Osgood plays for residents websize

So many men were lost during the Civil War that places were needed to shelter their widows and orphans. That’s the piece of history that made an impression on retired CBS News Sunday Morning anchor Charles Osgood when he came to Homeland Center as part of its 150th anniversary celebration.

Osgood was the keynote speaker for Homeland’s May 7 gala at the Hilton Harrisburg. Earlier in the day, he visited Homeland, entertaining residents in the main dining room by playing popular songs on the piano and sharing a few stories from his time in the news and political arenas.

Osgood opened by playing “Gallant Men,” the 1967 Top-40 hit he had co-written while announcer for the United States Army Band. The Grammy-winning recording included lyrics spoken by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Everett Dirksen, known for his mellifluous voice.

Gala crowd shot websizeA beacon of care and stability. A model for change.

This is the Homeland Center that was celebrated on May 7, 2017, when Homeland’s many friends gathered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of a storied Harrisburg institution.

Homeland’s 150th anniversary gala, held at the Hilton Harrisburg, was noted for its elegance, its reverence for the past, and its confidence in a bright future.

In 1867, 18 Harrisburg women pooled their energies and talents to create “The Home for the Friendless.” Originally meant to shelter Civil War widows and orphans, it evolved over 150 years to become Homeland Center, the region’s premier Continuing Care Retirement Community and service provider.

Few central Pennsylvania organizations can boast the longevity of Homeland, and the anniversary event attracted 400 people representing all corners of the region’s business, culture, and nonprofit segments.

Betty Wise websizeBetty Wise enjoys sharing her paintings with family and friends, but there is one painting she will never give away. It’s her first, a view of rowboats on a shimmering blue ocean. She copied from a picture in a book and after she had finished, Betty’s art teacher said, “You’re going to be a painter.”

Today, Betty is a 10-year resident of Homeland who is known for her enjoyment of painting and devotion to attending Homeland’s regular art classes.

The native of Tower City, Pennsylvania, grew up with four sisters and one brother. Their dad was a miner who passed on his love of vegetable gardening to Betty. Their mother was a garment worker.

Betty always wanted to be a hairdresser, but for miners’ families, strikes were a fact of life, and money for schooling wasn’t available. To indulge her love for hairdressing, Betty would go into homes up and down the street, charging 25 cents to put up the girls’ hair in pin curls. That evening, she would undo the pins, and “everybody would go to the dance with their hair all done up.”

Even today, Betty loves to have her hair done, saving quarters won from playing bingo for her weekly trip to Homeland’s popular beauty shop.

Pauline Neal websizePauline Neal has trained thousands of Homeland employees, and she tells them all the same thing she heard when she was hired in 1959.

“Always remember that this facility doesn’t belong to anyone but the people who live here,” the Homeland matron told Pauline. “It’s their home. It’s not ours. We’re invited guests in their home, and we’re paid invited guests.”

The native of Huntingdon, PA, first worked in Harrisburg facilities as a nurses’ aide. She never worked in a nursing capacity for Homeland, but for 49 years, she has held multiple caregiving roles – as director of housekeeping and linens, food services director, resident liaison, and now, part-time receptionist.

A mainstay for nearly one-third of Homeland’s 150 years, Pauline has touched countless lives through her attention to detail, her empathy for residents and families, and her devotion to keeping the “home” in Homeland.

Homeland Center
150th Anniversary Gala

May 7, 2017

Thank you to our sponsors, patrons and friends!


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