The Wayne County Community Foundation Board of Directors has selected Fred and Mary Murray for its highest recognition, the 2020, Ben Franklin Community Service Award. (Photo Credit: Annie Walczyk)
The award commemorating one of the nation’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, is accompanied by a grant of $1,000 from the Foundation’s Ben Franklin Fund. This gift will be given to a charity of Fred and Mary’s choosing.
The selection was made in recognition of Fred and Mary’s lifelong service to our community. Mary Lou Murray was born and raised in Honesdale and she and Fred share four children together and have been married for 58 years. When she retired in 2003 she joined the board of Habitat for Humanity where she served for 12 years and received the Golden Hammer award in 2013. Mary currently serves as Treasurer with the Honesdale Emergency Pantry which provides food on an emergency basis to Wayne County residents and supports the “Backpack Buddy Program” for Lakeside and Stourbridge School Districts and the “Angel Fund” at Preston and Damascus schools.
Fred has been volunteering since the 1970s starting shortly after his release from the military with the Honesdale JayCees with local folks like Ed James, Ed Rothrock, Dick Kreitner and Don Vangorder, now all deceased. He has worked on various community projects and consistently has been involved with the Wayne County Historical Society volunteering at the Old Stone Jail and other tours and activities. He has also helped lead the PMVB Ambassador Tour with Kim Erickson. Most recently Fred has been on a team of six community members (self named the Five Star Team + 1, with Kim Erickson being the +1) to rebuild the Spencer Steam Tractor from a large pile of rusted pieces of metal into an actual steam tractor that will be on display at the D&N Canal Park at Lock 31.
The Wayne County Community Foundation will honor Fred and Mary with a congratulatory video on the Wayne County Community Foundation website, newsletter and social media in late October. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation will not be hosting its annual dinner this year, but are encouraging community members to buy “non-attending” tickets for a suggested $50 to support the Foundation and honor the Murray’s. To make a donation to the Foundation, please click here or send a check to 214 9th Street Honesdale, PA 18431 with “Ben Franklin Service Award” in the memo line.