Williamsport, PA―The second annual Dr. Alexander Nesbitt Commitment to Caring Award was presented to Mrs. Virla Ocker on April 7, 2015 in a surprise ceremony preceding a Living Will workshop at the Elder & Special Needs Resource Center in Williamsport. Dr. Nesbitt presented the award, established by Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, and named in his honor. The Dr. Alexander Nesbitt Commitment to Caring Award was developed by the elder care law firm of Steinbacher & Stahl. in 2014. According to Attorney Julieanne E. Steinbacher, the award recognizes an individual in the community who shows an extraordinary commitment to caring that improves the lives of others.
This year’s recipient has worked with families and organizations for many years in her capacity as the Outreach and Community Relations Coordinator for The Hillside Senior Living Community. Virla is a survivor of three different cancers and is passionate in her support of the American Cancer Society, including the Relay For Life®. She has been a Voice of Hope, and is a frequent speaker for the American Cancer Society, helping to raise awareness, fundraising, and educating the public and legislature about advances in research and of the benefits available to those impacted by cancer. She is a constant source of resources, encouragement, and of comfort to those she meets who are affected by the disease.
A natural leader, Virla volunteers with the Kiwanis, is a vital member of the planning committee for The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and serves on the Youth Commission. She is active in her membership at Pine Street United Methodist Church. Virla is a caregiver to her mother Aleda Sides, and is compassionate in providing day to day help and support to her neighbor who is without local family. She has been lovingly referred to by her coworkers as the “Queen of Volunteers.” Not only is Virla publically involved, she is active in highlighting the efforts of her favorite charities using social media.
In her very minimal free time, Virla loves to spend time with her husband George, their adult daughter Tami Young (Brian) and her young grandson Max. An avid reader, Virla loves traveling to warm places, cruising, and relaxing on the beach.
In addition to a plaque given to Virla, Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak made a cash donation to the charity of Virla’s choice. A reception followed the award ceremony.