Four honored for their contributions to area's culture

Four people will be honored Tuesday for their commitment to the area's culture during a dinner held by the Culture & Heritage Museums.

Ann Spencer, Strauss Moore Shiple and Jim and Judy Udick will receive the CHM's Keepers of the Culture award at the Palmetto Room on Main Street. The presentation marks the 10th year the award has been given to individuals who exemplify a commitment to maintaining, communicating and connecting the area's cultural, historical and natural heritage.

The dinner is presented by AbitibiBowater, with the awards underwritten by Will Close.

Here's a look at the recipients:

Ann Spencer

Spencer worked three decades at the Museum of York County and helped with the transition to the Culture & Heritage Museums. Creator of the annual museum gala held to raise money, she also established the museum's volunteer and travel programs.

For years, she was the face of the museum in her role as community relations director. She also has served as the executive director of the Culture and Heritage Foundation, a fundraising arm.

"Ann Spencer was the main foundation of our early museum," said Anne Marshall, a museum advocate who nominated her. "Her friendships with workers and volunteers made for harmonious and relaxed, happy times."

Strauss Moore Shiple

Shiple is a descendent from the Brattonsville plantation who works as a living history interpreter at Historic Brattonsville and other sites. A pastor, she has been inspired by her ancestors' religious background and work orientation to promote spiritual and healing development.

Strauss is a team member of the Olde English District, where she promotes tourism to cultural, historical and natural heritage sites and helps secure financial support.

"She has been created and transformed through the culture of her people's values and behavioral preferences that made up their lifestyle from the traditional African culture," said Bertha Maxwell Roddey, who nominated Shiple. "The experience of her ancestors did not make her bitter but made her better."

Jim and Judy Udick

The Udicks are patrons of the arts, preservationists and avid outdoor people who for decades have volunteered at numerous organizations, including the Museum of York County, Historic Brattonsville, McCelvey Center, Yorkville Artists Guild and the Arts Council of York County. They also have made financial contributions and served on boards and committees. In addition, they've recruited others to volunteer.

"If you were to look up the word 'volunteer' in the dictionary, it would say Jim and Judy next to it," said Van Shields, director and CEO of the CHM. "They'll just do anything to make good things happen."