyertown contingent. During that time, the all-volunteer team has raised more than $250,000 for the American Cancer Society and other causes.
Heimbach is also an active member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he serves as a church council member and property committee volunteer. He has also served on one of the church ushering teams for nearly 40 years.
He devoted more than 20 years as a youth wrestling coach and mentor, helping to set up and establish the youth wrestling program that is still thriving in Boyertown today.
• 2019 Outstanding First Responder Tony Boyd has been a firefighter in the Boyertown area since September 1984, with what was then Keystone Fire Company, now part of Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue.
At the time of the merger into Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue in 2014, Boyd took the lead in developing a marine unit division. He currently serves as chief of the Keystone Water Rescue, a regional water rescue and recovery team. Boyd leads the team in water and ice-related rescues, including swiftwater rescue and recovery, searches and underwater entrapment.
In addition to his volunteer hours with the fire company and water rescue, Boyd is the owner of Berks-Mont Towing. His life is devoted to helping people. He is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist those in need, whether as firefighter, water rescue or for towing services.
• 2019 Outstanding High School Senior Mackenzie Engle’s caring attitude for others can be traced back to early childhood. Even in elementary school, she involved herself in numerous service projects, from collecting canned goods for Boyertown Area Multi-Service to participating in the collections for various disasters in the world. It was during this time in her young life, Engle was diagnosed with lymphoma. She fought that battle with courage and determination, and beat the cancer.
Engle takes a survivor’s approach to life, inspiring others with her story and her actions. She dedicates many volunteer hours to cancer-related charities such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Relay for Life, and MiniTHON. Additionally, she was selected for National Honor Society and serves on the student council at Boyertown Area High School.
Her former school principal, Ron Christman, says of Mackenzie, “She truly exemplifies a young woman with a giving heart and a passion to help others.”
Jay Scott, co-executive director for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, calls Mackenzie an “Ambassador for the organization, speaking out about the importance of raising funds for pediatric cancer and encouraging others to get involved.”
• 2019 Outstanding Mentor Loretta Pavie spends a great deal of time working with kids through physical fitness programs. In the past, she coached the Boyertown “Lady Bears” basketball team for eight seasons. Most days, you can find her at the local Crossfit gym, where she gets up before dark to teach the 5:30 a.m. class.
Pavie is the heart of the CrossFit Kids program in Boyertown. She tirelessly works with youth to instill healthy habits and practices. She is also a participant in Relay for Life programs.
She is not only an advocate for helping others stay fit and healthy, but an advocate for Boyertown itself. Last year, she took care of all the planters on Philadelphia Avenue every Sunday by herself.
• 2019 Special Recognition: The Boyertown Junior Woman’s Club is a group of dedicated women who volunteer their time and talents to enrich the Boyertown area and beyond. BJWC organization is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), one of the world's largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational, women's volunteer service organizations.
Since 1950, the Boyertown Junior Woman’s Club has been committed to the betterment of Boyertown and the surrounding area. Their local dress drive “Once Upon A Prom” provides local students the opportunity to attend junior and senior prom, by providing dresses, purses and even accessories. They also support additional charities through numerous other fundraising and volunteer efforts. Last year, they raised over $10,000 for charitable giving.
Citizen Gala ticket cost is $20 per person. Finger foods, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages will be served during the social hour from 5 to 6 p.m. Net proceeds will benefit Boyertown Youth Wrestling projects.
Tickets may be ordered online at www.bmba.biz or contact Amy Muzopappa at 484-239-5185 or Jim Davidheiser at 484-706-3262.