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Chambersburg man celebrates 60th birthday with a ‘pay it forward’ gesture

October 17, 2020

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Baby Mary, with her parents Emma and Eddie, was the recepient of $100 donated by another WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital "baby," who was born 60 years before her.

Baby Mary, with her parents Emma and Eddie, was the recepient of $100 donated by another WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital "baby," who was born 60 years before her.

This week, Sterling Shultz of Chambersburg turned 60 years old. To celebrate, he gave a newborn at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital $100.

It wasn’t just a random act.

Sterling was giving the same gift someone else bestowed on him when he was born at the same hospital. It was a gesture he had thought about repeating for decades.

“Life is short, if I waited any longer, would it happen?” said Sterling. “60 is a big milestone—now I can look back and pay it forward.”

The 60-year-old father and grandfather was born at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital on October 14, 1960. At that time, a local drug store sponsored a “baby of the year” contest. Sterling was the recipient of the award in 1960 and received a $100 savings bond for the prize.

Through the years Sterling says he has thought about giving something back, but it wasn’t until he recently went through an old baby album and saw a 60-year-old newspaper announcement that he decided to act.

“When I turned 16, my mother gave me the original newspaper clipping, she gave me my savings bond, which I cashed. Every teenage kid needs money toward a car,” Sterling said.

Sterling’s father died when he was young. Being the oldest of four boys, the car Sterling bought with his money allowed him to help his family.

“$100 was a lot of money when I was 16,” said Sterling. “I worked during high school and it meant a lot to me.”

Now, 60 years later, Sterling hopes his $100 can help someone else.

“I always thought that maybe someday I could return this and give a little something back to someone, and maybe this year, in 2020 I can help choose the ‘baby of the year’.”

A Mutual Birthday

Baby Mary was born in the early morning hours of October 14, at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, she was the first baby born on Sterling’s birthday and the recipient of his donated $100 bill.

“We were surprised and grateful,” said Emma, Mary’s mother. “We’ll keep with tradition and invest it into a savings bond for her.”

The day was already a special one for the family, not only did they welcome their new daughter—but she also shares a birthday, with her dad!

“She’s not even 24 hours old and she’s already financially in the black,” said Eddie, Mary’s proud new father.

“Hopefully it can help her buy a car too when she’s old enough in 2036.”

Sterling’s wish for the family is that the money helps, “They can use it for anything they want, it may be toward something for school, college or a new car. It’s not a lot, but it helped me, and I hope it helps them too. Every little bit helps.”