What do George Bailey from the holiday film classic "It's a Wonderful Life" and Elizabeth "Betty" Katona have in common? After all, George is a fictional character, while Mrs. Katona is a long-time resident of Kulpmont.

In the film, an apprentice angel shows George the positive impact George had on the lives of his family, friends and neighbors. Betty, by contrast, has not only affected many lives; she has helped save many lives.

A long-time supporter of the American Red Cross, Mrs. Katona is a familiar figure at bloodmobiles in Kulpmont. Her influence is so appreciated that many people donated blood in her honor at a recent blood drive. God only knows how many lives her efforts have helped and saved.

She has had an even bigger impact as a result of her decades as a swimming and lifesaving instructor at the pool at Knoebels Amusement Resort. God only knows how many lives she helped save or helped others to save.

As important as those activities have been, Mrs. Katona has been making an even bigger contribution as one of those people who live their lives for God. Her faith is evident in her vocations as a wife, mother, grandmother, neighbor and friend.

Who knows how many souls she touched?

Only God knows.


The first soul you must save is your own.