Thursday, August 27, 2009


"If I felt any better, I wouldn't be able to stand myself."

-Maurice (Benny) Heater
Allentown Learning Center
Board Member

That is the general response when you ask Benny how is. He's not lying. You would be hard pressed to more enthusiastic person. Or one who loves the Learning Centers more. Benny is a constant source of activity and good humor. He is a Shrine Clown, and irrepressible joker. But when it comes to the Learning Centers he can get very serious. What we do your these kids is nothing short of miraculous, he'll tell you. As a result he is a fearless advocate, not caring even what Learning Center he's helping (Benny recently helped secure a $10,000 donation for Bloomsburg, PA)

The secret of his success is one part commitment, one part enthusiasm and one part good humor. It is this mix that inspired the following event at the 2009 Supreme Council Builders Council Breakfast:

Among the people being recognized at the event was Vic Frederick, whose motorcycle trip around the country raised more than $50,000. Several Learning Centers really worked for pledges for this ride. As a result, Reading LC raised $16,200. The Allentown LC raised $16,000.
When we announced this, Benny and his partner in crime George Nakonetschny approached the dais. They said that in the alphabet, "A" is before every letter in the alphabet. Therefore, Allentown would not be second to anyone. To ensure this, these great men, presented $3,000 to Vic, assuring their Learning Center had raised the most money.

At that moment, Russell Baker, stood up and committed $3,000 more for Reading. Not to be outdone Heater and Nakonetschny pledged $2,000 more to the delight of the 200 people attending.

The zest that Benny Heater shows is not because of the Learning Centers. He seems to enthusiastically greet every day. However, we should all be happy that Benny focuses a fair piece of this positive drive to benefit our Learning Center.


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