RIPLEY - Ripley Grange 65 recently honored Ron Bretz as its Citizen of the Year, presenting him with the Community Citizens Award from the National Grange along with a National Grange paperweight.
The award is given to a non-Grange member who has performed outstanding volunteer service, contributing to the welfare and betterment of the Ripley community.
Bretz has dedicated his life to serving youth through various sports in the Ripley area by serving as a coach, mainly in the girls softball programs. Bretz grew up in the Ripley area and attended Ripley Central School, graduating in 1971. His interest was in the athletic programs Ripley offered. Attending college, he continued in sports and today serves as the assistant girls softball coach at Mercyhurst College in North East, Pa.
Bretz is married to Audrey Fisher; they have four children. The Bretzs say they have supported and encouraged each of their children who have excelled in sports and various youth organizations.
Many members of Bretz family, extended relatives and friends were guests of the Ripley Grange for the awards ceremony.
Those attending were Tom and Wendy Hawkins, Wendy Bretz, Paul Bretz, Melisa Fisher, Roy Fisher, Brian Fisher, Janice Whittmen and Neva Fisher, along with members from the Ripley Grange.
Art Kinney, Grange master and president, asked Bretz to come forward, and together they had a dialogue of his past, volunteer programs throughout his life as an assistant girls softball coach and currently being the caretaker at the Rural Quincy Cemetery in Ripley.
Bretz is employed in the meat department at Sander's Market in North East, Pa.