Honoring Culture Keepers

There is no guarantee that our shared cultural, historical and natural heritage will prevail indefinitely. It must be nurtured and protected.

That is where those with a commitment to preserving that culture play such a vital role. And that is why York County chooses each year to honor Keepers of the Culture.

Four were honored Tuesday at a special ceremony sponsored by the Culture & Heritage Museums. Ann Spencer, Strauss Moore Shiple and Jim and Judy Udick were the recipients in this, the 10th year in which the award has been given.

Ann Spencer has worked for 30 years with the Museum of York County and has helped with the transition to the Culture & Heritage Museums. For years, she was the face of the museum, serving as its community relations director. She also has served as the executive director of the Culture and Heritage Foundation.

Strauss Moore Shiple is a descendant from the Brattonsville plantation who is a volunteer at Historic Brattonsville and an ordained Baptist minister. Strauss also is a team member of the Olde English District, where she promotes tourism. She said she has been inspired by her ancestors' religious background and work orientation in her historical pursuits.

Jim and Judy Udick are patrons of the arts, preservationists and devoted outdoors people. They have, for years, been involved in a variety of organizations, including the Museum of York County, Historic Brattonsville, McCelvey Center, Yorkville Artists Guild and the Arts Council of York County. They also have been generous donors to a number of local causes and have inspired others to volunteer.

To all these devoted Keepers of the Culture, we extend our gratitude. While all have chosen different paths to protecting the culture, they share the same goal.

We congratulate them and hope this recognition will encourage others to follow in their footsteps.