NEPA Inclusive’s Fundraising Event Scheduled for May 12

The public is invited to attend the Campaign for Inclusion, the largest fundraising event of the year for the non-profit organization NEPA Inclusive. The event will take place on Friday, May 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Susquehanna Brewing Company, 635 South Main Street, Pittston. The 2023 Campaign for Inclusion raises awareness about the importance of inclusion for people with diverse abilities and Autism in schools, businesses and housing throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Co-chairpersons for this year’s event are Vanessa Vergnetti Thomas and Matthew Krispin.

Thomas is the mother of five children, including her sons Benjamin and Tristan who have Autism. A certified K-12 special education teacher, certified personal trainer and master colorist, she knows her way around the IEP and disability service system. She wants to share the mission of how NEPA Inclusive makes a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

Krispin was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at a very young age but has never let it slow him down. A graduate of Tunkhannock Area High School and Luzerne County Community College, Krispin is the administrative assistant for NEPA Inclusive. He is also very active in his community, serving as treasurer of the Northmoreland Township Volunteer Fire Department and a reader at St. Theresa’s Church in Shavertown.

Tickets are $50 each, which includes two beverages and food provided by iconic local restaurants from around the greater Pittston area and Wyoming Valley. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the NEPA Inclusive website, or at the door; advanced ticket purchases or requests are recommended.

Entertainment will be provided by Pittston’s popular Phyllis Hopkins Electric Trio. Emcees for the event will be longtime WBRE-TV 28 news anchor Mark Hiller and local personality Lizzie Breznay. Dozens of area businesses have donated baskets that will be raffled off during the event.

In addition to food, music and raffles, the Campaign for Inclusion will present several awards:  

  • Volunteer of the Year: Jimmy Dalkiewicz;
  • Inclusive Business Partner of the Year: AnthraCycle
  • Inclusive Business of the Year: The Salt Barre
  • Direct Support Professional of the Year: Esther Ross

“We have a great evening planned for this year’s Campaign for Inclusion,” said Frank Bartoli, president and CEO of NEPA Inclusive. “This event is a wonderful way to bring together the community with the individuals and families we help to celebrate the progress we’ve made to make Northeastern Pennsylvania a more inclusive, welcoming community for everyone. We are excited to partner with Susquehanna Brewing Company as the location for this year’s event.”

Individuals and area businesses that would like to support the event by donating a basket for the raffle or making a monetary donation can contact Nicole Ross, executive assistant, at 570-855-5355 or via email, Donations are 100% tax deductible. Donor levels are Friend, $100; Community, $250; Bronze, $500; Silver, $1,000; Gold, $2500 and Platinum, $5,000. Donations can also be made specifically for Coffee Inclusive, the new coffee shop in downtown Pittston operated by NEPA Inclusive. 

NEPA Inclusive is a provider agency that works with the PA Office of Developmental Programs’ Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ODP IDD) wavier system to design services to help people achieve an inclusive life. The organization is also a vendor with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for pre-employment transition services for high school students, supported employment for adults and offers a variety of educational, advocacy, and social programs all designed to help people live truly inclusive lives.

NEPA Inclusive is a 501c3 charitable organization with headquarters in Pittston. NEPA Inclusive serves all of northeastern Pennsylvania, the Poconos, Lehigh Valley and Berks County. Founded in 2013, its unique person-centered approach to inclusion provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Autism the most inclusive life, including working in local businesses, living with their families and living in their own apartments.