Why do I live in Bradford, Pennsylvania?

Hi Everyone,

I thought this title would get your attention, and I am hoping that I will get some responses back from Bradfordians.

I came to Bradford in 1962, which was my senior year of high school, and I have great memories of that year at Bradford High.  I made some great friends, and I graduated with the Class of 1962.  I later worked for Bovaird and Seyfang Company, the City of Bradford, and then went into the Army serving in Germany and Vietnam.  When I came back to Bradford in 1966,  I realized how lucky I was to have Bradford as my hometown!

In 1966, I married Terri Girard and we raised  three children in Bradford, and they all received a great education, and they learned excellent work ethics, by all of them having jobs after school and during college.  I know they all still love their hometown!

I guess the biggest thing for me though, is the people, and the caring hearts, that they all have.  No matter what the need is in our community, someone always steps up to help those in need.  This past year was an exceptional example of that spirit, with Zippo, American Refinery Group, and many other organizations, and individuals stepping up to help build the new center for Care for Children, that was dedicated in memory of Ashley Booth Griffin.  We will be so lucky to have this state of the art building, that will be dedicated to improving the lives of children of all abilities! Executive Director Tina Martin and her staff have great passion in building Care for Children for the Future!

Another great example is Futures Rehabilitation Center.  I have been the Chairman of the Board for the past 13 months, and it is so rewarding to me as a Board member, when I see the great work that goes on at Futures.

We provide a variety of vocational and social programs to over 200 individuals!

I always love going to the Center, and seeing all the smiles and how happy the participants  are in our workshop.  President and CEO Bill Leven and his staff have done a fantastic job, and we are so proud of their accomplishments!

Now I know that we have our problems, but so does every other town, and I think the biggest solution is to continue to improve things in our town, and stop the negative comments and start looking at all the positives.  I know that we have a lot of bad housing, but at the same time, I see a lot of improvements going on in almost every neighborhood in our town.  The city is solving those problems by removing some of the blighted housing, and improving our infrastructure. The Office of  Economic Development  with their Elm Street project, has made great improvements to many neighborhoods, and this year we will see great improvements to the Congress Street area. Executive Director Sara Andrews and her staff are committed to improving our town!

I am also involved with the Bradford Water Authority, and for those of you who don’t know the history of the Authority, we own 12,000 acres of pristine land, with three reservoirs that have a one billion gallon capacity.  We have a state of the art filtration system, and I am proud to say that  our water rates are some of the lowest rates in the country.  That is because we have run the authority like a business and since 2000 we have only had 2 rate increases.  I think we have the best water in the country, and Kim Benjamin and his staff and his crew and our Board of Directors are all dedicated in making sure we continue to improve our water system.

Finally, I had lunch this past week  with my good friend, Francie Ambuske,  who is the Director of Development for the Bradford Hospital Foundation.  Francie also loves our town and has so much passion to make Bradford a better place to live.  She even came up with a great addition to Bradford’s name and suggest that we promote Bradford as Bradfordable.  I love the idea, and we are going to come up with a campaign called “Bradford is Bradfordable”!

I could go on and on with what I like, but I want to hear what you like about our town.  I only want to hear the positive, because I have heard enough about the negative.  So stop on down to 121 Main Street or email me at orris1592verizon.net and give us your ideas.


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  2. Ron, You Are So RIGHT! When Linda & I Arrived In Bradford for her Interviews to become the Director of the Bradford Area Public Library, We Both Saw the HUGE Potential Just Waiting for NEW Residents To Explore. Both Linda & I grew up in small towns, me in Northeastern Kansas & Linda in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We remember saying to each other over our first meal (at the New Willows Restaurant), that a Time Machine MUST Have Transported Us BACK To the 1950’s Small Town AMERICA! Like Many Bradfordians (born here or transplanted), we both fell in love with our soon (hopefully) to be NEW Hometown and couldn’t wait to move from North Central Massachusetts (where we had lived for 25 years) to such a “COOL Town with WARM Hearts” (sign on ARG’s Oil Storage Tank)! We have NEVER Looked Back since that First Visit! Bradford PEOPLE Are SPECIAL! People, and the Caring, Supportive, Welcoming Attitude shown to us both led to our making Bradford Our PERMANENT Home! Bradfordians NEED To “Spread The Word” that “BRADFORD IS Bradfordable”!!!!!!!!!!!

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