New Castle News

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August 20, 2013

Y names Salute to Courage winner

NEW CASTLE — James Wherry will be honored  Oct. 3 at the New Castle Community YMCA’s annual Salute to Courage dinner.

Wherry, a stroke survivor and community servant, suffered a major stroke in July 2005, just three years into his retirement. His son, Jeffrey, recalls the attending physician telling the family that Jim had suffered the most damaging type of stroke, and the least likely to be rehabilitated.

His family was hopeful yet discouraged about what might follow, but Wherry has surprised them with his resolve to get better and desire to live a full, active life.

The Salute to Courage award is given annually to just such a person as Wherry, who has demonstrated great courage in recovery from an accident, injury or illness, in living with a disability or through an act of heroism.

The event is open to the public and will be held at the Villa Banquet Center. A reception begins at 5:15 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 6 p.m.

“One might expect Jim to be bitter for the things he has lost: control of his right side, independence, and to some degree his active lifestyle,” event planner Lynise Massella of the YMCA said.

“On the contrary, he laughs, loves, dreams and continues to inspire his family and community. He is living proof that you can’t keep a good man down.”

Prior to retirement, Wherry worked as controller at Pecor Manufacturing, vice president for finance at Lockley Manufacturing in New Castle and as a payroll administrator for Interstate Chemical Co. in Hermitage. He was an active biker, golfer and tennis player and had plans of traveling the world with his wife, Elaine, before the stroke.

With his attention to detail and financial background, he spent more than 30 years of his life volunteering as “the money man” and supporter for many local charities, including The Lions Club, The Blind Association, The Red Cross, The Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Lawrence County and Neshannock High School Boosters clubs.

Wherry counts his blessings instead of his limitations and continues to travel locally, enjoys cruises and travels across the country in support of his grandchildren, who are college athletes. He is active in the Lawrence Club and his church, First Presbyterian, and plays bridge weekly with friends.

Tickets for the Oct. 3 dinner are $65 per person or $550 for a table of 10, and may be purchased at the YMCA downtown.

The event is sponsored by PNC Bank. Other sponsorship opportunities are available, and interested businesses may contact Bill Lutz at (724) 658-4766 for information.

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