By Steve Svetovich
Two Dunmore brothers and a close friend, all students at Scranton Prep, have started a nonprofit group to raise funds and give back to the community.
Gerard and Thomas Ferrario, sons of Jerry and Nadine Ferrario, Dunmore, and their close friend Gokulan Gnanendran, Clarks Summit, are the founders of OurDash.
The mission of OurDash, a group of high school students dedicated to the local community, is to generate funds for worthwhile causes in Northeast Pennsylvania.
“Our focus and emphasis,” said Gerard Ferrario, “is to raise money through innovative productivity and solutions that do not draw away contributions from existing charities, but rather create mechanisms to raise money that otherwise would not exist.
“With this in mind, our organization does not solicit monetary donations. However, we will accept them.”
Gerard Ferrario, founder and president, is a senior at Prep where his brother, Thomas, founder and vice president, is a junior.. Gokulan Gnanendran, Clarks Summit, is also a founder and aspires to study engineering in college. The Ferrario brothers aspire to study business and finance in college.
OurDash’s first event was to solicit several downtown businesses that were not using their parking during the weekend of La Festa Italiana to donate space for the weekend. The group of young volunteers charged for parking and were able to raise money which they donated to Scranton Counseling Center’s Holiday Program..
The latest venture of OurDash was to raise funds for scholarship programs at Lackawanna College.
“This is from a culmination of private donations which were non-solicited and our creative means of fundraising. We have raised enough to cover $40,000 in scholarships to Lackawanna College. Our goals are well defined in respect to the distribution of these funds. We want to help local high school kids to have the incentive to do well and stay in school. Our wish is to provide scholarships based on one’s improvement throughout their high school career. We are currently working with Lackawanna to finalize the program.”
Gerard Ferrario said the group raised funds by collecting used clothing. The group recycled some of the fabrics and sold some on eBay.
“We thank everyone who donated to us either through clothing, monetary, or other methods. We appreciate our volunteers.
“We have some goals for this year. We plan to generate more money for scholarships. However, we want to expand to other local colleges in addition to Lackawanna. We would like to work again with the Scranton Counseling Center. We would like to partner with other area charities this year.”
The Dunmore brothers and their Clarks Summit partner have a passion for finance and love of the community and volunteer work. OurDash is designed as a non profit helping other non profits.
The group has been in operation for two years now. “It started as a creative way to give back to the community. We just branched out from there.
“The Lackawanna College scholarship fund is to help provide scholarships to underprivileged students who are showing improvement in school. It serves as an incentive for the kids to go on and do well in higher education. Lackawanna College chooses the students who get the scholarships. The distributions will be in the coming months.”
Gerard Ferrario is involved with scholastic bowl, the business club and speech and drama at Scranton Prep. Thomas Ferrario is in the business club at Scranton Prep and enjoys Martial Arts in his spare time.
The web site for the group is www.ourdash.org.