Focus on LaVerne Longenecker – Hall of Famer and Senior Games Participant
Often times, people think that the beauty of Cornwall Manor is made up from our scenic, wooded campuses and care-free living. However, the true beauty of the Cornwall Manor community is created by the residents who live here and their fascinating life journeys. Cornwall Manor is proud to have a “Hall of Famer” living within our community.
Resident LaVerne Longenecker was inducted in the Lebanon Cedars Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. As a 1951 graduate, there weren’t many sports available to women. In fact, the only varsity sport available was women’s basketball. At that time, the women’s team only played half court (because they didn’t think that girls could run the whole court). They played with six players and only forwards could score during the games.
As a child, LaVerne was always interested in sports. She can recall playing softball and football with the neighborhood children. Because of her love for sports, she participated in all intramurals and had the opportunity to try out sports like volleyball, track, softball and table tennis.
After high school, she attended Millersville and Penn State. She continued her involvement in college intramurals, basketball and even tried field hockey–because it was available. After college, she coached girls basketball and even officiated!
As soon as she was old enough, LaVerne signed up to participate in Senior Olympics. She participated locally and went to states to qualify for nationals. She played several sports all over the United States and has fond memories of making national news with her “Spunky Ladies” basketball team.
LaVerne’s Hall of Fame induction included these highlights from her career:
- Played varsity basketball for three years (only interscholastic sport available to females)
- Earned three varsity letters
- Member of the League Championship Team, 1950-1951
- Scored 35% of the team’s total points (81)
- Played on all intramural sports – volleyball, softball and track
- Best female athlete in the area
- Coached varsity basketball at Lebanon High School in the 1960s
- Millersville State College Sportsmanship Award
- Pennsylvania Senior Olympics – 33 gold medals, 26 silver medals and 22 bronze medals
She moved to Cornwall Manor in June 2003 and continues her sports-filled active life as well as other activities and volunteering. At Cornwall Manor, she is part of a book club; volunteers in the Curiosity Shoppe, on the Wellness Committee and in Zerr Chapel. She also plays table tennis in the men’s league three nights a week, plays bridge and Mah Jongg. LaVerne was instrumental in helping start Cornwall Manor’s Senior Games, which will be in its 15th year in 2017 and offers 25 games for residents to participate in.
She also remains very active in the surrounding Lebanon Community, too. She attends Covenant United Methodist Church in Lebanon and sings in the choir. LaVerne is a counselor at Lebanon County Christian Ministries, a summer usher at the nearby Gretna Theatre and volunteers at Wellspan Health/Good Samaritan Hospital’s Information Desk twice a month.
During her little bit of downtime, she does return to Lebanon High School to watch the basketball games or you might be able to find her in her apartment routing for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Congrats, LaVerne on your Hall of Fame achievement and thank you for your encouragement of a Senior Games program at Cornwall Manor!