The Community Arts Center of Cambria County will be holding a celebratory award dinner to honor the legacy of Tony Arcuri, Sherry Lynn Harshberger, George Milkie, and the late Dennis Ivory for their years of dedicated service to the Community Arts Center.
Celebrating a Legacy was established in 2015 with the retirement of the Community Arts Center’s long-term Executive Director, Rose Mary Hagadus. This event is CACCC’s way to show acknowledgement to a group of individuals who have made an impacting difference in the history of the Community Arts Center of Cambria County and the surrounding community.
Celebrating a Legacy will be held at Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Friday, October 27th, with awards beginning at 6:00 PM.
Special thank you to this year's Corporate Sponsor, Ameriserv Financial!
Tickets are available for $45 for CACCC members, and $50 for non-members. Table Sponsorships are available for $500, which include 8 tickets, full page ad in playbill, listed as table sponsor in program, the Community Arts Center’s website, weekly Eblast, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
To purchase tickets, give us a call at (814) 255-6515, or use the PayPal option below on this page! Please note, all online ticket purchases have a small surcharge included for processing fees.
Tony Arcuri is the son of Joeseph and Pauline Arcuri of what is now known as the Greatest Generation. His father fought in WWII and was part of the first wave to storm Omaha Beach on D-Day on his 21st birthday on June 6, 1944. Tony graduated from Greater Johnstown Vocational Technical School in 1974 and worked at Bethlehem Steel in the blast furnace department. He met the former Laurie Harrison on a chance meeting while she was horseback riding, and they married in 1977. The couple have a daughter Tonette (Keith) Moors and three grandchildren Camden, Jillian, and Caleb.
Tony took a gamble and opened his own business Santos Gourmet Pizza in Westmont with his brother Joe in 1984 and their delicious menu was a hit from the very beginning. The business has now operated year-round for thirty-nine years and has been voted “Simply the Best” on many occasions. He has handed the reins over his son-in-law Keith and daughter Tonette who carry on the tradition on Goucher Street in Westmont.
Other than his family, Tony may be proudest of his membership at West Hills Community Church in Westmont and being a born again Christian. Pastor David Streets has been instrumental in Tony’s walk of faith, and they have been best friends for many years. He has served on the Deacon Board on many occasions and serves in the music ministry as well as the sound and technical ministry and many behind the scenes events too numerous to mention. He also has been the host of a community group bible study in his home for twenty years.
Perhaps Tony is most well known for playing his five-string banjo in church and with two bands: South Penn Crossing, which is a gospel music band, and Meet and Potatoes, who play a variety of music and of course play annually at the Community Arts Center in Westmont. Both bands also play in the community at festivals and at retirement homes, which they find especially rewarding.
Tony enjoys fishing with his pastor and with his grandson Camden and also watching his granddaughter Jillian dance on stage. He can be found most days in his retirement tinkering on a banjo or guitar and has become known for being able to solve problems that crop up with stringed instruments. He also enjoys creamy ice cream cones and taking his dog Gino on rides in his Mustang sports car. He and Laurie take frequent trips to the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean to vacation.
Sherry Lynn Harshberger is the daughter of Dawn and Carl Alexy, a retired nurse-anesthetist and Lutheran pastor. She graduated from Altoona High School and went on to receive a dual bachelor’s degree in elementary education/special education. She then earned a master’s degree in special education, from the University of Pittsburgh.
Before owning her own dance business for 33 years, she worked as a job coach for persons with special needs in work environments and then led an entire division of supported employment as the director. She later developed a 9 county HMO physician network for Highmark and acted as a vocational specialist for a worker’s compensation company in Pittsburgh.
Dance was a hobby out of college which quickly spiraled into an expensive pastime, but she was good at it and loved it! Fortunately, Sherry Lynn was offered the opportunity to train as an instructor at another dance studio in the area. While training, she was still working for Highmark. In a crazy turn of events, she was transferred back to her hometown of Altoona to continue her career and also began teaching dance. Her first students were her parents. Sherry Lynn taught off and on for several years when a student purchased a property and rented her a beautiful new studio where she taught for 10 years.
Passion for teaching and Christian love and concern for people was and still is at the forefront of her life. Sherry has remained close to students who are more like family than customers, some for over 20 years. It never mattered who or what she was teaching, a dance class, a group of persons with special needs, a bridal couple or a Sunday School class. She loved teaching!
During her years in her Johnstown studio, Sherry Lynn, mentored over 30 teenagers through CareerLink programs beginning in 2005 when she moved with her husband to Johnstown and officially opened Sherry Lynn’s Ballroom Dance Center, which operated until August 2022. During that same time not only did she and her husband Brian teach lessons, they danced monthly at over 20 different personal care facilities as entertainment.
When not teaching or performing, Sherry Lynn and Brian frequent Camp Sequanota for spiritual enrichment and spend most of their other free time riding roller coasters at Cedar Point or vacationing in Jamaica. In addition, they are very involved in church programs, especially with youth. Together they have led youth groups and even chaperoned many retreats and national youth gatherings.
Now in 2023, it is more than a year since a successful transition was made from the studio to the Community Arts Center. As always, Sherry Lynn and her husband, working as a team, will continue to create community and bonds with both longtime and new students now and into the future.
George Milkie is the son of George and Genevieve Milkie, with both maternal and fraternal grandparents being born in Lebanon. He has been a resident of Westmont since the age of seven. While in high school, Georged worked at a local gas station. After graduating from Westmont Hilltop High School, at the age of 19, George established Milkie’s Lawn and Garden Center in Johnstown in 1970. 53 years later, he still continues to manage his business. Over the years, George has taken many horticulture courses at Penn State to expand his knowledge and continue improving his business for the Greater Johnstown Area. In addition to being the lead designer and president at Milkie’s, George has served on his church council for many years and helped lead the building committee for many years at his local church and on committees of several non-profits. George is celebrating his 53rd wedding anniversary to the love of his life Sandra this year. They have two children and two grandchildren. He has provided financial support or provided in-kind services or served on committees to several of the non-profits in the Greater Johnstown area, including the Community Arts Center, Johnstown Symphony, YWCA, YMCA, Veterans Memorial Monuments Group, SAMA, JAHA, Antiochian Village, St. Jude.
Dennis (Denny) Ivory was born, raised and remained in Altoona, PA. Denny had many ties to and relatives in Cambria County. He especially loved the family cottage on McMullen Road in Ashville and often shared memories and stories about it from his childhood and young adult years. Denny would speak often of the day music changed his life. When Denny was just five years old, he watched with his mother and a few siblings as the Beatles made their first American TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan show knowing, even then, that music would influence his life and those around him.
Denny and his best friend began to spend time playing instruments and eventually formed a small band that played in small out of the way places. As Karaoke became popular and after waiting his turn to sing in smoke filled bars, Denny took a chance on an idea, purchasing some equipment and sharing his idea with a friend. The original idea was to go into nursing homes and homes for folks who needed entertainment. Denny loved oldies, or music from the 50’s & 60’s so off to sing to those who couldn’t get out. Denny had a special gift and genuine love for people and could touch the hearts of those he sang to. While singing in a nursing home with a friend, Denny was approached by a visitor and asked to perform at a High School Reunion. With the help of his wife in naming his act, The SharpTones were born. In the summer of 2005 Denny started booking shows and the popularity of The SharpTones grew all over Central PA and the surrounding counties. The SharpTones traveled to Harrisburg, Virginia and Maryland as well. They performed at Class Reunions, weddings, car shows, church festivals, fairs, ice cream stands, private parties and anywhere music was needed. But Denny always remained true to nursing homes and benefits. Denny’s sense of humor and crazy antics with audience involvement coupled with three hours of nonstop energy made them a crowd favorite. Denny also landed the role of the “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come” in the original production of A Christmas Carol on stage at the historical Mishler Theater.
Denny’s life came to a tragic end on July 22, 2020, when he was hit head on, less than two miles from home on RT 36 just entering Blair County. But The SharpTones are alive and well today with the help of Denny’s wife booking their shows. It is her hope to have his legacy live on as long as the passion and integrity continue, knowing that he is smiling down and singing along.
These four individuals have given a large part of their lives to the mission of the Community Arts Center. Their efforts have touched many lives, impacting the community, region, and on a national level. They exemplify CACCC’s moto of keeping the Arts Alive!
Thank you to Ameriserv Financial, Corporate Sponsor for this year's Celebrating A Legacy!
Community Arts Center of Cambria County
1217 Menoher Boulevard, Johnstown, PA 15905 US
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