March 2023 Happenings Magazine

Page 64

Dear Happenings,

Thank you for the wonderful advertisement and article for the Shania Twain and Garth Brooks Tribute Concert at The Theater at North on March 4, 2023. Happenings Magazine continually creates the WOW FACTOR!


–Booking House Inc.

Dear Happenings,

Love the print copy! Please renew my subscription.



Dear Happenings,

Thank you for the beautiful feature from our favorite day! (November 2022) ❤

–Kelley Laird

–via Facebook

Dear Happenings,

September‘s issue of Happenings Magazine touches on finding peace in recovery. Addiction certainly does not discriminate and just about every family is affected somehow. Addiction is not just limited to drugs and alcohol. Nicotine is actually listed as the most common addiction. I believe that regular exercise and good nutrition, yet sometimes difficult to get started, is key to physical AND mental health. I am sure many can relate. ❤

–The Training Loft

–via Facebook

Dear Happenings,

Absolutely honored to once again help create a cover shot for Happenings Magazine (September 2022)! Capturing this gentleman‘s portrait was so easy... Simply because he was so real. I enjoyed reading his powerful story in the September issue.


–via Facebook

Dear Happenings,

Your current issue is touching, pleasant and as usual, with photography that brightens every page!

Thank you for making NEPA proud! Please renew my subscription.


Publisher Art Director Associate Art Director Director of Social Media Contributors Paula Rochon Mackarey Lisa Kalaha Ragnacci
Christine Fanning
Freda Account Representative Linette Manley (570) 878-5009 Call 570-587-3532 or E-mail or Subscribe for Home Delivery Read our digital issue for free at $21/12 issues INBOX On the Cover: Spotlight on National Developmental Disabilities Month. Shine on! Published Monthly. Also read at ©2022 HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any process except with written permission. Happenings Magazine published since 1969 Phone: (570) 587-3532
Mary Joyce
4 March 2023
contents 10 National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 16 Advocating for Disabilities: Meet Roseann Polishan 26 Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Get Screened 32 Feel Great About Your Purchases: Susquehanna County Interfaith’s Cynthia Beeman 53 Spring Bridal Two Local Couples’ Wedding Stories 70 Cold Plunge: A Shocking Therapy 88 Staff’s Pics for Favorite Irish Treats 90 National Cheesesteak Day MARCH 2023 5
Tim Moran and son, Matty
Irish-American Heritage Month Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Maple Syrup Month Mad for Plaid Month National Nutrition Month National Peanut Month National Women’s History Month National Disabilities Month National Cheesesteak Day Riverdance Scranton Cultural Center March 17-19 1 21 20 14 25 24 19 26 10 17 22 13 18 29 Discovering Bruce Reiprich, NEPA Philharmonic 28 30 31 7 8 5 27 6 9 16 “Wanted“ Garth Brooks & Shania Twain Tribute, Theater at North Boccardo Jewelers Annual Wedding Band Sale 12 National Cereal Day 15 23 11 march sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday saturday 2 National Dentist's Day, National Oreo Cookie Day International Women's Day “Best of Times”A Tribute to STYX, Theater at North Riverdance Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania Broadway in Scranton Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
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Dear Readers,

It was a bit painful to review the history of National Disabilities Month. It seems intentionally cruel to think that until a few decades ago individuals who had developmental disabilities were institutionalized without the possibility of rehabilitative therapy or support services! Yet, like many other undervalued lives in our society, we must ask ourselves, was it our ignorance or simply fear that caused our actions?

It is interesting to note that social reformer Dorothy Dix, a leading advo cate for the rights of people with disabilities was not allowed to speak in Congress simply because she was a woman! Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the month of March is also Women’s History Month, with International Women’s day celebrated on March 8. The theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day is “Embrace Equity. It's something we need to think about, know and embrace. It's what we must believe in, unconditionally. Equity means creating an inclusive world,” state the organizers of International Women’s Day. For some with development disabilities however, marching in protest or participating in riots may not be an option. Their disabilities may curtail their ‘voice’ so that they must rely on others to advocate for them. Roseann Polishan is one such advocate. Roseann’s son Hunter was diagnosed with autism at age 2,

intellectual disability at age 7 and epilepsy at age 13. Roseann has served as an advocate at the ARC of Northeastern Pennsylvania since 2017.

I am very confident that you will be inspired by many of the individuals profiled in this March issue. Please enjoy my favorite Irish blessing, below.


May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; The rain fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Love, Paula
Michael Straub

National Developmental Disabilities Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is observed in March each year in the United States. Developmental disabilities can refer to impairments in learning and behavior, such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and impairments in physical and/or intellectual functioning such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and Down syndrome. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about including people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life. It also creates awareness of the difficulties that people with disabilities still face in fitting into the communities in which they live.

Before the 19th century, many people with developmental disabilities were treated poorly and often lived in impoverished, unhygienic environments. Many were ‘passed on,’ a practice of carting off people to be dropped in another town. More awareness about developmental disabilities spread in this century both in England and in the U.S.

Social reformers such as Dorothy Dix became leading advocates of the human rights of

people with disabilities. Since it was socially unacceptable for a woman to speak in Congress, she asked another reformer, Samuel Gridley Howe, to present her argument for rehabilitating people with disabilities. The motion was passed in the Senate and the House of Representatives but was vetoed by President Pierce. Even the Romantic poets of England such as Byron, Wordsworth, and Keats, who highlighted the goodness of leading a simple life close to nature, were instrumental in prompting authorities to situate asylums in the countryside.

Other reformers and educationists such as Edouard Seguin believed in the benefits of sensory and muscular training to force the central nervous system to “take over.”

Maria Montessori was influenced by his methods while working with children with disabilities and other children. The nature of training and institutions continued

Hunter Polishan Nevada Stevens

the century, leading to an adverse development. Custodial institutions started being established by the end of the century, which essentially segregated pupils from the rest of the community. It was only after the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s and 1980s that Ronald Reagan declared March the month for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness in 1987

A Night to Shine

Tim Tebow helped the Florida Gators win two BCS Championships and was named the Heisman Trophy winner in 2007. Despite leading the NFL's Denver Broncos to the playoffs in 2011, the quarterback was traded to the New York Jets and played just one more season in the league. He went on to work as a television analyst, before turning his focus to baseball and signing a minor league contract with the New York Mets in 2016.

Locally he is best known for “A Night to Shine.”

Joe,Linda and son Joseph Mackarey 11 Tommy Miraglia and Kevin Durkin Gia Grasso and Nevada Stevens

Tebow, the youngest of five children, was born on August 14, 1987 in the Philippines, to American parents who were there as missionaries. Tebow was later homeschooled by his mother, who instilled in him the family's faith.

While active in charity work even in college, Tebow founded the Tim Tebow Foundation in January 2010. The faith-based outreach group works with children in need in both the United States and the Philippines, building facilities for sick children, granting wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses and building playrooms in hospitals and orphanages, among other

charitable works.

Locally Tim Tebow is known for the Night to Shine prom event. Rooted in the beliefs that everyone matters, the event’s goal is to make each attendee feel loved, special and included, like a prom king or queen. This year the foundation held Night to Shine events around the globe in 46 countries, and celebrated more than 75,000 people with disabilities.

Standing 6'3" tall and weighing around 240 pounds, Tebow was referred to by one NFL coach as “the strongest human being that's ever played the position of quarterback.” H

Northeast Behavioral Health Care Consortium

The counties of Luzerne, Wyoming, Lackawanna and Susquehanna have partnered to create the Northeast Behavioral Health Care Consortium. NBHCC is a regionally focused, non-profit, Behavioral Health Organization serving medical assistance recipients. Our mission is to provide enhanced access to high quality, fiscally responsible, recovery oriented Behavioral Health Services. These positive outcomes will be accomplished through an intense, ongoing dialogue including consumers, families, providers and all other stakeholders.

12 March 2023
72 Glenmaura National Blvd. Moosic, PA • 570-344-2005 •

Roseann Polishan

Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Roseann Polishan has been an advocate at The Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania since 2017. Advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) had been her passion for many years prior to working at The Arc.

of the disability world.

Roseann is always willing to assist with kindness and a listening ear.

Roseann Polishan graduated from St. Joseph’s University and resides in Scranton with her husband Stephen Polishan, son Hunter (18), Daughter Hope (15) and son Holden (12).

Hunter, the eldest, was diagnosed with autism at age 2, intellectual disability at age 7 and epilepsy at age 13.

Hunter has many interests. He especially likes to be active and out in the community.

He excels at swimming and has participated for many years with Blue Dolphin Aquatics and Special Olympics. He loves yoga, bowling, Challenger soccer, basketball and baseball. He loves going to dances and is usually the last one on the dance floor. Hunter and our entire family love traveling, especially to beaches and amusement parks.

It all began with her son Hunter, when he was diagnosed with autism at two years old and later with an intellectual disability. Her patient, positive and persistent approach has helped him navigate through the world and reach his potential. That now translates in her role as advocate helping families navigate the complexity

Having a child with disabilities impacts our family in many ways. When Hunter was younger we often had to plan ahead before attending events or exit early due to his sensory challenges. We would prepare Hunter ahead of time about what to expect where we are going, though he has been better at adjusting through the years and now is willing to try just about anything! He has become much more social and loves being with extended family and friends. His siblings are very helpful to him and that has given them a greater under-

14 March 2023

standing of differences and an eagerness to become involved in helping others. We have met some many wonderful people that we may have not otherwise ever got to know. My hopes and dreams for Hunter are the same as for my other children that they will be happy, healthy and safe, grow up to be good people and the best that they can be.

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The diagnosis is only part of who Hunter is. It has always been important to me as his mother that he has an everyday life of his choosing and that he is included in all aspects of our family life. Advice to other parents with a newly diagnosed disability is that it is ok to be overwhelmed and have sadness, but your child is still the same child you love and you will be able to help them one step at a time. There are other families to connect with, agencies that can help you navigate but it takes time so be patient, positive and persistent. You know your child best.”

Hunter and the entire family love traveling, especially to Disney, Rehoboth Beach and amusement parks. They also enjoy going out to dinner.

Roseann enjoys Broadway Theatre, flea markets and estate sales and gardening.

“I believe it is important to spend time with each child alone, with your spouse, with your friends and with yourself. It is not always easy to plan or make time, but if you can it will make a big difference in how you feel and give you the wearwithal to tackle issues that will come up throughout the lifetime of your child with disabilities.

I have been an Advocate at The Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania since 2017. Advocacy for those with Intellectual

Mark Your Calendars!

“ I have worked... to further the mission of The Arc to promote those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lives.”
16 March 2023 “

and Developmental Disabilities had been my passion for many years prior to working at The Arc. In an effort to increase public awareness and community education, I, along with my colleagues at the Arc of NEPA Advocacy Depart-ment have developed a list of presentations that are offered to families, schools, agencies and parent/ community groups. I have worked on a number of boards, committees and the Local Right to Education Task Force IU19 to further the mission of The Arc to promote those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lives.”H

March 2023 17 ”

Goodwill Industries of NEPA

How does your lamp turn into someone else’s paycheck? How do your tooloose blouse and faded skinny jeans become a dance party? By donating it to Goodwill Industries of NEPA! Goodwill turns your gently used donations into meaningful activities and jobs for people with disabilities or other barriers right here in our community.

For 80 years Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania has been providing supports, services

Donate, or Shop to Help Those With Disabilities

and opportunities for people with disabilities right here in our community. In their early history, Goodwill would hire individuals to sort, repair and sell unwanted goods in small thrift stores. Proceeds from the sales would become the paycheck for those individuals. Throughout time, community needs changed, and Goodwill continued to develop and imple ment innovative pro grams to meet those needs. Goodwill has been applying princi

ples of diversity, equity and inclusion through programs that are individualized, community-based and focused on individuals’ wants and needs. Programs vary based on each individual served.

Goodwill programs include community participation supports. A day service runs throughout the week for individuals with disabilities. The staff works with participants to navigate their community, explore career options and achieve personal goals. Small


group employment offers those people a pre-vocational setting to develop soft skills and transitional work skills with the help of a job coach; participants work within Goodwill’s retail stores to learn these skills giving them real-world experience. For those ready to enter the workforce, Goodwill offers community employment services

such as job placement and follow-along services.

Goodwill collaborates with community partners to offer career exploration summer boot camp for youth to learn the employment world. They also offer a job club where members of the community network and learn job-readiness skills. Goodwill

with disabilities. Commonly referred to as group homes, these private homes are nestled into neighborhoods throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. They provide individuals with independence while staff ensures their health and safety.

Goodwill offsets the expenses of these programs through the sales of unwanted goods. Each purchase helps to support these programs so that individuals can be independent and lead meaningful, person-centered lives. For more information about Goodwill Industries of NEPA visit H

20 March 2023

Maria Conigliaro Traino is the daughter of third-generation Italian restaurant owners—learning hustle, service and adaptability from a young age. These qualities served her well as she built and elevated her award-

winning design and marketing agency, Inspired Studio, now in its 10th year.

Over the last decade Maria has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives, and marketing directors to craft one-of-a-kind brand identities for businesses throughout the country. Maria engages with her

clients fueled by curiosity and creative problem-solving, helping others to discover and communicate their authentic purpose.

As a certified NeuroCoach, her work is much the same. She partners with motivated entrepreneurs and business leaders to define and design their version of success with

March 2023

Maria Conigliaro Traino Inspired Studio

intention, using a brain-based framework that rewires neuropathways through bespoke counsel and action.

As Maria studied characteristics and traits of successful and fulfilled individuals, she came across this science of neuroplasticity, which is essentially the re-wiring or retraining of the 23

“thought processes of our brains. She recently explained: “We get caught up in dozens of externally proposed solutions that are presented to us all day long. Think of all the programs and products being sold to us on social media, for example. These products are other people’s solutions that they hope we will buy into. But each of us is an individual; one-size-fitsall-solutions will likely fail because we are all very different from each other.

Intentionally rewiring the brain trains us to look inside ourselves, instead, for solutions that surprisingly were there all along! Life and experiences may have conditioned our subconscious to react in a certain way. But, we can reclaim our choices by looking internally for answers and we can react differently. We can choose our own path if we block out some of the external noise. We can decide how to react to stress, for example, and this leads us to avoid or remove obstacles that are often standing in the way of the paths leading us to more fulfilled living. It is all about retraining your brain to think and react differently than what your subconscious has been previously conditioned to do. Doing so allows us to be more creative about what is possible for ourselves. But like any training regimen, it takes work on our part to condition and tone our brains to be more fit in the way we’d like them to be. And it also takes accountability... being accountable to someone, such as a coach to ensure that we stay on track during the training process.

Priming our brains helps us realize that we do have the resources within us to confidently handle and accomplish things we previously may have thought impossible. Operating at our peak performance levels and effectively managing stress or using stress as motivation is effective.”

As a certified neurocoach Maria helps clients uncover and remove obstacles that may have been self-sabatoging them, increase concentration and focus so that they can go on to accomplish more than they dreamed possible. Maria is active within the business community where she resides in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. H

”24 March 2023

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Susan Burke, a beloved mother, community member and running coach who inspired others with her kindness, positive attitude and resiliency, passed away from colon cancer in July 2022. The Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer Fund was established by her family in July 2022.

Melissa Chermak Liput, remembered for her kindness and devotion to her family, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on February 7, 2020. Today, Melissa’s family wants to raise awareness and provide support for

individuals with a colon cancer diagnosis who are experiencing financial hard ship through a new chari table fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

The Melissa Chermak Liput Memorial Fund was created by Melissa’s family in November 2022. It was

cer,” stated the Chermak-Liput Family. “It is our wish to honor Melissa’s legacy in a way that exemplifies her greatest qualities: kindness and compassion.”

Both The Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer and The Melissa Chermak Liput Memorial Fund aim to help others cope with the financial stresses of a colon cancer diagnosis.

established by Melissa’s parents Beverly and Danny Chermak, her son Tyler Liput, her husband Ron Liput and her sister and brother-in-law Lauren and Nick Olivetti.

“In partnership with the Scranton Area Community Foundation, we are driven to help those who have been diagnosed with colon can-

“The Foundation is grateful to both families for entrusting the Scranton Area Community Foundation to administer the Funds,” stated Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation’s President and CEO. “Through the charitable funds, families will be able to respond to the needs of others who may be facing the stresses of a colon cancer diagnosis and provide support, honoring their loved ones’ legacy,” Ducceschi added.

To be considered for a grant one must have received a colon cancer diagnosis and be able to demonstrate need due to economic issues related to the diagnosis. Awardees are selected

The Scranton Area Community Foundation has two charitable funds established to support others diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
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Susan Burke

on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis that includes a determination of need and the program must serve a charitable purpose. Preference is given for individuals who are residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania. To apply for support, visit and access the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online grant management portal. On the online grant management portal, please refer to the “Colon Cancer Patient Support Application” when applying.

To donate to the Funds, please visit or mail a check to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, 615 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 102, Scranton, PA 18510. Please be sure to write the exact name of the selected fund in the memo.

For more information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s 300+ charitable funds or to learn how you can establish a charitable fund or make an impact through a planned gift, visit

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization confirmed in compliance with National Standards of U.S. Community Foundations. H

March 2023 27
Melissa Chermak Liput

Susan Burke was withdiagnosed colon cancer at age 47.

“The year before my mom was diagnosed was the most successful year She completed two marathons in one month, and also placed second in her age division of a 24 hour ultra marathon after running 76.5 miles. During that time, she began to experience intermit-

Understandably, she thought that her psoas muscle pain was related to her intense training regimen and work as a running coach and personal trainer. Remarkably, this pain was the only symptom she had prior to her diagnosis. After talking with her doctor about her persistent pain, she advocated to have a CT scan of her abdomen in June of 2016, which showed acute appendicitis. Her appendix was removed, and the pathology of the suspected appendicitis showed adenocarcinoma of the colon. At the time, I was 20 years old and never thought my mom could get sick. She was the epitome of health and fitness, so I was completely shocked when I found out that she was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer. Our family consisted of my mom, my elder sister Kat, elder brother Jamie and sister-in-law Michelle, their two children (Evelyn and Thomas) their dog and my mom’s dog. We loved spending time together outdoors, hiking and walking the dogs. We cher-

regimens and one immunotherapy clinical trial at The John Hopkins University.

I am currently in my third year of medical school at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and am working toward becoming an emergency medicine physician. My mother’s illness has had a tremendous influence on my career path. While I had developed an interest in becoming a physician in high school, witnessing the empathy and dedication of the physicians and healthcare providers that helped to treat her deepened my resolve to enter this profession. I also served as my mom’s primary caregiver throughout the latter half of her illness and learned the importance of sacrifice, compassion and advocacy. The time I spent caring for her has helped to shape who I am today and the type of physician I

hope to be for my future patients.

My mom was a truly remarkable woman whose selflessness extended even to her last days. Throughout her illness, she made it her personal mission to seek and reach out to individuals recently diagnosed with colon cancer. She extended a listening ear, helped guide them to online support groups and showed up on their first day of chemotherapy with a small gift and a hug. My mom endured a lot of pain and emotional stress throughout her illness. Yet she handled her illness with grace and dignity, even putting others’ needs above her own.

The incidence of colon cancer has been steadily rising in the last decade in younger individuals ages 20-49. If caught early, it is one of the most treatable cancers. Importantly, the CDC has lowered the recommended screening age to 45. One of my mom’s goals was to raise awareness about the increasing incidence of colon cancer in younger ages. She encouraged everyone she knew to get screened, even joking that she hoped that people would become more comfortable talking about their poop. Throughout her illness, she learned how crucial it is to listen to your body and be your own advocate. This message has resonated with me and is one I hope others can incorporate into their own health and wellbeing.”

Daughter of the late Susan Burke H

March 2023 29

with Lackawanna Medical Group Q&A

What is the most important aspect about colorectal cancer that you would like Happenings’ readers to comprehend?

Colon Cancer is 98% preventable with the proper screening. In the hands of a trusted physician, a colonoscopy is painless and low risk. The procedure takes about 15-20 minutes and can save your life. If you are an average risk patient and have no polyp on the first exam the standard follow up is ten years.

Has the current age recommendation for colorectal cancer screening changed?

The age to begin screening has been reduced from 50 to 45 years of age due to the increased risk of colon cancer in the population under 50. The standard age

is 45 for screening unless you have a first-degree family member (father, mother or siblings) with a history of colon cancer. For this high-risk group, the first colonscopy should be ten years before the age of diagnosis of the affected family member.

How common are polyps (non-cancerous growths) in individuals over the age of 50?

On the initial screening colonoscopy at 45, 20% of women and 25-30% of men will have precancerous polyp.

What role do environmental factors play— in terms of high incidences of colon cancer?

The environmental factor to watch out the most for is a diet high in fat. Smoking also plays a role as it does in many malignancies. Cooking meats at very high

temperatures may raise your risk as well as moderate to healthy alcohol use.

Discuss the effectiveness of a colonoscopy vs the mail-away tests such as Cologuard?

Colonoscopy screening with a skilled endoscopist is 98% effective in reducing colon cancer deaths.

Cologuard is 94% effective in detecting colon cancer but Cologuard should only be used for average risk patients with no family history of colon cancer or personal history of colon polyps. Cologuard should be repeated every three years for average risk patients. The advantage to the Cologuard test is that it is non-invasive and if positive is a strong encouragement of the patient to get a colonoscopy. A negative to the Cologuard test is high percentage of false negatives as well as false posi-

tives. Therefore, the number one recommended screening method is a colonoscopy because it not only identifies colon cancer but prevents the development of colon cancer by the removal of pre-cancerous polyps.

Do bowel disorders lead to cancer, for example IBS?

No, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) does not cause colon cancer. However, inflammatory bowel disorders such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease increases risk for the development of colorectal cancer.

How does exercising and remaining active contribute to having a

One of the risk factors of colon cancer is a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise can increase blood flow and circulation to the colon, plays a role in energy balance and hormone metabolism. Exercise also alters inflammatory and immune factors that influence colon cancer risk.

What can you do to promote colon health?

Along with exercise, increase water intake and increase fiber by eating foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can also take a fiber supplement such as Metamucil or Benefiber. In a high fiber diet, you should aim for 2535 grams of fiber per day.

How does rectal cancer differ from other sites of colon cancer?

Rectal cancer is the most common type of colon cancer. It manifests itself as rectal bleeding at the later stages of development. Most of the time rectal bleeding is related to hemorrhoids, but it is best to notify your doctor of any change in bowel function.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any gastrointestinal concerns, please reach out to your physician or Lackawanna Medical Group to schedule an appointment. H

Nancy Hiller nurse, Dr. Grad and Theresa Germano, CRNP

Cynthia Beeman

Susquehanna County Interfaith

Providing help and hope is not only the mission of Susquehanna County Interfaith but the adage that Executive Director, Cynthia Beeman embodies. Through-out her career she has made the effort to invest in the lives of her family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Susquehanna County Interfaith began in 1990 with the goal of providing help to the residents of Susquehanna County. During the early days of the organization, volunteers gathered clothes to give to those in need and tried to raise money through the store’s proceeds.

County Interfaith eight years ago, she set about to build a strong, dedicated team devoted to helping others find success. Under Cynthia’s leadership, Susquehanna County Interfaith grew from a small thrift store with a one room office (where families and individuals could find help during crisis such as heat shut-offs) to two boutique store locations (Montrose and Susquehanna) with many new programs that offer for help and hope for those in need. Cynthia led a successful capital campaign to update the historic building in Montrose and found private funding to update the building in Susquehanna. She also increased partner engagement and developed resources, tools and services that have allowed Interfaith to assist more than 20,000 people a year. Cynthia led the organization through the pandemic, capitalizing on the lockdown to renovate and move the store and offices to Interfaith’s forever home in the former methodist church in Montrose.

Cynthia holds a master’s degree in executive leadership from Liberty University and has over 15 years of experience in nonprofit leadership roles. For her work throughout the years, she has received numerous awards and accolades including the Gold Standard Award for Excellence, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Top 25 Women in Business and she has been nominated for the Social Solutions Impact Award.

32 March 2023

Help and Hope

“The spark of hope is often provided when we say ‘we can help you’ to those in need, said Cynthia. “Sometimes, we are the first to listen and give respect to a person. Often there is a sense of a burden being lifted when we help with heating or other needs. If the family is interested, we get them involved with programing that will help them find success in their lives,” she said. ”My personal faith has led me to want to honor God in all that I do, and ultimately, the growth of Susquehanna County Interfaith is due to His blessing of this endeavor. My motto is ‘work hard, invest in people, strive to do the best and have fun doing it.’ Everything that I do revolves around investing in people, helping each one to become a contributing member of society,” she said.

According to Cynthia, most people hear of how Interfaith can

help from a neighbor or friend. Some hear also hear about it from their church or another referring organization.

“I have a great team who works very hard and puts so much effort into their jobs. My goal is to continually invest in my teammates and their lives. I am also surrounded by a wonderful, encouraging board of directors. They are a steadfast and dedicated force to making a difference in our community,” she said.

The larger store and offices are located at 526 Church Street in Montrose. A second location is at 695 Jackson Avenue in Susquehanna.

“If you are looking for a peaceful,

fun and enjoyable place to shop to score a great deal or antique treasure, Interfaith is the perfect spot. With beautiful stained-glass windows and inspiring décor, each visit to either location will provide a memorable treasure hunt. New displays are delightfully transformed on a frequent basis. Remember that the best part of shopping at Interfaith is that your purchases not only help save the environment but they also directly help others, right here in the region.”


Cindy and her husband Bryce have four adult children. “Being their mother is by far my biggest accomplishment. They always helped me with whatever task or event I was doing,” she said.

Bryce has been the plant manager for Sponge Jet Inc. for 28 years. “He and his crew make an environmentally safe, abrasive sponge that can be used in place of sandblasting,” she said.

“My motto is ‘work hard, invest in people, strive to do the best and have fun doing it.’ Everything that I do revolves around investing in people, helping each one to become a contributing member of society”

Cynthia enjoys reading, kick boxing and loves to run outside in her free time. She truly loves the people of Susquehanna County particularly, she said, because everyone is very happy to help each other. “Many of those who support the programs have had rough times in their lives too, and want to pay it forward to help someone else,” she noted.

Cynthia and her husband enjoy exploring different cities and countries. Together they have served in the children’s program at their church, made several trips to Guatemala to visit their sponsored children and journeyed several thousands of miles on weekends to see their children. “Life is an adventure, and I love to see what comes next! In the last six weeks, my family and I traveled to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia, and to New Orleans. Upcoming trips may include North Carolina and Minnesota.

With all on her plate, we asked Cynthia to sum up her life motto:

“Show up early. Work hard. Don’t wait for someone to give you ideas, dream big. Become creative yourself. Recognize your own shortcomings, work on them, and don’t be afraid to apologize when you make a mistake. Use every opportunity, even the negative ones to learn and grow,” she concluded. H

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TAKE A MOMENT TO EXPLORE 526 Church Street, Montrose, PA 695 Jackson Ave., Susquehanna, PA 570-278-1776 • Providing Help & Hope With Us With Us 2 Beautiful Locations

For Wright Center doctor, caring extends beyond all borders

Dr. Klamp’s overseas aid trips and professional insights make him the right fit

Douglas Klamp’s plan to become a veterinarian was upended during a college trip in 1982 to southern Africa, where he saw stark injustice and soon discovered his life’s calling.

Klamp, who was then a Penn State University senior, was an eyewitness to how South Africa’s now-abolished system of racial segregation split the population into the haves and have-nots. In neighboring Lesotho, he was especially struck by rural Black residents’ “lack of access to health care.”

“There were not any health facilities for many, many miles,” he says. “Very few people had cars, so it would be a half-day or a day-long hike to get to a provider.”

Even before he flew home that summer, Klamp had decided to change his career path. He would become a physician.

Today, Dr. Douglas Klamp is a valued leader at The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, where he remains as committed as he was four decades ago to the cause of expanding access to health care for low-income, rural and other underserved populations.

Klamp, associate program director for Internal Medicine, treats patients and trains new physicians at The Wright Center’s primary and preventive care clinics. This year,

he added the role of physician chair of resident and fellow talent acquisition.

In the newly created post, Klamp will help recruit top-quality medical school graduates who are a good fit for The Wright Center’s graduate medical education programs, looking especially for individuals with a heart for helping the underserved.

The task requires filtering through more than 5,000 applications each year and interviewing hundreds of candidates to fill only 80 available slots, an undertaking that requires

considerable effort from all program directors and associate program directors.

The chosen physicians then work at The Wright Center’s training locations in Northeast Pennsylvania or one of its partner training sites across the nation. While embedded in those communities, each doctor is also fulfilling the requirements of an accredited residency or fellowship program in disciplines such as internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry and geriatrics.

Klamp seems perfectly suited for the talent acquisition role because he embodies The Wright Center’s mission and ideals.

The nonprofit organization was founded in 1976 as the ScrantonTemple Residency Program with an inaugural class of six internal medicine residents. Today’s Wright Center trains about 250 residents and fellows each academic year, upholding a proud tradition of producing highly skilled and compassionate doctors and helping to address workforce shortages in medically underserved areas across the U.S.

Those workforce shortages could get worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which strained the health care system and intensified burnout. But the outbreak also spotlighted the essential and at times heroic job performed by physicians.

56 September 2016
36 March 2023
The task requires filtering through more than 5,000 applications each year and interviewing hundreds of candidates to fill only 80 available slots, an undertaking that requires considerable effort

National Doctors’ Day – observed each year on March 30 – pays tribute to all of the dedicated people who have chosen to devote years of study and training to become physicians. They contribute not only to individual lives, but also to the health of their communities.

“Some recognition of the amount of hard work and the importance of the work, is appreciated,” says Klamp, a Waverly Township resident, husband, and father of two.

Klamp attended The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of only two students in his class of 110 who had not gone to private school, he says.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Robert Wright, the namesake founder of The Wright Center, convinced Klamp to move to this region to serve as asso ciate program director of the Scranton-Temple Residency Program and founding medical director of its associated health center.

Klamp would later leave The Wright Center to take on other challenges. He ran a private practice in Scranton for about 17 years, before rejoining the nonprofit organization as a full-time

employee in 2020.

Throughout Klamp’s career, he has traveled abroad repeatedly as part of volunteer medical and servicerelated trips. Among the destinations: Bolivia, Gambia, the Republic of Georgia, Guyana, Nicaragua and Sudan.

During a two-month stint in Agra, India, he worked in a charity hospital where common maladies included tuberculosis, malaria and intestinal worms. “We’d see 80 to 120 patients a day,” he says. On other trips, he primarily taught and lectured to doctors native to those areas.

No matter the location or task at hand, Klamp has found one thing constant about his profession ever since his first urge to enter the field: Being a primary care doctor continues to spark his humanitarian impulses.

“I still find reward,” he says, “in making people better: emotionally, physically and finan cially, in terms of help ing them gain access to the health care system without get ting poor in the process.”

For information about The Wright Center, its services, and its mission-ori ented physicians, visit www.TheWrightCenter.



Amanda Grippo LMG Cosmetics

Amanda Grippo is passionate and completely dedicated to her patients, bringing energy, enthusiasm and her expertise to work every day. One look at her social media platforms shows how important her patients are to her, and how much she loves what she does. In fact, every LMG Cosmetics patient receives Amanda’s personal cell phone number so they can ask her anything at any time!

Continually training and learning, Amanda has helped evolve the practice into one that attracts patients from all over Northeastern Pennsylvania and the tri-state region. Most recently, she achieved the prestigious level of “Allergan Certified Trainer,” designating her as an expert in her field and one that can educate and train others in dermal filler best practices. “Aesthetic medicine is an art as well as a science that has a direct impact on patients’ confidence and their ability to be their best selves. It’s my passion.” said Amanda.

LMG Cosmetics is a modern, cutting-edge space where aesthetic medicine is priority. Specializing in a full range of cosmetic procedures including fillers, Botox/Dysport, Evolve, Evoke, Forma, PRP, Morpheus8, laser hair removal and personalized skincare plans, more than 2000 patients have trusted their procedures to Amanda Grippo and her team at LMG Cosmetics.

Amanda and her team at LMG Cosmetics understand the importance of looking and feeling one's best, and they strive to provide their clients with only the highest level of service and products as possible. Amanda Grippo takes the time to listen to each of her patients' individual needs and concerns and she provides them with personalized recommendations that best suit their individual needs. Nothing is “cookie-cutter.” LMG Cosmetics provides a comfortable and welcoming environment where patients can feel at ease and receive the highest quality care.

Morpheus8, Evolve, Evoke, Lumecca and Forma treatments offered by LMG Cosmetics are some of the latest advancements in non-invasive cosmetic treatments. These treatments are designed to improve the appearance of the skin and help with issues such as fine lines, wrinkles and loose skin. They work by using radiofrequency technology to heat the deep layers of the skin, which stimulates collagen production and results in firmer, smoother and more youthful-looking skin. Used in combination with other treatments, patients at LMG Cosmetics have experienced dramatic improvements to their skin.

In addition to injectables and non-invasive treatments, LMG Cosmetics also offers a full range of medical-grade skincare products. These products are specifically designed to improve the health and appearance of the skin and are only available through licensed medical professionals. The skincare lines include products such as cleansers, moisturizers and serums that are specifically formulated to target specific skin concerns such as acne, fine lines, dark spots and aging.

Bringing the latest beneficial services to her patients is paramount to Amanda. The newest addition to its lineup of services, LMG Cosmetics is now offering an IV Drip and IM Shot Bar. A special selection of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients are combined and administered by medical professionals. This service can be done while other services are performed or, as a stand-alone treatment.

“Nourishing your body from the inside out will help bring out your inner glow,” said Amanda. Patients have reported that they feel reenergized and rehydrated, have experienced brighter skin and may have even helped them lose a few stubborn pounds.

“At LMG, I provide free, individualized consultations and work with each patient to develop a plan to achieve their ideal aesthetic look,” said Amanda Grippo. H



t just 30 years old, Holly Pilcavage was named CEO of Coal Creative, an agency that she had joined as director of business development in 2016. The thriving and successful company now employs 12 full-time team members, servicing the Northeastern Pennsylvania region and beyond.

Both Holly and her company are the recipients of numerous, prestigious national business awards. Most recently, she was selected among only 40 applicants across 13 states to study economic development strategies in an Appalachian Regional Commission fellowship: Appalachian Leadership Institute.

Holly sits on the boards of many regional organizations and serves as an example and advocate for the arts, women in business and LGBTQ+ rights and education. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron and her Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Scranton.

Holly diligently pursues her

own quest toward self improvement, and cares for five animals with her partner and more than 130 houseplants. She has traveled to 49 states in the country with plans to visit the final one soon.

“I owe a lot to the communities that have surrounded me my entire life. I remember my high school French teacher telling me that it takes a village to raise a person. I would not be who I am today without the experiences that I have had within my community. I’ve learned the importance of ‘supporting to be supported.’ And like any relationship, it’s not always balanced. Sometimes the people, places, and things around you need more of you. And other times, you’ll find you need more support from others.”

We recently asked Holly her insights on a few topics. Were you always passionate and driven to accomplish great things or can you pinpoint a time when you were turned on to truly excelling?

My parents divorced when I was 4 and my mom spent years working multiple jobs while raising my sister and me. She somehow managed to throw the best birthday parties, took us on a vacation each

summer, and made sure we had toy-filled Christmases. I learned when I was a bit older that a lot of things happened on credit cards, which my mom spent years paying off. She didn’t want us to know the struggle. What I saw was a hardworking individual who I looked up to and trusted. So what I learned was this: you work hard to earn the life you want. I honestly don’t think I ever considered myself “truly excelling” - I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do to build the life I wanted.

Would you consider yourself more of an introvert or extrovert and why?

This is a great question and I appreciate your awareness here because I am 117% an introvert and I get the “What, no way!” reaction anytime I share that with someone new. I am extroverted because I know it’s part of the job. It is what helps me make things happen for my company, my community, my family and beyond. I need downtime to recharge. I need alone time to completely refuel. I process so much. I literally need to sleep on things to be able to wake up with an answer, the next step, clarity, etc.

Were you public school educated? What stands out about your experience?

Holly Pilcavage CEO of Coal Creative 40 March 2023

I graduated from Coughlin High School (Wilkes-Barre) in 2008. Looking back, I always had someone who was watching over me and believing in me. I remember sharing with my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Bloss that I wanted to be a singer when I grew up. She told me it was a nice dream but that if I wanted to I could be a brain surgeon. Back then I thought she didn’t think I was a good singer. I realized later that she recognized my intelligence and ability to achieve great things.

In middle school, my music teacher, Mr. Mainwaring, was the one to really watch over me. I remember using any study hall or excuse to go and hang out in his classroom. I would personally write the notes excusing myself from class. I think the other teachers knew what I was doing but recognized that it was for a good reason. I joined the chorus and gained enough confidence to audition and get the part of Annie in 8th grade. I even dyed my hair red! I started gaining a deeper, truer confidence in high school thanks to my French teacher, Mrs. Zdanowicz. (We called her Mama Z.) “We” were a small group of students who stuck together for four years of French. Mama Z always really cared about us, taking us on adventures - once all the way to Quebec! Reflecting back reinforces how important teacher relationships were during those pivotal years of my life (14-18 years old.)

Family dynamics can be a bar-

rier, in my opinion. Does a child have support? Are they encouraged? Do they feel safe in their everyday world? My childhood was turbulent. My adulthood has been turbulent. (The things you don’t see behind the scenes, the things we don’t share on social media.) One of my best friends said he has never met anyone who had so many barriers in life and is able to become the person I am today… someone who is able to show up and build a company, community and a chosen family. I wake up everyday and choose to remain positive, forward-thinking and determined to create a better life than I previously knew. I break through generational barriers and traumas with such determination and drive because I know I deserve better and much more. I also do this on behalf of my nephews and niece who are all under the age of 10 and who also deserve better and more.

Have you had to say ‘no’ to opportunities that have come your way?

I used to say ‘yes’ to just about everything. I wanted to be

involved. I wanted to get to the table. I wanted to be liked, accepted and heard. I wanted to make a difference anywhere that would trust me to show up. But this is not sustainable, nor it is healthy, nor does it serve your soul long-term. The pandemic helped me step back. I’m still not perfect, but I’ve been able to better align myself with opportunities that fuel me on a deeper level.

I have had to say ‘no’ especially in the last six months. (For anyone who has been on the receiving end please know how much thought I put into my decisions and how I carried a weight after sending each one!) When evaluating an


opportunity I ask myself three questions:

Is it a full body yes? (If it’s not, why not?) Will it help Coal Creative? Will it fuel me personally in the process? The reality is, it could be good for Coal but it might not be good for me, and I need to respect my boundaries and capacity.

Something I question when someone asks me to join a board or committee is “why?” (in a kind way of course!) It is important for me to understand “why” I’m being asked to help me make the right decision.

Reflecting back…serving on a board didn’t feel like something a 20-something year old did. I felt young and inexperienced. It was actually Linda Loop, Founder & CEO of Dress For Success Luzerne County who “noticed” me first. She took me for lunch and said she wanted me to be on the board. She called out my drive, my energy, my youthful perspective and more. It was really flattering. (She thinks I’m worthy of the board? Wait, what exactly IS a board, I wondered? )

I learned a lot, fast and got involved, even faster. I felt catapulted into all things WilkesBarre and that grew into a regional perspective overtime. I think sometimes we don’t know how or where to start, which is part of my mission for being involved in things. I want others to know what’s available and how they can get involved and bring a

unique perspective.

As a very young CEO, what were (or are still) your biggest challenges?

Believe it or not, it’s probably believing in myself. Maybe I mean imposter syndrome. Even reading the question, I was a bit in denial. I’m 33, (that’s not that young.) I’m the CEO of a small company (that’s not that big a deal.) Hold up! Girl, straighten your crown and speak better of yourself! (A little insight into my brain!)

You have incredible accomplishments, particularly at such a young age. Of which single accomplishment are you most proud?

It’s not one you typically get an award for on a big stage in front of 400 professionals, but I’m most proud of my first apartment that I had obtained on my own and the years I spent living there. During that time, I also fell into debt because Coal was still growing but we didn’t always make payroll, so I wouldn’t take a check to ensure everyone else could. Fun fact: I didn’t own the company until 2020 so anything I did beforehand, or risked in my personal life, was because I believed I might own the company one day. This is also where working as a waitress came in for a bit during this journey. The reason I’m proud of this is because I pushed through, got out of the unreasonable debt I was in (still working on student loans), increased my credit score by 150+ points, and

today have a savings, investments and a sense of security/stability I don’t think I ever had in my entire life. I created that, with the love, support and understanding of the people around me.

How would you advise others to strike the balance between remaining humble and being very proud?

I struggle with this. I keep my celebrations in with my closest friends because I’m always afraid someone will think I’m bragging. We share a lot through Coal, or I will on my personal page, but that’s part of building the business, right? (Showing people what we are capable of ...ensuring people trust us as a company, and me as an individual, so that we can provide a meaningful collaboration.)

How does time away from work, in nature, etc. influence other areas of your life?

We need to find a balance that works for each of us as individuals. What works for me may not work for you. Traveling, hiking, CrossFit - these all fuel me. It comes down to trying different things throughout your life to strike a balance. The fun part is we’re always changing, growing and what fueled me at 22 doesn’t fuel me at 32. (I was most likely fueled by late nights and energy drinks. Now, I don’t even drink regular coffee anymore.) Finding ways to disconnect, for me, are actually opportunities I’m creating to connect with myself. Nature sometimes serves that purpose. Lifting 200

42 March 2023

pounds off the floor at CrossFit sometimes serves that purpose. Waking up in a new city surrounded by the unknown sometimes serves that purpose. These are things that show me there is more to life than what’s right in front of me. These are things that relieve stress and show me I am capable of more than I have ever imagined.

What topic has the potential to ‘figuratively or actually’ keep you awake at night?

Sleep is a must for me. I sleep so well most of the time. I get a lovely eight or nine hours per night. I don’t mess around when it comes to sleep, ensuring that I am well rested to take on my busy lifestyle. I still have human moments, however. The main thing that I’ll jolt awake thinking about is related to financials of the business or a concern that might be creative negative juju for anyone on my team. (This negativity can be coming from the outside)

Out of all of my responsibilities, running Coal Creative definitely has me carrying the heaviest weight of concern. Coal Creative takes care of over 10 individual livelihoods. It can’t fail! I can’t let them down! At least, that’s how I feel. I want it to grow and take care of all of us for as long as each of us chooses the company. I want it to grow so my team can grow - financially, professionally, creatively. It’s heavy sometimes. I can’t deny it.

With all you have going on, what are your best tips for focusing on projects? How do you remove distractions?

I utilize my calendar like there’s no tomorrow. When I hone in, I’m in and sometimes it’s hard to pull me out.

How do you enjoy taking care of your mental health and physical health?

Admittedly, I haven’t cracked the code on a set meditation schedule or yoga practice. I’m not there yet! I do however enjoy CrossFit a few times a week. I’m also training for my first half marathon on March 26 in Philadelphia. I started seriously running in

April 2022. I realized taking care of my body was soul satisfying and important to my long-term health in a real way. (Maybe I’m late to the game but my ‘20s metabolism’ treated me so well, ha!) I’m currently working with a dietician as the next layer in my health journey so I can better learn how to fuel my days. It’s been really eye-opening. (Don’t forget your protein!)

What are your wishes for niece and nephews?

I want Liam, Hunter, Barrett and Aubriella to know they can be anyone and anything they want in this life. I want them to go after happiness, adventure and soul-satisfying opportunities. I want them to know I believe in them, that they are capable of anything, and that I will support them through their entire lives. I will be a constant in their life, and that is my promise to them. I also want them to get off their screens and spend more time in nature. :) H

love, 1 2 3 5 fuel your marketing Referring people together Direct one's mind toward someone or something You & Are (commonly misspelled) Causing great surprise or wonder A small evergreen tree 1 2 3 4 5 | (570) 212-9586 March 2023 43


Lauren Pluskey McLain, MBA was honored with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award.

Lauren has more than 16 years of professional fundraising and nonprofit leadership experience. She has raised millions of dollars in this region to support higher education, the arts and now health care. She has been involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals NEPA chapter for 16 years, serving in several leadership roles including president. She is now the chapter’s membership chair.

Lauren started her professional fundraising career at her alma mater, Wilkes University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a Master of Business Administration. She started at Wilkes as the manager of alumni relations and annual giving, and later promoted to director of annual giving.

After spending 10 years at Wilkes, Lauren took an opportunity at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts as the director of development, leading a brandnew team to many successes. A few of those successes include closing two of the biggest corporate sponsorships in Kirby Center history and launching a new fundraising event that sold out in its first and each subsequent year.

The board of directors appointed her executive director in April 2019 after she spent three years as development director. In her time as executive director, she continued to set the direction for the organization, working closely with the board and leading a high-performing team.

In late 2019, Lauren accepted a position at King’s College as the associate vice president for institutional advancement, leading a $50 million comprehensive campaign, the college’s largest to date. A few of her successes included increasing overall campaign dollars and donors during a global pandemic, launching the public phase of the campaign and starting a new planned-giving program.

In September 2022, Lauren became the senior director of corporate and foundation relations at the Geisinger Health Foundation. In this role, she’s helping create a new corporate and foundation giving program to support the mission of Geisinger. She is responsible for the cultivation and solicitation of national, regional and local foundations and corporate entities.

Lauren resides in Plains Township with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Mia H

44 March 2023

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter awarded Maryla Peters Scranton with the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award.

Maryla Peters Scranton has been an inspiring activist, employee and volunteer for numerous community, regional, state and national nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years. Maryla has exhibited significant generosity in charitable giving, provided insightful leadership and directed by example. She has planned, executed and consulted on comprehensive annual and capital campaigns that resulted in millions of dollars raised.

As a young girl, Maryla was gifted with the insight and appreciation of her own wellbeing. She began volunteering early on while completing her advanced education at Penn State University. These combined interests and accomplishments led to a long and successful career as a fundraising executive and consultant for nonprofit entities. Maryla served as director of development for The University of Scranton and director for its first national campaign. She was the advancement director for Allied Services, Lackawanna College, Marywood University and The Langley School, McLean, Virginia.

Maryla served as vice president of community relations and development for the Mercy Health System of Northeastern PA. In addition to her administrative duties, she established the Mercy Foundation and the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Institute for Community Health Initiatives. In recognition of Monsignor McGowan’s 50th anniversary in the priesthood, Maryla created and directed the largest and most successful regional special event of its time, raising more than $1.2 million for the foundation.

As an entrepreneur, she established MPS Consulting, with offices in Scranton and

Philadelphia. She has served on the Scranton Area Community Foundation Board of Governors, as a trustee at The University of Scranton, and as a board member at The Association of Fundraising Professionals, the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Broadway Theatre of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Friendship House and The Children’s Advocacy Center. She served as chairperson of The Women’s Service Coalition of Lackawanna County and as a board member of three Geisinger Insurance companies.

She also served two terms as chairman of The Chancellor’s Board at Penn State University’s Scranton campus. In 2013, she gave that organization’s commencement address. Maryla has presented at local, state and national conferences and has been the recipient of several awards for her professional success, leadership and constant commitment to the financial development and program expansion of nonprofit organizations.

She is married to former Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor William W. Scranton III. She is a proud mother to daughter, Brook, and son-in-law, Greg Rosetti, and grandmother to their two sons. H

March 2023 45



(1927-2018) First woman in the history of Green Ridge Bank to be named to its board of directors.


(1916-2006) A Scrantonborn author and activist who studied the impact of urban life in society. Her book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” was initially criticized by experts because she did not have a college education, but it now holds critical


(1869-1958) Received her medical degree and continued her studies in Paris and Rome. In Scranton, she served as president of the Lackawanna League of Women Voters and as a board member of Hahnemann Hospital.


(1862-1940) Served as president of the Lewis & Reilly Inc. shoe store. She also served as a charter member of the Plymouth Congregational Church.

20 Regional Women Who Broke Bias


(1943-1966) A Dunmore native who trained at the former Scranton General Hospital before joining the U.S. Army Nurses Roster. While on duty she was killed in a helicopter crash, making her one of the first American nurses to die during the Vietnam War.


(1881-1960) Wife of Governor Pinchot, and a strong proponent of suffrage and women’s rights. She contributed greatly to the League of Women Voters. Also a conservationist, she served as a delegate to the United Nations Scientific Conference on Conservation and Utilization of Resources in 1949.


One of the area’s earliest leaders in women’s suffrage, serving as both the organizer and first president of the Woman’s Club in Scranton.


(1862-1940) An advocate for the passage of the women’s suffrage bill. She was the first woman in Lackawanna County to seek office; she won the nomination but was defeated by a close margin.



(1896-1925) Became the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy when she was 20 years old. She was also the first active-duty woman and the first allowed to serve in a position other than nursing.

LOUISE TANNER BROWN (1883-1955) Expanded husband George’s Scrantonbased trucking business after his passing in 1923. Also an avid civil rights activist, she organized a political league for black women in Scranton and was a board member for the Scranton branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.



(1853-1926) One of the first policewomen to be commissioned in the state of Pennsylvania. She spent many years in active service and was chief probation officer of Lackawanna County.


SUMNER GRAY, PHD (1906-2000) From Susquehanna County, a founding member of the world-famous Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. She and her arctic-explorer husband traveled the world while she documented her studies of birds and animals and published books.


(1877-1973) A regional native who was a noted scholar at the University of Berlin, Columbia University and the Marine Biology Laboratory. She founded the Wyoming Historical Society, initiated national archaeology research on American Indian culture and was a founder of the PA Society for Archaeology.


(1931-2015)) The first woman social worker at the Lackawanna County prison. She was the executive director of the United Neighborhoods Center for 20 years and founded the Housing Coalition for Lackawanna County.

International Women’s Day is March 8

MARY BROOKS PICKEN (1886-1981) Author and founder of the Women’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Scranton. She also taught “Economics of Fashion” at Columbia University and co-founded the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. She was the first female trustee of the Fashion Institute of Technology.


(1846-1925) After her husband of one year, Philip, died suddenly at the age of 17, Mina oversaw the completion of his new brewery. To further support her family, she founded the South Side Bank and Trust Co. in Scranton

MARY LOWE SCRANTON (1918-2015) Served as First Lady of Pennsylvania from 1963-1967. She was the first woman to serve on the board of trustees for the University of Scranton and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). While on Caltech’s board, she successfully secured federal funding for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is still in operation today.


VIPOND (1918-2005)

Founder and president of the Child Psychiatric Center, the first child psychiatric services in NEPA.

GRACE SCHIMELFENIG (1931-2005) The first woman to serve on the Scranton City Council. She also had her own talk show, where she interviewed people such as Governor Thornburgh and Senator Robert Kennedy.


(1936-2019) The first female city controller for the City of Scranton. She served eight consecutive terms, in addition to being involved in other local politics.


Miller Bean Funeral Home

a loved one faces death.

As Kubler-Ross describes it, coping with imminent death takes one through denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

director. The loosening of rules in religious traditions make cremations attractive for families who are often transient and enables them to bring their loved ones’ ashes home to distant cities.

America, in 1970, just 5% of Americans chose cremation as their final disposition alternative. This increased dramatically in 2020 when more than 56% of Americans voted for it. H

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& Stephanie Muraca Peter Parmakis

Stephanie Muraca married Peter Parmakis, in Washington D.C. on September 17, 2022.

Stephanie, a native of Clarks Summit, is the daughter of Teri Lyon, South Abington Township, and Gary and Mary Ann Muraca, Dunmore.

Peter is from the Chicago area, the son of Janice Berebitsky, Palatine, Illinois, and the late James Parmakis.

The couple met through a dating app. “We started chatting and formed an instant connection,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary and early childhood education from Arcadia University, Glenside, and a Master of Arts degree in international education from University of Bath, Bath, U.K. She is a data systems specialist at University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Peter received a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from The University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, Champaign, Illinois. He is employed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Virginia, as an aerospace engineer. The couple had an intimate Christmas

Photos: Ivy & Quartz Photographyserving DC, Maryland and Virginia

ment. “Pete got down on one knee as soon as I opened his card. The ring is a white gold oval diamond, set with a halo mounting,” said Stephanie.

The newlyweds had an intimate wedding ceremony at Meridian Hill Park, Washington D.C., a place very special to the couple. A reception was held at Mi Vida Restaurant, Washington D.C. Additional hometown receptions were held in the Chicago and Scranton areas.

The couple’s cats Mario (ring bearer) and Ramona (flower girl) were in the park during the ceremony, and were the only wedding party.

The couple enjoys traveling, exploring new wineries and breweries. The couple took a honeymoon trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in February 2023. The couple offered this advice: “Never settle in life. The perfect person is worth the wait. Also, communication is everything.” H

March 2023 55
Weiksner Tyler Buckley & 56 March 2023

Samantha Weiksner and Tyler Buckley met at Backyard Ale House in Scranton. What they thought was going to be just another funfilled night turned out to be the meeting of two soulmates. “Our connection was instant,” the couple recalled. “We talked all night about the things most important to us-our families and their foundational love stories. We shared how we both valued that and hoped to find similar love in a partner someday.”

The bride is the daughter of Kenneth and Anne Marie Weiksner and the groom is the son of Timothy and Rose Buckley.

Samantha graduated from Scranton High School and received a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD.) from Wilkes University. She is a clinical hematology/oncolo gy pharmacist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Henry Cancer Center.

Tyler also graduated from Scranton High school and received an associate’s degree in sports management from Lackawanna College. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a firefighter for the city of Scranton.

The couple’s engagement took place on a weekend trip to see a concert. After a beautiful lunch overlooking the Genesee River, Tyler proposed during a sunshine filled walk at Highland Botanical Park in Rochester.

Tyler and Samantha married on December 17, 2022 at St. Ann’s Monastery and Basilica in Scranton.

The ceremony included the Holy Cross High School choir, a violinist and an organist. A bagpiper performed as the couple exited the church.

March 2023 57

The couple hired a classic trolley car as part of the bridal party transportation.

A wedding reception followed at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple. An elegant Christmas theme prevailed with over 20 beautifully decorated trees throughout the venue. The bride designed the centerpieces that were gold sleighs with pine cones, berries and holiday decor. Santa Clause even made an appearance. The couple’s cousin, EJ the DJ, kept guests dancing and singing all night.

In addition to speeches from the bridal party, the groom also addressed the guests, recalling the couple’s treasured love story and also sharing memories of his beloved brother who had passed away two years earlier.

Tyler and Samantha are huge Notre Dame fans, and a close friend painted a sign stating “Marry Like a Champion Today” that was brought and pictured on the trolley with the bridal party.

The couple recently built a new home on East Mountain within Scranton. In their free time together they enjoy exercising, cooking,

watching Harry Potter movies and hosting friends and family for gatherings at their home. Tyler is a baseball coach at Riverside High School and Samantha is a football and basketball cheerleading coach at Holy Cross High School.

The couple enjoyed an 11-night cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas to multiple different tropical islands including Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Kitts.

The couple offered this advice to others planning their weddings: “Make sure to utilize every ounce of help from those who love you and want to help. Hire a wedding planner to help ease the process, especially so you can fully enjoy the day itself without worry. Create an excel sheet of your guest list information and use this for RSVPs and save-the-dates. Stop and take a minute with your spouse on the day of your wedding to take it all in. It goes by so fast! Be sure to dance together, drink, eat, laugh and soak up every minute of the beauty with one another. After all, it’s your day!” H

Photos: Todd Hiller
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Laurie has a wide variety of experience in the performing arts, through which she developed a comprehensive knowledge of various aspects of theater and dance productions in both academic and professional settings. She has extensive experience overseeing both front and back of house operations through her professional work behind the scenes and on stage with various theater organizations.

Laurie has performed in and worked on hundreds of productions. She has appeared on stage as an actress and dancer, as well as on local television. She has taught dance for many years and is trained in classical ballet, pointe, lyrical,

Dr. Laurie Houser

Vice President of Theater Operations, The Theater at North in Scranton

liturgical, jazz, tap, modern, belly dancing, Broadway and stage combat. In addition to appearing on stage, Laurie has worked behind the scenes as an Equity stage manager, director, choreographer, rigger and house manager. Her theatrical design credits include: lighting, sound, props, scenery, costumes, hair and makeup.

In addition to working full-time at The Theater at North, Laurie works part time as a stagehand for the I.A.T.S.E. Local 329 Stagehands Union at both the Scranton Cultural Center and Montage Mountain’s Concert Pavilion. She also serves as the Vice President of Local 329. In addition to her work

with the Union, Laurie teaches as a college professor at Marywood University in the theater program. She also works as a freelance theater technician for the North Pocono School District and teaches dance at Occhipinti Dance Company.

Laurie graduated from Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School in East Stroudsburg and was heavily involved in the performing arts program there, participating in all of the school musicals, chorus and band.

Laurie is a graduate of Marywood University where she earned her Bachelor in Communication Arts degree with a major in musical

64 March 2023

theater and minors in dance and English. She went on to complete her Master in Communication Arts Degree with focuses in technical theater and children’s theater. She also earned her doctorate degree in human development with a concentration in higher education instructional leadership from Marywood University.

Laurie’s love of theater comes from her family. Her mom was a professional dancer who toured Northeastern Pennsylvania with her own act, and her dad was a stage manager as well as an entertainment booking manager. Laurie’s husband Ryan has both his bachelor and master degrees in technical theater and he is the Technical Director/ Production Manager for Marywood University’s Music, Theater and Dance Department. Ryan works professionally as a stagehand, lighting designer and stage manager in the industry. Ryan also works alongside Laurie for nearly every show at The Theater at North. You can often see Laurie’s parents (Ernie and Barbara) and Laurie’s inlaws (Pam and Don) volunteering as ushers for performances in the theater too! Laurie, who was born and raised in the Poconos, now lives in Dickson City with her husband Ryan, their son Noah and their cat Leko (who was named after a type of theatrical lighting instrument)!

“NEPA has so much to offer in terms of live entertainment. There truly is something for everyone! The Theater at North strives to offer a wide variety of genres in order to appeal to different interests and age groups. Since The Theater at North is a nonprofit, we do our best to offer quality entertainment to the community at fair and reasonable prices. When we advertise in publications such as Happenings Magazine, we can reach a wide range of audience members. Once people come through the door and experience the theater, it is our hope that they will want to return again and again. We always aim for repeat business. The Theater at North is unique in the fact that it is owned by Goodwill Industries of NEPA. All proceeds from ticket sales and venue rentals go to Goodwill Industries to support individuals in NEPA who are intellectually and developmentally disabled.”

The psychological and physiological benefits of attending live performances

“Live performances are so much more than simply entertaining. Have you ever wondered why you have a sense of exhilaration after leaving the theater once you’ve watched something incredible on stage? Numerous studies have shown that watching live performances can help mental wellbeing. Those who attend live performances regularly benefit from a natural “high” thanks to increased production of endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin. Increased creativity and cognitive abilities, as well as reduced stress and tension, are also benefits of experiencing live performances. Viewing live performances can help broaden the mind too. In fact, the impact is more substantial when you watch a live in-person performance as opposed to watching an on-screen performance

because the human brain reacts differently in-person. Audiences can also feel social connection called “collective effervescence.”

“It’s even believed that those who attend live performances regularly live longer!”

The Theater at North draws audiences from as far as New York and New Jersey. Regular visitors also come from the Pocono Mountains.

Behind the Scenes

“Planning a live performance is much like planning a wedding. Preparations start approximately one year in advance and there are so many moving parts involved in order to get to the final product that the audience sees. A great deal of effort and creativity goes into every detail. We spend hours programming technical elements such as lighting. For every one show that makes it to the stage, there are about three to four other shows

March 2023 65
“ “

that didn’t make it for a variety of reasons. We work hard to vet shows in advance so that our audience is spending their hard-earned money on the best product possible. People are always surprised to learn that we have such a small staff at

The Theater at North. The venue is run by two fulltime employees and a handful of part-time technicians who come in for the shows. I have been lucky enough to work with some unbelievably talented performers at The Theater at North. Some of

my favorite performers have been: Jay White who performed a Neil Diamond Tribute Concert, the “SemiToned” A Cappella Singers from England, the “Almost Queen” Queen Tribute Band and the “Always ABBA” ABBA Tribute Band.”

Laurie’s Personal Performances

“I’ve been fortunate to perform many incredible roles at many different venues. Some of my absolute favorites that hold a special place in my heart are:

Cinderella in “Cinderella”

Eve in “The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

Esther in “Meet Me in St. Louis”

Karen in “The Red Shoes”

Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz”

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“I even had the chance to share the stage with Joyce DeWitt in a production of “Gypsy” at Pocono Playhouse.”

Stage Combat

“Stage combat is a technique in live theater for staging fight scenes. Through choreography the illusion of physical combat is created without causing any harm to performers. I had the opportunity to study stage combat in college and learn from a combat chorographer from NYC. It was fascinating and very much like learning dance choreography. We initially learned it for a sword-fight scene for our “Peter Pan” musical, but have since used it for many productions.”

All About the Base (Less Trouble)

“It can sometimes get overwhelming to balance so many different things going on at once at so many different venues. The key is organization. I keep everything meticulously organized with a detailed color-coordinated calendar. I’m also very lucky to have an extremely supportive family... as the saying goes ‘it takes a village.‘”

Laurie’s mother studied every type of dance and taught many genres of dance. She toured with her own show called “Celesta” in the 1970s and 1980s. “My dad was her stage manager. After I was born, I spent time in the dressing rooms when she was performing. Now, many years later, my son Noah spends time at the theater while my husband Ryan and I work the shows.“ H

The Theater at North Upcoming Events

March 3 “Best of Times” - A Tribute to STYX

March 4 “Wanted” Garth Brooks and Shania Twain Tribute

April 16 “In Concert” presented by Scranton Civic Ballet Company

April 20 “An Evening with Mitch Albom” presented by Hospice of the Sacred Heart

April 21 “Gold Dust Woman”Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band

April 22 Penn State Scranton’s Annual Spring Music Concert

April 29 “Bennie and the Jets”An Elton John Tribute

A complete listing can be found online

March 2023 67

March BirthstoneAquamarine

From Sea to Shining Sea W

hether you wish to gift a ring, pendant, necklace, bracelet or earrings, Nye Jewelers has the most exquisite aquamarine birthstones. The origin of the word “aquamarine” is a direct reference to its color - it is a marriage of the two Latin words aqua, which simply means “water” and marina, which means “of the sea” . Aquamarine has been loved for millennia and its similarity to the clear color of the ocean has fostered natural associations with water and sea travel. Going back to

aquamarine is also traditionally given to commemorate a 19th wedding anniversary. The gemstone’s cool ‘seawater’ hues

Poseidon, God

created the aquamarine directly from seawater. The Romans claimed that aquamarine was cherished by mermaids and Roman erudites even encouraged the practice of adding the gemstone to bathwater for its healing qualities. Ancient mariners believed the gem could calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. Just as aquamarine was thought to be able to quiet water, it was also credited with being able to soothe tempers and decrease interpersonal conflict.

68 March 2023
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Idon’t recall the exact date, but it was a week or two before Christmas. We were in the middle of an unseasonable single-digit cold patch. I had just awakened and could hear the wind whirling outside. This was accompanied by a tiny draft from the window near our bed. I could see some light seeping in the window, indicating that we were approaching the morning hours. I felt my heart rate start to increase and a nervous energy in my stomach.

‘Breathe. Slow breath in, slow breath out,’ I said to myself as I tried to calm down. ‘It really is too cold to do this today, and you are very comfortable and warm right now.’ At that moment, an alarm went off in my head. There was an intruder who didn’t belong. It was my ego, and as usual, it was trying hard to keep me from getting it outside of its comfort zone. I started to see that it rarely, if ever had my best intentions in mind.

‘I don’t negotiate with you anymore,’ I said as I got out of bed. I was still focused on slow deep breaths as I walked out to my living room, gazing out our windows. I remembered a helpful quote. ‘You can’t cook a stew all at once; you have to add the ingredients one step at a time.’ I had just accomplished that first step by getting myself moving. A bright pink sky started to come up over the mountain. It was the kind that is bittersweet, as it’s always accompanied by severe cold. I scurried past my Keurig as I knew my ego would use it in a feeble attempt to procrastinate just a few

70 March 2023
Alec Sewatsky cold plunging

Cold Plunge

moments longer. I moved to my laundry room to put on my partially wet bathing suit from the day before. I put on some shoes and headed outside where I was instantly met with a harsh greeting from the cold; -5 degrees to be exact. I walked out through my gate to my firepit and saw it: a 100 gallon black tub from a local hardware store, filled with ice water. Typically used for feeding farm animals, this had recently become my salvation from my depression and anxiety. I removed the lid to see that it was completely frozen over.

Normally, some light punches are enough to break the thin layer of ice, but that was not going to work today. I retreated to my shed for a sledgehammer, which still struggled to break the almost two inch thick ice on the surface. Countless thoughts raced through my head. My heart rate and nervous energy could no longer be controlled. I couldn’t give myself too much time to think. I quickly dropped in the rubber duck thermometer... 34 degrees! I instantly regretted that decision of checking the temperature and made a mental note to not make the same mistake tomorrow. I removed my hoodie, carefully got both feet in the tub, and prepared to drop down around the floating chunks of ice. My last thought was to make sure I exhaled on the way down.

the cold. She shared some of his accolades, summiting Mt. Everest in just shorts, and sitting in frozen lakes for long periods. That part didn’t really interest me at the moment. We were talking more so about his breathing techniques that he used to accomplish these feats. My focus at the time was learning techniques to keep me in the present moment. I had lost my 17 month old daughter, Cela, a few months prior, to a rare cancer. PTSD, constantly reliving our time in the hospital, and the grieving process were robbing me of my todays, and keeping me stuck in the yesterdays. If I wasn’t depressed about the past, I usually skipped right over the present and started having anxiety about the future. ‘Will I be able or even want to go back to my job? How will I make money? Will I be able to be present and a good dad for my other

March 2023 71

daughter, Lena? Will this winter’s seasonal depression cripple me worse than ever?’ These questions swirled around my head. It became apparent that I needed to start building an arsenal of tools to combat these crippling feelings.

As we approached fall, my wife, Lena and I found that nature provided solace and a safe place to begin to heal. We enjoyed hiking and I began woodcarving as a meditative activity that helped occupy my mind and helped me find the

present moment. While I was starting to pick up my own pieces, I felt completely drained, physically, mentally and spiritually and felt that I lacked mental fortitude. I had absolutely used up every bit of what I had in the months prior. The aftermath of our daughter’s passing left a constant feeling of hollowness and vulnerability. I felt like I could shatter at any moment. It was time to not only start training my body again, but also find something that would build my mind back as well. I wondered if some form of cold

immersion would help, and began researching it.

To my surprise, I discovered a plethora of benefits outside of building mental fortitude. A nearly 300% increase in dopamine was one of the first most attractive benefits. Others included reducing stress, increasing white blood cells, boosting immunity, increasing energy, helping circulation, decreasing inflammation, boosting metabolism, improving sleep and aiding in muscle recovery. An interesting perspective claimed that humans are becoming ‘civilized to death.’ The perspective claimed that the way we live is evolving much faster than our bodies can adjust. Less than a few generations ago, we were much more adapted to the cold, simply because we had to be. We didn’t have the luxury and amenities that we enjoy today.

We also are a generation struggling with more depression and unhappiness, despite our luxury. Sedimentary lifestyles are having a bigger impact than we know. As we coddle ourselves with 72 degree indoor climates, warmer clothing and grocery shopping as opposed to hunting, we’re not using the same cold-adapting systems in our body. This is causing our hearts to have to work harder. It is said that we have thousands of miles of veins, arteries and capillaries that run through our body. Simply put, cold exposure exercises all of them the same way weights exercise our muscles. Within a short amount of time relative to how long we’ve occupied the planet, we have stopped going to the cardiovascular gym.

The research seemed to make enough sense to me, so I was

72 March 2023

inspired to start by ending my showers with strictly cold water for as long as possible. (How to start cold exposure safely, temperatures and procedures can easily be found online, and of course, if you have any heart issues, you should consult a doctor first.) When I began, I remember how hard I had to fight for my breath. Hyperventilating is not an over-exaggeration, as I frantically reached to shut the cold valve off. But I was reminded that my research claimed that the body adapts if you give it a chance. With a little persistence, I found that I could not find a good enough reason not to end every shower with cold water. Within a few weeks I was taking totally cold showers because I felt more refreshed and invigorated.

‘Exhale on the way down.’ As I prepared to sink into the tub, I focused on the pink sky. I reminded myself that success is found in simply deciding to do it, not how long I stay in. The 34

degree water was easily the coldest I’ve experienced to date. I can never properly articulate how the shock felt as the water hit my body. However, I had one tool on my side now that I didn’t then. It wasn’t a

come back to a place of reason. You realize that you are and will be ok.

catchy proverb or anything from a podcast or self help book. It was simple, right there in front of me and one word: ‘Breathe.’

One of the most important benefits of my daily experience is stress managment. Without a doubt this practice will challenge you to your limits. You will become instantly aware of the discomfort in nearly every part of your body at once, yet you have the opportunity to address, and even reframe how you feel about it. Finding your breath in the present moment is how to do it. If you’re able to overcome that initial panic and assess your situation, you can

I started reaping benefits into other areas of my life, specifically with anxiety. I was in a bad car accident years ago and often found myself uncomfortable when driving. I began noticing that outside influences were simply not influencing me anymore. I felt more relaxed while driving and realized that I could stay calm.The usual rippling pond of my mind was starting to find stillness more often.

When I’m deep in depression, I get this feeling of being stuck or frozen. So I find it very ironic that my cure could be found in seeking stillness in the cold. I found fighting fire with fire, or in this case cold with cold, to be very powerful. I began experiencing every mental and physical attribute that my research suggested. I became less focused on the anxiety of doing it and put more atten-

With the combination of cognitive therapy, energy work, nature, exercising, moving, creating and breathing, I’m finally stepping into who I really am.
Alec and Melissa Sewatsky with late daughter, Cela.
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tion on celebrating the fact I’d done it another day. I was choosing to wake up and do something incredibly challenging. Anyone who suffers from depression knows how hard even some of the simplest of tasks can feel and how quickly procrastination can become our biggest enemy. Each day I was taking accountability for my life and my well being. I am now jogging longer than ever before because I can push through that discomfort in much the same way. I seek new ways to challenge myself and celebrate my accomplishments.

Sometimes I continue my daily plunge ritual because I need to be reminded that I am still alive. I’ve endured much emotional trauma in this last year. There were many points where my mind couldn’t process what was going on in the present

moment, and numbness was its coping mechanism. While the past year was the most difficult of my life, it also brought me the most growth. I realize few things can cause me as much pain or discomfort as losing my daughter. She was and always will be my teacher. I’m in no way trying to smite the powers that be to prove me wrong, It is quite the contrary. It is a realization that we have but one life and our time here is not promised. That brings a deep sense of freedom and I certainly don’t want to have regrets when my time comes because I couldn’t overcome my anxiety and depression. It’s time to start living with a lighter and fuller heart. A lot of other cold-immersion content creators have catchy phrases like ‘Earn your dopamine’ or ‘Stay uncomfort-

able.’ I simply state that I will gladly sacrifice five minutes of discomfort every day for all the benefits I receive. If you can get over the initial shock of the first week, it is well worth continuing. You never have to progress any further than just ending your shower with cold water for as long as possible. If you can reach two minutes, you have reached cold immersion’s full potential. When you realize that our minds often want to give up way before our bodies, you can start to test your own narratives. With the combination of cognitive therapy, energy work, nature, exercising, moving, creating and breathing, I’m finally stepping into who I really am. Feel free to message me at (celas_crew_cancerblog) on Instagram with questions! H –Alec Sewatsky

Go to and click Subscribe Now. To place an order call (570) 878-5009 or print and mail to P.O. Box 61 Clarks Summit PA 18411. Rates good in the U.S. Only. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Subscriptions are not refundable. Name Address/Apt# City State Zip Phone Email Credit Card# Exp. Subscribe for only $21 a year m $21 for a year m $31 for 2 years m Payment Enclosed (check made payable to Happenings Magazine) Don’t Miss a Single Issue
Old things are passed away. Behold all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

McDade Park Water Recreation Complex

McDade Park has exciting upcoming projects planned that will reflect an over $3.1 million investment.

Once both completed, the park will feature two state-of-the-art amenities for local families and visitors in a very safe environment. This will complement the park’s playground, trails and sports areas.

Project will include the construction of a new bath house and pool renovation. Renovation and upgrade to the pool area/surface with zero-entry ramp area to allow disabled individuals to easily and safely access the water.

A splash pad will also be installed in concert with the pool renovation project. H

78 March 2023 • 800-769-8999 The En dless Moun ta ins of Northeastern PA!

S trong Women

What do you think of when you hear the word strong? How about a strong woman? Perhaps physical, mental and emotional health come to mind.

As a personal trainer, the word strong most likely brings to mind physical strength; working out by lifting weights, using body weight for resistance and machines and equipment to increase strength. I encourage

everyone from adolescents to elderly. Being physically strong makes it easier to do everyday activities, participate in sporting activities, play with kids and grandkids and even go outside for a walk.

If you are looking to lose weight, start an exercise program or train for a bodybuilding competition or marathon, you need physical and mental strength to get started and help you stick to goals. A strong woman can set her mind to reaching goals while overcoming obstacles

Changing a career, beginning a new education program or learning to make important life changes all require a great deal of emotional

Strength is often developed as a result of difficult situations. I am not only familiar with physical and mental strength, but emotional strength as well. As a single mom of four and a female entrepreneur, I have certainly needed to increase my strength in all areas of life. While working

March is Women’s History Month.

through difficult situations during the past decade, I repeated a mantra in my head: “I can either sink or swim and I am not sinking!” My goal was to not just get through difficult situations, but to soar high above them. I went through a short time of questioning myself and struggling with relationships. I sure did learn some things the hard way. It always hurts when people you trusted as friends turn out to be the opposite. I do, howev-

er, believe that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I found the strength needed to go forward. Making big decisions requires you to dig deep for strength. I was always an independent person, but life changes can help you gain even more inner strength necessary to succeed. I even got a small tattoo with the Celtic symbol for “inner strength” . I enjoyed many quiet walks in nature, learned meditation and always made daily workouts a priority. My mom often told me she believes exercise was my saving grace. It made my body and mind stronger, which I needed to continue thriving. My four amazing kids have always been a great source of strength. They drive me to succeed in all aspects of life and to be a good example and source of strength for each of them.

I learned that I can still be “me” and do the things I love. I build

My goal was to not just get through difficult situations, but to soar high above them.

up other girls and women and try to be a positive force to them. I am not afraid to take chances; if you don’t try, you will never know. We gain strength through failure. If you are afraid to fail, you will never succeed at anything. When life throws a curveball, don’t be afraid to swing the bat. I live by this quote: “I am stronger because I had to be. I am smarter because of my mistakes. I am happier because of the sadness I’ve known. I am wiser because I have learned.”

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Kerekes is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist. She trains one-on-one clients, small group training and is a nutrition coach. She has taught a variety of group classes including strength training, TRX and POUND. She is owner and head trainer at The Training Loft LLC.She has recently added a smoothie bar to this location to provide delicious, healthy options to the area.
We gain strength through failure.
–Jackie Kerekes Jackie
Isabela Camayd

Larry Fornicola

Keystone College Coach and NCAA Wrestling Champion

Virtually everyone at Keystone College remembers Larry Fornicola as the Giants’ great Hall of Fame wrestling coach. To members of his team, however, Larry was so much more than that.

In addition to being one of the best wrestling coaches in the nation, Larry was a mentor, a friend and a counselor to so many young people, not only during their time at Keystone but for the rest of their lives. Keystone will honor the life and memory of the late Larry M. Fornicola Sr. (19331993) at the college’s Dr. Michael Mould Gala on Sunday, April 30 at Constantino’s Catering and Events, 1385 Lackawanna Trail, Clarks Summit.

“Larry was simply the greatest person I’ve ever known,” says 1981 Keystone graduate Bob Ziadie.

Bob has great insight into Larry’s tremendous character. In addition to being a member of Keystone’s wrestling team from 1979-1981, Bob served as Larry’s assistant coach from 19861990 and then as Keystone’s head wrestling coach from 1990-1991 after Larry’s retirement.

“He was a great coach, friend, mentor, role model, everything you could possibly imagine,” Bob said. “He had the ability to teach us various techniques and mold us into great competitors. Then, when I became an assistant coach, he had faith in me. He confided in me and let me know that I was a valuable part of his program. I learned so much from him in so many ways.”

Larry is well known for helping to create a wrestling dynasty at what was then known as Keystone Junior College. He served as wrestling coach at Keystone for 25 years from 1965-1990, compiling an impressive record of 216-151-5 dur ing his tenure. Larry was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)

Wrestling Coach of the Year three times and his teams produced three national champions, 31 district champions and over 60 All-Region selec tions.

He was inducted into the NJCAA National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980. Larry is also a Lifetime Service to Wrestling Honoree, which recognizes his years of dedication to the development and leadership in youth through the sport of wrestling. On May 2, 1992 he was presented with the distinguished Service to Keystone Award and, on the same day, Keystone dedicated the Larry Fornicola Wellness Center in his honor.

Larry was also outstanding collegiate wrestler at Penn State University. He was the 1955 NCAA National Champion at 137 pounds and was named an All-American. He also won the Wilkes Open Tournament title four consecutive years, becoming one of only four men to have won four titles. As a result of his remarkable accomplishments at Penn State, Larry was selected for the first All-Penn State wrestling team.

82 March 2023

Larry's wrestling success was rewarded in 1968 when he was appointed head coach for Junior College Olympic tryouts, and, in 1978, when he was named head coach of the U.S. Greco Roman team for the Pan Am Games.

More than his talents and coaching ability, Larry and his wife, Bernie Fornicola, are remembered for the warmth and caring for everyone associated with the wrestling program and the entire Keystone College community.

“To us, Keystone was more than a college, it was family,” said Bernie who is still stays involved as a volunteer with the Keystone wrestling team and participates in other college activities as well. “We stayed in touch with our wrestlers long after they left

Keystone and moved on to other great things in their lives. I have such wonderful memories of Larry and all that he did for those young men and all that they did for us.”

That sentiment is echoed by everyone who knew him.

“Larry was beloved by Keystone wrestlers and still is today,” Bob said. “Larry was our second father and Bernie was our second mother.

were so lucky to have been a part of their lives and have them as a part of ours.”

Larry and Bernie are the parents of five adults children, Larry Jr., Matthew, Dominic, Lisa, and Erica. For more information or to register for the Fornicola tribute, visit H

March 2023 83

Megan KrebsKriso was recently inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame. She spent most of her academic and professional career in field hockey receiving many accolades and winning championships in the sport.

As a very young child Megan played soccer in her hometown of Wilkes Barre. When she was in 6th grade, she began to play field hockey and basketball. She attended GAR Memorial High School, where she held starting positions for all three sports: forward for field hockey and soccer and guard for basketball.

In 2003, Megan earned the national title and gold

Fantastic in Field Hockey

medal in the National Field Hockey Festival in California.

"It was awesome!," she said. "It was such a great feeling to be able to travel across the country to com pete against players from all over the United States."

In 2004 and 2005, the titles of First Team All State and Who's Who Among High School Athletes were both awarded to Megan for her accomplishments of field hockey. She also competed in the Keystone State Games in Scranton. She earned the silver medal in 2004 and the bronze in 2005. Her indoor hockey team came in first place in the National Indoor Qualifier Tournaments, which gave her team a shot at the National Indoor

Tournament in 2005. Her team won the championship.

"It was fun getting in a good rhythm with my teammates from different regional high schools," she said. "It got even better when we won the championship. It definitely was an awesome feeling and one of my best memories."

Megan credits her junior high coach, Mary Pat Price, for providing her with her true love of field hockey. She also credits her high school coaches Christa

84 March 2023

school coaches Christa Galella and Danielle Kishbaugh for giving her confidence and pushing her to be better every day.

Playing field hockey in high school made her feel being a part of something. All of her accolades in field hockey earned Megan an athletic scholarship, which she used to attend Bucknell University. She continued to play field hockey at Bucknell, where she was a varsity starter for all four years. She became Rookie of the Week during her freshman year. As a sophomore, she became Damon's Athlete of the Week, Offensive Player of the Week, First Team All Patriot League and Second Team All-Region. She also earned the Elizabeth Goodall Award for Merit and a Class of '96 Award. She represented the state on the High-Performance Squad after being chosen by the Pennsylvania High Performance Training Center. Megan graduated with a bachelor's degree in education from Bucknell University in 2010.

Her hockey team at Bucknell “… were like my second family and are still some of my closest friends," she said. "Playing also gave me structure as it was my first time away from home."

Megan became a volunteer coach for a youth field hockey team at the

Wyoming Valley Sports Dome for one season. She then became the assistant junior high school coach for the field hockey team of Wyoming Area High School. The

year, she was the head coach. She taught her students that hard work and dedication are the most important values to bring to every practice and game. In 2020, she appeared on the Bucknell Through the Years podcast.

Megan later married her husband, Bryan Kriso and moved to Maryland. She hopes to join an adult field hockey league. She currently works at Aerotek, where

to Business Operations Supervisor.

It was an honor for Megan to be inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame.

"It really means so much to me that my legacy has been commemorated," she said. "It was an emotional day.

March 2023 85

arch brings about special recipes that often come but once a year. Find all at

Which have you tried? What brings you luck? Find what the Happenings’ staff likes below.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Shepherd , s Pie

Irish Coffee

Irish Potato Soup

Irish Recipes Find these recipes & more at `
MM 88 March 2023

Shepherd’s Pie

Christine Fanning who is proud of both her Irish and Polish heritage, finds that Shepherd’s pie always tastes like home.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Paula Mackarey lets her McCullough family roots shine through when she enjoys this favorite dish.

Irish Coffee

Although he’s quite Italian Pete Salerno, (who was born on St. Patrick’s Day) has been known to enjoy an Irish coffee now and again.

Irish Potato Soup

A fan of any kind of soup, Lisa Ragnacci has recently added this potato soup to her list of favorites.

Irish Shortbread Cookies

The office’s prime cookie maker, Linette Manley delights her co-workers with Irish Shortbread cookies every March.

Irish Soda Bread

Mary Theresa Fielding uses her late Aunt Nan Scanlon Mackarey’s recipe for a once-a-year treat that she serves her guests with afternoon tea.

Smoked Salmon

John Mackarey, Paula’s husband, while half Lebanese is also half Irish on his mother’s side (Scanlon.)

A lover of salmon he recommends trying this smoked variety. H

Irish Shortbread Cookies

Irish Soda Bread

Smoked Salmon

March 24 is:

National Cheesesteak Day

Big Mike's Steaks & Hoagies at Forksville General Store, Forksville • Bluebird Diner, Factoryville

Brother Bruno’s, Lords Valley • Cosmo's Cheesesteaks, Scranton • Chaplin's Honky Tonk, Dunmore

Dino & Francesco’s, Moosic • Drinker Pizza, Dunmore • G & M’s Warehouse, Scranton

Hank's Hoagies, Scranton • Jersey Mike’s, Dickson City • Mainline Hoagie & Pizza Shop, Dickson City

MJ's Bar and Restaurant, Owego, NY • Pappa’s Pizza, Scranton • Pat's King of Steaks, Philadelphia

Pine Hills Country Club, Scranton • Pizza Avenue, Scranton • Pizza Plus, Scranton • Primo Hoagies, Dickson City

Sacco's, Scranton • Samario's, Scranton • Steve and Irene 's, Mayfield • Stonewall's, Scranton

Vincenzo's Pizzeria, Scott Township • White House, Scranton • Zaleski's Clubhouse, Scranton

Bob’s Belly Buster at 1818 Deli & Catering Co.

Barley Steak & Cheese

A combination of chicken and beef, bacon, American cheese, Cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms topped with onions, hot peppers, and red sauce.

Our twist on a classic sandwich: thick cut sirloin, melted provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, chimichurri sauce, arugula and topped with drizzle of Garlic Aoili.

We asked our readers where to find their favorite Cheesesteak. Here is what they said...
90 March 2023
The Blue Shutters Restaurant and Bar Modern Dining in a Historic Setting Private Event Specialists Modern American Cuisine We Have Excellent Taste! For reservations and private party availability call 570.842.9497 200 Memorial Drive • Elmhurst, PA • k k SINCE 1928

Dining around the Region

fridge, or cater your party. Excellent coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches & more. 1818

Sullivan Trail. 570-629-DELI (3354). Hours:


Try our signature dishes, such as Chicken Abbiocco, manicotti or blackened salmon. BYOB. Text Abbiocco to 51660 to receive our texts every Wednesday or see weekly specials. Tues-Thurs.11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 639 N. Blvd., Clarks Summit.


Barley Creek Brewing Co & Distillery

Try our hospitality, it pairs well with our award-winning handcrafted brews, spirits and atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Hours:

1774 Sullivan Trail, Tannersville


Barley Creek Tasting Room & Pub @ The Crossings

Grab a bite to eat and taste our PA craft brews, spirits, wines and cocktails. Check out our unique beer gear gift shop. Located at the Crossings

Coney Island Lunch

Try our Texas Wiener with mustard, onions and chili sauce! Tues.-Sun.11 a.m.-3 p.m. 515 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton. Delivery by DoorDash! 570-961-9004.

Gresham's Chop House

Steaks, seafood, Italian specialties & more. Book your holiday parties now! Closed Sunday and Monday, Open TuesdaySaturday at 4 p.m.


Mendicino’s Pizza and Family Restaurant

Pizza, pasta, hoagies and more! Daily lunch and dinner specials. Full menu, dine in, take out and curbside available.

Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m-8 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Sundays. Located in the ShopRite Complex, Covington Twp.


Northern Light

Espresso Bar and Café

Downtown Scranton’s original Espresso Bar. Celebrating 20 years! Enjoy locally roasted brewed coffee, Espresso, Tea

M-F 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. S 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 536 Biden Street, Scranton (formerly Spruce St.)

Pettinato’s Restaurant

Try our grilled salmon in Asian sauce. Take out and delivery. Mon.-Sat. 4-8 p.m., Sun. 4-7 p.m. 78 Dundaff St., Carbondale. 570-282-5860.

Sibio’s Restaurant

Our fettuccine Alfredo is a customer favorite! Lunch and dinner regular hours, full menu with specials. 1240 Quincy Ave., Dunmore.



Our Stirnaburger is full 1/4 lb. top choice ground beef with tomato, bacon and American or Swiss on a semi-hard roll. Wed.-Sat. 4 p.m.-

9 p.m. 120 W. Market St. Scranton. On/off premise catering daily.


Note! All hours are subject to change without notice. Call ahead, consult website and Facebook pages of each individual restaurant for updated information. H

March 2023
March 2023 93 Common Areas 512 S Main Street Old Forge, PA • • 1.800.401.8990 • WE DELIVER Personalized Holiday Gifts and Gourmet Chocolate Platters, Gift Baskets

Wayne Bank Announces Promotions

Jim Donnelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Bank, is pleased to announce the following employee promotions:

Vincent G. O’Bell, has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer

Mr. O’Bell joined Wayne Bank in 2016 as a Senior Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer and Team Leader. He holds a degree in banking and finance from Lackawanna College and is a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking. He was recognized by the Pennsylvania Bankers Association (“PBA”) in 2019 for his 40 years of service. He serves on the board of multiple community organizations and resides in Jessup with his wife, MaryLynn.

Steven Daniels has been appointed Senior Vice President and Director of Consumer Banking. Mr. Daniels joined the Bank in 2011 and was most recently Senior Vice President and Consumer Lending Manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and is a graduate of the PBA Advanced School of Banking. In addition to serving as Co-Chair of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne County, he holds positions with several community organizations. He resides in Honesdale with his wife, Ali and son Russell.

Ron DePasquale has been appointed Vice President and Security and Facilities Officer. Mr. DePasquale has been with Wayne Bank since 1998 and currently serves as the Facilities and Security Officer. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea for 18 months. Mr. DePasquale also holds a degree in business management from East Stroudsburg University.

Annette Jurkowski has been promoted to Vice President and Assistant BSA/Compliance Officer. Mrs. Jurkowski began her career with Wayne Bank in 1997 and has held positions in various departments including Wealth Management & Trust Services,

Commercial Lending and Finance. She holds an accounting degree from Bloomsburg University.

Kristen E. Lancia, CFMP has been appointed Vice President and Marketing Manager. Mrs. Lancia began her career with Wayne Bank in 2012 and most recently served as the bank’s marketing officer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Design and Merchandising with a writing concentration from Drexel University and holds a Certified Financial Marketing Professional designation from the American Bankers Association. She is currently pursuing a Google Digital Marketing &

94 March 2023
Vincent G. O’Bell Steven Daniels Annette Jurkowski Kristen E. Lancia, CFMP Kayla Dixon Ron DePasquale Christine Routledge Craig Ciarrocchi Corissa O’Malley Anna Van Acker

E-Commerce Professional Certificate and resides in Scranton with her husband, Ralph.

Christine Routledge has been promoted to Vice President and Sullivan County Regional Manager. Mrs. Routledge joined the Bank in 2013 and currently serves as the Sullivan County Regional Manager and Community Office Manager for the Roscoe and Callicoon locations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hartwick College and serves as the president of the RoscoeRockland Chamber of Commerce and Secretary of the RoscoeRockland Ladies Auxiliary. She is involved with many local organizations and resides in Roscoe with her husband, Nate.

Kayla Dixon has been named Assistant Vice President and Consumer Lending Officer. Mrs. Dixon joined the Bank in 2012

and has held several titles during her tenure including teller, indirect lending service representative and consumer lending officer. She holds a college degree and has ten years of banking experience.

Corissa O’Malley has been named Assistant Vice President and Loan Documentation Officer. Mrs. O’Malley joined the Bank in 2011 and has held several titles during her tenure including Residential Mortgage Loan Processor and Loan Documentation Supervisor. She has a ollege degree and resides in Honesdale with her husband, Eugene, her daughter, Avrianna and her son Sheamus.

Anna Van Acker has been named Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer. Mrs. Van Acker joined the bank in 2021 as a Commercial Loan Associate. She is very active in

the community and serves on the boards of the Wayne Pike Building Industry Association, Pennsylvania Builders Association and Professional Women in Building. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton, has four years of banking experience and resides in Pike County with her husband, Mark.

Craig Ciarrocchi has been named Bank Officer and Credit Analyst. Mr. Ciarrocchi joined the bank in 2016 as a Loan Operations Service Representative before moving to the Credit Administration team in 2020. He holds a college degree, has six years of banking experience, and is an active community service member for the Honesdale Area Jaycees.

Wayne Bank is a subsidiary of Norwood Financial Corp., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, and is located in Honesdale. The bank has 29 community offices serving Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties in Pennsylvania, along with Delaware, Sullivan, Otsego, Ontario and Yates Counties in New York State, including those offices operating under the Bank of Cooperstown and Bank of the Finger Lakes brands. The stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol— NWFL. H

March 2023 95 Helping You Find Your Way Home Reliable, Responsive, Trusted, Experienced, SOLD!
570-842- 1111

W ho is the cutest of them all?

Beans Bonnabell

Beans lives in Wyoming with the Lehmann family. He enjoys hugs, snuggles and his friends at puppy daycare.

Bonnabell is the office pet at Melissa Walter State Farm office. She loves to greet and meet the customers. She was a rescue from Wyoming County.


Carl (Carlton) is a love bug, very spunky and cuddly according to the Knight family of Scranton. He love walks in Nay Aug park, and visiting relatives and coffee shops.



Dunkin’ Rutter hails from Tunkhannock where he lives with and protects the Rutter family. He is very loving and enjoys marrow bones and new surprise toys.

Echo is truly every dog lover's delight. His strong loyalty cannot be matched, as he makes for a highly effective guard dog and companion. He lives in Peckville with the Schultz family

96 March 2023
The Borodovsky family of Milford say that ChiChi is six pounds of love! He adores children.

Vote for your favorite March pet at!

The winner receives a Happenings bandana!

Lola Gelato

Gelato, is a Mini Bernedoodle, will be four years old in May. He loves people and lives with PJ and Gabriella Gillot in Eynon.

Lilly loves to jump and play, she can sometimes be vicious is also very loving and cuddly according to the Hoffner family of Scranton.

Lola is always happy according to the Colozza family of Scranton. She is a maltipoo pup and her favorite things include eating chicken and chewing toys!

Sunny Marie

Tom Cat

Maizey is a rescue dog originally from Texas. She is a Therapy Dog and makes weekly visits to Geisinger CMC to cheer up patients and health care workers. She loves her O’Brien family of Dunmore.

is an energetic, loving German shepherd puppy who loves to play fetch and go for car rides with his Rachel of Dunmore.

The Hansen family from Enola say that Tom Cat is the most tolerant cat you will ever meet. His younger human sister loves to dress him up.

The votes are in... February’s Pet of the Month is Bourbon BednarCongratulations!
Lilly Maizey
March 2023 97
John Mackarey, LUTCF, RICP® Agent, New York Life Insurance Company Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFESecurities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), A Licensed Insurance Agency. 220 Penn Avenue, Suite 100 Scranton, PA 18503 Phone: 570-340-1320 Email:
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