HARRISBURG – State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) joined the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. to recognize nine winners of the 2022 Champions of the PA Wilds Awards. The winners were honored at the 2022 PA Wilds Dinner & Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, July 28th.
“This year’s awardees are a slate of outstanding individuals and organizations that contribute in a positive way to our region,” Sen. Yaw said. “I am very pleased to be with them to celebrate their achievements.”
The Champion of the Pennsylvania Wilds Awards celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, communities and businesses that in the last year have made significant contributions to help grow and sustainably develop the outdoor recreation economy and nature tourism in the Pennsylvania Wilds in a way that creates jobs, diversifies local economies, inspires stewardship and improves quality of life. The region’s county governments, visitor bureaus and many local organizations participate in the effort, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
The 2022 Champion Award Winners from Senator Yaw’s District include:
Artisan of the Year Award: Carol Cillo (a resident of Lycoming County) Lock Haven, Clinton County
Carol Cillo was chosen as the 2022 Artisan of the Year for the PA Wilds. Cillo is a fine artist who primarily works with ceramics and acrylics in Clinton County. She participates in the Wilds Cooperative of PA as a Professional Level Juried Artisan. Beyond being an artisan herself, Cillo regularly takes part in regional arts initiatives that have a wide reach for all artists within the PA Wilds. Through her role in the Clinton County Arts Council, she encourages artists such as herself to become rooted in the landscape of the PA Wilds and showcase the area through “creative placemaking.”
Inspiring Youth Award: Lu Potter – Pennsdale, Lycoming County
Lu Potter, one of the founders of Project Coffee House in Clinton County and now Project Nature C.A.M.P., successor to Summer Alive in Lycoming County, was chosen for the PA Wilds Inspiring Youth Award for 2022. Potter has been impacting the lives of young people in the PA Wilds for decades. The programming that Potter oversees incorporates participation of agencies and individuals in the community of Montgomery, creating broad ownership, and it provides enrichment activities for children during the summer, including life experiences through crafts, books and special guests; an emphasis on gardening and healthy eating habits; opportunities for interactive play and games, accenting teamwork; and nutritious food to all participants.
Member of the Year Award: Senator Yaw also presented an award to Katie DeSilva from Lycoming County who was selected by the PA Wilds Outreach Committee to receive their Member of the Year Award.
The Pennsylvania Wilds is a 13-county region that includes the counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren, and northern Centre. The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that inspires the communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds. The PA Wilds Center promotes the region as a premier outdoor recreation destination as a way to create jobs, diversify local economies, inspire stewardship and improve quality of life. The PA Wilds Center’s core programs seek to help businesses leverage the PA Wilds brand and connect with new market opportunities, including: the Wilds Cooperative of PA, a network of over 300 place-based businesses and organizations, and the PA Wilds Conservation Shop, a retail outlet primarily featuring products sourced from the WCO. For more information on the PA Wilds Center, visit www.PAWildsCenter.org. To learn more about the WCO, visit www.WildsCoPA.org. Explore the PA Wilds at www.pawilds.com.
For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.