VisitMercerCountyPA to Present Awards June 16
SHARON, Pa. – VisitMercerCountyPA will honor Jennifer and Rick Barborak and Carried Away Outfitters at its annual dinner June 16 at the Park Inn by Radisson Sharon.
The Barboraks will receive this year’s Bill Knecht Tourism Award for their work with the Shenango River Watchers and WaterFire Sharon. River Watchers, a nonprofit group, organizes volunteers to help with environmental education projects, aquatic life research, and cleanup and recycling projects as well as recreational events. WaterFire attracts more than 50,000 visitors to downtown Sharon every year and both Jennifer and Rick Barborak have served on its board of directors since 2013.
VisitMercerCountyPA will present Carried Away Outfitters with the James E. Winner Jr. Tourism Initiative Award. The award is presented to “tourism-related businesses that are proactive and idea-driven.
“These businesses don’t simply seize opportunities as they arise, they create them,” said VisitMercerCountyPA Executive Director Peggy Mazyck in a release. “They rise to the challenges facing them and emerge stronger and more resilient.”
Janet Shilling and her son, Casey, started Carried Away after seeing the work accomplished by River Watchers. The company, started five years ago, rents bicycles, kayaks and paddleboards in Greenville and Jamestown, along the Shenango River and shores of the Pymatuning Reservoir. So far, Carried Away has had more than 5,000 rentals to customers from 34 states and five countries.
VisitMercerCountyPA will also recognize Jean Daffin and Hugh Clark. Daffin took over Daffin’s Candies, Sharon, after her husband died in 1998 and has continued to increase growth at the company. She is also involved with the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, Sharon Rotary and United Way of Mercer County.
Clark worked as a fundraiser with River Watchers and played a key role in helping the Shenango River be named an official Pennsylvania Water Trail, an eight-year project. Last year, he was given the Army Corps of Engineers National Volunteer Award.
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