“Shindig” Planned to Support Ross Cordaro Documentary Project

Ross Cordaro DocumentaryBy Emily Fedor

It was Valentine’s Day 1974.

Ross Cordaro was at football practice, hard at work with the rest of the Bucks. To improve their strength, players would lift weights, and to improve agility, they would occasionally do some wrestling.

“I was wrestling with one of my best friends,” Ross said. “I was just flipped the wrong way and hit the mat with my neck first.

“Everybody was around the mat, all my teammates. I remember everything just slowly going numb from the neck down… I’m looking around trying to be strong, but I was holding back tears because I couldn’t move.”

Ross had fractured his C5-C6 spinal segment. Just 14 years old at the time, he spent months at the old Mercy Hospital before becoming the youngest patient at Allied Services.

Not willing to call it quits, Ross set a goal: to be up and walking again by the annual Thanksgiving Day game against West Side.

image1Lo and behold when November came around, Ross was indeed taking steps on his own. And with the help of two quad canes, he walked into a pep rally at the high school the day before that big game.

“The place went crazy. There’s pictures of everybody crying. It was surreal.”

44 years and nine spinal surgeries later, quite a bit has changed. Ross has lost movement in both of his legs and as a result, now rolls through life in a wheelchair.

But with the support of his loved ones, he says he’s managed to stay positive.

“There’s always someone worse [off]. I feel very fortunate.”

Wanting to share his story with others, Ross and his cousin Liz Naro have teamed up to create a documentary called “Don’t Quit: The Ross Cordaro Story.”

“She said she was always interested in writing,” said Ross. “And I said, jeez. Everyone always told me I should write a book.”

Filming is now nearly complete. The hope is to have an edited, ready-to-watch product by this coming November.

Ross Cordaro Shindig PosterTo help support the project, a “Shindig” — yes, just like the ones held back in the day — will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday October 13 at La Buona Vita on Reilly Street in Dunmore.

All proceeds will help cover production costs and ultimately, help share Ross’s inspiring story.

“All I want is that hopefully I can be an inspiration to someone who may be going through any type of injury, or even personal problems. No matter what the situation, the obstacle or tragedy, that you choose the right way to carry on,” said Ross.

“The title is ‘Don’t Quit,’ and that’s what I try to do every day.”

For more information on “Don’t Quit: The Ross Cordaro Story” or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/don039t-quitross-cordaro-documentar.


Cavalcade of Bands Set for October 10th

bandDunmore High School will participate in a Cavalcade of Bands hosted by the North Pocono Trojan Marching Band and Units, with the assistance of the North Pocono Band Parents Association, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 p.m., at the North Pocono Stadium Complex, located behind the district’s middle school. 701 Church St., Moscow. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted at the gates, which open at 5 p.m.

In addition to North Pocono and Dunmore, bands and marching units from several regional school districts will participate, including: Lakeland, Mid Valley, Northwest, Valley View, Wallenpaupack, Western Wayne, West Scranton, and Scranton. Each group will perform its halftime field show. Program books, featuring participating bands, will be distributed free of charge.

The Cavalcade of Bands is an exhibition-style performance where bands and marching units can performs their field shows for each other, free from judging criteria, timing, and other restrictions. There will be refreshments provided for participants and concessions available for sale to audience members. Additionally, t-shirts and air gram greetings will be sold at the event.

Dearly Departed Players to Host Annual Cemetery Tour This Month

Cemetery Tour

The Dearly Departed Players will host their annual cemetery tour on Sundays, Oct. 7 and 14. Tours begin promptly at 2 p.m. Photo Credit: Drew Bubser

The Dearly Departed Players will be at Dunmore Cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 7 and 14 with tours beginning promptly at 2 p.m.  Audience members should arrive early to view exhibits. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested.

Admission is free but we participants are being asked to bring a non-perishable food item as the Players are partnering with Feed-a-Friend again this year.

“We partnered with Feed-a-Friend last year and it was extremely successful,” says Julie Esty, a member of the Dearly Departed Players. “ It was wonderful to see so many people streaming through the cemetery gates and filling those food barrels.  Barrels will be at the cemetery gates before the tour. “

This year the tour was the recipient of a small Lackawanna County Arts and Culture grant, thus the Players will incorporate a few people from the past who are buried in other cemeteries throughout the county.  While the tour is mainly Dunmore Cemetery residents — there are two or three from other cemeteries who have very interesting stories to tell.

According to Esty, “Reoccurring themes on the tour this year are some warnings — things we need to be mindful of today.  Those warnings, or life lessons, are regarding both good and bad things.

“The other theme is that this has all happened before.  We think that we are dealing with things that are new, but that’s not the case at all. It’s all happened before. The people from the past made it through things and we will too. Our people from the past will be sharing incidents and experiences with the people of today.”  

Also in the spotlight the Scranton Public Library’s Scranton Reads.  War of the Worlds is the reading selection this year, so a scene has been dedicated to that event.  

The Players also partnered with Scranton Films, a group of young filmmakers.  

happie“They’ve been with us in the cemetery during rehearsals and they’re doing some fun things in the way of video with the Dearly Departed Players,” says Mrs. Esty That will be represented before the tour.

“The Dearly Departed Players are very excited to be back at it again in the cemetery.  Rehearsals started in July and we’re hardly waiting for October. Last year we were again recipients of Happenings Magazine Happie Award for Best History-Centered Event,” says Julie.

“The crowds — and the distance people are traveling to attend the event — are amazing.  People are joining us from all over the country. Last year we also made the County’s list of Top Five Things to do in the Lackawanna Valley. It’s quite the event. “

“Wake Up with the Arts Breakfast” Set for October 5th

arts breakfastMatthew Serio, Program Director at the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), will be the featured speaker at the “Wake Up With The Arts Breakfast,” set for Friday, Oct. 5, at the Electric City Trolley Museum, on the property of Steamtown National Historic Site from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM.

The ninth annual event, sponsored by the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department, brings national speakers to our community on varied arts topics of interest. 

The breakfast will open with a short performance by the Justin Padro Trio and tables will be decorated by local artists and organizations.

Mr. Serio’s lecture, The State of the Arts in Pennsylvania, will focus on arts and culture trends across the state, the challenges and opportunities the arts face in Pennsylvania, and the role of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.  

Matthew has been in his position as Program Director at the PCA since 2012.  He oversees the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, Entry Track, Local Arts, Presenting and Theater grant programs. Formerly he was Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity for Berks and Lancaster Counties; a Program Manager for the Berks Arts Council; and Festival Director of the Greater Reading Film Festival. He is a graduate of Kutztown University with a degree in Communication Design.

Since its inception, the arts breakfast has served as a creative networking event, focusing on educating, motivating and inspiring the public to use the arts, area artists, and art organizations, businesses and agencies to enhance the quality of life in Lackawanna County’s communities.  It also showcases the artistic talent in Northeastern Pennsylvania, due to the fact that the tables at the event are decorated by local artists and organizations.

The “Wake up with the Arts Breakfast” is free and open to the public.  

Interested parties can register by emailing arts-culture@lackawannacounty.org or calling 570.963.6590, ext. 106.