FNCB Bank and Fidelity Bank Balloon Battle Raises Money for Charity

FNCB Bank and Fidelity Bank, two local community banks, along with the city of Dunmore, hosted a “Bankers’ Balloon Battle” to raise funds for charity. The event took place at Dunmore Corners on Thursday, September 7th.  

Bankers from FNCB Bank and Fidelity Bank donated money for the opportunity to participate in the battle. All in good fun, the organizations splashed their “rival” by wielding nearly 3,000 water balloons into the air.

Despite the stormy weather, bankers from both banks made a great showing. Dunmore’s Mayor, Max Conway, served as the emcee of the event. Conway, who was also the judge for the contest, declared a draw – with both banks equally soaked.

The event raised nearly $2,600, all of which was donated to Bread Basket of NEPA, a charity that supports 7 local food pantries. Bread Basket of NEPA serves individuals, families, and Veterans across Lackawanna County with the goal of alleviating hunger in our community.

“We see this contest as a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together,” shared Daniel J. Santaniello, President and CEO of Fidelity Bank.  “Though FNCB Bank is our business competitor, at the end of the day, we all share the like-minded goal of serving our community. This event was a fun and innovative way for us and our friends at FNCB Bank to join forces and help an organization that brings vital services to our area.”

“This idea was born when employees from FNCB Bank and Fidelity Bank volunteered together at another great community event, the St. Joseph’s Center Summer Festival,” said Jerry Champi, FNCB Bank President and CEO. “The two teams wanted to come up with a fun way to take advantage of our friendly rivalry while helping those in need in our community. Based on the smiles on everyone’s faces and the donation to Bread Basket of NEPA, it was a great success.”

Allied Services Receives Record-Breaking Support from Mueller Family McDonalds

The Mueller family, representing 19 regional McDonald’s restaurants, recently presented a check in support of Team Allied Services and You. The annual charity campaign raising funds and awareness for children and adults with disabilities at Allied Services.

The donation represents proceeds from a month-long “Fry” fundraiser conducted during the month of September at Mueller Family McDonald’s restaurants in Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of every large fry was designated for Allied Services. 

This year, a new record was set for the annual fry fundraiser. In total, the initiative raised $37,482. In 2022, just over $30,000 was raised.

“We are thrilled to be able to support Allied and their mission of helping people in our community overcome physical challenges; specifically, children with disabilities or chronic illness. We hope the funds will make an impact on the lives of those who are in need of these services in our area,” commented Christina Mueller-Curran, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. 

“We are overwhelmed by the support of our communities. Our customers purchased about 150,000 orders of fries to make this possible! We could not have done it without their support and the support of our restaurant teams.”  

Upon receiving the donation, Allied Services President & CEO Atty. Bill Conaboy noted, “We are extremely grateful for the Mueller Family McDonald’s longtime support for Allied Services and the overall community.” 

“When we visited their South Scranton restaurant, celebrating their 50-year anniversary brought back memories of my youth growing up nearby, and it gives me great pride to recognize the Mueller Family’s decades of commitment of time, talent, and treasure – as Christina Mueller-Curran loyally serves on our Board of Directors.” 

Mueller Family McDonald’s are long-time supporters of Allied Services, and proud 2023 major sponsors of the Team Allied Services and You charity campaign. On November 5, local runner Krista Smith will represent McDonald’s and Allied Services in the TCS New York City Marathon. She joins a team of 60 other runners from around the United States and beyond who are running and raising funds for the non-profit health system. 

Every day, Allied Services touches the lives of more than 5,000 people in homes and facilities throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. The non-profit health system’s continuum of care for people with disabilities, chronic illness, and life-changing injuries includes physical rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric services, behavioral health programs, residential programs, vocational training programs, and hospice and palliative care. 

Governor Shapiro Announces Planning of PA’s First Economic Development Strategy

Moving at the Speed of Business: PA SITES

Responding to outreach from businesses who see the benefits of locating or expanding in the Commonwealth, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger also unveiled the Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites (PA SITES) pilot program. PA SITES will make at least $10 million in grant funding available to help more sites across 

the Commonwealth become “shovel ready” to attract and retain more businesses. Eligibility for the program includes PA municipalities, economic development organizations, redevelopment and municipal authorities, and industrial development agencies. Don’t delay! Applications are due by November 8th. Please help us spread the word to any others that may benefit from this program.

PA: The Place for Growth

For the Shapiro Administration and DCED, September was a huge month for business investments and job creation, as two national companies highlighted major expansions in Pennsylvania.

DCED Secretary Rick Siger joined top United Parcel Service (UPS) officials to celebrate the completion of the company’s new East Zone Regional Hub in Dauphin County, the company’s fourth largest domestic hub. The Commonwealth, through DCED, offered UPS more than $9 million in incentives to win that major expansion which has already created nearly 1,250 jobs.

Governor Shapiro and DCED Secretary Siger joined Pratt Industries Executive Global Chairman Anthony Pratt in Carlisle to announce a new commitment by the corrugated packaging company to invest $500 million and create hundreds of jobs in Pennsylvania over the next ten years.

Economic Opportunity for All

Governor Shapiro gave small businesses a better shot at getting Commonwealth contracts when he signed an Executive Order making the procurement process more accessible for small and small diverse businesses to compete for state contracts, giving them a better chance to succeed, and create good-paying jobs.

Investing in Our Workforce

The Shapiro Administration believes our workers should have the freedom to chart their own course to success. Echoing that, Secretary Siger announced a $200,000 grant to support manufacturing programsto inspire students and connect manufacturing talent in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties with regional employers.

Reinforcing the priority of workforce investment, Secretary Siger also announced a $200,000 Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career (MTTC) grant award to the Indiana County Technical Center to support a new Electrical Occupations Program for students in grades 10 through 12 in Indiana County.

Investments in Tourism

Fayette County’s Yough River Park was the perfect setting for Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger to launch Pennsylvania’s Office of Outdoor Recreation and highlight the bipartisan 2023-24 budget’s $112 million budget investment in state parks and forests. That focus is also aimed at bringing outdoor recreation tourist revenue to Pennsylvania.

World Cup soccer and the U.S. Open are bringing world-class athletes to the Commonwealth, and sports tourism will follow. Secretary Siger announced $5 million in grants through DCED’s Sports Marketing and Tourism Program to help bring nationally-known sporting events to Pennsylvania. The goal of the innovative investment is to capitalize on sports tourism which can increase sales to both large and small businesses in the surrounding area.

Strengthening Communities

The Commonwealth is always ready to help local communities stay on track. In September, new funding was awarded through the Municipal Assistance Program to support local governments in eight counties with planning for zoning and updating of comprehensive plans.

Secretary Siger also announced three new low-interest loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to support business expansions and spur the economy in Beaver, Elk and Westmoreland counties. These newly approved loans build upon Governor Shapiro’s commitment to create a stronger economy across Pennsylvania.

Scranton Cultural Center Receives PA Historic and Museum Commission Grant

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple is pleased to announce the completion of a long-range study that will guide its future efforts in the ongoing preservation, restoration, and modernization of the historic structure.

The study was funded through the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office.  The completed report provides a comprehensive look at all of the building systems and spaces and identifies work remaining to be done.  The study ranges from mechanical systems such as ventilation and plumbing to illumination and preservation of doors and historic paintwork. 

Taking slightly over a year to complete, the report was prepared by Highland Associates, an architectural and engineering firm located in Clarks Summit, Pa.  The firm has over thirty years of experience in doing detailed analysis of structures and in designing solutions to achieve the multi-faceted goals of the SCC.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Designed by renowned architect Raymond Hood, the 180,000+ square foot structure has been in constant operation since opening in 1930.  The building encompasses two theaters, a grand ballroom with balcony, several masonic lodge rooms, meeting spaces, a library and a youth theater space, as well a offices and support spaces.  At one time, the facility housed an eight-lane bowling alley and a billiard room – both now converted for alternative uses.

“We were delighted to have been chosen by PHMC as a grant recipient.  This study is absolutely critical to our ability to plan the next steps in the restoration program and will serve as guidance for our future development and capital campaigns,” Deborah Moran Peterson, executive Director of the SCC said.  “As a non-profit organization, this type of support is critical in our ongoing efforts to restore and improve our building so that we can continue to serve a broad and diverse population as a center for cultural and entertainment activities.”

PHMC / PA SHPO provided $25,000 in a matching grant with the matching balance being provided by a private donor.

Previous restoration and modernization work totals over $17,000.000 dollars, starting in 1987 with the formation of the Scranton Cultural Center and the award of $8,000.000 from the state of Pennsylvania under then Governor Robert Casey.  A state funded exterior restoration project is currently being developed and is anticipated to begin in late spring of 2024.

Future projects will include restoration of the Weinberg theater interior and modernization of stage mechanical, audio and lighting systems, addition of air conditioning to the second, third and fourth floor spaces, upgrades to the facility computer, phone and security systems, modernization of restrooms and dressing rooms, modernization of the facility HVAC control systems, and energy efficiency improvements, among others. 

Lackawanna College Center for Technology Innovation Receives Donation from Coterra Energy

Lackawanna College and Coterra Energy have partnered again on a new initiative to help expand workforce opportunities in northeast Pennsylvania.

Through the Pennsylvania Neighborhood Assistance Program/Special Program Priorities (NAP/SPP), Coterra has donated $1 million to Lackawanna College to assist with the implementation of its new Center for Technology Innovation (CTI) to be launched in 2024 at their Scranton Campus.

The collaboration between Lackawanna College and Coterra Energy is driven by a shared commitment to fostering innovation, technology, and workforce growth in the region. The CTI will serve as an education and corporate training space for both new students and existing professionals in the industrial technology workforce.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with our mission to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the modern workforce. The Center for Technology Innovation will be a catalyst for innovation, creating a bridge between education and industry to drive economic growth in our community,” President and Chief Innovation Officer Jill Murray said.

Coterra Energy’s donation reflects their commitment to supporting local communities and investing in the future of the workforce. This collaboration builds on the success of previous partnerships between Lackawanna College and Coterra Energy, underscoring the ongoing dedication of both organizations to the prosperity of northeast Pennsylvania.

“Coterra has a history of investing in education locally, and Lackawanna College has been a great partner. From the School of Petroleum and Natural Gas in Tunkhannock, we have seen local students transition into solid careers with family sustaining wages,” Coterra Director of External Affairs George Stark said. “We expect the CTI to have the same impact here in Scranton. We are proud to call NEPA home and are excited to foster growth in new technologies and careers.”

The CTI offers undergraduate degree programs, corporate training, as well as short term, stackable certificates, to prepare individuals for the jobs of tomorrow in areas such as robotics, electric vehicles/advanced automotive, cybersecurity, and communications technology.

The CTI is now accepting enrollment in programs that will lead to careers in industries such as transportation and logistics, warehousing and distribution, industrial automation, and technology and communication. Lackawanna College’s vision for the CTI is to ensure the College’s role as an economic, social, and community development leader that supports the future industrial ecosystem.

Leadership Lackawanna Holding “Howl at the Moon” Dueling Pianos Fundraiser

Leadership Lackawanna will host another amazing “Howl at the Moon” Dueling Pianos Fundraiser on Friday, October 20 at 7 PM at The Radisson Lackawanna Station in Scranton.

The event will feature live entertainment, courtesy of the national “Howl At The Moon” dueling pianos group. Attendees are invited to sing, dance and howl as versatile and talented musicians perform their favorite songs from 80’s rock, 90’s pop and today’s dance hits on pianos and more in a high-energy show!

The event will also feature basket raffles, a selfie station, and other ways for attendees to get their spooky on! Tickets are available now at ScrantonChamber.com and a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door. All tickets include event admission and five raffle tickets for a variety of fantastic prizes.

Attendees can “tip” the musicians to play their favorite song. The higher the tip, the sooner their song plays. All tips go directly to Leadership Lackawanna.

Danielle Weinschenk, Leadership Lackawanna Board of Directors Vice Chair, says the event will be the best one yet. “Our new location at the Radisson will allow more people to enjoy this fantastic night of dancing, singing and supporting a great cause! Come for the music, stay for the opportunity to win amazing prizes and dance the night away. The Howl at the Moon musicians will play anything from ‘Ghostbusters’ to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – and beyond!”

All proceeds from the event will support Leadership Lackawanna’s mission of enhancing the skills, connections and knowledge of emerging and established leaders in Northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as supporting community service projects conducted by Leadership Lackawanna participants.

Greater Scranton YMCA Receives Grant Award

In June, 2023, the Greater Scranton YMCA was awarded a $15,000 Community Needs grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Grant funding will support the expansion of the Y’s Early Learning Center.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the need for child care services in our community has grown substantially. Enrollment in the Greater Scranton YMCA’s early childhood education programs has grown significantly, with more than 60 children currently on a waitlist.

The Greater Scranton YMCA is limited in space and at maximum capacity. In order to open an additional 30 child care spots each year, the Greater Scranton YMCA will renovate its second floor, which is currently being used for storage and the location of H-VAC. Through renovating the space, the Greater Scranton YMCA will create three new classrooms, each licensed to serve up to 10 children. The classrooms will specifically serve children ages zero to two, as the need for infant care is great.

“Thanks to incredible community partners like the Scranton Area Community Foundation, the Greater Scranton YMCA will grow its Early Learning Center to serve more children and families from our community who are in need of care,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Through expanding the center to open an additional 30 spots annually, we will provide parents and caregivers with a safe, nurturing environment for their children to thrive in while they are able to work. We are so grateful for this support.

Geisinger Honored by American Medical Association

Geisinger has earned recognition from the American Medical Association (AMA) as a Joy in Medicine™ recognized organization.

The prestigious AMA distinction is granted only to organizations that attest to the rigorous criteria of the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program and demonstrate a commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members through proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

“While there is still work to do, this recognition is a testament to our commitment to building a culture that allows our Geisinger family to thrive both personally and professionally,” said Susan Parisi, M.D., chief wellness officer. “When we create change at a system level to truly improve our care team members’ well-being, our patients and our entire Geisinger community benefit. We’re excited to join this collaboration of like-minded organizations where the mental health and well-being of our care team members is a priority, and we’re eager to continue this important work.”

Burnout rates among the nation’s physicians and other health care professionals spiked as the COVID-19 pandemic placed acute stress on care teams and exacerbated long-standing system issues. While the worst days of the pandemic are past, the lingering impact of work-related burnout remains an obstacle to achieving national health goals.

“Health organizations that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program are leading a national movement that has declared the well-being of health professionals to be an essential element for providing high-quality care to patients, families and communities,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “Each Joy in Medicine recognized organization is distinguished as among the nation’s best at creating a culture of wellness that makes a difference in the lives of clinical care teams.”

Geisinger was recognized for its efforts to improve employee well-being through its Center for Professionalism and Well-being (CPW) — a team that offers Geisinger employees a variety of services related to mental health, burnout mitigation, community building, peer support and crisis response. In 2022, Geisinger named Dr. Parisi the health system’s first chief wellness officer to oversee the CPW and guide the implementation of a systemwide strategy to improve the mental health, professional fulfillment and overall well-being of the Geisinger family.

Since its inception in 2019, the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Programs recognize more than 100 organizations across the country. In 2023, a total of 72 health systems nationwide earned recognition with documented efforts to reduce system-level drivers of work-related burnout and demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support.