Carmella “BJ” Williams brings artistry and heart to Homeland’s kitchen!

Carmella “BJ” Williams was standing by the flea market booth at Homeland’s annual summer fair when a resident’s son approached and said, “I just want to thank you for everything that you do.”

It meant the world to her.

“It came out of nowhere,” she said. “He just came up and hugged me.”

During Homeland’s 150th anniversary year, Williams celebrates a milestone of her own. October 22, 2017 is her 25th anniversary of working at Homeland, rising from kitchen staff to assistant director of nutritional services.

cutshall party pic 2 for webIn 1917, Homeland Center celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was a time of compassion and progress. The facility was expanding, even installing Harrisburg’s first elevator.

Also in 1917, Genevieve Culbertson Cutshall was born in Mt. Union, Pennsylvania. It was the beginning of a life that would include trips to all 50 states. In September 2017, as Homeland celebrated its 150th anniversary, Mrs. Cutshall celebrated her 100th birthday with a party in Homeland’s Olewine Diner.

When it comes to childhood memories of fish dinners, opinions are divided.

“When my mom made fish, I didn’t like it,” said Gloria Walters.

“I always liked fish, and I used to love to go fishing,” said Sarah Lewis.

However, on a pleasant, sunny September day, Homeland residents found common ground. They all enjoyed the fish fry held in the Homeland Chet Henry Memorial Pavilion, named in honor of a former resident who was Harrisburg’s youngest fire chief and Pennsylvania’s first state fire commissioner.

2017 Homeland Fair 2 minThe Homeland Center parking lot was overflowing, not with cars, but with happy children and their families for the 2017 Summertime Fair. Summer storms held off until the end of the day, and kids enjoyed everything from hot dogs to snow cones and virtual reality games to pony rides.

The Homeland Center Summertime Fair is a highly anticipated annual tradition. Administration, staff, and Board of Managers members collaborate to create a welcoming event that convenes Homeland residents and neighborhood families for a day of fun.


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