United Way Offers Community Service Scholarship

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is pleased to announce the availability of the 2023 Mike Munchak Community Services Scholarship to assist high school seniors from Lackawanna, Wayne or Pike Counties, who plan to continue their education at an accredited university, college, or trade school in a two or four-year degree program. If selected, the 2023 recipient will receive a one-year award of $6,300 to commemorate Munchak’s #63, retired by the Houston Oilers. Funding for the award comes from proceeds of the Mike Munchak Charity Golf Classic and will be presented at this year’s 27th annual tournament, slated for this upcoming June at the Country Club of Scranton.

A 2001 enshrinee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Mr. Munchak’s career has earned him accolades as both a player and a coach. Yet, it is his work off the field that led to a scholarship program being established by the United Way to honor his long-standing commitment to his hometown of Scranton and the people of the area.

“For the past 26 years, we’ve been honored to work with Mike and we remain grateful to him for his unwavering commitment to the people of our community,” said Gary Drapek, president of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must be actively involved in community service activities within programs/agencies receiving funds from the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, be full-time residents and/or students of a school district within Lackawanna, Wayne or Pike Counties, and be accepted by an accredited university, college or trade school, in a two or four-year degree program track, for the 2023/2024 school year.

Additional requirements include a demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, agency recommendation and a track record of community service.

The 2022 scholarship recipient was Michael Watkins, a Scranton Preparatory High School graduate.  His community service accomplishments included the United Way Day of Caring, Boys and Girls Club, Scranton Cultural Center Food and Clothing Drives, St. Paul’s Block Party, Kettle Basketball Camp, visits to Mountain View Nursing

Center, Peer Tutoring and Orientation at Scranton Prep. 

Additionally, Watkins was a member of the National Honor Society, Dean’s Team, Vice President of the Business Club, Treasurer of Kiva Microfinance Club, President of Advanced Strategical Minds as well as an array of other clubs and activities.  The Scholarship Committee noted Michael’s superior GPA as well as the leadership qualities he exhibited throughout his time at Scranton Prep.

To be considered, completed applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2023. A complete listing of eligibility requirements and the application are available to complete (or download) at www.uwlc.net.  Any further questions can be directed to Frank Kincel at the United Way 570.343-1267 x233.

Day of Caring Returns after Two-Year Hiatus

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is pleased to announce the return of the Nancy Jackson Memorial Day of Caring, Thursday, September 1st, 2022. “Day of Caring was always a day we circled on our calendar,” said Gary Drapek, President and CEO of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. “Canvassing Lackawanna and Wayne County with a band of volunteers eager to participate in community service projects exemplifies the United Way. A community resource for community resources.”

As years past, the 28th Annual Nancy Jackson Memorial Day of Caring, kicks off The United Way’s Campaign for Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. “It’s always been an energizing opening to an essential campaign season that helps so many vital programs in our community throughout the upcoming year,” added Drapek.

United Way’s Day of Caring is named after long-time philanthropist and friend of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, Nancy Jackson Matthews. Since

Nancy began Day of Caring 28 years ago, the program flourished under her guidance and leadership, receiving state-wide and national recognition. More than 15,000 volunteers have contributed in excess of 75,000 hours to complete more than 1,000 projects in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. Nancy helped coordinate more than $2 million worth of in-kind projects. However, it is the tens of thousands of individuals in need whose lives have been touched by Nancy’s passion and dedication that are her true legacy to our community. “We are humbled to continue honoring Nancy’s imprint on this community, so many years after her passing,” said Barry Snyder, Vice President of Community Outreach of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

Companies, volunteers and agencies are encouraged to contact Barry Snyder, Vice President of Community Outreach, bsnyder@uwlc.net, to see how they can get involved. Whether it’s a company encouraging their employees to perform a day of community service, members of the community that’d like to volunteer their time or an agency requesting help with a project that enables them to continue their mission to move forward. All inquiries are welcomed.

“We’ve been gearing up for this day for over two years now. We are excited to safely welcome back everyone to a fulfilling day of service and community,” Drapek said.