Scranton Area Community Foundation Awards Grant to Northeast Regional Cancer Institute

The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute recently received a $10,000 grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation.   

Funds will support the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Community Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program. The Navigation Program is a cancer screening initiative focused on education, barrier reduction and facilitation of screenings for breast, cervical, colon and lung cancer while connecting or reconnecting all participants to a medical home to ensure ongoing preventative care. This initiative is dependent on a customized software program, an upgrade of which is required to more efficiently manage program work.  

“NRCI is extremely appreciative of this funding support from the Scranton Area Community Foundation. These upgrades will allow for program growth, increase the number of people screened for cancer, and help save lives through early detection, “said Laura Toole, Executive Vice President at the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.  

This funding was awarded as part of the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Spring Community Needs Grant Cycle.  

Scranton Area Community Foundation Hosts 2023 Annual Community Celebration

The Scranton Area Community Foundation will host its 2023 Annual Community Celebration on the evening of Thursday, December 7, at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center.

The Annual Community Celebration is an opportunity for the Scranton Area Community Foundation, its Board of Governors, its supporters, and the community to celebrate their impact in 2023. Laura Ducceschi, CEO and President of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, and Barbara O’Hara, Esq., Chair of the Scranton Area Community Foundation Board of Governors, will host the event. Posture Interactive will provide production services, including video production, streaming, and designing the stage dressing.

At the event, members of the Scranton Area Community Foundation Board of Governors will celebrate the generosity of donors and friends that enabled the Foundation to distribute almost $8 million in grants and scholarships from charitable funds and an additional $2 million from foundations under management, the highest since the Foundation’s inception in 1954.

The event will also recognize the contributions of featured community partners and funds who have led the way in making a significant impact in 2023. Featured Community Partners are Scott R. Thorpe, Accountant/Partner, Ostrowski Beckley and Thorpe PC; Chris Bohinski and WBRE-TV; and Jack Nogi, Esq. Featured Funds are the Fendrock Family Fund; Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer; and the Sondra G. and Morey M. Myers Charitable Gift Fund.

The 2023 Annual Community Celebration will begin at 6:00 PM on Thursday, December 7th at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center. This event is free to attend and open to all in the community. Refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner will be served. Please visit to RSVP for the celebration.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation Announces Awards from the Women in Philanthropy Annual Celebration

The 2023 recipients of the Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award and the Roseann Smith Alperin Award were awarded on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, during the Women in Philanthropy Annual Event which took place at POSH at the Scranton Club.

The 2023 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award was presented to Karen Clifford.

The 2023 Roseann Smith Alperin Award was presented to Natalie O’Hara.

“Both recipients are an inspiration to others and are recognized for their integrity and selfless dedication to our community,” stated Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

Both awards are presented annually through the support of charitable funds established at the Scranton Area Community Foundation. These charitable funds were established to memorialize a loved one and to honor qualities of leadership and excellence that exist in members of our community.

The Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award has been presented since 1992 to honor her memory and to recognize the accomplishments of women in our community while encouraging their personal and/or professional development. The Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award is presented annually to a woman whose vision, dedication, and courage have enhanced the quality of life and expanded the opportunities for the people within her community and whose creative interests, energies, and service to others have contributed substantially to the betterment of her community.

Past award recipients of the Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award have included Eleanore Ginader, Rosemary Broderick, Sharon McCrone, Catherine Richmond-Cullen, Mary Elaine Southard, Judith O. Graziano, Carol Weiss Rubel, Charlotte McIlwee Ravaioli, Diana Statsman, Susan S. Belin, Rachel R. Yaklic (10th anniversary youth recipient), Margaret “Peg” Ruddy, Sally E. Bohlin, Andrea J. Mulrine, Natalie Gelb, Mary Ann LaPorta, Sr. Margaret Gannon, IHM, Mary Belin Rhodes, Sondra Myers, Nancy Dressel, Jeanne Bovard, Suzanne Fisher Staples, Jane Oppenheim, Sister Ann Walsh, Nada Gilmartin, Michelle Dempsey, Laurie Cadden, Maria Montoro Edwards, and Teri Ooms.

The Roseann Smith Alperin Award was established in 1996 by the Junior League of Scranton to recognize an outstanding, highly engaged female volunteer who exhibits the heart and spirit of Roseann Smith Alperin by demonstrating the capacity to lead, motivate, and inspire others and the community she serves. 

Prior recipients of the Roseann Smith Alperin Award include Jane Oppenheim, Leah Rudolph, Gail Rees, Margaret Kovacic, Ellie Axford, Mary Ann LaPorta, Lynnie Siegal, Elaine Shepard, Laurie Cadden, Regina Boehm, Kathleen Kintzer, Tracy Bannon, Michele Margotta Neary, Michele Bannon, Tara Atkins, Susan Blum Connors, Anne Falzett, Katie Gilmartin, Amy Betts, Linda Robeson, Tami Prall-Nasser, and Jennifer Novak.

“The Scranton Area Community Foundation manages many charitable funds that provide awards to individuals that possess the important qualities donors would like to recognize,” Ducceschi added. “We are grateful for the opportunity to honor these incredible women during the Women in Philanthropy Annual Event each year.” During the event, Pennsylvania State Senator Rosemary M. Brown presented each award recipient with a proclamation congratulating them both on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Scranton Area Community Foundation Announces Flood Relief Grant Program to Lackawanna County Residents

In response to the severe storms that struck Lackawanna County in September, the Scranton Area Community Foundation is in the process of establishing a flood relief grants program aimed at supporting individuals and community organizations directly affected by these recent flood events and which are experiencing hardship as a result.  

There will be two grant programs aimed at flood relief hardship issues—the Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund and a grants program in partnership with the City of Scranton. Specific eligibility and application process parameters for the flood relief grants programs will be provided when the process opens the week of October 23rd. 

The first program, The Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund, has been established by the Scranton Area Community Foundation to support community organizations and small businesses in the Lackawanna County area experiencing hardship from being directly affected by flood events. 

The second grants program, developed in partnership with the City of Scranton, will support individuals residing in the City of Scranton experiencing hardship from having been affected by flood events. This flood relief grants program will provide support to eligible recipients through resources available from Scranton’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Additional details on both grant programs, which will be forthcoming, will include eligibility information, areas covered under the grant programs, and how to apply.

The Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund was created with seed money from the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Generous individual donors, foundations, and organizations, including The Moses Taylor Foundation, Pennsylvania American Water, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and PS Bank, have provided additional support to the Fund. These donations will directly support grants made from the Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund as funds are available. The Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund will continue soliciting additional charitable donations from other organizations and individuals to respond effectively to the incoming needs. The Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund will aim to meet the greatest array of needs of the organizations and communities disproportionately impacted by flood events in Lackawanna County.

“In critical situations like this, we know the needs are great, so as a Community Foundation, we are preparing for how best to serve those who need assistance. We understand the importance of listening to the communities we serve and responding to these needs,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “We are fortunate to have a very generous community, who we believe will continue to step up and support this very important cause.” 

The Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund is currently accepting charitable donations, 100% of which will go toward supporting those affected in Lackawanna County. Contributions to the Fund can be made online at Donations can also be mailed via check to The Scranton Area Foundation, 615 Jefferson Ave., Suite 102, Scranton, PA 18510, and made payable to “Scranton Area Foundation” with “LC Flood Fund” in the memo line. 

For more information about the flood relief grant programs, please contact Frank Caputo, Grants & Communications Coordinator at the Scranton Area Community Foundation at

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton received $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents. 

Scranton Area Community Foundation Announces Nonprofit Excellence Awards Recipients

The Scranton Area Community Foundation, through its Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, announces the recipients of its first-ever Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Nonprofit Excellence Awards recognizes nonprofit organizations, individuals, and local community projects that embody themes of collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and inclusion. The awards were given during the Foundation’s NEPA Learning Conference, held at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center, on September 22.

During the Conference, the Scranton Area Community Foundation awarded the Nonprofit of the Year, the Collaborative Project of the Year, the Rising Star Award, and the NEPA Gives Superstar Award.

The Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes a nonprofit organization in Northeast Pennsylvania that demonstrates excellence in leadership, management, innovation, collaboration, and impact. The 2023 Nonprofit of the Year Award recipient is United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA. United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA works together with neighbors to provide services and create opportunities that empower individuals and build strong, interdependent communities.

The Collaborative Project of the Year Award celebrates successes and acknowledges the collaborative efforts of Northeastern Pennsylvania organizations that achieve extraordinary results due to their partnerships. The 2023 Collaborative Project of the Year Award recipient is Readiness in Skilled Employment (RISE). The RISE program was developed by a collaborative including Johnson College, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund. The program tackles the mismatch between available jobs and the people who need them and has been cited as a model for potential expansion into other locations.

The Rising Star Award recognizes an individual who is an up-and-comer in the NEPA nonprofit sector. The 2023 Rising Star Award recipient is Ryanne Jennings, President and CEO of the Wayne County Community Foundation.

The NEPA Gives Superstar Award recognizes a NEPA Gives participant who went above and beyond for the 2023 NEPA Gives event by attending events, holding peer-to-peer fundraisers, and successfully reaching new donors who helped them raise money beyond their goal. The 2023 NEPA Gives Superstar Award recipient is NEPA Youth Shelter.

Scranton Area Community Foundation to Host 4th NEPA Learning Conference

The Scranton Area Community Foundation, through its Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, will host its fourth NEPA Learning Conference on September 20 – 22, 2023. This event will offer nonprofit organizations and nonprofit professionals across the region the opportunity to receive in-depth training from local and nationally-recognized presenters. The event will take place at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center (100 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA).

Ruchika Tulshyan, best-selling author of Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work, will be the keynote speaker.Tulshyan is also the founder of Candour, an inclusion strategy practice. A former international business journal, Tulshyan is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Harvard Business Review and a recognized media commentator on workplace culture.

Attendees will experience three transformative days of networking and interactive sessions while gaining the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the challenges and maximize the impact of their nonprofit organization. They will learn from over 45 local and national experts in a variety of fields, exploring the powers of collaboration and advocacy. A crowd of roughly 200 representatives from nonprofit organizations is expected to attend this event.

While attendance is geared toward nonprofit professionals and board members serving on local nonprofit organization boards, registration is open to the public. Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1. Attendees can register through the conference website at

               “Through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, we prioritize the importance of enhancing organizational capacity building and view it as transformative to the region as a whole,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “We are grateful for so many of our partnering foundations right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania supporting our efforts to bring this learning conference to the nonprofit community of our region.”

Sponsors of the event include the Moses Taylor Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The William C. McGowan Charitable Fund, The Hawk Foundation, Wayne County Community Foundation, Fidelity Bank Wealth Management, McGrail Merkel Quinn & Associates, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, Center City Print, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Children’s Service Center, and KMMK Communications.

For more information on the 2023 NEPA Learning Conference, please visit or contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.  

Scranton Area Community Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients

Twenty students from twelve different high schools in the area have been awarded a prestigious scholarship through the James F. Swift Scholarship Fund administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which provides $5,000 per year for each recipient for up to four years to assist with continuing education expenses.

The following students are first-time recipients of a James F. Swift Scholarship: Emma Aversa (Old Forge), Jacquelyn Bitter (Dunmore), Kaeden Carr (Holy Cross), Jayden Evans (Mid Valley), Sadid Hassan (Scranton), Courtney Hazelton (West Scranton), Emma Illian (Abington Heights), Kendal   Johnson (Mid Valley), Lorna Lynch (Abington Heights), Connor Monahan (Riverside), Ayman Mounota (Dunmore), Julia Murphy (Carbondale Area), Gianna Natale (Scranton), Gabrielle Novak (Lakeland), Paige Pezanowski (Lakeland), Ron Prislupski (Holy Cross), Mila Racibor (Old Forge), Ethan Symuleski (Valley View), Martin Turi (West Scranton), Jayde Weibel (Scranton Preparatory).

In addition to the 20 new recipients, there were 56 James F. Swift Scholarship renewals in 2023. The following students are recipients of a James F. Swift Scholarship Renewal in 2023: Antonio Pugliese, Fione Evans, Andrew Cummings, Tori Kovalchick, Nina Sampogne, Kristen Lello, Marguerite Flynn, Ryan Turlip, Eric Spivak, Nicholas Guerra, Ashley Capone, Christopher Talluto, Rebecca Lucas, Caitlin Doughton, Olivia Manarchuck, Taylor Seprosky, Tyler Muskey, Ava Decker, Michael Rodyushkin, Kayla Rose, Hunter Geise, Benjamin Thompson, Matthew Howard, Cameron Butka, Meredith Purcell, Ryan Coleman, Sofia Capozzi, David McKenney, Alexis Tanana, Gabrielle Snee, Jillian Brennan, Christian Snee, Taralyn Reilly, Marisol Olivares, Hailey Matechak, Alyssa Cosklo, Owen Morgan, Erileidi Fernandez, Eliana King, Chloee Rumford, Dana Mackin, Michael Kazmierczak, Ava Aulisio, Mia Muskey, Molly White, Riley Clarke, Alexander Bond, Elina Joshi, Joel Cali, Sofia Flores-Weidner, Michael Sewack, Finley McHale, Ryan Salony, Ritu Regmi, Thomas Milewski, Sara McCormack.

The James F. Swift Scholarship Fund has awarded over $4 million since 2008, benefiting over 300 local students to date. Created in 2002 through a gift by Mr. James F. Swift to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, the James F. Swift Scholarship Fund provides support for higher education for students graduating from high schools in Lackawanna County. Following Mr. Swift’s death in 2006, the Scranton Area Community Foundation gratefully received a significant gift from his estate to the scholarship fund which has allowed a great number of students from Lackawanna County the opportunity to pursue their academic and professional goals through higher education.

The scholarship aims to provide an ongoing stream of matriculation at Lackawanna County colleges and universities. It is the goal of the Scranton Area Community Foundation to award 75% of the scholarships to students who plan to attend institutions of higher learning in the Lackawanna County region.

Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO Laura Ducceschi praised the generosity of Mr. Swift, noting “he has left a permanent and enduring legacy for the young people of our region. His scholarship fund makes higher education more attainable for generations of students.”

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is a partner with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in their Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Program to offer qualifying students additional financial aid. Through PHEAA, these scholarship recipients may be eligible for additional dollars toward their tuition.

For more information on the James F. Swift Scholarship Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

Scranton Area Community Foundation Receives Donation from Minooka Subaru

Minooka Subaru recently presented the Scranton Area Community Foundation with a check in the amount of $42,507 which comes from their recent Share the Love® event where the Scranton Area Community Foundation was selected as the hometown charity for Minooka Subaru’s customers to support during the event. This is the fifth year that Minooka Subaru has partnered with the Scranton Area Community Foundation as the hometown charity to support. To date, Minooka Subaru has donated over $200,000 to support the Minooka Subaru Fund of the Scranton Area Community Foundation which provides charitable support to the community.

Educator in the Workplace Finishes 2023 Cohort

Scranton, PA—Skills in Scranton, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, concluded the 2023 Educator in the Workplace (EIW) program on Thursday, May 4. The program was partially funded by the City of Scranton American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Non-Profit COVID Relief Grant and sponsored by Pennsylvania American Water and the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

Twenty-six participants, including teachers, school counselors, principals, administrators, and school board directors, participated in the cohort, learning about Northeastern PA’s in-demand careers and industries. Various sessions included a State of the Workforce presentation, tour of the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, an in-depth look into manufacturing regionally, on-site business tours, presentations by CareerLink Lackawanna and a facilitated curriculum writing session.

“The EIW program provides an opportunity for educators to learn from and network with community business leaders and peers from adjacent school districts,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “Participants share best practices, career pathways resources and essential career skills that can be brought back to their districts and integrated into classroom instruction. The resources provided by the EIW program is supporting the development of a robust regional talent pipeline.”

Throughout the 2023 EIW program, the participants have applied what was learned during the program integrating basic workforce skills into classroom instruction. Takeaway lessons included interviewing, resume writing, clocking into class to earn credit, and simulating real-time workplace practices.

The Chamber and Skills in Scranton have begun preparations for next year’s EIW cohorts.  For more information or to register for future EIW programs, contact Emily Pettinato at or visit

The 2023 Educator in the Workplace participants Include:

  1. Johanna Chorba, Scranton School District
  2. Thomas Murray, Scranton School District
  3. Hayley Miller, Scranton School District
  4. Laurie Marino, Valley View School District
  5. John Fox, Riverside School District
  6. Richard Hensel, Scranton School District
  7. Karlene Cicco, Scranton School District
  8. Bonnie Baker, Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
  9. Samantha Masco, Carbondale Area School District
  10. Licia Olivetti, Carbondale Area School District
  11. Dalyana Gillette, Scranton School District
  12. John Ray, Scranton School District
  13. Nanine Gramigna, Scranton School District
  14. Jessica Norris, Scranton School District
  15. Gabrielle Pidgeon, Carbondale Area School District
  16. Amanda O’Brien, Scranton School District
  17. Carrie Wittenbrader, Western Wayne School District
  18. Jessica Capwell, NEIU19
  19. Melinda Arcuri, Marywood University Adult Basic Literacy Education Program
  20. Sandy Morahan, Forest City School District
  21. Teri Erdmann, Forest City School District
  22. Katelyn Phillips, Lakeland School District
  23. Larry Pegula, Valley View School District
  24. Lori Kelley, Valley View School District
  25. Christina Burak, Valley View School District
  26. Mary Swift, Scranton School District

About Skills in Scranton

Skills in Scranton, an affiliate organization of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, integrate workforce and economic development through collaborative partnerships, connecting industry and education to drive local economic prosperity.

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit