Applications Now Open for 3 Leadership Lackawanna Programs

Leadership Lackawanna, the premier community leadership and professional development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, is now accepting applications for three of its programs.

Leadership U with Penn State Scranton

  • For Lackawanna County High School Seniors (Apply as a Junior)
  • Application Deadline May 7
  • Collegiate Level Course on Community Engagement, Financial Literacy, and More. Earn 3 College Credits!
  • In-Person Program Begins June 30

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

  • For Lackawanna County High School Juniors (Apply as Sophomores)
  • Application Deadline May 7
  • Leadership program to gain real-world experiences in the areas of philanthropy, non-profit organizations and community service
  • Program Begins October 2021

Core Program

  • For Lackawanna County Professionals
  • Application Deadline June 30
  • Areas of focus include leadership, interpersonal communications, equity, community development, project management, history and more
  • Program Begins September 2021

SBA Announces Application Opening for Restaurant Revitalization Fund

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin registrations on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT and open applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon EDT for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted. 

“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation. They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know that help is here,” said Administrator Guzman. “The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are. And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.”

Established under the American Rescue Plan, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023. 

“Recognizing the great urgency to help restaurants keep their doors open – and with a clear mandate from Congress – the SBA worked at a breakneck speed and is excited to launch this program,” said Patrick Kelley, SBA Associate Administrator, Office of Capital Access. “From day one, we engaged with diverse stakeholders in the food industry community to make sure we built and delivered the program equitably, quickly, and efficiently.”

In preparation, the SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience, specifically by:

  • Registering for an account in advance at starting Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT.
  • Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.
  • Preparing the required documentation.
  • Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting to submit an application when the application portal opens. [Note: If an applicant is working with a point-of-sale vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the site.]

Attending a live recorded virtual training webinar:

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consistent with the legislation and the intent of Congress, the SBA continues to take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of relief, particularly for the smallest businesses, by creating a $9.5 billion set-aside: $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000.

For more information, visit or in Spanish at

The Honesdale National Bank Promotes Brian Wilken to VP, Business Development Officer

David Raven, President and CEO of The Honesdale National Bank, announced Brian Wilken, is now Vice President, Business Development Officer.

In making the statement, Raven noted, “Brian embodies the spirit and culture of our HNB team, and his contribution and support to our customers and community is second to none. He understands that our customers success translates to not only our bank, but our community as a whole.”

In his current role, Wilken provides the bank with business development opportunities and growth strategies involving our products, services, and business relations.

Wilken will continue to provide his experience of 12 years in the financial industry and a whole career in business development to HNB as VP, Business Development Officer.

In mentioning his role at HNB, Wilken noted, “This truly is such a rewarding career. I love my job, I get to help people wade through financial decisions every day. Helping their family or their business. I work for an institution that has made helping customers a priority for 185 years, and it’s an honor to carry on that legacy. I also have the privilege to work with an amazing group of people who truly care about customers, the community we serve, and each other.”

Wilken is a Honesdale native, graduating from Honesdale High and receiving an Associate’s Degree from SUNY Cobleskill. He is an active member of his community. He is a member of the Grace Ridge Church, President of the Greater Honesdale Partnership, board chairman of the Human Resources Foundation, Board member at Wayne Tomorrow, member of Honesdale Eagles, member of Honesdale Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons #218, member of the Anthony Wayne Royal Arch Chapter, member of the Savonia Comandry, and member of the Wayne Pike Shrine Club. 

Outside of the bank, he is the father of two young men, Ben and Zack, with his wife Emily Wilken. In his free time, he enjoys hunting and golfing. The Honesdale National Bank, established in 1836, holds the distinction of being the area’s oldest independent community bank headquartered in Northeastern PA, with offices in Wayne, Pike, Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.  The Honesdale National Bank offers personal banking, business banking and wealth solutions.  For more information on HNB’s products and services, visit

Greater Scranton YMCA’s Harry P. McGrath Memorial Golf Tournament & Dinner

The Greater Scranton YMCA’s 2nd Annual Harry P. McGrath Memorial Golf Tournament & Dinner Celebration will take place Friday, May 21st at Glen Oak Country Club. While the golf portion of the day is sold out (interested golfers can be added to a waiting list), the evening portion of the event is open to everyone, not just golfers, and dinner tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Following the completion of the golf tournament, the evening celebration will begin with cocktails at 6:00 p.m. and the dinner/program at 7:30 p.m.

Harry McGrath was a proud member of the Greater Scranton YMCA. He specialized in education law, advocating for the rights of all students, particularly those with special needs. It became his passion to improve the quality of education for children living in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Proceeds from the tournament will support the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program, a six-week program serving rising first and second grade students who are struggling with reading and are attending the Dunmore and Mid Valley School Districts.

“Our dad worked tirelessly so that children in this area had the necessary tools to succeed in school,” said Betsy McGrath Ardizoni, Event Coordinator and Greater Scranton YMCA Board Member. “The Summer Learning Loss Prevention program is consistent with his goal of using his legal career to positively impact the lives of the children he was privileged to represent, and our family is humbled and grateful to honor his legacy through a program he would undoubtedly support.”

Committed sponsors thus far include:

  • Gold Sponsors: Highmark Health; Universal Printing Company LLC
  • Silver Sponsors: Jen Ricci State Farm; Haggerty, McGrath, Collins, O’Rourke and James Families
  • 19th Hole Sponsors: The Perry Law Firm; J. Conrad Bosley Appraisal Services; Alliance Wealth Advisors LLC; Fellerman & Ciarimboli
  • Backpack Sponsors: Vanston & James Funeral Home; Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, PC; Topp Business Solutions; P&W/Washo, Inc.; DePietro’s Pharmacy; NET Credit Union
  • Additional Sponsors: Frank O’Neill Law Office; The Wood Grille; Helbig Meditation and Arbitration; Malone and Rosetti Merrill Lynch Wealth Management; Timothy and Janet Brier; Joanne Cantafio & Family in Memory of Anthony “Taps” Cantafio; Pat and Christine Philbin; PNC Bank; University of Scranton Athletics; Dick and Richard Conaboy; Maloney Law, P.C.; Northeastern Envelope Company, Inc.; Thomas Lyons and Mesko Glass and Mirror

For more information about the tournament, visit the Greater Scranton YMCA’s website or contact Betsy at (570) 768-6118.

Johnson College Receives Grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation

Johnson College has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation. This grant, which will be disbursed over a three-year performance period, will support the Foundation and College’s goal to address the critical growing need for health care professionals by promoting opportunities for careers in health care and training for traditional and non-traditional students.

Using a motorhome shell customized to demonstrate various health care training modalities, Johnson College plans to give potential students a hands-on experience to see and feel what it would be like to work in a health care environment. In addition to the hands-on encounter, Johnson College staff will be available to answer questions and help potential students resolve or eliminate common barriers to educational access.

With this new program, Johnson College will be able to show participants that there is a path to meet their needs. Johnson College offers pathways to healthcare careers with associate degree programs such as physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, and biomedical equipment technology as well as continuing education programs like certified nursing assistant and medical billing and coding.

With the focus on engaging non-traditional students, Johnson College will broaden opportunities for students who represent diverse age, economic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. These potential students include displaced workers due to COVID-19, non-English speaking individuals, those who want/need to return to the workforce post-retirement or family, and those seeking a new career path.

“This project illustrates exactly what we do so well here at Johnson College. We think of innovative and new ways to provide people with the education and job training that they need to obtain a family-sustaining career,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “With this mobile lab, we will be able to demonstrate to people in the region that a career in health care is attainable and give them a taste of what hands-on education at Johnson College is like.”

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Marywood University Announces Music, Theatre, and Dance Concerts

Marywood University’s Music, Theatre, and Dance department recently announced several spring concerts and performances to conclude the semester.

  • The Jazz Ambassadors Concert will take place on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 7 p.m. The concert directed by Vincent LoRusso and Steve Kurilla, will be streamed for those interested in attending.
  • Live from the Liberal Arts Center Rotunda on Sunday, May 2, 2021, Marywood University’s Chamber Singers, conducted by Rick Hoffenberg, will bring you, “Hail, Queen of Heaven.” The concert will be live streamed at, for those interested in attending.
  • On Monday, May 3, 2021, at 7 p.m., Marywood University’s String Project Spring Gala will take place in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts. This performance will be streamed for those interested in attending.

For additional information about Marywood University’s Spring Concerts, please visit

Broadway in Scranton Reopens

Broadway Theatre League of NEPA’s Executive Director Frank Blasi and Broadway Partner-Producer Albert Nocciolino (NAC Entertainment) announced today that BROADWAY IS BACK!!!

The entire touring Broadway community is looking forward to reopening its doors and welcoming back the public. Soon, Broadway fans will once again be able to enjoy the laughter, love, and life-changing transformation that only live performances can provide.

“The past year has been challenging, but a new season is upon us. Live theatre will return to NEPA this fall,” said Blasi. “We cannot wait to raise the curtain and see our city bustling again.”

Upon reopening, Broadway In Scranton will inform patrons of all our health requirements and protocols, as safety is the top priority. Working with the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple all CDC and PA guidelines will be followed for a safe return to the theatre this fall, and details will be shared when available.

“We are so grateful to the community and our loyal subscribers for standing by us during this extraordinary time.  The patience, commitment, and support that we have received during this time has been overwhelming. We would not be where we are today without all of you,” added Nocciolino. “We stand by our commitment to bring you the best of Broadway and each of the great shows we promised.  The shows cannot wait to get back on the road and entertain audiences across the country, including right here in NEPA.”

At this time, we are delighted to share with you the new dates for the upcoming Broadway In Scranton Series. 

THE NEW BROADWAY IN SCRANTON SERIES:  This series includes all of the productions that we announced in June 2020.


WAITRESS:  December 3 – 5, 202
CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY:  February 4 – 6, 2022
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC:  March 4 – 6, 2022
CATS:  April 22 – 24, 2022

SPECIALS to the Season… Season subscribers can add any of these shows to their subscription package at an additional cost.

RAIN – A Tribute to The Beatles:  October 6, 2021
STOMP:  January 12 – 13, 2022
BLUE MAN GROUP:  May 18 – 19, 2022


This show did not take the stage due to the interruption to our 2019-2020 Broadway series and we are thrilled to announce the new date. Tickets that were previously purchased to the original show dates will be transferred to the rescheduled dates. (Ex – If you have a ticket to the Friday performance, you will attend the Friday, November 5, 2021 performance).

BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story:   November 5 – 7, 2021

Season Tickets, priced at $175, $235, $275 and $315 are now on sale and available online at,  by phone at 570-342-7784, or  in person at the Broadway Theatre League’s office by appointment only (345 North Washington Ave, Scranton, PA).

For those who have already renewed their season subscription tickets, those subscriptions will automatically transfer to the new dates. 

Please note that only Season Tickets are on sale now and the Individual show tickets will go on-sale at a later date.  Remember that and are the only official outlets to purchase all tickets for Broadway In Scranton shows at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple. For more information on the Broadway In Scranton season and shows, visit (*All shows and dates subject to change.)

Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center Summer Day Camp Registration Open

This summer, local youths ranging from ages five through 13 will have the opportunity to participate in summer day camps, which are focused on connecting children to nature. They will take place at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center, 93 MacKenzie Rd., Covington Township, Pa.

Each weeklong camp takes place at LCEEC’s beautiful 211-acre property and LEED Gold Certified facility.  The property is home to native plants and wild animals, forested areas, a stream, a marsh, meadows, instructional gardens and both indoor and outdoor classroom space. Campers will spend time exploring natural habitats and playing summer games while the experienced staff guides campers through innovative experiential activities including hiking, stream and forest ecology, environmental activities, nature-based art projects and much more.

Focusing on discovery and teamwork, children gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all life while daily interactions with one another helps develop cooperation skills and encourage friendships. A low camper-to-counselor ratio ensures children are safe, supervised and engaged in activities that keep their minds and bodies healthy. 

Camp themes change weekly and include Honey Bee Conservation, Wilderness Survival, Backyard Habitats, Closer Look, Eco Explorers and Eco Quest.  Camps will follow COVID 19 Safety Guidelines recommended by the CDC and ACA.  For more information or to register contact the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center at (570) 842-1506 or email

3 Benefits of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

By: Dr. Amit Mehta, Geisinger primary care physician

With several COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S., we have a powerful tool to help us overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

But some people have concerns about being vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s where we come in.

Common concerns around the COVID-19 vaccine include safety, speed of vaccine development and potential long-term side effects.

The FDA has certain criteria for vaccine development in place to make sure all vaccines are as safe as possible. They didn’t compromise those criteria here. Experts also continue to study the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, but early research hasn’t shown cause for concern.

Whether you’re at low or high risk of serious illness from COVID, getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid a severe or even fatal infection.

Why getting the COVID-19 vaccine is smart

Still not sure about getting the vaccine — or need help convincing a loved one? Here are the main benefits that come with it:

1. It’s your best defense against COVID-19

Illness from COVID-19 can be serious and life-threatening for some people. And there’s no way to know for sure how it may affect you. Even if you have a mild case of COVID, you can still spread it to a loved one who may get really sick.

All COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have been shown to be highly effective at preventing illness from COVID-19. And based on early data, getting a vaccine helps keep you from getting seriously ill if you do get COVID-19.

While it’s normal to experience some side effects right after receiving the vaccine — like a fever, headache or body aches — these are all signs that your body is building immunity to the virus. None of the vaccines can give you COVID-19.

2. It’s a safer way to achieve immunity from COVID-19

Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated — but be sure to wait at least 10 days after your symptoms started and 20 days if you were hospitalized from COVID-19.

While having COVID will leave you with naturally produced antibodies, we still don’t know the level of or how long this immunity lasts. We do know that it varies and decreases over time, and that getting a COVID-19 vaccine will likely give you additional immunity.

And again, it’s just not worth risking a serious or fatal COVID-19 infection.

3. It can help us end the pandemic

Now over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are ready to leave our homes without masks, spend time with friends and loved ones and maybe even travel.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help us get there.

While masking, handwashing and physical distancing are proven to help reduce exposure to and the spread of COVID-19, they aren’t enough to end the pandemic. Vaccines will help us build up immunity to COVID-19, so our bodies can fight off the virus if we’re exposed.

And per CDC guidelines, those who are fully vaccinated, meaning it’s been at least 2 weeks since the last required dose, can even return to some pre-pandemic activities.

We’re still learning how the current vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. Until we know more, everyone — vaccinated or not — should continue masking, handwashing and physical distancing in public places.

Eventually, as more people are vaccinated, we can loosen preventive measures as federal and state guidelines allow.

Get reliable information on COVID-19 vaccines

There’s a lot of information out there about the COVID-19 vaccines — and some of it may be misleading.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, your doctor is your best resource. They can give you advice that’s tailored to you and your medical history.

If you’d like to do some research on your own, the CDC is a trusted source for vaccine information that’s based on facts.

Based on the data we have from Phase 3 clinical trials and the millions of Americans now vaccinated, we feel confident that the available COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. I have personally received the COVID-19 vaccine and advise my patients and members of the community to do the same.

Committee Unanimously Passes Boback Bill Supporting Active Military and Disabled Veteran Hunters and Anglers

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) announced that the House Game and Fisheries Committee Unanimously passed and reported her bill, House Bill 490, that seeks to provide reciprocal agreements for our active duty military and disabled veterans hunting and fishing licenses.

“I am thrilled to see the unanimous passage of this bill out of committee,” said Boback. “This bill offers an opportunity to both active duty service members and disabled veterans who are hunters and anglers. It seeks to encourage other states to enter into agreements with Pennsylvania and create and offer great savings to our service members. This will also provide the opportunity to increase attraction to our Commonwealth for more travel from non-resident military sportsmen, offering a much-needed boost to our economy.”

This legislation will allow the Pennsylvania Attorney General to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to recognize lawfully issued hunting and fishing license or permit types for active duty military and disabled veterans, as resident licenses or permits in each state, provided the Attorney General has determined that the fishing and hunting laws of states are similar to the hunting and fishing laws of our Commonwealth.

This bill has been reported to the House floor as committed.