Dunmorean of the Month: Geoffrey Pizzuto

Geoffrey PizzutoBy Steve Svetovich

The Lackawanna Blind Association was fortunate to have Geoffrey Pizutto, a junior at Scranton Prep, to help build a sign as part of his Eagle Scout project.

The Scranton Prep junior, as part of his project, built a sign in front of the property in downtown Scranton.

He designed the sign which was approved by the Blind Assiciation and Boy Scout Troop 66, Dunmore.

To complete the project, Geoffrey had to raise money through local businesses who donated material items and money.

Once materials were purchased, he went about assembling the signs. The hard working junior used genuine power tools, some which he needed to learn how to operate.

After the sign was built, he and the helpers managed landscaping and other needed duties.

Eagle Scout projectThe sign was built at the Lackawanna Blind Association in downtown Scranton across from  the Lackawanna County Courthouse.

Son of Geoffrey and Rose Pizzuto, the Scranton Prep honor student is a Scout with Troop 66 of Dunmore. He is a member of the Scranton Prep wrestling team and Mock Trial team.

An accomplished jazz pianist, he performed at the Scranton Jazz Festival for the past two years.

“The Blind Association was looking for someone to help out,” said Geoffrey. “I looked at this as an opportunity and I jumped on it.”

Geoffrey has a 3.8 grade point average at Scranton Prep. His best subjects are Latin and Math. But he said his favorite thing to do is play the piano.

“I see it as something I can be doing in the future,” he said.

Geoffrey, well rounded as a student, learned piano from the retired Ray Cramer, Dalton, a classical pianist, and Bill Carter, Clarks Summit, a jazz pianist.

He talked more about his Eagle Scout project.

“I planned it in June, started the work in August and finished in September. I planted myself with the help of other scouts and my parents. It was a big collaborative effort that took three months.

“It felt great to get it done. It felt great to help the community and the Blind Association. There is still a lot left to do to obtain the Eagle Scout rank.

“Being a part of the Boy Scouts has been fantastic for me. I met two of my best friends through the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts helped me develop leadership and survivor skills. Joining the Boy Scouts is one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Dominic Pace is the leader of Scout Troop 66, Dunmore. “He is a great guy,” Geoffrey said. “I learned a lot from him.”

Jazz pianistGeoffrey performed at the Jazz Camp Crenscenda this past summer as part of the Scranton Jazz Festival.

“My dream is to attend the University of Pennsylvania if I get accepted there. If not, I may go to my mom’s alma mater, Villanova University. I am not sure what I will major in, but I would like to take music as a minor. I may eventually want to go to law school, but would like to always continue with music and see where it takes me.

“Scranton Prep is a great school. I am happy to have the opportunity to go there. I have great classes. There are excellent extra curricular activities. Scranton Prep was a great choice for me.”

Geoffrey, polite and well spoken, credits his parents and others for helping him with the Eagle Scout project. He also credits friends Robert Troy and Bryan Wozniak, his uncle Mark Darbienzo and family friend Ruben Guarneros.

Guarneros is a carpenter who oversaw the project.

“Everybody played a huge part in it,” he said.

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Dunmore Lady Bucks Capture Fourth Straight Lynett Title

Lady Bucks at Lynett

By Steve Svetovich

Senior Victoria Toomey scored 23 points to lead the Dunmore Lady Bucks to a fourth consecutive Lynett Memorial Tournament title, 57-25, over Holy Cross, Saturday, December 29, at Lackawanna College Student Union.

Toomey, a center, added five rebounds and three steals for the top ranked Lady Bucks. She was Tournament MVP for the second straight year.

Dunmore defeated Scranton Prep, 51-41, in the semifinal, Thursday, December 27, at Lackawanna College. Toomey led the Lady Bucks with 15 points in that contest. She added six assists and three blocked shots.

Gianna Delfino added 14 points, including eight in the final quarter, in the semifinal win. Moriah Murray, a freshman, added 12 points.

Rachael Rose led Scranton Prep with 23 points in the semifinal.

The talented Murray scored 18 points in the title game win for veteran coach Ben O’Brien’s Lady Bucks.

It did not take long for Dunmore to get started in the title game. Alexis Chapman found Toomey just 10 seconds into the contest for the first of her six first quarter baskets without a miss.

Delfino, named to the all tournament team, hit Toomey on a give and go for a second  bucket as Dunmore scored the first eight points in the title game. The Lady Bucks never looked back.

Haley Bestrycki, an all tournament selection, led Holy Cross with eight points in the title game.

Lisa Tallo led the Lady Bucks with nine assists in the title win. Her pinpoint passing led to easy baskets for Dunmore teammates.

Delfino led Dunmore with 10 rebounds and played a superb all around game, adding four assists, two steals, two blocks and three points.

The Lady Bucks made 16-of-27 shots. Even more impressive was Dunmore’s 13 assists to just one turnover.

Dunmore is now 7-0.

First Ever Lackawanna County Heritage Fair Kicks off May 29th

lackawanna county fair logoThe Lackawanna County Fair Board has selected Montage Mountain Resort as the location of the inaugural Lackawanna County Heritage Fair.  The Fair will take place May 29, 2019, through June 2, 2019 and will include approximately 21 amusement rides; midway games and food vendors; local heritage displays; ethnic and local food vendors; retail, craft and artisan vendors; wine and craft brewery vendors; and live entertainment.  

Montage Mountain resort has agreed to include its water park rides in the price of admission and will offer access to its zip line and chair lifts for an additional fee.  The Resort’s restaurant and bar, Slocum Hollow, will also be open during the Fair.

The Board will conduct a series of fundraising events in the next few months.  The events will include contests, raffles, and themed events such as craft fairs.  They will take place at the Lodge at Montage Mountain Resort and at other locations open to the general public.  The Board is also exploring the creation of a “Founders’ Circle” fundraising drive similar to that used to raise the money needed to acquire the minor league baseball franchise many years ago.

The Lackawanna County Fair and Recreation Authority has selected the Scranton Area Community Foundation (SACF), a tax-exempt community foundation, to establish and manage the “Lackawanna County Fair Fund.”  The SACF will accept and disburse tax-deductible contributions to support the charitable causes and public activities related to the annual Lackawanna County Fair.

For 64 years the SACF has connected generous donors and fund holders with worthwhile community organizations to benefit local causes and charities.  In recent years the SACF has provided in excess of $1 million annually to fund many worthwhile community projects.  

The SACF has its roots in a community trust established in 1954 by the late Governor William Scranton and his wife, Mary Chamberlin Scranton.  The Lackawanna County Fair Fund administered by the SACF is a non-endowed pass through fund which will be used for annual operating expenses of the County Fair.  

“Margie Memorial Award” Presented to Karen Connor

Margie AwardThe Margie Memorial Award is an award dedicated in honor of Margie Holdonak Davis, who was murdered by her estranged husband, David Davis, on June 9, 1980.  Margie was not only a nurse by profession, but was also a nurturing mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

The award is given to individuals who contribute their time or ability to the betterment of our local Women’s Resource Center.  The Margie Memorial Award was recently presented to Karen Connor, who has given years of her time working at the Women’s Resource Center to make sure that women and children do not have to fear their homes.

Shown from left: Karen Connor, recipient, and Patrick O’Malley, godson and brother of the late Margie Holdonak Davis.