After running the Salvation Army of Boyertown for seven years, Patty and Doug Richwine have received a new assignment. The couple and their two children will be moving to Wilkes-Barre at the end of June.Patty Richwine said she expected the new appointment from the Salvation Army's divisional headquarters. Most corps captains are transferred every seven years, and the couple had been preparing their nine - and 12-year old daughters for news of the transfer.
"We enjoyed the community," Patty Richwine said. "It's a great place to raise children. I hope we've made it a little better place to live."
Tom and Gillian Rogers of the Salvation Army's operation in Buffalo will take over the Boyertown corps.
"We're ready for what's next," Patty said. "We worked hard to establish programs in this community. But we didn't want to make it a 'Doug and Patty' thing. A great staff and volunteers are equipped to make sure the work will continue."
The Richwines arrived to work out of a small office on East Philadelphia Avenue in July 2000. They had one part-time employee and a $100,000 annual budget.
Five months later, the Salvation Army's funds and public awareness were boosted when a bowling alley along Route 562 was renovated to create a new home for the organization on the outskirts of Boyertown.
The chapter's budget, which has grown to $400,000 annually, now includes seven employees, weekly church services and a full emergency kitchen.
The Richwines had plenty of programs in the works, including a five-day kitchen program, transportation for handicapped people and an extra storage area.
"We've already outgrown our building," Patty Richwine said.
In Wilkes-Barre, the couple will oversee a $1.2 million annual budget with 16 staff members. Their responsibilities will include overseeing a transitional housing shelter, an active ministry program, a church with more than 100 people and numerous out-reach programs.