York County, Pa., community contributors Dan, left, and David Meckley received the annual Cornerstone Award from Lutheran Social Services this week. The recipients join a past roster of community members whose lifetime of community involvement have earned them the award. Also of interest: Who will lead the York area in the future? Part I and Who were York County’s most influential citizens? Part I and Who are York County’s most influential citizens? – Part II.
Dan Meckley grew up in old East York, a neighbor of Elmwood.
He and Ann Small were childhood friends, and he toured Elmwood with Ann Small Niess and her family earlier this month.
And like his friend, Ann, three generations of the Meckley family are aware of — and interested in — their heritage.
Indeed, Lutheran Social Services honored Dan Meckley and his son, David, at its annual Cornerstone Dinner this week for their contributions to the York community.
David Meckley thanked LSS for shining a spotlight on multiple generations working in community service… .
In his conclusion, he urged leaders of organizations present to make the best use of all generations:
“When I think of my father’s generation and their collective contributions, who better to inspire?
“When I think of my generation and how effectively resources come together, who better to lead and make things happen?
“And when I think of the next generation and their knowledge and passion, who better to entrust the future vision of our community?”
This wonderful moment brings forth at least three points.
In his speech, Dan Meckley contrasted York County with the Mansfield, Ohio, community in which he lived for 10 years.
The difference was that leading families back up their ideas with their financial contributions in York County:
“For 10 years we lived in Mansfield, Ohio. It was similar to York in many ways, but different from York in significant ways. Our affluent friends did not contribute much time or money to the community. While we sometimes think we are not moving forward in York, by comparison to Mansfield, we have. Not only do many of our wealthy families contribute money, but they also contribute a great deal of time. We owe them a big Thank You.”
A second point is that the multi-generational community leadership handoff exemplified by the Meckleys is indicative of what is going on throughout the York community as the leadership of the Greatest Generation is giving way to the Boomers.
An enlightening step in that progression came at another conference this week, the annual YorkCounts summit. YorkCounts is the most progressive and influential group in the York area. So to see several of its best people – Eric Menzer, Larry Miller and David Meckley, all Boomers – rotate off that board at this annual meeting was a bit disconcerting. This is particularly so because some key pieces of YorkCounts’ work are just emerging – the York Academy Charter School, for example. Of course, they’re not gone from the community, and their positive influence will still be felt.
But that moment underscores David Meckley’s point in his Cornerstone Award speech about the Boomers’ children. The younger generation must be entrusted to lead because their contributions are needed.
And lastly, the Cornerstone awardees in past years provide a snapshot of the most respected community leaders of the first decade of this century, similar to the York Manufacturers events 100 years ago. Historians will look back and dig into the accomplishments of these achievers some day:
Bill and Judy Simpson, 2004
Bob and Anne Kinsley, 2005
Tom and Joan Norris, 2006
Ryan and Joan Sattler, 2007
Coni Wolf, 2008
Tony and Stef Campisi, 2009.
Photo courtesy of Lutheran Social Services