January 2018

White-water connection leads to 150th anniversary speaker

Jeanne Robertson, 150th anniversary speaker

“I was new to satellite radio and because no station played the music to which I listen—film and television scores—I quickly settled on news stations and a national comedy channel (the one from Canada was a bit too over-the-top for me). 

“I was delighted to hear clips from Jerry Seinfeld and learned to enjoy a variety of other comedians (may John Pinette and his ‘Nay Nay’ rest in peace). Along with the new-to-me people I heard came this soft voice, with a slight Southern accent, that spun humorous vignettes about real life.

“It took me a few tries so as not to drive dangerously, but I finally glimpsed the name on the radio display: Jeanne Robert– The rest of the name was cut off by the display. I determined to Google this name when I had a chance ... but did not get around to it until one day the voice told of white-water rafting. The story had me in stitches as I drove—and it reminded me of our own white-water program, long a staple of Diakon Youth Services’ Wilderness Center near Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

“This time I did the Google search and the Robert– became Robertson. Jeanne Robertson. I read about her and watched a few YouTube videos and then put the name aside. At least I now knew more about the voice on the radio.

“The name remained tucked away in a corner of my mind until I became chair of the 150th anniversary committee for Diakon, for which I have worked, well, not quite as long. I knew immediately Jeanne would be the ideal speaker for the culminating event for the 150th anniversary.

“The effort to secure the nationally known humorist as speaker for our Oct. 21 event represented a much-longer and much-more-winding road than I had planned to travel, the result of geographic stipulations and contract reviews but, in the final analysis, was very well worth it, I believe. 

“Our goal has been to present a performance that will attract people from throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania, provide a little information on Diakon and its history and leave concert-goers feeling delighted and uplifted. I sincerely believe we have found the absolutely right person in Jeanne Robertson.

“And I can't wait to hear more about the white-water rafting. I assume some former Diakon Youth Services participants would enjoy those tales as well.

“And if you're interested in hearing Jeanne Robertson yourself, just click here for ticket information.”

—William Swanger
SVP, Diakon Corporate Communications


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