Lee Moyer sprinkles history into a musical program for Homeland residents


Musician Lee Moyer, singing holiday songs for Homeland residents, added a unique twist to one familiar tune.

“You’ll recognize it. I just changed the words a little bit,” he said as he introduced his next number. “This is from 1954. I think Perry Como had a big hit.”

Then he launched into singing, “Oh, there’s no place like Homeland for the holidays.”

Lee is a popular entertainer at Homeland, brought in as much for his engaging ways with residents as for his multiple musical talents. The proprietor of Moyer’s One-Man Orchestra presents regular programs that blend the American songbook with a kind of interactive trivia about the songwriters of the 20th century and the times they lived in.

The Hershey native discovered his love for music as a youngster. His mother cultivated his interest in music and played trumpet in his high school jazz band and, as an adult, began playing at events throughout the region.

He learned to play the keyboard while first working at Marty’s Music Store in Lebanon, Pennsylvania – a store he would later own. In those early years, he realized he could play the cornet and the keyboard simultaneously. He has honed an act playing rhythm and bass on the keyboard with his left hand, while he plays the cornet – smaller and lighter than a trumpet – with his right.

His feet get in the act, too. On the Monday after Christmas, he was performing in the Homeland Chapel, sitting in front of a poinsettia display. His left foot tapped a tambourine sitting on the floor, providing seasonally appropriate jingle-bell sounds when needed. (Due to masking requirements, he could not play the cornet.)

At age 81, Lee realizes he is near the age range of the Homeland residents who love his act and the songs he performs.

“They do remember things from almost 100 years ago,” he said. He chooses songs from the 1920s through about 1980 – songs popularized with the progression of the new technology called the radio, then motion pictures, Broadway, the Big Band Era, Elvis Presley and the dawn of rock and roll.

He has been performing for nursing homes since the early 1990s. Homeland has been on his circuit most of those three decades.

“The audience is very attentive,” he said. “They’re happy to see you come. They pay attention for the whole hour.”

That attentiveness was evident on this Monday; about 16 residents happily engaged with the program. Lee provides song sheets so the residents can sing along, but with a program stocked with holiday favorites – “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – most didn’t need much prompting.

Each song was introduced with a bit of backstory and trivia. For “Silver Bells,” he said he was sharing President John F. Kennedy’s favorite Christmas song, written in 1949, “and we’ve been singing it ever since then, 72 years ago.”

“I think it’ll make it,” quipped a resident sitting in the front row.

As he introduced a song about a reindeer, Lee asked, “What was his name?”

“Rudolph!” said the audience.

Lee kept going.

“And he had a . . .”

“Red nose!” said residents.

Lee added that “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” hit the airwaves was 1948, the year in which “a very famous baseball player died. He was the most famous baseball player of all time. Do you remember?”

“Babe Ruth!”

With each song, residents needed no prompting to sing along and tap their feet. They greeted the end of each song in the brisk program with enthusiastic applause. Lee figures he has developed 50 different programs that he can choose from, tailored to audiences and the season.

While the pandemic sidelined many musicians, he has been able to continue playing when conditions warrant because he is a one-man orchestra. He was well-positioned to perform solo, without the need for group rehearsals or performances.

Moyer is well-known in local music circles, playing with such groups over the years as the Lebanon Community Concert Band and the Lebanon Big Swing Band. His playing for shows with such legends as Gordon Macrae, Jonathan Winters, and Ed McMahon puts Homeland residents in the orbit of some of the entertainment greats of their lifetimes.

The theme of being with loved ones for the holidays returned with the standard, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” It became very popular in World War II, he reminded residents, when American servicemen and women were far from home. Now, he said, Homeland residents are already there.

“’I’ll Be home for Christmas’,” he said. “You’re here. Your home is Homeland.”

Homeland resident Gladys Mumper enjoys days full of activities


The secret to living 100 years is lots of rest, says Gladys Mumper. The Homeland resident doesn’t like getting up early in the morning, but with Homeland’s array of activities, she packs a lot of living into the hours left in every day.

“Homeland is a very wonderful place to live,” Gladys says. “They treat you well. They find things for you to do all the time. My son says I should take advantage of it. He says, ‘Do whatever they offer,’ and I do.”

Gladys, a long-time New Cumberland resident, enjoys her active life at Homeland. Her bright, comfortable personal care suite is decorated with family photos, furniture from her home, and favorite pictures.

Her father was a building contractor who built their home. The family didn’t travel much, except for the occasional visit to an uncle in New Hampshire.

The youngest of six children, Gladys attended Central Penn Business College and then landed a job with the state.

“Civil service was insurance that you had your job,” she says. “You didn’t lose your job due to politics.”

She got married in 1951 to James Mumper. She had known him in high school, but they weren’t dating then.

“My uncle was a minister in Shippensburg, and he married us,” she says.

Gladys and James, a real estate broker, had a daughter and a son. The family stayed in New Cumberland, where both children did well in school. Her daughter attended Duke University and became a pediatrician. Her son attended Georgia Tech and followed in his grandfather’s footsteps, founding the well-known firm of J.W. Mumper Construction.

As her children grew up, Gladys was a den mother for her son’s Boy Scout troop. Their activities included hiking the Pennsylvania and Maine segments of the Appalachian Trail.

Glady’s husband died in 2001. She came to Homeland in 2019 and immediately made it her home. Nearly everything on the activities calendar constitutes her daily schedule.

She enjoys trivia, “This Day in History” gatherings, restaurants, and excursions to local attractions. For the holidays, she joined a trip to see the extravagant Hershey Sweet Lights display and an exhibit of nativity scenes at a local church.

Activities Coordinator Diomaris Pumarol says that Gladys isn’t interested in cooking anymore but enjoys socializing with other residents who attend the Baking and Chatting group.

“You can’t believe the activities they have here,” adds Gladys. “They are marvelous. They go way out of their way to keep us busy and entertained.”

Gladys’ son, Jim Mumper, says the consistency and dedication of staff make Homeland special.

“The staff is just wonderful,” he says. “They’re very, very nice. Homeland does a great job selecting people and training them and keeping them happy.”

Gladys celebrated her 100th birthday in October 2021, but there’s a catch.

“I cannot really vouch for that because I do not have a birth certificate,” she admits. “There were three of us in our town that the doctor did not register. I just have to vouch that they’re correct, and I’m here.”

As for Homeland, she calls it her “safe haven.”

“Just wonderful. You can’t go wrong. They treat you special. We all say we couldn’t have made a better choice. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, everyone is treated the same.”

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Betty Hungerford: A Beloved and Revered Community Treasure


By Janice Black

Historically, women have been agents of change through the donation of their time and passion. Over the past several decades, women have moved into the forefront of social transformation by galvanizing their philanthropic power. With each step into a leadership role, women have inspired others to join them. For our region, the result is a powerful network of strong female leaders committed to making our community a better place to live.

When I think of the many women in south central Pennsylvania who have dedicated their lives to social change, I think of my friend and colleague Betty Hungerford.

Betty cropped 2Ask Betty to describe herself and she will say, “I am who I am,” which is the theme song from La Cage Aux Folles, one of Betty’s favorite Broadway musicals. Ask that same question to community and business leaders, as well as anyone who has ever turned to her in need, and they will tell you she is one of the greatest of the Greatest Generation.

Betty has been a professional in the field of development and public relations for more than 35 years. Since 2000, she has served as the director of development for Homeland Center, which celebrates its 155 anniversary this year. Homeland Center, a private, nonprofit retirement community in Harrisburg, is part of the City’s deep and rich history of loving and serving thy neighbor. To know Betty is to know Homeland for she is a steadfast champion of the organization.

For Betty, there is little separation between work and home life, for she loves each fiercely and finds true joy and purpose in her work.

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something,” Betty likes to say.

Betty’s “something” has been to change the charitable giving landscape to advance the causes she is most passionate about. She has secured financial and community resources to support the work of Homeland Center and its robust benevolent fund to help those in need.

Betty is a decorated alumna of Lebanon Valley College, receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2009. She is the recipient of countless recognitions and honors, most notably the Karen Snider Women in Philanthropy Award in 2017. Like Betty, Karen was a tireless advocate for our community’s most vulnerable residents.

I believe Betty’s servant leadership is second to none, and I find seeing her in action inspirational. As a longtime member and past president of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg, Betty’s entrance at a luncheon meeting is an event. She is greeted at the door and accompanied to her seat by friends and colleagues who want just a minute of their revered “Queen B’s” time. The conversations are often around the work of shared projects, expressions of gratitude for an act of kindness Betty has bestowed.

Whatever the topic of conversation, individuals of all ages and professions are drawn to Betty because of what we might learn from her. We all want to know how to stay passionate about community causes when the issues can be daunting and overwhelming.

From my perspective, Betty has found the recipe for continually reinvigorating herself by surrounding herself with a network of family and friends who mirror her spirit. She has created her own personal community of caring, which is one of the wisest lessons I’ve learned through my friendship with Betty. Surround yourself with those who believe we can all do good work and together we will. When one of us falls, and we all do, the others pick us up to continue our path forward and together we cross the finish line.

Anniversaries, like that of Homeland Center, are ultimately about the people who have kept the organization vibrant and strong. I cannot imagine Homeland Center without Betty or Betty without Homeland. Betty has been a magnet for donors, volunteers and community supporters to connect with the organization. Together, they have enriched countless lives.

To Homeland Center, congratulations on your upcoming 155th anniversary and to Betty Hungerford, you are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for your leadership.


Janice Black is the President & CEO of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (www.tfec.org), which connects donors with nonprofits helping to address the needs in Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and Lebanon counties as well as Northern York.