Paul Smith Library of Southern York County

Paul Smith Library of Southern York County Honors

York County Libraries’ Honors Events highlight prominent library supporters and community members. Learn more about York County Libraries’ Honors events here. Paul Smith Library hosts Honors annually.

Paul Smith Library Honors Kerry and Debbie McKnight

Paul Smith Library of Southern York County’s Honors Committee proudly announces Kerry and Debbie McKnight as the 2023 Honorees. The library will recognize Kerry and Debbie for their outstanding dedication to service in the southern York County community during a special ceremony and reception held at the Library on Sunday, November 5 at 2:00 PM.

About Kerry and Debbie

Kerry and Debbie McKnight were both raised in York county. They are 1970 high school graduates with Debbie graduating from York High and Kerry from Susquehannock.

They resided the first 28 years of their 50 years of marriage in the West York area. However, Kerry was familiar with the New Freedom/Shrewsbury area. His father had worked in New Freedom for decades, and Kerry was employed in Southern York County in the appliance business for 24 years. At the urging of customers, in 1995 Kerry and Debbie opened McKnight’s Appliance in New Freedom.

Debbie always claimed to be a “York Girl”- not wanting to leave her roots. After getting to know the warmth and hospitality of the Southern York County residents and several years of commuting to their business every day, the decision was finally made to relocate to New Freedom in 2001.

About this time, one of Kerry’s mentors gave him a “Life Lesson”, mentioning that the people of the area had supported him and his family with the suggestion they needed to give back to the community. Soon afterwards he joined the New Freedom Lions Club as his way of giving back, with Debbie joining the Lioness Club and then later the Lions Club.

Since his retirement, Kerry has dedicated himself to serving communities through Lions Clubs. He has served a term as District Governor and currently is Pennsylvania’s “Lions Clubs International Foundation” chairman, along with serving as the State Lions Leadership Team Coordinator.

Debbie and Kerry have been library card holders 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.

Honors Event

The Paul Smith Honors ceremony includes commentary by guest speakers who will pay tribute to Kerry and Debbie. A reception will follow their tributes.

Tribute Gifts

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

Paul Smith Library Honors Committee

The Paul Smith Library Honors Committee is comprised of representatives from the Board of Directors, Staff, and Friends of the Library. Committee Members include:

  • Michele Lefler, Library Director
  • Pat LaFleur, Board Member
  • Tanya Sykora, Staff Member
  • Athena Stem, Friends Member

Paul Smith Library Prior Honorees

  • The Hittie Family, 2022
  • Jim & Jean Holley, 2021
  • Tom & Betty Healy, 2019