Shockey family generosity recognized with performing arts center name

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

About a decade ago, Ken Shockey told Dr. C. Gregory Hoover, superintendent at the time, the Steinway grand piano in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium needed to be refurbished, and it was going to cost $50,000.

“Ken said, ‘But I have an answer,’” Hoover recounted at the beginning of the first of two Old Home Week community worship services Sunday, Aug. 7, in the auditorium.

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Refurbishing the piano was the start of what would total, as of this year, $400,000 invested in the auditorium by the Paul K. and Anna E. Shockey Family Foundation, created by Ken Shockey’s parents. Paul Shockey was a co-founder of JLG Industries and Anna Shockey was a nurse.

“Ken probably regrets that answer because I kept coming back,” Hoover laughed before announcing the auditorium will now be known as The Shockey Family Center for Performing Arts. The name appears in gold letters over the entrance to the facility.

The Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium is now named The Shockey Family Center for Performing Arts.

“Last year I said, ‘We need $100,000,’ and in 30 seconds Ken said, ‘Yes,’” Hoover told the worship service audience.

“We knew it was going to be put to good use, and it has,” Ken Shockey said, thanking the school district for the honor. He was followed to the microphone by his wife, Bonnie, who welcomed the audience as president of the 41st triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week.

The latest improvements — new curtains, better lighting for the pit area and steps to the stage, and a new projector — were evident during the Old Home Week services, “Jesus, You Are Worthy” and the pageant “Yesterday, When We Were Young.”

Ken Shockey played the grand piano for the Old Home Week community worship services. At the beginning of the early performance on Sunday, Aug. 7, it was announced the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium has been renamed The Shockey Family Center for Performing Arts. Over the years, the Paul K. and Anna E. Shockey Family Foundation started by his parents has supported $400,000 in improvements to the auditorium.

The worship featured an 80-plus voice choir and a 30-plus member orchestra, with Ken Shockey at the keyboard.

“I’m still playing that darned piano,” joked Ken Shockey.

An 80-plus voice choir and 30-plus member orchestra performed at the two Old Home Week musical community worship services ‘Jesus, You Are Worthy’ on Sunday, Aug. 7.

“We thank your family for all that you have done for our district and we are extremely grateful for this generosity that will help to provide a better experience for our students and the community,” current Superintendent Dr. Lura Hanks wrote in a letter that was given to the Shockeys.

“It looks awesome now,” according to Gerald Crable, the district’s supervisor of data and assessment and auditorium manager. “The projector is something like you would see at a huge theater, it’s that kind of quality. The picture is beautiful.”

Vocalists, instrumentalists and a creative arts team came together for two Old Home Week community worship services titled ‘Jesus, You Are Worthy.’

The improvements wouldn’t be possible without what Crable called the Shockey family’s “extreme generosity,” since the auditorium budget is only $4,000 to $5,000 a year.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at shardy@gannett.com