2016 Ageless Remarkable Erieite Honorees
Walter and Joan Harf, Paul and Lane Nelson, and Dr. Richard and Willie Rahner were honored with an Ageless Remarkable Erieite Award on Thursday, September 1st, during Saint Mary's Follies. The Ageless Remarkable Erieite Award recognizes seniors age 75 and older for their continued commitment to the Erie community, giving of their time and talents to make a difference in the lives of others. Honorees have a zest for life that is contagious and serve as an inspiration for all who call Erie home.
Walter & Joan Harf
Walter and Joan Harf have spent a large part of their lives giving their time and talents to the nonprofit organizations of the Erie Community. Joan is especially known for her efforts for women and children who need assistance. She was co-founder of Stairways, Hospitality House and SafeNet and served as President for these non-profit organizations. She has also been active in several of her synagogue, Temple Anshe Hesed, organizations. Walter has been on the Board of Directors or Board of Corporators for 11 nonprofit organizations, serving as President or Chair of many of them. He has offered his business expertise to fledging businesses through the International Executive Services Corps and as a SCORE counselor to local entrepreneurs. Both Walter and Joan continue to lend their time, talent and services to many area organizations as active board members and volunteers.
Along with raising 3 very successful sons during their 65 years of marriage, the Harfs’ have devoted their lives to making Erie a better community.
Paul & Lane Nelson
Paul and Lane Nelson have been active members in the Erie Community for several decades. They are most notably known as the owners of Waldameer Park and Waterworld, though their dedication to the Erie region cannot be summarized in a just a few words. Lane is a member of the Hamot Aid Society, served on the Board of the Visiting Nurse Association for 12 years and has devoted many years of her life to working with the youth in our area. Paul was the past President of the Millcreek Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in its merger into the Erie Chamber of Commerce for the betterment of Erie County. He was also the past President of the Tourist and Convention Bureau now known as Visit Erie. He is a current member of the PA Tourist Partnership and one of 12 members working with Governor Tom Wolf to handle tourism and advertising in Pennsylvania. He serves and has served on numerous Boards throughout the region. They are both extremely generous to the entire Episcopal Diocese and their church, St. Mark’s Episcopal. Their passion for helping develop the Erie Region, working with the area’s youth and ongoing community outreach has touched thousands of lives.
Dr. Richard & Willie Rahner
Dr. Richard and Willie Rahner have both volunteered and dedicated many years of their lives to countless Erie area organizations. Highlights of Willie’s community service include Meals on Wheels, Make a Wish Foundation, Elementary School Tutoring in the Erie School District, Regional Cancer Center Volunteer and Share (a women’s group involved with helping inner-city children). A few of Dr. Rahner’s outreach and community service endeavors include the Boys and Girls Club of Erie, Harborcreek Youth Services, the Alzheimer’s Association, Africa 6000 International and the St. Paul Neighborhood Free Clinic. Beyond their work with these organizations, it has been their ongoing involvement with foreign missions and refugees that has truly given a new life to thousands of people in poverty and distress, looking for any help they could find. The Rahners, long time parishioners of St. George Parish, have opened their hearts and home to students from Mexico, Spain, Germany and Serbia to study in the United States. They also sponsor foster children and the education of numerous college students in third world countries.