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Daily American honors ‘Hometown Heroes’

October 24, 2018 GMT

JENNERSTOWN — Local heroes were honored by the Daily American Tuesday at the 3rd Annual Hometown Heroes Awards Breakfast.

This year 13 people were given the recognition, which includes bricks with their names engraved on them, placed at the newspaper’s office in Somerset.

Henry Cook, Somerset Trust Co. president and a 2018 honoree, served as the keynote speaker for the event. Cook gave a speech that he said he often gives to graduating seniors to inspire them to be proud of Somerset County.

Cook talked about how memories are made in the moment, but these days too many people are on their phones not living in the moment. Ironically, he said, the technology to bend fiber-optic cables was developed by George Berkey, a farmer from Lincoln Township.


Cook discussed events such as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Quecreek Mine rescue, the christening of the USS Somerset and the Chilean mine rescue that helped put Somerset County in the national spotlight. Cook specifically cited the work of a Berlin company, Center Rock Inc., to help rescue 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground in 2010. Cook said those in Somerset County do what needs to be done without expecting recognition or being boastful.

“The most incredible thing about Somerset County is us,” he said. “Remember with pride where you come from.”

Along with Cook, Tammy Bailey, Sarah Bittner, Cindy Breen, Paula Eppley-Newman, John Fiesta, Scott Kovach, Tim Mateljan, Justyn Patton, Fred Rosemeyer, Zachary Sloane, Joan Wheeler and Loretta Wilmoth were honored. Wheeler and Sloane were unable to attend.

The event was held at the Pine Springs Camp in Jennerstown.