Columbus Day Association Prepares for Annual Dinner

MaccioccoThe 109th annual dinner of the Columbus Day Association of Lackawanna County will be held on Sunday, Oct. 8, at Fiorelli’s in Peckville beginning at 5 p.m. with cocktails and dinner beginning at 6 o’clock.

The Columbus Association will honor Ross Macciocco and Ken Bianchi. Macciocco is a native of West Scranton and currently resides in Dunmore. He taught in the Dunmore School District for 35years. He coached for 28 years at Dunmore, six years at Scranton Prep, and one year at Marywood University.

Bianchi is a native of West Scranton and currently resides in Clarks Summit. He taught at Line Mountain School District, Cathedral High School, and the Scranton School District and coached at Line Mountain, Scranton Tech, West Scranton, and Abington Heights High Schools.  

James Colangelo is president of the organization.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the dinner, a highlight of the Columbus Day observance in Lackawanna County. Tickets for the dinner are $50 per person (tables of 8 to 10.) Please contact Joe Fazio at (570) 241-1691 for reservations



Coffee Company Brings Jobs to Lackawanna County

socafeState Rep. Kevin Haggerty (D) Lackawanna is pleased with news that a New Jersey-based coffee manufacturer and distributor will call Dunmore home, bringing 130 jobs to Lackawanna County.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Socafe to Dunmore,” Haggerty said. “This announcement is an example of the commitment from our local and state officials to create opportunities for companies to become part of our community.”

Haggerty said Socafe has been in business for 30 years and is purchasing an existing 116,000-square-foot building in Dunmore, relocating both its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Newark, N.J. The third-generation, family-owned business offers private label manufacturing for large national retailers, in addition to distribution of its own branded coffee.

“Socafe has committed to investing at least $2,472,000 into this move and generating 130 jobs over the next three years,” Haggerty said. “It’s a great day for the residents of Lackawanna County and Dunmore.”

Socafe received a funding proposal from the state Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $130,000 Pennsylvania First grant, an $18,000 WEDnet grant for employee training and $130,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be issued after the jobs are created.


From Marywood Students to Physician Assistants

PA pinning ceremony photo

Nearly 40 Marywood University students, including one from Dunmore recently graduated from the Physician Assistant program. Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., president of Marywood University, welcomed the students at a special pinning ceremony to commemorate their achievements.

Pictured first row, from left: Alicia Edwards, Kimberly Vogan, Catherine Notchick, Dunmore.; Cassandra Nuzzarello, Carlie Craven, Whitney Butler, and Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., president of Marywood.

Second row: Justine Samanas, MPAS, PA-C, clinical director; Zeena Attia, Andrea Chamberlain, Melissa Kaminski, Amanda Kilgus, Casey VanFleet, Cassandra Erdman, Alissa Dongilli, Renae Keiper, Emily Ketz, and Bianca Noel.

Third row: Jessica Frawley, MPAS, PA-C, clinical coordinator; Rachel DeStefano, Noel Bricker, Valerie Golembeski, Taylor Schroeder, Kaukauna, Wis.; Sierra Bellenzeni, Katie Shager, Jessica Wadeson, Danielle Higgins, Michele Myszka, Amy Kester, Molly Feeney, and Jessica Nalepka.

Fourth row: Lori Swanchak, Ph.D., PA-C, PA program director; Davis Young, Alex Latham, Paul Hashagen, Tyler Longstreet, Keaton Bennett, Kyle Viola, Andrew Andrle, George Ritz, Kam Mueller, Adam Yngelmo, and Abigail Davis, MPAS, PA-C, PA academic director.


Dearly Departed Players to Host 20th Anniversary Tour

Dearly Departed Players pic

Members of the Dearly Departed Players prepare for their annual Dunmore Cemetery Tour to be held on Oct. 1 and 8. Shown from left are: Wendy Belaski, Silas Robert Powell, Christine McGeachie, Nelson Wood, Julie Esty and Megan Esty.

Julie Esty has announced that the 20th anniversary Dunmore Cemetery Tour will be held this year on Oct. 1 and 8.  It’s always a bit funky with publicity when we have that October 1 tour day.

The tour this year is the “Guest Appearance” tour.

Julie was the recipient of a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Grant, so she opened up the cemetery — this year it is “Death’s Playhouse” and the Dearly Departed Players are welcoming people from the past from different area cemeteries.  

Two people on the tour are buried a bit further but played significant roles here in the valley.  This year’s program will include are Forest Hills, Cathedral, St. Mary’s German Catholic in South Side, the cemeteries of Minooka, Cathedral,  Pittston Avenue, and St. Catherine’s in Moscow.

“For more than 20 years I have accumulated a significant amount of information on people from the past buried in the cemeteries around here and it’s nice to be able to

Dearly Departed Players pic 2

Shown at Dunmore Cemetery are Dearly Departed Players including, from left: Christine McGeachie, Wendy Belaski, Nelson Wood, Megan Esty, Tom Fritz, Laura Micelli, Jennifer Ochman, Julie Esty and James Patterson.

address those people,” Julie explains. “I also get asked a lot to be in other cemeteries and do tours, especially Forest Hills and Cathedral, but it’s not possible to take this sizable audience on the road.  This was the easiest way to incorporate people from other places.”

For the third year, Kuhn’s Classic Memories of Williamsport will participate with their team of horses and Victorian hearse. They will appear for both tours, weather permitting.  Their driver,Lance Ohnmeiss, is the conductor of the Northern Appalachin Wind Symphony and is also an award-winning bagpiper.  He is going to lend his musical talents to the tour this year.    

Also participating will be Scranton Reads, who book selection of  Gilead works very well with a cemetery theme.  Sons of Union Veterans/GAR Memorial Association will be on hand, as well as the Friends of the Forgotten Northeast Wing will be out there.

One of  the people presented on the tour, a firefighter who died almost 100 years ago, did something amazing for his fellow man.  Because of what he did — because of his kind works — the tour is also partnering with Feed-a-Friend in his memory. People attending are asked bring a nonperishable to the cemetery gates on tour days only.  That firefighter will also be receiving a proclamation from the Mayor of the Scranton.  

Traditionally, the tour draws at least 1,500 people over the two weekends, including people from all over the East Coast.  This year, upgrades to the sound system are planned. This year’s tour will be performed in memory of Dunmorean Karl Wegforth, president of the Dunmore Historical Society, who recently passed away.

The tours, which last two hours, begin at 2 p.m. at the Dunmore Cemetery gates at Warren and Church Street.  Arrive early to see exhibits.  Comfortable walking shoes are suggested.  Admission is free. No reservations are required.   For more information, please call 570-344-3819 or visit Dunmore Cemetery Tour on Facebook.