Skip to content

Nominations Open for the Robert N. Pursel Award for Community Service

From Central Susquehanna Community Foundation

The Holiday Happenings committee for 2019 is pleased to begin accepting nominations for the 24th annual selection of the Robert N. Pursel Award for Community Service. The chosen recipient(s) will be honored at the Holiday Happenings gala event on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn. The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, July 1.

Festivities this year will again benefit the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund through partnership with the Danville Area Community Foundation.

The Robert Pursel Award is named in honor of Robert Newton Pursel, whose great, great, great grandfather was one of the first settlers in the Danville area. Pursel’s ancestry had an early history of farming in Limestone township and later as blacksmiths in the village of Danville. Robert’s father and grandfather both were involved with several of the mills in Danville, and his father served terms as burgess, school director, Danville National Bank president, Danville Borough treasurer, Board of Water Commissioners president, and Danville YMCA director.

Pursel, born in 1902, attended Mercersburg Academy and graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in mining engineering. He worked and travelled in the Middle East, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia while in the employ of gas and oil companies. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under General Eisenhower during World War II, again in the Middle East as well as in the Philippines, India and Japan.

Upon retirement in 1960, Robert returned to Danville and the family home on West Market Street. Like his father, the community of Danville was important to Robert and he quickly became involved with many civic endeavors. He was a founding member of the Danville chapter of the American Red Cross and his presence could always be counted upon for local chapter projects. He was a member of the National Railroad Historical Society, the League of Women Voters, the American Cancer Society and the Antique Automobile Club. As one of the five founding directors of the Greater Danville Area Industrial Development Corporation, he played an instrumental role in attracting new industries to Danville and served as Secretary of the Corporation until his death in 1999.

To nominate a deserving citizen of our area for the Robert N. Pursel Award, you may download a nomination form through the Foundation website at If you prefer, you may contact Joanne Benjamin at 570-594-4664, or Katie Simpson via email. A nomination form will be forwarded to you. Nomination deadline is July 1.

Scroll To Top