Forward Thinkers in My Hometown

Dear Hometown-Cameron County,

There is a new and exciting stirring of hometown pride and forward thinking in Cameron County and it makes our hearts sing.  (singing like of Bob Crosby, 1913)  “I love those dear hearts and gentle people, who live in my hometown. Because those dear hearts and gentle people will never ever let you down”.

We understand that buildings that became eyesores and businesses that could no longer be supported financially, are gone.  However, the comings and goings of Cameron County PEOPLE still show guts and gumption and faith that they can and will be happy here going forward into the future.

Those people stirring the excitement, are newly transplanted entrepreneurs, who have come to the area from other places.  And they are also adult children of people with whom we grew up.  They are all raising their hands to say, “This is the place I want to raise my kids.  This is the place I want to spend my life.  This is the place where I can dream my money-making-ideas and build a business that will be an income for my family and help preserve the value and future of this place”.

They are bee keepers and coffee brewers who learn “how to” from YouTube videos.  They are tea farmers, working hard and learning what it takes to start a money making corporation.  They are artists with a new eye for the beauty of our surroundings, as well as, new bed and breakfast owners who have learned that taking the past of this area and bringing it forward for people to enjoy in old pictures, makes their new business one of substance and success.

It was just this passion and hope that created Hometown Mentors, Inc.  This young and innovative, nonprofit charity, has served as a funnel, bringing funding and people back into our area for the past six years.  We have also encouraged people living in Cameron County that, “It is not the size of the town where you grow up that determines how successful you can be.  It is the size of the heart for success that lies within you”.

Over the years, the ALL VOLUNTEER Corporation has funneled over $50,000 from outside Cameron County, into the local economy, with projects such as “The Reunion Tribute Concert with Sue Ann Beveridge and Ron Tusing”;  The renovation of the playground equipment at the Prospect Park Playground;  The many “You make a difference and Life Achievement awards”; and the “Hometown Hall of Fame: Cameron County Sports Edition” which HMI inaugurated in 2014.  HMI was created and will remain forever headquartered in Emporium, eventually creating a few jobs for staff members.

The Halls of Fame in 2014 and 2015, inducted twenty people, with five more to be inducted at the Cameron County High School on the evening of October 7, 2017.  Beginning at 5:00 pm, there will be a meet and greet with pictures and an opportunity for selfies with some of the area’s greatest sports figures.  The picture session will immediately be followed by the ceremony in the school auditorium at 6:00 PM.  To be inducted this year are Mr. James Baker, Mr. Rich LaBrozzi, Rodney Lyon, James Slusarick, Paul Schager and Brandan Housler.

Please make CCHS homecoming weekend and the Hometown Hall of Fame a priority, if you can.  The smiles on faces are hard to count at these events, because they seem to all blend together.  Remembering those who have passed away can be a way to “be a kid again” yourself.  Remember those wrestling days with Coach Baker?  Remember those times you sat in Mr. LaBrozzi’s office awaiting his “board of education”?  Perhaps you graduated with Lyon, Slusarick, Schager or Housler and want to renew old acquaintances.  Now is the time to do it, because this will be FUN!

Did you know that there were three NFL Football players who once played on the fields of Cameron County?  You never know who might show up at this October 7th event, unless YOU show up.  We all hope to see your face in the place.  Come on home to Cameron County and do a little leaf peepin’ while you’re here.

If you are unable to attend, but wish to show your support for the encouragement of your hometown through a donation to Hometown Mentors, Inc. you can send your check or money order to HMI, P.O. Box 438, Emporium, PA  15834.


Cathy Ostrum Swarmer, founder/volunteer executive director, Hometown Mentors.


If Cameron County is your “hometown” like our page on Facebook:  Hometown15834

Twitter: @hometownmentors

8 Comments to “Forward Thinkers in My Hometown”

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