Savanick, Halfhills named ‘Faces Around Town’ parade marshals
For the second year, the Fall Festival parade committee has chosen “Faces Around Town” parade marshals – Scottdale residents with a commitment to their hometown.
This year, the honor goes to Marty Savanick and John and Becky Halfhill.
Savanick came to Scottdale with her husband, Reuben, in 1979. They raised their sons in Scottdale – Benjamin, who is a pilot for Continental Express, Nathan, a recent graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, and Adam, a freshman at EMU.
In 1989, the Savanicks opened “Collections by Marty” on Pittsburgh Street, which first offered antiques and collectibles, and evolved into a primarily country decor and gift shop.
Collections by Marty expanded to a second store in Donegal in 1993.
The Savanicks are working on their third business enterprise, a Victorian tearoom, due to open in late fall in Scottdale at the former Provident Bookstore site.
Savanick says the tearoom will offer a place for special outings as well as lunches for Scottdale business people and residents. In addition to coffees and teas, patrons will be able to enjoy soup, salads, sandwiches, desserts and hand-dipped ice cream. The tearoom will also sell packaged gourmet foods.
Besides boosting Scottdale with her business endeavors, Savanick is committed to revitalizing Scottdale’s downtown through her work with the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce. Savanick serves as the chamber’s president.
She was also named to borough council’s “Scottdale Initiative” committee, which addresses issues related to Scottdale’s business district.
Savanick was active in the former Scottdale Merchant’s Association, she helped organize the Fall Festival, and she is a member of the Kiwanis Club.
Savanick is also active in her church, Scottdale Mennonite Church.
Savanick says when she was asked to be a “Faces Around Town” parade marshal, she was surprised, but was honored to represent Scottdale business people and the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce.
John and Becky Halfhill moved to Scottdale in 1996 to be a part of the community when John Halfhill became Southmoreland School District’s director of secondary education and special education.
Cory Shrefler, now of Cleveland, Ohio, and Colby Shrefler, a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, joined their mother and stepfather as a part of the Scottdale community.
Becky Halfhill says, “From the time we moved here, we felt a real commitment to the community. We made a lot of friends. We felt so welcomed. We think there’s so much potential here. We see a lot of good things happening.”
This summer, John Halfhill was named Southmoreland’s superintendent of schools.
He is a new member of Scottdale Rotary and a member of the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce, serving on the “Scottie Scholar” committee that honors the accomplishments of Southmoreland High School seniors. He also plans to serve on the chamber’s proposed historical committee.
Becky Halfhill has been the librarian at Connellsville Area High School for 17 years.
She is the secretary of the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on a number of its committees. She also serves on the board of the new library and is the vice president of the Scottdale Women’s Book Club.
She says being asked to be a “Faces Around Town” parade marshal “truly is an honor.”
“We’re two people in education for a lot of years and we’re very passionate about what we do. It’s such an honor.”
John Halfhill adds, “I feel a strong sense of commitment not only to the school district, but to the community. That’s what we’re all about. It’s nice to be able to make a connection between the district and the organizations in the community.”
He comments, “As great an honor as it is for us, it’s a greater honor to be chosen with (Savanick).”
The “Faces Around Town” parade marshals will lead the Fall Festival parade on Saturday, Sept. 21.