WBRE and WYOU’s BIG News Revealed

After teasing northeastern Pennsylvania viewers about a “big” secret to be revealed on WBRE 28 & WYOU 22 Wednesday evening at 6 P.M., the stations announced tonight that well-known and long-respected morning news anchor, Tom Williams, is returning to television to co-anchor the stations’ morning news.

“Tom Williams, with his years of starting viewers’ days with the information they value, is joining our morning team at Eyewitness News,” said WBRE’s Vice president and General manager, Andrew Wyatt.  “Regional TV viewers who have followed Tom’s career for years will feel right at home with our morning news crew. We’re thrilled with this announcement that will continue the shift of the region’s TV news viewing to our stations.”

News Director, Eric Nazarenus added, “Our news team is proud to bring Tom back to local television as our morning co-anchor. His objective, fact-based approach to delivering the news and his  congenial rapport with our morning team will give our viewers exactly what they want when starting out their day.”

Tom Williams spent nearly 30 years at the local ABC affiliate, many as a reliable accurate morning news anchor, before leaving the station in March of 2022.

“I’m delighted to join the WBRE 28 and WYOU 22 Eyewitness News team,” said Williams. “Working with the professionals at these two stations, with their experienced news gathering team of journalists and videographers and well-respected meteorologists is what I’m most comfortable doing. I love the prospect of bonding with the stations’ morning viewers.”

Tom Williams joins co-anchor Kelly Byrne and meteorologist, Logan Westrope weekday mornings at 4:30 am on WBRE and 5:00 am on WYOU beginning Thursday, March 16th.

WBRE is owned by Nexstar Media Inc. provides services for WYOU-TV and Mission Broadcasting, Inc. through a shared services agreement.   

The Catherine McAuley Center to Host Mother’s Day Tea Party

The Catherine McAuley Center will be hosting a Mother’s Day Tea Party to celebrate mothers and other women in our lives; this event is open to the community. Refreshments, finger sandwiches and dessert will be served.

In addition to the tea party fare, there will be children’s activities, a family photo station, door prizes, raffles and so much more!

The Mother’s Day Tea Party will be located at The Space at Olive, 541 Wyoming Avenue in

Scranton on Saturday, May 6 th at 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Tickets are $25 per adult, up to four children up to the age of 18 are included on the ticket.

There are sponsorship, donation, and volunteer opportunities.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please contact the Catherine McAuley Center by calling Mary-Pat Ward, Development Director at (570) 342-1342 or emailing at mpward@catherinemcauleycenter.org.

Treasurer Stacy Garrity and Senator John DiSanto Announce Legislation

Standing just outside the Finance Building’s historic vault, Treasurer Stacy Garrity and Sen. John DiSanto (R-15) announced that legislation automating the process of returning unclaimed property to rightful owners – known as Pennsylvania Money Match – was introduced this week.

“This will be a huge step forward in our efforts to return unclaimed property to Pennsylvanians as quickly as possible,” Treasurer Garrity said. “Pennsylvania Money Match will get more money back into the wallets of hard-working Pennsylvanians, where it belongs. Many people don’t know they have unclaimed property, and we should make it as easy as possible to get these funds back where they belong. In today’s economy, every extra dollar can go a long way to helping families make ends meet.”

“I am pleased to join Treasurer Garrity to announce this new legislation that will return people’s unclaimed property more quickly, and without the burden of having to search and submit a claim,” Sen. DiSanto said. “This initiative, which has strong bipartisan support, is truly commonsense and has tremendous potential to help residents get back unclaimed funds during this period of high-inflation and stretched family budgets.”

Pennsylvania Money Match will authorize Treasury to automatically return single-owner property for living individuals valued up to $5,000 to the rightful owner after a thorough identification and verification process. At least 14 other states have successfully implemented similar programs to automatically reunite their residents with many millions of dollars in unclaimed property.

For larger and more complex claims, owners would continue to fill out a claim form and submit additional information required to confirm their identity and rightful ownership.

Senator DiSanto introduced Senate Bill 24 to create Pennsylvania Money Match. SB 24 was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

“I applaud Senator DiSanto for taking the lead on this important legislation,” Treasurer Garrity said. “I look forward to working with him and the entire General Assembly to make this much-needed change to our unclaimed property program. And, as always, I encourage all Pennsylvanians to search our database for money that may be theirs.”

Since taking office, Treasurer Garrity has implemented multiple improvements to the unclaimed property program, including:

Treasury returned more than $211 million worth of unclaimed property in 2022. More than $4 billion is currently waiting to be claimed. One in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property, and the average claim is worth about $1,600.

Keystone College Announces Speaker for 2023 Commencement

The Honorable William R. Evanina, former director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in Washington, D.C., will address members of the Keystone College Class of 2023 during the college’s 152nd commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20 on campus.

A 1987 Keystone College graduate and a native of nearby Peckville, Pa., Mr. Evanina is now the founder and CEO of the Evanina Group, advising CEOs and boards of directors on strategic corporate risk. He also serves on multiple advisory boards. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 6, 2020 to be the first Senate-confirmed director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). He served as the NCSC Director since 2014 and was head of counterintelligence (CI) for the United States government.

In that role, Mr. Evanina was responsible for leading and supporting the CI and security activities of the nation’s intelligence community, the United States government, and private sector entities at risk from intelligence collection or attack by foreign adversaries. He oversaw national-level programs and activities such as the National Insider Threat Task Force; personnel security and background investigations; information technology protection standards and compliance; counterintelligence cyber operations; supply chain risk management; threat awareness to sectors of the nation’s critical infrastructure; national-level damage assessments from espionage or unauthorized disclosures; CI mission management; and national CI and security training programs.

Under Mr. Evanina’s leadership, NCSC produced the President’s National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States of America 2020, which has been instrumental in raising foreign intelligence threat awareness to critical infrastructure sectors and private sector executives regarding supply chain, economic security, cyber, and malign foreign influence.

Mr. Evanina chaired the National Counterintelligence Policy Board and the Allied Security and Counterintelligence Forum comprised of senior CI and security leaders from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. He served as chair of the NATO Counterintelligence Panel.

Prior to his selection as the director of NCSC, Mr. Evanina was the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterespionage Group. He served as assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, where he led operations in both the Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Divisions.

Mr. Evanina has more than 31 years of distinguished federal service, 24 of which as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). At the start of his law enforcement career in 1996, he investigated organized crime and violent crimes through the FBI’s Newark Field Office. He then served on an FBI SWAT unit for 10 years, ultimately supervising this unit. He led some of the highest profile terrorism investigations in our nation’s history including the 9/11 attacks, the anthrax attacks, and the Daniel Pearl kidnapping. During his tenure with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Mr. Evanina was selected as a supervisory special agent and received the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence for his leadership in the investigation into convicted spy Leandro Argoncillo. His government career began in 1989 as a project manager with the General Services Administration in Philadelphia. He retired from federal service in 2021. 

Mr. Evanina attended Valley View High School, where he played baseball and football. As the first in his family to attend college, he holds an associate degree from what was then Keystone Junior College, where he played baseball and graduated summa cum laude. He continued his academics and athletics with a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Wilkes University (summa cum laude), and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Arcadia University in Philadelphia. He resides in Alexandria, Va. with his wife, Julie, and their two sons, Dominic and Will. 

WVIA Employee’s Awarded Designation

WVIA’s Sarah Marie Thomas and Alecia Panuski have been named CFRE International Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE). Sarah, Director of Membership, and Alecia, Major Gifts Officer, at WVIA, join over 7,700 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.
Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement. They have also passed a rigorous exam testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. 
“The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills, and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states CFRE International President and CEO Eva E. Aldrich, Ph.D., CAE, (CFRE 2001-2016). “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE certification demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Sarah and Alecia to the fundraising profession and the donors who are served.”
CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. To maintain certification status, certificants must demonstrate on-going fundraising employment and fundraising results and continue with their professional education. Employers and donors who work with CFREs know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills.
The CFRE certification signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional.

Since 1981, CFRE has set standards for fundraising professionals. As the only globally-recognized fundraising certification, CFRE indicates professionalism, confidence, and ethics. It is how today’s fundraiser shows accountability, service, and commitment to making a difference for good. The CFRE certification program is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and is the only accredited certification for fundraising professionals.  
The CFRE designation is endorsed and supported by the world’s leading professional and philanthropic associations, including:

•           Association for Christian Fundraising (ACF)

•           Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC)

•           Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

•           Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)

•           Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC)

•           Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (BBB)

•           Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)

•           Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

•           Brazilian Fundraisers Association (ABCR)

•           Canadian Association of Gift Planners—Association Canadienne des

Professionnels en Dons Planifies (CAGP-ACPDP)

•           Educate Plus

•           European Fundraising Association (EFA)

•           Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)

•           Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ)

•           The Giving Institute

•           Habit for Humanity International (HFHI)

•           Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA)

•           International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)

•           Japan Fundraising Association (JFRA)

•           Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals (KAFP)

•           Korea Society of Philanthropy (KSoP)

•           National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO)

•           National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP)

•           Nepal Center for Philanthropy and Development (NCPD)

•           New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP)

•           North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO)

•           Shanghai Jing’an Fundraising Social Charity Innovation Development Center (FIDC)

•           Texas Association of Community College Foundations (TACCF)

•           Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance (TVNPA)

•           United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

•           Virginia Association of Fund Raising Executives (VAFRE)

CFRE International congratulates Sarah Marie Thomas and Alecia Panuski for achieving the CFRE designation.

PennDOT is Seeking Feedback on Winter Services

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking the public’s feedback on winter services through an online survey.

“Our team works hard throughout the winter to keep us moving and keep us safe,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “Through the survey, the public can share their comments, expectations, and perceptions which helps us review our operations and ways to enhance public information.”

The survey is available through April 6 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are completely anonymous.

The 17-question survey asks respondents about their timeline expectations for safe and passable roadways, how they rank snow-removal priorities, and how they rate PennDOT’s winter services.

Respondents are also asked how they receive PennDOT roadway information, and whether or how they use the state’s 511PA traveler information services. During the winter, www.511PA.com offers its standard traffic and incident information while adding PennDOT plow-truck locations, winter roadway conditions, and other services.

At any time, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts

As construction season begins, information on projects occurring or being bid this year is viewable at www.projects.PennDOT.gov. Subscribe to travel alerts in a specific area on the Regional Offices page or subscribe to statewide PennDOT news.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram

NET Credit Union Promotes Employees

NET Credit Union makes career moves with multiple employee promotions.

Scranton, PA March 13, 2023 – Mary Rapach has been promoted to Director of Member Experience. In this roll, Mary will manage Branch Operations, the Member Service Center, and corporate training. Mary has over 20 years of diversified banking experience and her goal is to unite all of our front line member experiences with consistent sales and service standards.

Phil Zvirblis has been promoted to Branch Operations Manager. In this roll, Phil will manage all branch operations. Phil has nearly 10 years of banking and credit union experience and has lead our branches in serving our members.

Sean Thorpe has been promoted to Scranton Branch Manager. Sean has over 13 years of banking experience and knowledge. Sean has been an asset to NET for over 6 years and has been a cornerstone of our lending department.

Jessica Tonkin has been promoted to Olyphant Branch Manager. Jessica has dedicated 14 years to NET and has worked in many departments throughout the years. Jessica has been essential in the development and training of our branch staff.

Christina Dehaba has been hired as Taylor Branch Manager. Christina brings with her over 20 years of lending and management experience.

Jean Seifert has been promoted to Scranton Assistant Branch Manager. Jean has served as a key member of the NET team for nearly 27 years. Jean has excelled at training new employees, while overseeing all facets of the teller line, and has demonstrated relationship building skills with both employees and members.

Devon Hessmiller has been promoted to Olyphant Assistant Branch Manager. Devon has been an asset to NET for 15 years. Devon has excelled at learning new processes in the branch and has been integral in the running of the branch with the implementation of new software and training new tellers.

Jessica Hernandez has been promoted to Taylor Assistant Branch Manager. Jessica has been with NET since 2017 and has been member-centric in her roles in collections and lending. Jessica also brings with her years of experience in business development.

Jessica Fashouer has been promoted to Member Service Center Supervisor. Jessica has been with NET Credit Union for 15 years. With the knowledge and skills she has accumulated during that time, she is an invaluable part of the creation and development of the Member Service Center.

Pennsylvania American Water Promotes Water Saving Tips

Pennsylvania American Water is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote water conservation and help provide savings to customers.Small drips from faucets and often-overlooked toilet tank leaks can add up quickly. Helping homeowners fix the drips to save money and water is the goal of the annual “Fix a Leak Week,” running March 20-26. Fix a Leak Week is a national campaign that helps raise awareness about leaks and other water issues that contribute to water waste within homes.

“Customers might barely notice a small drip at their faucet, but at the rate of one drip per second, it can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year — enough for more than 180 showers,” said Pennsylvania American Water Vice President of Operations Jim Runzer. “Fortunately, most common leaks are easily detectable and correctable, which not only makes you a more environmentally conscious consumer, but also saves money on your monthly water and sewer bill.”

According to the EPA, the average residence in the U.S. loses 10,000 gallons of water per year from seemingly minor leaks. With more than 110 million households in the U.S., this equates to more than one trillion gallons of water lost every year due to leaks in the home. Moreover, it is estimated that the average homeowner can reduce his or her water bills by 10 percent simply by addressing leaks.

Runzer added, “As a water utility, we work every day to practice what we preach, which is why we invest millions in our pipes each year to reduce system leaks.”

Pennsylvania American Water is committed to fixing leaks in its underground network of pipes by constantly replacing and upgrading its infrastructure. Over the past five years, the company has funded more than $2 billion in system upgrades and plans to invest $450 to $600 million annually over the next several years to continue providing safe, clean, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater services to customers. 

To assist customers with at-home leak repairs and prevention, Pennsylvania American Water has helpful information including tips on finding and fixing common, and some not-so-common, indoor and outdoor water leaks along with downloadable leak detection kits, available in English and Spanish, through the company’s leak detection webpage.

Pennsylvania American Water also offers these starter tips for detecting leaks:

  • Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replace them.
  • Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.
  • For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
  • Tighten connections on your showerheads if drips appear when the shower is off.
  • Check your garden and lawn irrigation system for leaks.
  • Consider installing water and energy-efficient appliances. The EPA reports that certified Energy Star washing machines use up to 35 percent less water per load. Water-saving shower heads, toilets and faucet aerators also help cut your water usage.

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Receives Donations

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute received a donation of $3,005 from AllOne Charities from their annual online Give Day campaign in December 2022. This event helps to boost fundraising efforts as the national day of giving by matching the first $1,000 raised. Additionally, AllOne Charities partnered with Coterra Energy to offer additional funds to organizations entitled Random Acts of Kindness. The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute was a recipient of $1,000 through this bonus. The Cancer Institute raised $4,005 total through the giving day.  Over $171,000 was raised through AllOne Charities Give Day for 49 local nonprofit organizations in NEPA. AllOne Charities Give Day occurs each year on Giving Tuesday as a local online fundraising event. The Cancer Institute has been participating since inception of this campaign in 2020.

NRCI Receives Donation from Toyota of Scranton

Toyota of Scranton has committed to support the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute as a $1,000 Circle of Faith sponsor for the 20th annual CASUAL (Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives) Day.  

CASUAL Day, set for Thursday, March 30, 2023, is a dress down day to raise awareness for colorectal cancer in northeast Pennsylvania.  On this day, participants dress casual while wearing specially designed socks and t-shirts.  

The focus of this awareness campaign is to have a casual conversation about colon cancer. All proceeds from the event stay in NEPA and go towards the Cancer Institute efforts to raise awareness and to support colorectal cancer prevention, early detection education and screenings.

For more information about CASUAL Day and how you can participate, please call the Cancer Institute at (570) 904-8808 or visit www.cancernepa.org.   

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders Events

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders Annual Fully Loaded Comedy Festival

A star-studded lineup will perform at PNC Field on Friday, June 16, and tickets go on sale this week. Bert “The Machine” Kreischer announced today he will be starting the party back up this summer with his second annual Fully Loaded Comedy Festival in June at sixteen of the most iconic ballparks and arenas across the country.
NEPA’s biggest comedy event of the year will feature a “Fully Loaded” line-up including Bert Kreischer, Tiffany Haddish, Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder and Tammy Pescatelli.
Promoted by Outback Presents, Presale begins Wednesday, March 8 at 10 A.M. with the full on-sale to the public set for Friday, March 10, at 10 A.M.
“Fully Loaded is the best ticket you can buy in entertainment this summer – Indoors, outdoors, baseball stadiums, arenas, and The Gorge,” said Kreischer. “The Fully Loaded lineups are top to bottom the best talent to have ever graced stand-up stages. An absolute no-brainer for any comedy fan.”
The concept for the Fully Loaded Comedy Festival was conceived during Bert’s 2020 Hot Summer Nights Tour while performing at drive-in venues during the pandemic. He fell in love with the unconventional aspect of outdoor comedy shows, which sparked the idea to create a top-tier showcase that had never been done before. Having fond memories of the original Lollapalooza, Bert founded his own comedy version that would encompass everything he loves: comedy, the outdoors, good times, and drinking with friends to give fans an experience they will be talking about for years to come.
This year the festival will partner with the charity Comedy Gives Back. They are an organization founded as a safety net for comics by providing them with financial crisis relief, mental health support and more to those that need help.
Kreischer’s career has evolved from earning Rolling Stone’s 1997 “Number One Partier in the Nation,” to one of the top grossing stand-up comics in the business. In 2022, Pollstar listed Bert as #4 in the “Top 10 Highest Grossing Tours”, performing to sold-out arenas around the globe. He is currently on his 2023 Tops Off World Tour.
As one of the best storytellers of his generation, Kreischer seamlessly and sincerely shares anecdotes about his family and fatherhood while showing his ability to prove “that there’s a way to take his [party-boy] antics into middle-age,” (Forbes)

On March 14, he will release his highly anticipated fifth stand-up special, Razzle Dazzle on Netflix. Shameless — and shirtless — as ever, Bert spills on bodily emissions, being bullied by his kids and the explosive end to his family’s escape room outing. His stand-up specials Secret Time, The Machine, and Hey Big Boy are currently streaming on Netflix.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kreischer tops off this summer as the star in the Legendary/ Sony picture film, The Machine, exclusively in theatres across the country May 26. Set 23 years after the study abroad experience he chronicled in his 2016 Showtime stand-up special, the movie follows Kreischer as the Russian mafia finally catches up with him after all these years and seeks retribution for the crimes that he committed in their country as a rowdy, drunken college student.
In additional to a successful stand-up career, Kreischer has made himself a household name in the podcast world with several top comedy podcasts including Bertcast and Two Bears One Cave that he co-hosts with Tom Segura. He also hosts the popular YouTube cooking show, Something’s Burning.
06/14/23 – Forest Hills, NY – Forest Hills Stadium
06/15/23 – Baltimore, MD – CFG Bank Arena
06/16/23 – Moosic, PA – PNC Field
06/17/23 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
06/22/23 – Traverse City, MI – Turtle Creek Stadium
06/23/23 – Fort Wayne, IN – Parkview Field
06/24/23 – St. Louis, MO – Enterprise Center
06/25/23 – Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
07/06/23 – Huntsville, AL – The Orion Amphitheater
07/07/23 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
07/08/23 – Memphis, TN – AutoZone Park
07/09/23 – Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center
07/12/23 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena
07/13/23 – Salt Lake City, UT – Vivint Arena
07/14/23 – Boise, ID – ExtraMile Arena
07/15/23 – George, WA – Gorge Amphitheatre
Lineup varies by market and is subject to change. Additional special guests to be announced.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders to Participate in Copa de la Diversión

The Scranton/Wilkes Barre Railriders will be participating in the Copa de la Diversión® (Fun Cup™) event series. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders will be Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Vejigantes Puerto Rican Folkloric Character. The Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) unveiled the schedule of games and the 95 on-fieldHispanic identities for this season’s Copa de la Diversión® (Fun Cup™) event series. Continuing its annual expansion into more communities, eight new teams joined Copa de la Diversión (“Copa”) this season, with four teams returning with rebranded personas.
The 405-game event series will kick off April 6 in Columbus, Ohio, with Nationwide returning as the Official Insurance Partner of the Copa initiative.
The eight MiLB teams joining Copa for the first time include the Augusta GreenJackets, Beloit Sky Carp, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Fredericksburg Nationals, Lynchburg Hillcats, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Rocket City Trash Pandas, and Sugar Land Space Cowboys. Four teams – the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Daytona Tortugas, Durham Bulls, and Reno Aces – return with all-new identities, while the Chattanooga Lookouts, El Paso Chihuahuas, and Fayetteville Woodpeckers are back with rebranded looks. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs added an additional Copa identity for 2023.
Five clubs playing in MLB Partner Leagues will be part of the Copa fun in 2023, with the Boise Hawks, Gateway Grizzlies, Milwaukee Milkmen, Rocky Mountain Vibes, and Tri-City ValleyCats joining the program.
Through the success of the Copa program, now in its sixth season, MiLB has solidified its commitment to the long-term growth of its U.S. Latino/a communities and its diversity and inclusion efforts across the country. During the first five seasons of the initiative, Copadesignated
games had a nearly 20% higher average attendance than non-Copa games, as teams extended their reach into local communities and partnered with more than 200 local Latino/a organizations on various events and charitable endeavors.
“The Copa de la Diversión initiative allows our teams to connect with the Latino/a population in their community in an authentic manner,” said Billy Bean, MLB’s Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. “The
continued growth of this initiative reinforces the importance of connecting with our Latino/a fans and the Latino/a community, creating a deeper and more meaningful fan experience.”
“Nationwide is proud to support MiLB’s continued efforts to showcase the unique on-field Hispanic identities of the 95 participating clubs around the league, including our hometown Veleros de Columbus,” said Jim McCoy, associate vice president of Sports Marketing for Nationwide. “As an Official Partner of the Copa initiative, it’s great to see the continued expansion and elevation of the program that celebrates Hispanic culture at the ballpark and in the community.”
At the end of the season, a panel comprised of industry experts and civic leaders will recognize the top-performing teams in several categories, including ballpark experience, community engagement, and philanthropic impact, and one team will be named the overall Copa de la Diversión champion with an award presented by Nationwide. Previous winners include the Mariachis de Nuevo México (2018 and 2019), the Wepas de Worcester (2021), and the Soñadores de Hillsboro (2022). Last season, Nationwide included a $5,000 donation to Hillsboro to further amplify their efforts in the community.
For more information on Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión initiative and to purchase tickets or official merchandise, visit MiLB.com/copa.
MLB Partner League team. The MLB Partner Leagues are comprised of the American Association, the Atlantic League, the Frontier League, and the Pioneer League.