By Steve Svetovich
Carl Yanowski is a natural when it comes to helping senior citizens find a better way.
He has been an advocate for seniors with various organizations throughout the years.
His most recent gig is as president of the local (Scranton) AARP chapter.
The group meets the first Monday of every month at 1:30 p.m. in the Keyser Valley Community Center, Scranton. There are no meetings in January and February due to likely cold temperatures and frigid weather.
Yanowski, 514 Ward St., Dunmore, is trying to spread the word about the local AARP chapter. He has been involved in the local chapter for six years, the last three as president.
“A lot of people don’t know there is a local or national chapter,” he said. “We are trying to spread the word.”
During his time as president, the local chapter has grown from about 60 members to about 260.
“We do a lot of bus trips and fund raising,” he said. “A substantial amount of the money we raise goes right back into the community. We support and are involved in helping the Lackawanna Bread Basket, Volunteer Action, Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen and the Christmas Bureau.
“We are experiencing a substantial growth in the local chapter. A lot of people don’t know we exist.
“We adopt two local (Scranton) elementary school and provide school supplies.
“Our biggest accomplishment is providing one student from Scranton High School and a student from West Scranton High School with partial four-year scholarships to the local Commonwealth Medical College.”
Yanowski, 78, is a 1956 graduate of Dunmore High School. He was born and raised in Dunmore.
He served as a buyer for 18 years at Giant Markets.
He was the first male president of the Ladies Auxiliary at St. Mary’s Villa, Elmhurst, where his mom was an Alzheimer’s patient for seven years until she passed away.
“I was able to help with a lot of fundraisers at the Villa, ” he said. “It was there where I really developed an interest in the elderly and their needs.
“Spreading the word about senior programs has become a major part of my life.
“I want to get the word out that we are alive and well.
“We have developed a strong collaboration with the Dunmore Senior Center and the Dunmore YMCA.”
Yanowski also worked 20 years in New Jersey as a manager for General Cinema Corporation.
But his roots are in Dunmore and he is back enjoying his role as president of the local AARP chapter. It Is a role he does not take lightly. Yanowski is full of energy and willing to do anything he can to help raise money for the community and advocate for senior programs.
The local chapter of AARP even raised enough funds to provide supplies to the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.
The local AARP chapter utilized various speakers at the monthly meetings. The speakers discuss topics related to the needs of senior citizens.
In the meantime, Carl Yanowski remains a very energetic and active president.
“There is a resurgence of members,” he said. “And I attribute this to getting the word out. We are doing a lot of good things for the community.”
The local chapter’s annual Christmas party will be held Saturday, December 10, at Genetti’s, Dickson City.
The cost to join the local AARP chapter is only $8 a year.