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Thursday, July 14, 2011

NEW PITT-BRADFORD SCHOLARSHIP HONORS REV. CORA AND TONY PRANTNER

NEW PITT-BRADFORD SCHOLARSHIP HONORS REV. CORA AND TONY PRANTNER

BRADFORD, Pa. – A new scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford honors the late Bradford residents the Rev. Cora and Tony Prantner.

The Prantners were well known in Bradford for spaghetti dinners hosted at their home, dancing wherever they found music, their political engagement, and the flower Cora Prantner always wore behind her ear.

The story of their love of life and generosity to the community goes much deeper, said their daughter, who endowed the Prantner Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will benefit a student who makes a difference in the world by taking part in an organization or special project that promotes humanitarian, animal or environmental causes.

Although they spent the last decades of their life in Bradford, the Prantners spent most of their lives in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, where Tony Prantner served as an auxiliary policeman. The couple also saved their money in a Christmas club account all year, then used the money to throw a Halloween party for children in their neighborhood.

Cora Prantner received the key to the city of Buffalo for her participation in civic life, which she continued in Bradford, becoming a common presence at public meetings.

When an expanding company wanted to buy the Prantner’s Buffalo home, they took the opportunity to fulfill Tony Prantner’s dream of living in the country and settled in Big Shanty, near Bradford.

“My parents always found opportunities to make a difference,” their daughter said. “My mom had weekly spaghetti dinners and invited anyone who she knew was going to be alone.”

Tony Prantner created an organic garden on a quarter of an acre and became known for the homegrown garlic he gave away.

For fun, the Pranters danced at the Italian Festival or Moose Club or wherever else Cora Prantner heard there was a dance. She would get dressed up – flower and all -- and bring her tambourine.

The Prantner scholarship was one of the last created through a match from the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge, which matched the amount of any gift between $5,000 and $50,000 given for scholarships.

For more information on endowed scholarships at Pitt-Bradford, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement at jballard@pitt.edu or (814)362-5091.

Photo one is their wedding portrait and photo two is of them dancing.

1 comment :

Debbie Rittberg said...

The Prantners were a lovely couple who frequented my father's church in Smethport once a month or so...I was thinking of them recently and when I typed in their name, this site came up with this picture...thank you!!!