Serving Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties in Central Pennsylvania.

Gary D. and Sylvie F. St. Hilaire Honored with Humanitarian Award

Gary D. and Sylvie F. St. Hilaire of Mechanicsburg were honored this month with the 2019 Humanitarian Award from United Way of the Capital Region’s Tocqueville Society. The couple was recognized for their outstanding commitment to improving lives through volunteerism during a special reception, sponsored by M&T Bank, Wilmington Trust and Capital BlueCross.

Gary and Sylvie moved to our community nearly 15 years ago when Gary was named CFO of Capital BlueCross. Today, he serves as the company’s president and CEO. Through their volunteer efforts and deep understanding of the role community and individual support play in creating positive change, the couple has provided a sustained commitment to make the Capital Region a stronger, more vibrant place to live.

Sylvie has served as chair of the Capital Region Arts and Education Board, the fundraising arm of the Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School (CASA). Her leadership was recognized in 2018 for helping build the financial sustainability of the school. The hallmark of her efforts was the creation of the Sunset Soirée, a community event that has brought awareness and support to CASA. 

Sylvie has established the St. Hilaire French Scholarship Fund through The Foundation for Enhancing Communities to benefit college-bound high school graduates in need of assistance. She has also served on the board of directors for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, and currently serves as a director on the Harrisburg Symphony Society Board. Together, Sylvie and Gary were recognized by the Ryan International School for their commitment to excellence in education.  

In 2016, Gary served as chair of United Way of the Capital Region’s fundraising campaign, raising more than $11 million to benefit our community. He has chaired the American Heart Association Heart Walk, exceeding all records in fundraising and volunteer participation. Gary has also been recognized as a Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association, bringing attention to the needs of those struggling with the disease locally.

Gary’s support of Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts has enabled it to provide state-of-the art programs, education and services for our region in the areas of science, technology and the arts. Recently, Gary was recognized by the Central Pennsylvania Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for his community mindset and philanthropic leadership.  Gary also currently serves as a board member for Harrisburg University.

In addition to their personal work with and financial support of these organizations, Gary and Sylvie’s benevolence includes Gamut Theater, Homeland Center, Open Stage, Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, The Diocese of Harrisburg, Susquehanna Art Museum, Hamilton Health Center, the Boy Scouts, Cumberland Valley School District, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Theatre Harrisburg, the YWCA, the YMCA, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. 

“We are truly very humbled to receive this award,” Gary and Sylvie said. “Our community involvement is not about recognition, it’s simply the way we were taught to live our lives.”

The Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a local leader, or leaders, who meet the following criteria: 

  • Commitment to voluntary systems of human services;
  • Creative in approach to serving the Capital Region;
  • Outstanding in providing leadership and working with others;
  • Sustained service over a period of years;
  • Inspirational in encouraging others to serve;
  • Actions having a major impact on changing and saving lives;
  • Produces results that are clearly visible and tangible;
  • Understands resources are essential to making positive changes happen and are philanthropic in time and resources. 

View photos from the event by visiting our Flickr site.


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