Benjamin Olewine III The passing of Benjamin Olewine III on May 27 saddened the Homeland Center family. Ben’s generosity touched many residents as well as the entire Harrisburg community in ways big and small.

We were honored to have Ben serve as an honorary co-chair for Homeland’s 150th Gala Anniversary Celebration at the Hilton Harrisburg in early May. Ben was too ill to attend, but in his co-chair message for the Gala program, he talked about why he believed Homeland’s mission is so critical.

“Everyone deserves a safe and secure home," Ben wrote. “As we age, finding a home that offers the best in personal and skilled care is crucial."

He also recalled his long history with Homeland, which began when his family’s grocery store would deliver supplies in the early 1900s. Much later, Homeland cared for his wife, Gloria and his aunt, Marian Olewine. In appreciation of the care they received, he supported the renovation of the Gathering Room in his wife’s memory and the creation of the unique, 1950s-style diner in memory of his aunt.

Celebrate Homeland Center’s 150th Anniversary with a collection of recipes from the Homeland “family.”

  • Features over 185 recipes from Homeland Center board members, residents, volunteers, family members, staff and friends
  • Recipes are enclosed in a sturdy 3-ring binder measuring 7 inches wide by 9.25 inches high
  • Features photos of Homeland Center and a 150 year history of the organization
  • Excellent as a commemorative gift
  • Best of all, proceeds from the sale provide benevolent care for residents whose resources have been exhausted
  • Each cookbook is just $25

Osgood plays for residents

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 websize A 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 Betty 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.


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