RIPLEY - This year Ripley Grange 65 chose to honor Ron Bretz with Community Citizen of the Year Award for 2013.
This award is given annually to a non-grange member who has performed outstanding volunteer service, contributing to the welfare and betterment of the community. This is the 33rd year the Ripley Grange has presented this award in the Ripley area.
Bretz grew up in the Ripley area and attended Ripley Central School, graduating in 1971. A popular student and very active in the sports program, he won honors in many areas of the athletic program at Ripley.
Through his life, Bretz has been a volunteer in many youth organization. His greatest interest is girls softball teams. Bretz coached girls softball, from the youngest all the way to college age, at one time or another at various grade levels throughout the years at Ripley. He was there giving them leadership training and good sportstmanship, including being a winning team.
Bretz is married to Audrey (Fisher) Bretz, and they have happily raised two children, Wendy and Paul. Together, they both have been active in their children's extra activities such as sport, scouts, church or whatever caught their son and daughters attention. They encouraged them and supported them all the way through.
The evening honors on Friday, April 12 were conducted by Ripley Grange Master Art Kinney and assisted by Betty Skinner, Neva Fisher, Pat Testrake and Ted and Chuck Carris.
Attending this evening along with Ron and Audrey Bretz were many friends, relatives and their children. Those in attendance were Tom and Wendy Hawkins, Wendy Bretz, Paul Bretz, Melisa Fisher, Roy Fisher, Brain Fisher, Janice Whittmen, Neva Fisher.
Kinney invited Ron Bratz to join him in front of the group and talk about his early days at Ripley Central School, coaching the various levels of girls softball games and the many other volunteer organizations he has belonged to, always promoting youth and their achievements in sports
Bretz is employed with Sander's Market in the meat department in North East, Pa. He also serves the capacity of assistant softball coach at Mercyhurst College, located on the North East campus.
A social proclamation in honor of the grange month from National Grange President Edward L. Luttrell was presented. Then Kinney called forward the honoree and presented him with his official certificate and declared Bretz the 2013 Citizen of the Year, giving Bretz an official grange paperweight.
Ripley Grange 65 congratulates Bretz on his dedication to youth and his continual interest in the Town of Ripley.