Leadership Lackawanna Hires Program Coordinator

The Chamber is proud to announce the addition of Jennifer Strzelec as program coordinator for its affiliate Leadership Lackawanna, the area’s premier community leadership and professional development organization.

In this role, Strzelec primarily supports the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program – a seven-month initiative for high school juniors. This includes recruitment, marketing, evaluations, and administrative support.

Strzelec has several years of experience as a preschool aide at Bright Beginnings Preschool in Mt. Cobb and at the YMCA in King George, Virginia. She also served in the United States Army in the avionics division at both Fort Hood in Texas and Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

Strzelec earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University and is currently earning her MBA at West Chester University.

Apply today for a Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Grant

Does your organization provide work in any of the following areas?

  • Environmental and/or Local Parks Projects
  • Facility Improvement for Animal Welfare
  • Homeless Programs

Grants are available through the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) grants program.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is accepting requests for proposals for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) grants program. Applications will be accepted from charitable organizations in Lackawanna County through Friday, January 15, 2022.

What is the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) grants program?

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) is a youth leadership program of Leadership Lackawanna that provides high school juniors with the opportunity to meet with community leaders and decision-makers. In addition to leadership development, the students are also required to complete a philanthropy curriculum conducted by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. TLT seeks to help participants realize what they can do to make a difference in their community as young philanthropists and to further develop their leadership skills.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is proud to partner with Leadership Lackawanna in introducing the concept of philanthropy and grantmaking to our region’s youth. The Scranton Area Community Foundation allocates funding for the TLT class to grant. Priority areas are chosen by the TLT students. In 2022, grants will be provided to organizations working to make a difference in the following Priority Areas: Environmental and/or Local Parks Projects Facility Improvement for Animal Welfare Homeless Programs Grant applications for the TLT grants program are available through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online grant management portal. The maximum grant amount awarded per grant for a 2022 TLT grant is $2,000.

Applications will be accepted from charitable organizations in Lackawanna County through Friday, January 15, 2022.

To submit an application, you will need to first create an account in our online grant management portal if your organization has not already done so. Please email grants@safdn.org with questions.

Scranton Chamber is All Aboard for New Amtrak Service to Scranton

Join us!

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has prioritized support for economic development efforts in northeast Pennsylvania. As a component, the Chamber Board of Directors has unanimously approved a resolution in full support of the restoration of a rail passenger service between Scranton, the Poconos, and New York City—as proposed by Amtrak and included in the recently passed federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Bill. The resolution was forwarded to the Office of the President, Governor Wolf, and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels.  

If established, this new service would provide positive recruitment opportunities for businesses, education institutions, as well as the tourism and recreational industries and more – with an estimated annual impact of $87 million.   

The next step is the support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With that, we’re asking businesses to back the Amtrak rail service proposal by sending a message to Governor Wolf, the Secretary of Transportation (PennDOT), as well as other federal, state, and local officials. You can very simply reference support for the Chamber resolution (see draft message and contact list below) or craft your own message.  

Similarly, we encourage those who would like to support this effort individually to visit the Scranton Rail Restoration Coalition website to sign a petition in favor of the project.   You can review the Chamber resolution here.

Alice Cooper Coming to Mohegan Sun Arena

Alice Cooper with special guest Buckcherry, presented by Rock 107

Wednesday, March 23rd, 8:00pm

Tickets are on sale Friday, December 10 at 10 a.m. at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena and Ticketmaster.

Geisinger Plans Service Expansion in Tunkhannock

Geisinger recently acquired a property that will be the new site of Geisinger Tunkhannock and will allow for the relocation of existing services in the community, specialty expansion and future growth.

Located at 809 Hunter Highway (state Route 29) in Tunkhannock, across from Walmart, the new clinic will provide community members a more convenient care destination with easier access from the road and more available parking.

Primary care, women’s health, ear, nose and throat, hematology/oncology, pharmacy, laboratory, imaging, and ConvenientCare walk-in services, as well as outreach services in cardiology, neurology, general surgery and pulmonology will move to the new space.

Initial renovation of nearly 30,000 square feet is expected to begin in spring 2022 with completion expected by the end of 2022.

Hematology/oncology will be expanded in the new clinic, growing from three infusion chairs and two exam rooms to six infusion chairs and four exam rooms. Cardiology services will also be more available to residents of Wyoming County, increasing from two days per month to 12 days per month (three days per week).

“Our new Geisinger Tunkhannock clinic will be the next step forward in making better health easier for patients and members in Wyoming County,” said Kathy Lloyd, associate vice president of operations for the Geisinger Medicine Institute. “In this new space, we will continue providing the outstanding care and services we’ve offered the community for years with the room to expand and better coordinate primary and specialty care, if the need arises.”

Market research predicts Wyoming County’s 65 and older population will grow by 8 percent in the next five years. These individuals typically require a greater need for specialty services and more frequent visits to their primary care physicians to manage chronic conditions. This new location will make this type of care more accessible so patients can better manage their overall health and, ideally, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Lackawanna College Police Academy Graduates Sponsored Police Academy Cadets

Ten cadets graduated from the Lackawanna College Police Academy on Dec. 2, ready to begin careers in law enforcement with the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre police departments.

The newest group of cadets make up the 255th graduating cadet class and are part of a partially funded program by the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC). Municipalities are eligible for partial reimbursement if they hire a cadet prior to the start of an Academy training program.

“The Academy staff and administration are proud of the graduates of class 255,” said John Chilleri, Director of the Lackawanna College Police Academy. “This is the first class where all cadets were hired as full-time officers by a municipality prior to the start of the program.”

The partnership between the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre police departments, MPOETC, and Lackawanna College to train cadets is an example of the commitment the College has made to meet the needs of law enforcement in NEPA.

“We are very excited to have our four officers fully trained and certified,” Chief Joseph Coffay of the Wilkes-Barre Police Department said. “They will be an added asset to the department and I am sure they are happy to finish their academic requirements and are happy to begin their career serving the citizens of Wilkes-Barre.”

Thanks to an Act 89 annual grant of $5 million authorized in 2019, the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton Police Departments are eligible for partial reimbursement by MPOETC after cadets complete the program. MPOETC will reimburse the departments 75% of the tuition and 45% of the hourly wage for the required hours of training for any cadet hired by the department and paid to attend the Lackawanna College Police Academy. 

“The Scranton Police Department is excited to have six new officers joining the ranks of our department,” Scranton Police Department Chief Leonard Namiotka said. “It was also special that the entire graduating class was sponsored by the respective agencies of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. I am also thrilled that Act 89 will be reimbursing the City 75% of the tuition and 45% of the hourly wage for the required hours of training for the cadets. This will allow that money to be spent on more items such as training and equipment for the department to better serve the community.”

Graduates from Class 255 included William Ardoline, Dupont; Adam Bisignani, City of Scranton; James Griffith, City of Scranton.; Carlos Muniz Jr., Wilkes-Barre; Richard Olshefski, Mountain Top; Cameron Rawlings, City of Scranton; Thomas Stornable, City of Scranton; Kevin Sweeney, City of Scranton; William Wilk, Plymouth, and Zachary Zelinski, City of Scranton.

Trolls LIVE! Tour Coming to Wilkes-Barre

Get ready for another hair-raising adventure when Poppy, Branch and all their Trolls friends come to life on stage in Trolls LIVE! Jam-packed with epic music, glitter, humor and happiness, Trolls LIVE! will visit Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza May 24th and 25th, 2022 for 2 Trolls-tastic performances. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 10th at 10am and can be purchased at www.TrollsLIVE.com, Ticketmaster.com and in person at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The journey begins when the Trolls’ Hug Time is unexpectedly put at risk. Knowing the only way to save it is by doing what the Trolls do best, Poppy hosts a toe-tapping, Trolls-tastic show! Poppy, Branch, Cooper, Cloud Guy, Satin and Chenille, Smidge, Guy Diamond, Fuzzbert, Biggie and Mr. Dinkles invite you into the colorful world of Trolls Village for this interactive performance only the Trolls can create. This is one Trolls party you won’t want to miss!

The world of the Trolls comes alive in this totally interactive, story-rich musical celebration of everything the Trolls love – singing, dancing, rainbows, glitter and plenty of hugs. The extravaganza utilizes the latest in scenic projection, puppetry and media technology, and features a host of special effects and interactive surprises. Trolls LIVE! includes two acts with an intermission and will enchant both children and adults alike with its popular Trolls show-stopping songs, as well as introduce audiences to all-new electrifying Trollsmusic and choreography.

What:    Trolls LIVE! coming to Wilkes-Barre
When:   Tuesday, May 24th at 6:00pm
               Wednesday, May 25th at 6:00pm
Where:  Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
               255 Highland Park Blvd.
               Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Tickets: Tickets start at $18 (plus applicable fees). Tickets are available at the NBT Bank Box Office or online at Ticketmaster.com. Prices are subject to change. Additional fees and special offers may apply. A limited number of tickets are available for the Trolls LIVE! VIP Party, starting at $128 (plus applicable fees). VIP Party perks include premium show seating, a souvenir lanyard, and an after-show Meet & Greet with your favorite hosts, Poppy and Branch!

For more information or to join Trolls Hair Mail for presale and other exclusive offers, visit www.TrollsLIVE.com. Follow Trolls LIVE! on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @trollslive, and use #TrollsLIVE. 

For information on Mohegan Sun Arena’s COVID-19 policy, please visit MoheganSunArenaPA.com.

WVIA-FM to Present Special Broadcast of Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

WVIA Radio presents Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s production of Charles Dickens’s beloved story of hope and redemption, A Christmas Carol, as a special radio broadcast, Saturday, December 18, 2021, at 3pm.

The adaptation was created by long-time BTE member James Goode, who also directed the performance. Goode describes the production as a gift from the whole company. “I opened up casting to everyone in our organization — education, production, and administrative staff — and many decided to participate. Listeners will hear voices other than the actors who appear onstage at BTE in normal circumstances.”

Larry Vojtko, WVIA-FM station manager, is excited to be partnering with BTE. “WVIA is thrilled to offer this unique retelling of a much-beloved Christmas story. Dickens’ unforgettable characters come alive through performances by the remarkably talented members of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. The story is further enhanced by a rich aural palette that includes music and sound effects. I am so grateful that Jon White-Spunner and James Goode called me to offer this treat as a Christmas gift to the WVIA listeners.”

Grace Kenny, violinist, accompanies the performance. The show was engineered and recorded by Nick McGaw, proprietor of Endless Records in Bloomsburg. BTE member Andrew Hubatsek plays Scrooge and Elizabeth Dowd voices the Narrator.

The cast also includes Willow, Maya, and Thomas Bishop as the Cratchit and other children; Amy Rene Byrne as a Charitable Person, Belle, a Female Guest, and Charwoman; James Goode as Bob Cratchit, Dick Williams and a Businessman; A’nie Kirchner as Mrs. Cratchit; Abigail Leffler as a Caroler, Fan, Mary, and Mrs. Diller; Danny Roth as a Charitable Person, Fezziwig, The Ghost of Christmas Present, a Businessman, and the Undertaker’s Man; Thom Sirkot as Topper, and a Businessman; Henry Turnbough as Boy Scrooge, and Peter; Lily Wirth as The Ghost of Christmas Past, Martha, and Turkey Boy; Zach Shultz as Peter Crachit; Eric Wunsch as Fred, Marley, Young Scrooge, and a Businessman, Michael Yerges as Mr. Belle, A Businessman, and Old Joe.

BTE’s A Christmas Carol is also available as a podcast at www.btepodcast.org.

Support for the broadcast is provided by the Wayne County Community Foundation.

RailRiders Join Newly Formed Organization Diamond Baseball Holdings

Diamond Baseball Holdings will support Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in every aspect of the fan experience, community involvement and partnership opportunities.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have entered into an agreement to become a part of Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH); an organization dedicated to supporting, promoting, and enhancing the sport of baseball through professional management, best practices, innovation and investment. DBH is a subsidiary of Endeavor, the global sports and entertainment company.

Following the closing of the transaction, the RailRiders will continue to be led by Team President, John Adams, and the General Manager, Katie Beekman, and remain an MLB affiliate of the New York Yankees.

“Joining Diamond Baseball Holdings is a tremendous opportunity for our franchise,” Adams said. “NEPA has seen great success from our team on the field and we look forward to creating a next-level fan experience at PNC Field in the years to come. We have been adding energetic individuals to our existing staff and gearing up for 2022. We truly believe that becoming a part of DBH will greatly benefit this team and our community well into the future.”

As part of DBH, the RailRiders will work closely with Diamond Baseball Holdings’ leadership, Pat Battle and Peter B. Freund, to realize the club’s ambitions. Battle is Executive Chairman of DBH, bringing extensive experience at the local and national level, as well as ownership interest in two PDL teams. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Learfield and serves as an advisor to Endeavor across multiple companies. Freund is CEO of DBH, bringing a wealth experience as a longtime Minor League Baseball owner and operator. Freund most recently consulted with the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball on the transition of Major League Baseball’s licensed affiliates while spearheading the formation of the MLB Draft League.

“Diamond Baseball Holdings will be global in our ambitions and hyper-local in our approach and creating incredible fan experiences will remain our number one priority,” said Battle and Freund. “Additionally, we look forward to providing opportunities for growth to the employees of PDL Clubs whose passion and ingenuity have built the sport through the decades.”

Diamond Baseball Holdings was formed by Endeavor, the global sports and entertainment company. DBH will support the RailRiders with ticket sales, partnerships, naming rights, food & beverage, merchandise, content strategy, collectibles/authentics/NFTs and media rights, tapping into the broader Endeavor network for expertise across the various disciplines.