Meadville Tribune

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October 31, 2013

Bennett to retire after 20 years with Center for Family Services

Agency will have new leader in 2014

MEADVILLE — One of Crawford County’s most significant charities will be under new leadership next year.

After 20 years as Center for Family Services’ leader, executive director Linda Bennett is retiring in early May 2014.

Bennett made the announcement during a recent event that doubled as a celebration of the agency’s 150th anniversary and its formal annual meeting. Among other things, CFS runs food pantries across the county; a thrift shop; homemaking, anger management and parenting education programs; and offers aid to those in need of rent, utility and emergency funding.

Bennett explained that the CFS board will determine how and when to fill the position she is vacating but plans have not been set yet. She expressed thanks and appreciation for the staff and many volunteers who allow CFS to serve those in need.

Several volunteers, staff and board members were honored during the event, including Regis Holzwarth, who donates his time and talent to CFS’ food pantry program. The recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award said he “retired and just wanted to do something.” He inquired at Active Aging Inc. of Crawford County, where he learned CFS needed help.

CFS staff member Robin See was honored for her dedication and long hours of effort, which have often involved taking work home to complete.

Two board members were honored. Fifteen-year member Janet Haas was honored for her longtime commitment to CFS. This is her last year on the board.

Board President Connie Haibach received the Board Member of the Year Award, an honor that left her emotional. “The Center is my life and I love this place,” she said to the crowd in attendance.

Earlier during the event, Haibach reflected on CFS’ 150th anniversary. “Nothing lasts 150 years without true volunteers and true need,” she said. “We are humbled by the gift this community has given us.”

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