The PA Route 6 Alliance recognized several outstanding efforts and individuals that have given new meaning to the slogan “DO 6” at their annual meeting and awards program on Thursday, May 8 at the Coudersport Golf Club. Individuals and organizations from across Route 6 were honored. “Each person or project was chosen for their dedication to heritage tourism development,” said PA Route 6 Alliance Executive Terri Dennison. “These individuals, organizations, businesses and corporations exemplify the mission of the PA Route 6 Alliance to protect and preserve the scenic, cultural, historical and recreational resources in the northern tier.”

The Heritage Partnership Award was presented to Joyce Tice of the History Center on Main Street, Mansfield. This award is presented to a group, person or organization that has demonstrated excellence in historic preservation, cultural preservation, interpretation, and/or education through cross-corridor thinking and interagency cooperation. The Alliance recognized Tice for her love of history, education and preservation. Tice has served area residents and people across the country with her Tri-Counties Genealogy & History Site, written several books on local history and aspects of American History and is the founder of the History Center on Main St. Recently, she bought the Methodist Church on Main St. to transform it into a local history museum. Her work with Chester Bailey and Barb McConnell at the 1890s Museum Tent has ensured that the museum remains active, relevant and interesting. Tice and her volunteers work tirelessly to acquire, preserve and share items, books, clothing, photographs, documents and much more to preserve Mansfield’s rich history and heritage.

The Heritage Leadership Awards was presented to Dave Sample and Sara Sample, Gigi’s Route 6 Diner and Heritage Center, Corry. The award is presented to a person, business or organization for meaningful contributions and/or through partnerships, by enriching our communities through landscape initiatives or historic preservation. Dave Sample and his daughter, Sara, took on the impressive task of creating a unique retro dining experience that also houses a tourist information and local heritage center. With the blessing of the Corry Community Development Corporation (CCDC), the Samples arranged to move a 1950’s style silver, 68-foot-long diner to Corry to be used as a coffee house/eatery and heritage center, now called Gigi’s Route 6 Diner. Working with the Corry and Union City Historical Societies, CCDC developed an interactive kiosk system to be placed at the Gigi’s Route 6 Diner and Heritage Center and another location in Union City. The interactive kiosk system is in the shape of the historically significant Climax Locomotive and was designed and constructed by the local students. The system provides information on the history and places to visit in the Corry area.

The Heritage Community of the Year was presented to the City of Carbondale and was accepted by Mayor Justin Taylor. The award is presented to the designated Heritage Community, who is embracing their Heritage Tourism Work plans and implementing worthwhile projects, and showing impacts and results. The City of Carbondale, with its Route 6 Task Force, has been actively implementing the recommendations as outlined in their Heritage Community Plan. Working in a public-private partnership, the city has made vast improvements to its downtown. They have playfully embraced the legend of an alien visit by creating events featuring their mascot, the “Carbondalien” as well as introduced a QR code based Smartphone walking tour to give visitors a chance to learn the city’s history. Thinking regionally, their latest project is a bus trip from Carbondale to Wellsboro to highlight the connections between their community and other Route 6 communities.

The Heritage Tourism Award was presented to Goodell Gardens and Homestead, Edinboro. The award is presented to a business or a project that furthers economic and tourism development while respecting the heritage and cultural resources of the Route 6 Corridor. Goodell Gardens has been open to the public just 10 short years, but during that decade, they have been able to take what was once a working family farm and turn it into a small-scale botanic garden and community gathering place, seeing more than 12,000 visitors during the 2013 season. Offering a wide variety of events from a gardening-topics education series, Farmers Market and Summer Music Series, to children's classes like Garden Sprouts Preschool and Sing-a-long with Lori, Goodell Gardens has found a way to attract visitors from throughout the Lake Erie Region. The Gardens feature a woodland/natives garden that was started by the late sisters Carrie and Margaret Goodell, whose family farmed on the 78-acre site for three generations. Through programming, interpretive displays and adaptive reuse of the site and its buildings, Goodell Gardens & Homestead is quickly becoming a must-see destination for visitors to Edinboro, Erie County, and Pennsylvania's Route 6 Heritage Corridor.

The Artisan of the Year was presented to Marilyn Blackmore of the Arts in the Wilds, Kane. The award is presented to an artist or artisan group that exemplifies the goals of the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail program showing regional thinking and cooperation while promoting the arts along the corridor. Marilyn Blackmore is a retired first grade teacher and a lifelong advocate for the arts. She was a prime organizer in the “Celebration of the Arts” in the Kane and Mt. Jewett elementary schools and in the Kane Arts Creative Arts League, which has now merged with ArtWorks at the Depot where she still serves on the Roundtable as treasurer. Marilyn is an original member of the PA Wilds Artisan Trail committee and served for many years on the PA Route 6 Artisan committee. In 2006 she and her husband David, who was a marketing professor, created “Art in the Wilds”, which is a juried fine arts show held yearly in Evergreen Park in Kane. It began with 23 artists and 3,000 guests and continues to grow each year. This year will be the eighth year and the show will be held on June 28 and 29th. Art in the Wilds is one of the first regional events to partner with the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Senator Robert Robbins, District 50. The award is presented to a person or agency that exemplifies outstanding leadership and advances our mission through heritage development. Since the early 2000’s when a group of convention and visitor bureaus began promoting PA Route 6 as a driving destination, Senator Robert Robbins has been encouraging the organization and development of what is now the PA Route 6 Alliance. He fully supported PA Route 6 being designated as a Pennsylvania Heritage Area, fought to make sure all of Route 6 was included in state promotions, and coordinated meetings of state agencies and legislators to continue the efforts to economic and community development along Route 6. Senator Robbins has sponsored legislation to designate the eastern gateway in Matamoras and the western gateway in Linesville and to have the western section from Linesville to Conneaut Lake designated as a Pennsylvania Byway. He is a true champion of tourism in Crawford County, the PA Great Lakes Region and along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor.

The DO 6 Awards are awarded annually in May at the PA Route 6 Alliance Annual Meeting. Nominations are solicited from across the Heritage Corridor. For more information, see the PA Route 6 website at