Thursday, December 29, 2022

Shenandoah Man's Spirit for Serving Community Continues to Shine

Aristotle once said, "The Essence of Life is to Serve Others and Do Good", and a Shenandoah man is doing just that.

Albert "Big Al" Victor, 53, was born in New York but has spent more than half his life living in Shenandoah.  Albert is well-known around the borough where is has also earned the nickname "The Candyman" 

Albert's story goes back over 20 years to the year 2000 when he felt the need to help his community.    Since then, he has joined over a dozen community organizations where he has found his niche, to help fundraise.

Albert is a member of local organizations such as the Shenandoah Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, AMVETS, Downtown Shenandoah Inc., and fire companies like the Polish American, Columbia Hose, and Shenandoah Heights Fire.

When these organizations are in need of a salesperson, they turn to Albert.  Albert takes his charm and enthusiasm and visits not only Shenandoah businesses but also Schuylkill County businesses and sells tickets, candy bars, or whatever the organizations are selling to fundraise.

Albert's most recent claim to fame, has been selling candy bars for the Shenandoah Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is responsible for numerous projects around town but specifically this time of the year, is the borough's Christmas lights and decorations.    The installation and upkeep of these decorations is not free or cheap, and Albert's fundraising has helped support this.

Over the past 3 years, Albert says he has sold thousands of boxes, with 48 candy bars in each box, of Gertrude Hawk Chocolate for the Chamber.  Albert's neighbors at his Shenandoah Village Apartment also call him "The Candyman" because they turn to him when they are looking for a chocolate bar.  Albert's work has fundraised thousands for dollars.

Albert showed us his apartment which is adorned with hundreds of certificates and awards from the organization's he served.

Over the course of his 22-years serving his community, he has earned so many awards, he doesn't have any more room on his walls.  Albert also showed us his numerous recognitions from State Legislators for his work.

When we asked Albert why he does it, he simply said "I like to stay active, and it gives me the chance to meet nice people every day".  

Susan Williams, Executive Director or Downtown Shenandoah Inc. said "Albert has been instrumental in helping us with many of our fundraising activities.  He comes in, and he takes the calendars or whatever we are selling and takes them around town and comes back with the money.  He is very trustworthy and committed to the community.

People are thrilled with Albert's involvement in their organization.  He's like a bright light that walks through the door.  He's got a good spirit."

Albert says he will continue to serve his community as long as he is able to.

Story and Photos by J. Reed