Library Honors Kerry and Debbie McKnight

October 3, 2023

Paul Smith Library of Southern York County Honors Kerry and Debbie McKnight

Paul Smith Library of Southern York County will honor Kerry and Debbie McKnight during its fourth annual Honors event and reception at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, November 5. They will be recognized for their many years of dedicated service to the library and the community. The library’s Honors event recognizes leaders who make the community a better place to live and learn. The public is invited to attend the event which will be held at the library. Registration is requested by October 18.

“The McKnights are pillars of our community and uphold the values that we recognize in our Honors Program. They truly make the community a better place to live and learn,” says Michele Lefler, library director for the Paul Smith Library of Southern York County. “Both Kerry and Debbie give back to the community as active members of the New Freedom Lions Club. Debbie has also been a long-time volunteer at our library.”

Kerry and Debbie McKnight were both raised in York County, graduating from Susquehannock High School and William Penn Senior High School, respectively. They opened McKnight’s Appliance in New Freedom in 1995 and have been married for 50 years. Since his retirement, Kerry has dedicated himself to serving communities through Lions Clubs. He served a term as district governor and is currently chairman of Pennsylvania’s Lions Clubs International Foundation and serves as the Lions state leadership team coordinator.

Debbie and Kerry have been library members for over 60 years and Debbie has been a faithful volunteer at the Paul Smith Library for over two decades. Her passion for placing books into the hands of children has included donations through the New Freedom Lions Club service projects, to the Paul Smith Library, Penn State Children’s Hospital and other local charities.

“This incredible couple embodies the spirit of giving and service,” says York County Libraries President Robert F. Lambert. “Their unwavering contribution of time and talent to the library and the community is admirable and truly appreciated.” The Paul Smith Library Honors ceremony will include commentary by guest speakers who will pay tribute to the McKnights. Speakers include Lions Keith Shoff, Theresa Craley, Brian Sweitzer, and family friend Scott Hittie. A reception will follow their tributes.

A key component of the Paul Smith Library Honors event is to raise funds to continue providing valuable services and programs to the community. Contributions to the Honors Fund are welcome by donating securely online at or by mail to the Paul Smith Library Honors Fund, 80 Constitution Avenue, Shrewsbury, PA 17361.

Anyone interested in attending the November 5 celebration should RSVP online at or by phoning Lefler at 717-235-4313. The day’s event is planned by the Paul Smith Library Honors Committee which includes Lefler, Pat LaFleur, Tanya Sykora, and Athena Stem.

Paul Smith Library of Southern York County is a member of York County Libraries and is located at 80 Constitution Avenue in Shrewsbury. It has the distinction of being the second “green” library in Pennsylvania and is LEED certified.




Deb Sullivan
Community Relations Director
York County Libraries
[email protected]

Michele Lefler
Library Director
Paul Smith Library of Southern York County
[email protected]