November 2023 Happenings Magazine

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INBOX Dear Happenings, We all live busy lives. That is why it was so special to be able to spend some time this summer with my friends at Happenings Magazine. The purpose was to tell my story, but the experience took me right back to those most formative years at Marywood University. It evoked my own little “St. Elmo’s Fire” type of fond reminiscence. Storytelling sometimes comes easy and sometimes it is a real grinder. The pressure gets ratcheted up when the subject is a person you know and someone who’s gone through some stuff. I know you felt pressure and were determined to do right by my story. I’m here to tell you today that you nailed it! This comes as no surprise to me of course and I thank Happenings with full sincerity and appreciation. In the time since, I can’t tell you how many people messaged me with shots of the cover from wherever they happened upon it — passing through hotel lobbies, sitting in doctor’s offices and even while waiting online for fresh Saturday morning hard rolls. Plenty of double takes were reported (I know that guy!). Hugs — both real and emoji — were offered up too. The power of your reach was on full display. I can confirm with confidence that what you did fulfilled the purpose and has prompted people to act. They told me so. I hope you feel as good about this most cherished end result as I do. Looking back, if you work your way past my “GQ” cover moment, you will find me being a bit of an open book in the article. (September 2023 cover article.) There are lots of superlatives I can use to describe how I was feeling on an everyday basis at various points in my recent journey. Some drug me down deep into the abyss of fear (of the unknown), humiliation, emasculation, frustration and beyond. I’ve found it’s really hard to live down at those depths for very long. It takes a lot of self-realization to know you’re there and snap yourself out of it. That’s where faith and family and friends, all measured at different doses and potencies on any given day, come into play and truly make all the difference to this very day. It all comes down to this: if you love life, or if you just know deep down that others love the life you live, you have to get a little greedy. Should the time come, seek out the best care you can find wherever you can find it, and please do not automatically assume that some or all of it can’t be found right here in your own backyard.


–Eric Pochas –via Facebook


Paula Rochon Mackarey

Art Director

Lisa Kalaha Ragnacci

Associate Art Director

Peter Salerno

Director of Social Media

Mary Joyce


Christine Fanning Ben Freda

Account Representative Linette Manley

(570) 878-5009

On the Cover: Caroline Farrell Mackarey Photo: Imagery.LIFE ( Published Monthly. Also read at ©2023 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

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or Subscribe for Home Delivery Call 570-587-3532 or E-mail November 2023

contents NOVEMBER 2023


Celebrations of Love Local couples share their wedding stories


All the World’s A Stage Spotlight on Regional Theatre


Holiday Gift Guide A Few of Our Favorite Things


Travel Back in Time with this Beverage Space Time Mead and Cider

Caroline Farrell Mackarey’s engagement ring was her late maternal grandmother’s, Candy Kane Crea. Photo: Imagery.LIFE (













4 “All About the Swifties” Tribute To Taylor Swift, The Theater at North WVIA/Philharmonic Masterworks, Scranton Cultural Center

Annual 5 33rd 6 Homespun Holiday Craft Show, Arts At Hayfield Re-Imagining The Arts Celebration, Keystone College





Framing from Kalamazoo Institute Of Art, Sordoni Art Gallery




Open House, Misericordia University

Lackawanna Pro Bono Gala, Scranton Cultural Center

Annual Chili Sale, Equinunk Historical Society











Thanksgiving Day

The Nutcracker, Ballet Theatre of Scranton, Theater at North, 11/ 24, 25 & 26

Nutcracker Magical Christmas Ballet , State Theatre

Wreath Making Class, Equinunk Historical Society



Night In Lights Walk/Run, Stonehenge Golf Course

26 Buy Local, Scranton Cultural Center




Magical Cirque Christmas Holiday Variety Show, State Theatre

Santa Train Rides, Tunkhannock Christmas, 11/25 & 26


Military Family Month National Home Care and Hospice Month National Family Literacy Month National Gratitude Month National Sweet Potato Month


Ballet Theatre of Scranton Photos: K Hart Photography

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Dear Readers,


’ve always considered the month of November to be generally peaceful. The Thanksgiving holiday lends itself to less chaos than our December holidays. No matter what is going on in our lives, taking inventory of, and being thankful for our many blessings, can be a calming and gratifying experience; we do well when we focus on the good of life. A Thursday feast, filled with lively conversation, harvest foods, candlelight and the joy of family and friends surrounding us can be a spiritual and peaceful experience. The word peace is likely on each of our minds today. For most of us on this planet, living in peace does seem to be our life goal, doesn’t it? Coincidentally, to live a peaceful and purposeful life is aided with quiet reflection or meditation. While there may be a fear of “quietness,” because of its connection to feelings of loneliness, embracing “quiet” and being “still” can reap huge benefits. Sometimes we are not listening as intently in the hustle and bustle of other seasons. The quietness of November, with its trees nearly barren of their amber and rust leaves, provides a new canvas for fresh focus. In singer/songwriter Chris de Burgh’s “Fatal Hesitation,” the words remind me of November.

A deserted holiday town in the rain may seem forlorn, but there is also a very simplistic beauty. We may notice and appreciate more beauty in that quietness. The month of November calls us to be still, peaceful and grateful. My late parents gave me the gift of making me memorize wise words. One that I find myself referring to often is, “Peace. Be still and know that I am God.” I’d like to make this my motto for the month of November. Wishing you a very blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving.

With Love,


Paula Mackarey

Publisher “...The cafes are all deserted 1994-Present The streets are wet again There's nothing quite like An out-of-season holiday town in the rain When the tourists go And the cold winds blow And my girl is on a plane Home...” If you’ve ever been to a beach town or lake community out of season, these words vividly describe what a tourist region looks like with the absence of heavy traffic and visitors. That same location can look and sound entirely different.



Caroline Farrell

& AJ Mackarey

aroline Farrell met AJ Mackarey when they were both students at Scranton Preparatory School. “We only knew of each other at Prep; we reconnected when we were both studying at the University of Scranton, the summer going into our senior year,” said Caroline. Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton have quite a history with the Farrell and Mackarey families. Caroline’s parents, Drs. Tim and Marla (Crea) Farrell, both graduated from Scranton Prep together (1982) as well as Caroline’s grandfather, Dr. William Farrell, 1952.


AJ, son of Albert and Jill Mackarey, also claims a grandfather who was a Prep graduate. The late Joseph Carey, graduated in 1957. So one could say that the couple may have been “predestined” to meet at Scranton Prep, or the University of Scranton, as both AJ and Caroline have a long history of parents and grandparents who led the way on a mutual path.

Following the couple receiving their bachelor’s degrees from the University of Scranton, AJ graduated from Widener Delaware Law School. Caroline works for an insurance

brokerage firm in Camden, New Jersey and AJ is a practicing attorney at Chartwell Law, in downtown Scranton. As a nod to their combined family heritage, AJ proposed with Caroline’s late maternal grandmother’s engagement ring. The couple married April 22, 2023 at a bay front ceremony at The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Since both AJ and Caroline had a mutual love of their childhood summers spent at the Jersey Shore, they knew that a beach-themed wedding was their dream. Together the couple enjoys taking trips to New York City to see Broadway shows and Yankee games but most of all they enjoy spending time with their friends and family. Photos: Imagery.LIFE (


They honeymooned in St. Lucia and reside in an apartment just a few blocks from where they met and re-connected, all in downtown Scranton.

The character Michael Scott (from the TV show The Office) has been quoted by many including the late University of Scranton President, Father Pilarz in a speech: ‘Ain’t no party like a Scranton party, cause a Scranton party don’t stop.’ Clearly for this couple, their ‘Scranton party’ has only just begun. Caroline’s advice to other couples: “Give yourself as much time as you can and try to do a lot of the planning together. It’s very meaningful on your wedding day to see all the work you put in together come to life.” H


November 2023



Madison Decker Seth Stafursky


Maddison Decker and Seth Stafursky Photo: Mary Hayden Smith 15


adison Decker met Seth Stafursky through a mutual friend. The daughter of Edward and Stephanie Decker, Madison is a graduate of Scranton High School and received her BSN degree from the University of Scranton. She works as an ICU nurse within the Geisinger Health


System. Seth, son of David and Kimberly Stafursky, is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and St. Joseph’s University. He is employed by his family business, Stafursky Paving Company. Seth and Madison became engaged during an annual Avalon, New Jersey vacation. The couple’s wedding ceremony took place on May 20, 2023 at Skytop Lodge, under an elaborate floral arch. The Bride’s uncle, Frank Shimkus

November 2023

Photos: Mar

y Hayden Sm


where she wore her grandmother’s (Lucille Shimkus) restored veil. Her aunt’s dress was repurposed into the money bag.

was the officiant. A reception followed at Skytop Lodge. The bride included a traditional polish tradition, the Dollar Dance,


The couple honeymooned in West Palm Beach and Italy. They enjoy their black lab dogs, trying new restaurants and traveling. Madison offered this advice to other couples:

“Hire the wedding planner! Think about what aspects of the day are most important to you and plan to invest there. Do research and find vendors that align most closely with you and your dreams.” H


November 2023

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Courtney Semplice


& Eric Kramer

ourtney Semplice met Eric Kramer playing in a floor hockey league in Pittsburgh. The two were friends for ten years prior to dating. Eric proposed to Courtney while they were in Europe following an international hockey tournament in which they both were playing. After spending a week in Prague for hockey, Eric and Courtney traveled to Germany. Eric proposed on the Old Bridge in Heidelberg before the two finished their trip in Munich attending the opening day Oktoberfest activities.

The couple had their ceremony and reception on August 5, 2023 at the TPC Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth, Georgia. Courtney, daughter of Patricia Semplice, works as Managing Partner at New York Life, having recently held the position at the Northeast Pennsyvlania General Office in Scranton. Eric, son of Carl and Cindy Kramer, works as a Territory Manager for La Flor Dominicana. The couple travelled to Tuscany, Puglia and the Amalfi regions of Italy for their honeymoon. They now reside in St. Louis.

Photos: Lunalee Photography

Courtney offered this advice to other couples: “Make your rounds early to say thank you to everyone. I felt like I didn’t start early enough prior to getting pulled around everywhere and missed spending adequate time with guests. Be choosy with your venue and costs even if it takes time. Stay within your venue budget because the rest of the details will cost more than expected.” H



November 2023

You Are My Sunshine.


Citrine and topaz: November’s Birthstones

itrine can be considered wearable sunshine! As November’s birthstone, it makes a lovely birthday gift. Citrine, believed to derive from the French word for “lemon” (citron), is a transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz. A trace of iron in citrine’s structure is responsible for its autumnal yellow-to-orange and orange-to-red hues. Citrine’s sunny exuberance inspires joy, confidence, creativity and prosperity. A member of the quartz family, natural citrine is surprisingly rare. Today, most citrine results from heating Amethyst to an orangey-yellow hue: the perfect shade for November’s birthstone. Citrine also commemorates the 13th wedding anniversary because its jovial, honey hue embodies the sweetness of love’s eternal embers. Another beauty of citrine is that its affordable and durable! Nye Jewelers carefully sources citrine and gemstones which showcase excellent color and lack visible inclusions. Most authorities agree that the name topaz comes from Topazios, the old Greek name for a small island in the Red Sea, now called Zabargad. (The island never produced topaz, but it was


November 2023

once a source of peridot, which was confused with topaz before the development of modern mineralogy.) Some scholars trace the origin back to Sanskrit (an ancient language of India) and the word “topas” or “tapas” meaning “fire.” The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty and intelligence. Red is one of the most sought after topaz colors and represents less than one-half of 1% of facet grade material found. The color the trade calls “imperial topaz”

is highly prized and very rare. Dealers often use the trade term “sherry topaz” for yellowish-brown or brownish-yellow to orange topaz. The term comes from the color of sherry wine. Stones of that color range are also sometimes called “precious topaz.” This helps distinguish them from the less expensive citrine and smoky quartz, both of which look similar to, and are frequently misrepresented as, topaz. Golden or yellow topaz lacks the prized red overtones of imperial topaz. It’s also much more abundant

and therefore less valuable. Although brown topaz is also less valuable, it has been used in striking pieces of jewelry and ornamental art.Visit the Nye Jewelers showroom to see a selection of November birthstone jewelry. H

Fall in Love Engagement Wedding Birthstone Specialty Jewelry Watches Engraving Jewelry Repair We buy gold, silver & coins!

Fashion Mall • Rt. 6, Dickson City • 570-344-4NYE November 2023


MCR Productions


or the last two decades, MCR Productions has been working with venues all over Northeast PA and beyond–in big cities and small towns– to design and create unforgettable events. 26

“It’s an honor and a privilege that we take very seriously, to create unforgettable, meaningful events. We start with a blank canvas and create one-of-kind events,” says Brian Daubert, designer. “The following photos show a few of our events during the past year, which has been one of the busiest seasons on record,” he said.

Each wedding is like inviting guests on a beautiful, dramatic adventure. Décor, centerpieces, lighting and linens, custom-built furniture and dance floors all contribute the mood of an event.

“We begin by building a diagram of the entire room or space. On event day, a team member is kept on-site on stand-by for troubleshooting to ensure everything goes off without a hitch,” said Brian.

November 2023


Design is the mood setter, the “eye candy” and the inspiration. An event design is much like going on vacation; it is a matter of where you want your designer to take you. Each event is meant to have its own personality and their own vibe. Events should always invoke a response, something that people will not forget.


November 2023

Vintage furniture, an array of barn tables, cross barn chairs, specialty linens, lanterns and cafe bulbs are all available for a rustic wedding. For an elegant wedding, vinyl flooring and illuminated ostrich feather centerpieces elevate the decor. Starlight dance floors are provided for parties.


November 2023


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Lighting provides the atmosphere for an event. It is the one thing that transforms a room from ordinary to extraordinary. When you see a sunset over the mountains, it creates a mood. The same thing happens with lighting inside a room. You are setting the mood.” H


November 2023



onveniently located between Luzerne and Lackawanna County, The Venue is one of the region’s newest locations to gather for celebrations, corporate gatherings and memorable social events. The Venue offers guests beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, plus a large bar and lounge area for all to enjoy. Facing the beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains, The Venue’s outdoor patio is an idyllic space for cocktail hours and stunning views of evening sunsets.


The Venue’s chefs will work to create a menu that reflects your taste, while emphasizing locally sourced ingredients, scratch preparation and homemade offerings that are sure to please. Experienced event planners will take care of the other details that will create an event to exceed all expectations. While the marketplace is full of options, the staff promises to “work tirelessly to ensure that your special event is the most convenient for you and most appealing for your guests.”

Events hosted include: Birthdays and Anniversaries • Private Cocktail Functions • Weddings • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Graduations and Proms • Charity Functions • Fundraisers • Holiday Celebrations • Corporate Functions • Meeting & Planning Sessions Use of the space includes tables, chairs, in-house décor, pre-function areas and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. Vendor partners are recommended for flowers, photography, music, entertainment and tablescapes. H

November 2023

The Bach and Handel Chorale 2023

The Bach and Handel Chorale will present our Christmas Concert on Saturday December 2 at St. Joseph's Church, North Street, Jim Thorpe at 2 pm. Whether you are loo kin corporate event, socia g to host a or wedding, our tea l gathering, m welcoming and inspir will deliver ed hospitality.

November 2023

Tickets are $20.00. Further information available at

., 570-325-4795 •


j a n u a r y 1 2 - 1 4 , 2024 “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like HAIRSPRAY. It’s irresistible!” – The New York Times You Can’t Stop the Beat! HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour! Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Featuring the beloved score of hit songs including “Welcome to the ‘60s,” “Good Morning Baltimore” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” HAIRSPRAY is “fresh, winning, and deliriously tuneful!” (The New York Times). This all-new touring production reunites Broadway’s award-winning creative team led by Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring HAIRSPRAY to a new generation of theater audiences. Don’t miss this “exhilaratingly funny and warm -hearted musical comedy” (The New Yorker). H


November 2023

Act Out Theatre Group


ct Out Theatre Group is an organization focusing on performance and education of the art of musical theatre. Its goal is to not only produce fine art, but to facilitate an educational and fun social climate where students ages 3 through high school seniors can be free to express themselves without judgment, to learn about music and theatre, and to share a common passion among peers. The theatre has gone through a number of changes, but the family spirit has remained. Theatre offerings have evolved to include adult productions, educational theatre camps for children, family fun nights and more community involvement opportunities. The theatre is committed to creating a safe, inclusive environment where all children and teens are encouraged to explore the arts. Smaller workshop opportunities allow for more individualized attention and for participants to be more than just a face in the crowd. The theatre also offers a free summer workshop program for children through graduating high school seniors. The Act Out Theatre Group Booster Club, a 501c3 entity, was created to help support the theatre's programming and workshop participants. The booster club also helps keep the programming and workshops as affordable as possible so that the arts are more accessible to everyone. The Booster Club also facilitates the theatre's Diversity Scholarship. H


November 2023


State Theatre Holiday Performances Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet November 25, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. A Magical Cirque Christmas November 29, 7 p.m. Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Creole Christmas December 1, 7 p.m. Straight No Chaser: Sleighin’ It Tour December 9, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. A Christmas Carol December 16, 7:30 p.m. The Wizards of Winter* December 23, 4 p.m. Tickets are available online at or Monday through Friday at 610-252-3132. *This is an outside promoter event. State Theatre Member Benefits do not apply.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band also returns this season with their Creole Christmas concert series. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band takes its name from New Orleans’ Preservation Hall, the humble but historic French Quarter music venue dedicated to keeping the past and future of jazz alive. Fans from around the globe make pilgrimages to it, and now its ambassadors, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, are embarking on an expedition of their own: a nationwide tour to celebrate its 60th anniversary. H November 2023

39th Annual

Dickens of a Christmas ekindle the old fashioned Christmas spirit in Wellsboro on December 2 for the 39th annual Dickens of a Christmas. Wellsboro’s main streets will be closed to traffic and will become an early Victorian marketplace featuring delectable food, drinks and gift items. Beginning at 9 a.m., the food and craft vendors, strolling musicians, singers, dancers and street corner thespians will spread up and down Main Street and beyond. Performers and vendors will be appropriately costumed and decorated to create a Victorian atmosphere that fits so well with the Wellsboro Gas Lights.


Choirs as well as musical and theatre groups will hold many events including a production of “A Christmas Carol.” Local churches will host luncheons, concerts, tours or special services throughout the day. Approximately 125 craft and food vendors, dressed in Victorian garb will offer giftgiving options such as hand-crafted Christmas ornaments, wooden toys, jewelry, quilted items, furniture, wrought iron, homemade cheese and meats, pet treats, heirloom Santas, stuffed animals and dolls. In addition, several indoor craft shows are held. Food options include chili, hot dogs, homemade soups and chowders, bread pudding, homemade cookies, pies, candies, hot beef sandwiches, crab cakes, hot chocolate, cider, coffee, cheddar worsts, kettle corn, baked potatoes, apple dumplings and cinnamon buns. Bring a candle and join the Peace Walk at 5 p.m. for the annual community Christmas tree lighting and carol sing at 5:30. Santa always visits with special treats for the youngsters. Parking will be available throughout the town. A shuttle will also be operated continuously. For a schedule of events, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce at 570-724-1926. H


You are invited to The Interfaith Reveal a magical display of Christmas November 10, 2023 January 2, 2024 Find inspirational ways to

Give Love Susquehanna County Interfaith Montrose - 526 Church Street Susquehanna - 695 Jackson Ave. Forest City - 500 Main Street

The Shawnee Playhouse Musicals, Dramas, Comedies, Children’s Shows.

570-421-5093 or visit: for information on shows, dates and times.


T he

G i f t

o f

D a n c e

Ballet Theatre of Scranton’s




allet Theatre of Scranton, under the artistic direction of Joanne Arduino, will kick off the holiday season with its 48th annual performances of The Nutcracker at the Theater at North over Thanksgiving weekend, Friday through Sunday, November 24, 25 and 26 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This traditional gift to the community has offered free public performances since 1976. Free tickets can be picked up at the box office at the Theater at North on the day of the specific performance, two hours prior to curtain. Over 100 local dancers from ages 9- adult will perform. Benefactor seats are available by calling 570-347-2867 before November 1. Additionally, you can see the 2020 professionally filmed production on local FOX affiliates from Dec 23-26. Check local listings.


For information call 570-347-2867 or visit

For many families throughout the United States, seeing the Nutcracker Ballet each holiday season is a beloved tradition. The Nutcracker became a popular addition to holiday festivities during the 1960s. As a Two-Act Tchaikovsky Ballet that combines the theatrical elements of opera with the beauty of ballet, it was first performed in St. Petersburg Russia in 1892 and is adapted from the story, The Nutcracker and The Mouse.

Laura Durkin as Clara

Above: Elizabeth Schneider as Sugar Plum Fairy (for three of six performances) Top right: Cora Chichura and Paris Santee as Arabian Bottom right: Snow Queen, Center: Kamryn Kincel; L to R: Valentina Ruiz-Geraldo, Mya Harrity and Madeleine Mackarey K Hart Photography


Front Center, Dew Drop Fairy, Gianna Vachino; Waltz of the flowers, Front Left, Sophia Spathelf Right, Meredith Duffy Back Left: Annie Reilly, Antoinette Hemak, Lauren Lockett and Emma Wagner K Hart Photography


that ers ensure f volunte r. o a ye m a ch te A robust cker is possible ea nd a ra The Nutc : Jennifer Karpiak s e are Pictured o, Costum uiz Girald R lia ta Na

From left, Ke lly Janine Baux Vachino and Bonnie Agugliaro, Ti , Board Pres ckets. ident

ing in the Holidays by enjoying the festive sounds of the Philharmonic’s Holiday Concert, featuring Ballet Theater of Scranton dancers, the Choral Society of Northeastern PA and the Bloomsburg University Concert Choir. Includes a special visit from North Pole residents. This fun, family-friendly concert will get you into the spirit of the most wonderful time of the year while providing world-class entertainment. See ad page 47.


Philharmonic History

November 24, 25 & 26


FREE TICKETS are available at the box office two hours prior to the specific performance


November 2023

Preventing Check Fraud nstances of check fraud are on the rise in the U.S. Below are some best practices to help you avoid becoming a victim. Check fraud can be defined as any attempt to obtain money illegally by using paper or digital checks. This can include forgery, check theft, chemically altering a check and counterfeiting. Fraudsters are continually finding new ways to use checks in fraudulent ways.

• Never write your Social Security number • on a check.

Preventative Steps

The most effective fraud prevention is eliminating check writing practices. Speak to your Financial Advisor today regarding cash management services, including electronic Bill Pay. H


Monitor accounts regularly; daily monitoring is preferred. • If identified as fraudulent, checks can be • returned within 24 hours from the time • the check was posted. • Be sure to open and review the checks that • are posted to ensure the payee name and/or • amount has not been changed; do not go • by amount only! • Balance your checkbook and bank • statements. • Avoid paying with checks if possible. Instead, • consider using Bill Pay through online bank• ing or other forms of electronic payments. • In lieu of mailing checks, hand deliver them •whenever possible. Safeguard checks and account information. • Keep checks and statements in • a locked place. • Never leave checks or your checkbook • out in the open or visible in your car. • Do not leave checks unattended • if you have visitors. If you need to write and mail a check, consider the following: • Write the check with a black • gel pen with non-erasable ink. • Avoid writing checks to “cash.” • Try not to leave large blank • spaces on checks.

If you must mail a check: • Walk checks inside the post office to do so. • Do not place checks in your own mailbox • for the mail person to pick up. • Do not place in mailbox drop boxes. • While these boxes may be convenient, • they are not the safest.

Ryan Wilson, CPA, CFP®, CRPC, AWMA®, AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) Executive Vice President/Wealth Management, Financial Advisor 72 Glenmaura National Boulevard, Moosic, PA 18507 800.638.4417 | Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Member: NYSE, FINRA, SIPC. For more information about Janney, please see Janney’s Relationship Summary (Form CRS) on, which details all material facts about the scope and terms of our relationship with you and any potential conflicts of interest.

November in the Endless Mountains

Photo: James Ruane • 800-769-8999

The Endless Mountains region geologically speaking is part of the Allegheny Plateau. The current geography was slightly modified during the last ice age by the Wisconsin Glacier about 15,000 years ago. Glacial striations can be found on the rocks of some of the high ridges, but the area was at the margin of the ice sheet. The mountains are made up of sedimentary rocks (mostly sandstone and shales, with a little conglomerate) that were part of a lowland that collected sediments eroded from surrounding mountains. The Susquehanna River established its meandering course during that time, when it was a mature stream on a topography of very low relief. When the area was uplifted, the river's bends were preserved as incised meanders. The large river cut a deep valley and established a low baseline for its tributaries, which then cut the plateau into the rugged hills of the present day.


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any individual item $90 or more 2312 East Lake Road • New Milford, PA 570-465-3360 • • 800-769-8999



Market 2023


actoryville will host its sixth annual Christmas Market on December 1-3 in Christy Mathewson Park. Presented by PS Bank, the event was inspired by European Christmas Markets known for cozy wooden storefronts, handmade gifts, warm drinks, comfort foods and festive cheer. Organizers have been capturing that magical winter wonderland feel since 2017. On the first weekend of December, the park will once again transform into what has been described as a scene out of a Hallmark movie, with twinkling lights and whimsical holiday decor. Each storefront adorning the vendor tents has been lovingly crafted by volunteers in the community. Enjoy three days of all of the unique offerings of this event, from hand-blown glass snowmen to oneof-a-kind wooden children’s toys. Always looking for ways to improve the experience for vendors and guests alike, organizers have added more food and beverage options throughout the weekend, including (but not

limited to) Gin’s, Hatchet Jacks, Nickie’s Hoagies and area food trucks. The one mile fun run moves to Friday night with a new theme: the Rudolf Run. Participants will don sparkling antlers and bells as they race through the town. Live music, Santa and Mrs. Claus’s arrival and the annual tree lighting will follow. An exciting addi-

tion of Saturday evening fireworks will be put on by the Factoryville Men’s Civic Club. Hot mulled wine and local craft beers will be available to taste. Elf School features make-yourown crafts, story time with Santa and other special treats and surprises for kids. According to organizers, “it truly takes a village to pull off the

event.” A group of dedicated volunteers spend hours planning and organizing with help from Lackawanna Trail, Keystone College, community organizations and local businesses. Many of the vendors are located within a five mile radius, making it a true hometown event with broad appeal. While the market has grown over the past six years, a conscious effort has been made to retain its charm by keeping it small even with the expansion of the vendor area. Founded in the early 1800s, the Borough of Factoryville is located in the Endless Mountains Region. Claiming 1300 residents, the town is home to Keystone College, established in 1868. Factoryville is also known for its most famous son, Baseball Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson. Each August, the life and legacy of the pitcher are celebrated during Christy Mathewson Day. Whether you enjoy the warm ease of the summer or the festive cheer of the winter, Factoryville has been able to create two unique weekends that welcome all to the small town. H • 800-769-8999

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27 E TIOGA ST TUNKHANNOCK, PA (570) 836-5131 • 800-769-8999

The Oldest House Oldest HouseLaceyville Area Historical Society


The house is built around a large stone fireplace that measures 8 x 12 feet, with two openings on the basement level and three on the main floor. The house is decorated in a Victorian style and stays true to its roots on the basement level, but it is slightly more modernized in the

Friday, December 1, 4 – 8 6:00 Tunkhannock Dulcimer Concert Saturday, December 2, 10-5 Sunday, December 3, noon-5

main, upper part of the house. A group of community volunteers decorate the home over the course of one weekend

Mulled Cider and Cookies Three floors of decorations focusing on Textile and Fiber Arts

using natural Christmas trees and garland in each room.

Free Admission

297 East Main Street,Laceyville,Pa

Photos: Stan Warunek/Montage Photography

Funded in part by the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau and Wyoming County Room Tax Grant • FB:The Oldest House Society • 800-769-8999

56 November 2023 • 800-769-8999

November 2023


Elliot Layland Appointed to Governor's Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation


November 2023


lliot Layland, 15, has been appointed to the Governor's Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. He is the son of Brian and Michelle Layland of Covington Township and a sophomore at North Pocono High School where he is a member of the rifle team. Elliot is an avid hunter and fisherman. His interest in hunting and fishing has expanded to trapping, and he has participated in an apprenticeship in taxidermy. He has competed in the Cabela’s Youth Casting Competition and the NEPA Annual Junior Shoot. He is a member at the Moscow Sportsman’s Club. Elliot was recruited to the Youth Council while attending the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg. The Governor's Youth Council is composed of up to 20 individuals between the ages of 14 and 18, for the purpose of communicating their

November 2023

ideas and recommendations through the Council to the Governor and the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Layland will travel throughout the Commonwealth as part of his commitment to the council to deliberate on all forms of outdoor recreation, including how to best engage his generation and future generations in the conservation and preservation of the Commonwealth’s natural resources and the enhancement of the Commonwealth’s hunting and fishing heritage. “Many people may have the misconception that hunting is morally wrong or bad for the environment. Hunting actually contributes to wildlife population management and helps to prevent disease, among other pros. We want everyone to know that hunting helps more than it hurts,” he said. H

Photo: James Ruane




ne thing most people agree on is that celebrations with friends and family are a vital and treasured part of life. They are what we look forward to and what we fondly remember for years to come. Happenings Magazine loves to share regional wedding stories. If you would like to submit your story, write to us at


November 2023

Holiday Gift Guide

Bella Faccias, Old Forge An exquisite, memorable gift for someone who has everything. Original gifts the Magi carried to Bethlehem in a beautiful handcrafted wooden box. Keepsake box contains pouches of authentic frankincense and myrrh and a handblown glass ball infused with 23 karat gold flakes. Includes certificate of authenticity. $31 570-343-8777

Alpacas of Sunshine Farm, New Milford Our best-selling Ebel Sweater has been proven timeless! This 70% Alpaca, 30% Acrylic blend sweater features scoop pockets and pleats at the collar line. Available in a wide variety of colors. This beautiful women’s cardigan is best paired with mono-chromatic clothing items, that will bring out the contrast. Reg $110 XL $120 570-465-3360

Space Time Mead & Cider Works, Dunmore Voyage Dans La Lune, a gorgeous dessert mead and our special seasonal release. Local honey is balanced by raspberry, currant, cherry and blackberry real fruit flavor. Limited edition moon decanter. $50 570-504-5758

Boccardo Jewelers, Scranton Personalized bar necklace with birthstone. Starting at $69 570-344-9021

The BriarPatch at Thornhurst Nurseries, Thornhurst Soy candles with an invigorating fragrance such as newcomers ‘Merry Mistletoe’ and ‘Wonderland.’ And the always popular 'Frosty Pines' with its true aroma of freshly cut pine. 14 oz jar $21.99 570-842-1266

My Mother's Delicacies, Inc., Scranton Small, medium, large and extra large gift tins filled with authentic butter and cream cheese rugelach in cinnamon walnut, apricot, raspberry, and/or chocolate flavors. Approx. 16-48 pieces Straight from Galicia, Poland! $22.49-$52.49 570-343-5266

November 2023

Mercantile 22, Tunkhannock A wide selection of cozy Wanokome heavyweight hoodies and crews for men and women. Starting at $95. 570-996-6266

Van Gorders’ Furniture, Lake Wallenpaupack, Honesdale, Milford Country Classic Collection furniture, like this heirloom quality 4-drawer solid oak chest with full extension drawers. Made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania by Amish craftsmen. $1,699. 570-253-1860








PumpkinA Bread

s the leaves change this fall season, capture the spicy flavors of autumn with this soul warming pumpkin recipe. The smell of pumpkin baking in the oven brings back childhood memories of this colorful time of year. This simple dessert will please any pumpkin-lover.


e flour 1 1/3 cup all purpos 3/4 teaspoon salt mpkin pie spice 2 1/2 teaspoon pu

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bread pan with non stick spray and set aside.

2 eggs 3/4 cup sugar r 1/2 cup brown suga

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice and set aside.

oil 1/4 cup vegetable 1/4 cup milk pkin puree 1 cup canned pum

In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, milk and pumpkin puree. Slowly whisk in dry ingredients with the wet.

Com plim ents of JoAnn M arianelliFinnerty Bella Faccias

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Bread is fully cooked when you place a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Once cooled, you can top with icing or whipped cream (optional). ***Variation: Chocolate Chips And/Or Nuts Can Be Added To This Recipe*** Buon Appetito!


November 2023

Protecting Yourself from Scams and Fraud: A Message from Wayne Bank

targets to receive funds and transfer them to cryptocurrency vendors under the guise of investments, but in reality, the scam victim is receiving stolen funds and depositing them directly into the scammer’s crypto wallet.


he busy holiday shopping season is upon us, a time where scams and fraud run rampant more than ever. In conjunction with International Fraud Awareness Week from November 12 through the 18, Wayne Bank shares the following tips from Vice President and Fraud Officer, Jillian Guenther, CFE.


question or the right solution to address your concerns, we will be sure to find out for you. Anytime you think a transaction is possibly suspicious, bring it to the attention of the teller. They can escalate your situation and have the transaction reviewed for you to avoid unnecessary risk.



If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is the golden rule in scam prevention and detection. If you are wondering if an offer or opportunity is legitimate, it is always a good idea to run it by someone you know personally and trust. Get a second opinion before jumping right into a risky situation.

Mail theft is increasing year by year. Scammers are stealing checks and washing them or counterfeiting them in order to fly under the radar. All it takes is one check for a fraud ring to not only have your account information, but current check details such as check number range and typical dollar amounts, to avoid detection. If you must mail checks, you should follow-up with intended recipients within one week to ensure it was received, rather than finding out via a late fee or late payment notification months later.



Talk to your bankers. We are here to help, and if we don’t know the answer to your 66

Cryptocurrency is very popular amongst scammers. They are convincing well-meaning

Everyone should check their accounts daily. The technology to do so is available to all whether you review it via an online banking platform or by phone. Check and transaction reconciliation and review should include verification of payees in addition to check number and amount. If a check is altered, you may not detect it unless you view the check image. Report fraud to your financial institution as soon as you find it. Windows to recover funds are smaller than ever with how quickly funds can be moved or withdrawn today. Scammers are constantly trying to find new ways to steal your money. Defend yourself by knowing what to look for. Wayne Bank offers free online and mobile banking, along with CardHub. Card Hub allows you to set parameters on your debit card, get notified with every charge and shut it off if it’s lost or stolen. Business customers are also protected with Positive Pay, which safeguards the business against forged, altered and counterfeit checks. Rest assured Wayne Bank offers security and peace of mind with every transaction you make, said Jillian Guenther, CFE. H Wayne Bank is a subsidiary of Norwood Financial Corp., Member FDIC, and is located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. 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.

November 2023

November 2023


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:

Prostate Cancer Support Group of NEPA


on Ezrin is a Clarks Summit resident who is determined to let men in the region know about a group that has meant a great deal to him and many others during the past few decades. As prostate cancer survivors, the group is on a mission to help others know that “while receiving a cancer diagnosis can feel like the end of the world, it is possible to have a good quality of life post-diagnosis”. Leonard Janeski was instrumental in founding this group with the help of Delta Medix many years ago. Since then, it has been meeting monthly. The members of the group have formed not just bonds and friendships but also are


involved in life-saving discussions about treatment options. The pandemic put a damper on attendance as the Zoom format simply wasn’t as effective for the members. Now the Prostate Cancer Support Group of NEPA is back meeting in-person in the McGowan Conference Center at Regional Hospital, 743 Jefferson Ave., Scranton. The group meets on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. Don emphasizes the vital benefit of doing your own personal research before starting any treatment. “Research your options and speak with multiple specialists. It is so important to take the time to decide the best course of action for you and your family.”

Don received his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2002. “Facing prostate cancer and its life-altering complications affects men mentally and physically. As a result, it is not something that is easily and openly discussed,” he said. “There have been radically new changes in treatment that now give men many new options. Our mission is to inform men not to rush into any treatment without doing a lot of personal research. As a result of my own research, I was one of the first prostate cancer patients to receive a newer type of treatment that has kept me alive and enjoying a good quality of life. My treatment was called Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which previously was not an option in this region. Initially, surgery was given as my only available treatment at the time.” Don received his treatment at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center at

November 2023

Lehigh Valley-Pocono in East Stroudsburg. As a United States Veteran, Don knows a thing or two about doing research and taking action. A graduate of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, he went into the USAF after graduation. Since his prostate cancer diagnosis, Don was also diagnosed with colon cancer as well as head and neck metastatic cancer – stage 4 – making him a rare, three-time cancer survivor. He is currently on an innovative treatment that he receives at Northeast Hematology and Oncology in Dunmore. Dr. Chris Peters at NROC, has been very instrumental in helping Don receive the treat-

November 2023

ment that has been keeping him alive. Recently, Dr. Peters told Don that he is the longest surviving patient and that his scans are cancer free. Don also credits Dr. Carl Barsigian at Northeast Hematology and Oncology for also being a large part of his success story. “I am totally independent and live an active lifestyle.” The power of personal research is revealed in Don’s current treatment. He is currently on a drug that would cost $6,000 a month out-of-pocket. Through a little-know patient assistance program at a major pharmaceutical company, he was able to get it fully funded.

with dozens of men. Our goal is to provide information on the various treatments available. We do not recommend one treatment over another, we simply want everyone to be aware of their options whether they’re right here in our own back yard, or out of the country,” he said. The prostate cancer support group, which at one time had as many as 75 members, is welcoming, educational and free of charge. Commonwealth Health provides a complimentary meal and parking. A speaker makes a special presentation at each meeting. H

“I love the group and have formed strong relationships


Health center helps with non-medical issues, too

The Wright Center supports people facing financial and other hardships and resident and fellow physicians are active yearround, doing impactful projects with PCE to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Chanel Mayo picks out a polo shirt for her daughter, Violet, at a recent school uniform giveaway .

PCE’s roots can be traced to an informal auxiliary started years ago by staffers at the Mid Valley Practice and funded by their donations. They sporadically passed the hat to help a patient or family with a pressing need. However, The Wright Center’s leaders soon recognized the profound need it filled in the community and formalized the initiative in 2020 to make it self-sufficient.


uring a communityoutreach project, Kara Seitzinger was handing out free back-to-school supplies at the South Side Farmers Market in Scranton on a sunny Saturday when she got an urgent call from a colleague at The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley Practice. The caller, a community health worker, explained the still-unfolding situation: a mother, homeless and pregnant, had come into the clinic in Jermyn needing food, diapers and other essential supplies.

The caller asked, “Can we help her?” “Yes,” said Seitzinger. Within hours, the woman received what she needed. The same day, Seitzinger and a group of volunteers distributed 85 school backpacks to families visiting the farmers market.

Mary Marrara, a longtime community champion and a member of The Wright Center for Community Health Board, helped complete the paperwork to establish PCE officially. “The initiative to do patient and community engagement started with little bites, and then we folded in the auxiliary to launch what it is today,” she said.

It’s all in a day’s work for Seitzinger, executive director of public affairs at The Wright Center, and like-minded employees who volunteer with the nonprofit organization’s subsidiary, The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement (PCE). The Wright Center’s employees

Mary Marrara

‘We take care of it’ PCE strives to help people in the region overcome food insecurity and other negative social and economic determinants of health, such as inadequate housing, lack of educational access and poverty. The Wright Center’s leaders recognize that addressing these basic needs is critical to improving patients’ long term health, said Seitzinger, who serves as advisor liaison to The Wright Center’s president and CEO. “Transportation has always been a huge problem for many of our patients,” said Seitzinger. “And, food insecurity has increased exponentially since the COVID19 pandemic began and really rose again in the last six months as SNAP benefits were cut.” PCE seeks grants and conducts several fundraising events to fulfill its mission. The organization hosted its inaugural golf tournament in May, which raised more than $45,000. In August, proceeds from the second annual Road to Recovery Car Show at Nay Aug Park assisted patients of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence with transportation to and from appointments. Similarly, when possible, PCE helps community members get past short-term crises, as it was able to do for the pregnant, homeless woman who needed assistance. “People can come to us without worry,” said Marrara. “We have people come to us privately, and we take care of it, but we main-

tain 100% accurate records. I want people to know — everything we do is checked and double-checked.”

et. “Having the ability to have a food bank or a clothing closet right there in the clinic, that’s the next step,” she said.

‘The next step’ PCE relies on volunteers to chip in during food distributions, school backpack giveaways and other events at The Wright Center’s primary care practices and other locations in the community. Seitzinger sees it as a win-win; employees make a difference in the communities they serve, and they raise public awareness about the affordable, high-quality primary and preventive health care services available by visiting The Wright Center’s clinics in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties.

Marrara echoed Seitzinger’s goals, noting that she’s excited to see how PCE will continue to grow over time.

“The Wright Center is federally funded, so in a sense, the community owns it,” said Seitzinger. “We’re trying to find ways to contribute to the community and get our staff out there to give back.” Looking to the future, Seitzinger envisions building more lasting ways for PCE to help the community, including adding a permanent food pantry and a dedicated clothing clos-

Tucker Mulligan, left, a Scranton Preparatory School student, and Kara Seitzinger, executive director of public affairs at The Wright Center, set up school supplies during a school uniform giveaway.

“I’m proud of what we have become,” she said. “And I would venture to say that a year from now, I’ll be even prouder.” For more information, visit H

The Wright Ce nt Community En er for Patient & ga organized a sc gement recently ho away for region ol uniform giveto a donation al residents thanks from Starr Unifo rm

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he 23rd Annual Dennis Crafferty Memorial Auction will be held online November 10-16. The online format became very popular and allows for easy participation wherever one is! “We are incredibly grateful to local businesses and individuals for the donation of merchandise or services to the event. Each year, the committee selects items that are in-demand for the Auction. “Great gifts for home, children or yourself are available,” says Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, President of Saint Joseph’s Center.

Home and Entertainment and others. Bidders can mark items as “favorites” and revisit the bidding until November 16. A special section features “Saint Joe’s Wishes,” requested items that benefit residents and clients directly served by Saint Joseph’s Center. “Purchasing a Saint Joe’s Wish is an added way to benefit the mission of Saint Joseph’s Center,” says Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, “I’m in awe of those who enjoy purchasing Wishes knowing the impact it has on those we serve.” H

An added feature will be a Premiere Party held at La Buona Vita, Dunmore on Thursday, November 9 from 6-8 p.m. A Wine Pull and selected items will be featured in a Silent Auction to be won that evening. Reservations, which are required, can be made via or 570-963-1290. The online Auction can be viewed beginning November 10 by visiting Interested bidders can view hundreds of items easily and efficiently with section headings such as Children, Gift Certificates, 76

November 2023

November 2023


Call Today To Learn About Memory Care! Tunkhannock Manor offers seniors a safe, secure, home-like community, taking the worries out of daily life. Enjoy an active lifestyle with personalized support based on your individual needs.

Schedule a Tour Today! Call 570.836.2983 or email for more information about life at Tunkhannock Manor! 50 West Tioga Street, Tunkhannock, PA

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November 2023


Gene Passarella:

‘A Man for All Seasons’ By Christine Fanning


cranton’s Gene Passarella has seen a lot in his 98 years.

Gene is the second youngest son of a Scranton family with eight boys and four girls—children of the late James and Sarah Passarella. At 18 years old, right after graduating from high school, Gene was drafted into the military and served in Company I, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Division of the U.S. Army. He landed on Omaha Beach during WWII, four days after the invasion, and broke out of Normandy before moving into Belgium. They held their position during the Battle of the Bulge, helping to prevent further German attempts to retake Belgium. On his “fifth or sixth” day in France, Gene was wounded in his right knee. After his recovery, he came back home to Scranton and a few years later began to date Louise Colangelo, the girl across the street (S. Bromley Avenue). “Our families were friends,” he said, “and her father was my godfather.” He played saxophone and clarinet in his elder brother Jim's “Jimmy Dempsey Band,” and “jumped around to play in other bands in the city.” It wasn’t long before Gene formed his own band, the “Gene Dempsey Orchestra”, which still

performs 74 years later, with Gene as the leader, at fundraisers, free concerts at Nay Aug Park and some of the area’s most popular events. Gene was looking forward to performing at the Italian Festival this year, as he did every year until Covid struck, but was ordered by his doctor to skip it because of the heat. The orchestra plays all the big band standards such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, the Dorsey brothers, Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller among other artists. Instruments include

when he was 27 and she was 21. They had one child, a daughter, Cathy. Gene worked in the Post Office as a clerk and was promoted to a customer service representative in his last 14 years. There was always the orchestra on the side and Cathy would join the band as a vocalist after she graduated from Marywood College. These days, Gene and Louise have celebrated 71 years of marriage on September 6. Their daughter, Cathy Van Nort, has retired as a music teacher in the Scranton School District after 34 years. The Passarellas have two

four trumpets, five saxophones, four trombones, guitar, piano, bass and drums. In the intervening years, Gene and Louise were married

grandsons, Tim and Mark Van Nort. Gene says he feels pretty good for 98 years old except for problems with his eyes and that right leg, wounded during WW II. Four years ago, Gene was belatedly presented with nine medals, including a Purple Heart, for his service in the war. At 20 years old, he wasn’t interested in any medals, he just wanted to get back home after his discharge. A chat with officials in State Representative Marty Flynn’s office led to a search to find the paperwork describing his service. His niece, Karen Boback, a state representative at the time, “started the ball rolling.” Cathy said her father didn’t talk about the hardships he faced during the war, but shared recollections of his voyage with the troops on the RMS Queen Mary when they were informed that a VIP was aboard. They never saw this important person, however it became clear during a disembodied speech that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was the mystery passenger.

big part of his life. As a young boy taking lessons and through the years with the orchestra, it was his passion,” Cathy said. “Not long ago, three guys came to his house to listen and talk about music and his face lit right up.”

has no regrets. Regarding his military service, he said “that’s what we did back then.” Though he is the last surviving member of the Passarella family, he remains grateful. “I’ve been married for 71 years,” he said. “I’m happy, I’m still here, I’m in love.” H

Cathy said her father is an “awesome” dad. “He was tough, he laid down the law and stuck to it, but he’d play ball in the back yard with me and my friends. In high school he’d pick up my friends for cheerleading. My father and I found common ground when I began to sing in the band.”

Gene described how the band became the Dempsey Orchestra –Christine Fanning rather than Passarella. “Jim was a little guy; he used to sell newspapers at the old station in Scranton. Another guy picked a fight and started beating up on him. Jimmy won the fight. Jack Dempsey was the The PA Medicare Education There is NO COST heavyweight boxing and Decision Insight for the PA MEDI champion back then Program, PA MEDI, helps so the proud fightMedicare beneficiaries apply Program’s help or for enrollment into for financial assistance er’s band became these programs. through the Extra Help and the Jim Dempsey Medicare Savings Programs band. “ When Gene if you qualify. was naming his band, his dad sugCall your local PA MEDI Program to learn more! gested it be the Passarella Orchestra, Monroe County • 570-420-3735 with the slogan Pike County • 570-775-5550 ext. 1313 “Bring your Fella to Wayne County • 570-253-4262 the Passarella“. “No way, Pa,” Gene said.

She attributes her father’s longevity to the music. “It was a

At 98 years old, Gene is content and

He also spoke about his bout with sea sickness on his voyage back to the States on the hospital ship, USAHS Wisteria.

Attention Medicare Recipients

"This project was supported, in part by grant number 2201PAMIDR-00, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201.”



The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor A nonprofit organization that preserves the historic pathway that carried coal and iron from WilkesBarre to Philadelphia. Designated by Congress as a National Heritage Area (NHA) in 1988, DLNHC became one of 55 NHAs across the United States tasked to tell the “vibrant story of the nation’s evolution and culture.” DLNHC achieves this by building and maintaining public and private partnerships to create four vital connections: industrial heritage, health and wellness, nature and the environment and economic development.

November 2023



hristmas Tree Farms The Briar Patch at Thornhurst Nurseries Christmas Tree Farm & Gift Shop Pre-cut Fraser and Douglas Fir. Choose & cut (7’ & above) Colorado Blue Spruce & Norway Spruce. Available tree sizes 6ft - 14ft. Fresh handmade wreaths & garland. Check out the gift shop... woodsy... eclectic... nature oriented. 278 Pine Grove Rd, Thornhurst, PA 570-842-1266. Follow us on Facebook.

Helen & Ed’s Tree Farm The tradition continues...In business since 1957, Helen and Ed’s is a 220 acre tree farm located in Dorrance Township, PA. Find fresh cut evergreens or choose and cut your own from many varieties and sizes. Wreaths and garland are handmade and pin tree stands are available. Come enjoy Christmas music, friendly atmosphere and service. 3758 Saint Mary's Road, Wapwallopen, PA 18660 (570) 868-6252

Who is the cutest of them all?




Bella enjoys sitting on her deck and sunning herself in her Greenfield Township home where she lives with the Leo family.

Boots, who is quite lovable, lives with the Sharer family in Taylor.

Bug lives with the Mazurik family in Springbrook Township. He is in charge of the household.




Dante lives in Old Forge with Eileen and Paul. He loves to be pet, watch birds and play with his siblings.


Fudge lives with the Evans family in Old Forge. At bedtime, Fudge loves snuggling and kissing before settling down.

Gabby lives with Alana Repshis, Jesse Cooper and Quinn Harrison in Scranton. She loves spending time at her mommy’s hair salon and enjoys motorcycle rides with her daddy.

November 2023

in... s arhee Month e t o v The r’s Pet of t

Vote for your favorite November pet at

Octob! The winner receives a Happenings bandana!


is Rip ions! atulat Congr


Lacey and Dink

Cole and Takoda

The Woodyatt family of Scranton says that Griff is an old boy who loves playing with his favorite toys and enjoys his two walks every day.

Lacie and Dink live in Clarks Summit with the Gallagher family. They enjoy running in the yard.

Living in Covington Township with the Coleman family, Cole and Takoda love the outdoors. Takoda is a Certified Therapy Dog and Cole is a Canine Good Citizen.




Ozzy lives in Jefferson Township with the Ferguson family. He gets along well with his two big sisters and is a rescue.

Winston lives in Hop Bottom with the Escandel family. He is a true gentleman, they claim!

The Castro family of Scranton report that Yoda loves eating, sleeping and spending time with his dad.

November 2023


Thankful for Good Health


hanksgiving is the kickoff to our holiday season. Classic images come to mind. Many of us probably think ‘feast.’ The smell of turkey in the oven and freshly baked pies bring us a sense of comfort; food often does! Gatherings usually center around food and drinks and traditions. With this celebrating also comes extra calories and a pound or five gained. I could provide you with some reduced-fat and low calorie recipes but I would bet that most would rather not sacrifice tastiness and time-honored recipes for the extra calories. I therefore advise my clients to enjoy the treasured gatherings with family, friends and delicious food and instead, I offer tips on how to avoid a big jump on the scale.

enjoying cheat/treats 20%. Thanksgiving week is very busy with shopping, cleaning and prepping. Plan to have healthy options leading up to Thanksgiving Day.

Most importantly, eat healthy choices and stay active throughout the entire month. Stick with the 80/20 rule which means eating nutritious choices 80% of the time and 88

Jackie with her ch Kevin, Carley, Ky ildren, from left to right, le and Nicholas

Shoot for lower carbs and fats and higher protein. Plan to eat a good breakfast Thanksgiving morning, such as eggs, Greek yogurt or a protein shake. This will boost energy levels and help to keep metabolism up for the day. It also will avoid that “starving” feeling before dinner time. Then, at dinner, load up your plate with veggies. There are so many delicious, colorful vegetables this time of year. Save “seconds” for later. Drink lots of water. Amongst the many benefits of drinking water, it aids in digestion. And so importantly, stay active! At the Training Loft, I have been doing a fun workout on Thanksgiving morning for the last several years. If this is something you can fit in, join us! Exercising in the morning gives you energy throughout the day. You can also get out and go for a walk either once the turkey is in the oven or after dinner. There will be plenty of time to then sit back and watch football.

Personal Training Semi Private Training Small Group Training Nutrition Coaching Guided Meditation Smoothie Bar Jackie Kerekes, Owner NASM CPT, NASM FNS 513 S. State St., Village Square Clarks Summit, PA


Enjoy your Thanksgiving! In good health, Jackie H –Jackie Kerekes

November 2023


Hard Work and Dedication

Overcomes Hurdles


my Filanowski was recently inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame. She has set records and earned many medals in track and field in both high school and college. Born in Bradenton, Florida, Amy’s family moved to Drums when she was 5 years old. She began playing many sports, starting with T-ball. Later softball, basketball, swimming and cheerleading were included. Her main focuses in middle school were basketball and track and field. She set records, finishing the 200-meter dash in 27.4 seconds as well as scoring a 34'1" in the triple jump. She also shares a record in the junior high jump of 5'2'' with her sister, Kayla. Entering Hazleton Area High School, Amy played volleyball then added basketball and track and field soon after. She earned seven gold medals when she became seven-time District 2 AAA Champion in the high jump, triple jump, long jump and 30090

meter hurdles. She earned five silver medals when she became a District 2 AAA runner-up in the triple jump and 300-meter hurdles. Competing with many other girls in high schools all across Pennsylvania, Amy finished sixth in high jump at the PIAA Class AAA Championships in 2006. Two years later, she came in third for the same event. She accumulated 781 points throughout her high school career. Her coaches named her Freshman of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Senior of the Year. She credits Coach Frank Barletta, who was her track and field coach for all four years. "I greatly appreciated all of the help and opportunities that he gave me to succeed as much as I did," she said. What Amy loved best about track and field in high school was taking control of her own success. "It took a lot of hard work, and I also had some natural talent that made competing fun," she said. "I also will cherish

all of the friendships that I made." In high school basketball, Amy was a starter during her sophomore, junior and senior year. She became a three-time honorable mention WVC (Wyoming Valley Conference) all-star. She earned the WVC Woman Scholar Athlete Award as well as the Chris Clifford Scholar Athletic Award. She thanks her coach Joe Gavio for giving her the opportunity to play varsity during her freshman year. Amy then participated in both indoor and outdoor track and field at Bucknell University, where she double majored in education and animal behavior. She set the indoor high jump record at the time by clearing 5'8'' and the outdoor high jump by clearing 5'7". Amy enjoyed the competitive atmosphere that went with playing at a high level. She also loved to test herself each week. She believed that her team had a strong sense of team spirit and camaraderie. November 2023

Misericordia University. She is currently an assistant coach at Muhlenberg College. Amy and her husband, Brian, moved to Orefield in the summer of 2020. Their son Blake was born this past July.

“We were the most spirited of the league by far, and I formed such close bonds with some of my teammates that have lasted over a decade,” she said. After graduation from Bucknell University, Amy became an assistant track and field coach at Kutztown University. There, she coached 28 program top- ten performances including the high jump, long jump, triple jump, hurdles, and the multi events on both the men's and women's teams. She coached 2021

Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Ashlee Ward, to indoor and outdoor NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) on the high jump. “Coaching Ashlee to those two national titles is one of the biggest highlights of my career,” said Amy. Amy was an assistant track and field coach at many institutions in her career, such as Allegheny College, Bucknell University and

Amy felt a deep sense of pride and accomplishment when she was inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame. "It's a recognition of my hard work, dedication and achievements in the sports that I competed in," she said. “I also feel grateful for the support I received from family, friends, mentors and colleagues throughout my career. They say it takes a village, and I truly believe that and recognize all of the people who helped me reach this milestone.” H – Ben Freda

Home of all your favorite “Office” gear!

701 N. Washington Ave. • Scranton, PA • 570-346-6883 • November 2023


Space Time Mead & Cider Works


an Schreffler owner at Space Time Mead & Cider Works, an urban micro-winery in Dunmore, is celebrating five years of his second career. He refers to himself now as “Dan 2.0,” the updated version of a former IT director with a 26 year career at Metropolitan Insurance. After surviving a bout with colon cancer in 2010, he is fulfilling his desire of now working in a soul-satisfying, adamantly locally-supportive and environmentally-conscious new career. This came after having put to rest a few decades of a rewarding, financially gratifying yet extremely demanding corporate career.

The company name, Space Time Mead & Cider Works suggests an intriguing and detail-rich background story. “I’m like a time traveler bringing this beverage back,” said Dan. As a self-proclaimed nerd or geek, Dan’s

early interest in science and fiction was deepened by being a gamer, having an interest in nuclear engineering, and a passion for topics such as Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Renaissance Fairs. Dan hails originally from West Hazleton and received his higher education at Penn State Scranton. A resident of Dunmore for several decades, locating his operation in an old building in Dunmore checked off several items on his sustainability checklist. Dan’s business actually began as a side hobby about 17 years ago. He did quite well developing drinks that he and his friends couldn’t find in stores or bars… and always contemplated turning his hobby into a business. He spent a year apprenticing where he was allowed to experiment and learn before committing to his own commercial business. “People buy wines for a place and time to enjoy – engagement proposals, family celebrations or just kicking back on the patio. We want to have a wine for that moment and place. Wine is always about place and time,” he said. While the use of honey may suggest something sweet, mead can also be dry and a perfect dinner pairing, refreshing and light for drinking on its own or full bodied and sweet for winding down at the end of an evening. “Locally sourced honey is the foundation of almost all of our meads,” said Dan.


November 2023

“I’m a time traveler, bringing this beverage back…” “We source the real fruit, honey, maple syrup as local as possible. As the only PA Preferred Winery in NEPA, we have committed to sourcing our ingredients from Pennsylvania whenever possible. The majority of our ingredients come from within 50 miles away,” he said. “Just like grapes, honey has different flavors and aromas based on the time of year,” he said. “Similar to how you can have sweet grape juice and make dry wines, mead is no different. By changing the water to honey ratio, we make meads that are dry and perfect for food pairing. We also make semi dry, semi sweet, sweet and dessert sweet offerings. So no matter what you like, we’ll have something for you,” Dan said. For everything there is a season. Space Time’s cider is only made in the late fall, early winter. Cider is made from the fermented juice of apples (apple wine) or pears (perry, pear wine). Hard cider refers to the nonalcoholic apple juice (called cider in the US) fermented into alcohol. Space Time offers a selection of dryer and non-carbonated ciders making for refreshing compliments to foods or on their own. These ciders can be a lower alcohol alternative to a nice off dry grape wine. “We get our apple/pear juice only during the harvest. The last juice goes into the tanks in late December,” said Dan. The cider is not brewed but made in a process similar to making grape wine. Approximately 30 varieties of ciders are offered. Having reached the critical five year mark that can often predict the success of a new venture, Space Time has reached profitability and has made a name for itself within the November 2023

industry, having been awarded coveted commercial awards from renowned delegations. But the most important aspect of the business for Dan is creating intriguing and enjoyable products and experiences for the individual, particularly, the curious and passionate ones, through organic growth. While he does not offer food or a large tasting room (only eight can be accommodated at one time) several nearby dining options are perfect for a meal following the tastings. “We prefer a more focused interaction with our customers, finding something the customer likes, as opposed to large groups,” Dan said. Space Time offers samplings and bottle sales, with shipping options as well.

100% renewable energy as available and strive for zero waste. Every choice we make considers the full life cycle of the material. We choose natural cork and paper bags, both of which can easily be reused or recycled. We also initiated a bottle reuse program offering $0.20 for each empty and rinsed bottle of our products. We will then clean, sanitize and reuse. Reuse has both environmental and cost saving benefits than recycling,” he said. One could say that the mission of Space Time has been accomplished; the journey has been successful. Time travelers and curious palettes now have an infinite or “astronomical” number of tasteful possibilities that are created in a tiny operation, in a small unassuming business on S. Blakely Street in Dunmore. 570-504-5758 H

With fans from around the planet stopping by, the journey of Space Time has been one-ofa-kind. Keeping with the space theme, employees are termed “crew members.” “We’re making worldclass, ‘far out’ stuff right here in Dunmore,” Dan said. “I want everyone who comes in here to be blown away. And I have witnessed it happen.” “Ours is a product of nature, needing clean water, bees that produce honey, insects that pollenate, plants that flavor and wildlife that makes life that much more enjoyable. We use


The Dish...

on regional restaurant favorites

Abbiocco Chicken Scarpariello Chicken grilled with sweet Italian sausage, onions, thinly sliced potatoes and the unique flavor of bell and hot cherry peppers, in a white wine sauce.

Alter House Wood Fire Grilled Prime Pork Chop Indulge in this renowned pork chop dish, showcasing a perfectly wood fire grilled, mouthwatering prime chop paired with an array of seasonal farm-fresh accompaniments, ensuring a delightful and satisfying culinary journey. This dish will “Alter” your dining experience.

Cooper’s Seafood The Best Darn Mussels Experience pure oceanic bliss with Coopers’ Mediterranean mussels simmered in wine, garlic, shallots, bacon, capers and fresh parsley. Grace your palate with this delicious fall seafood symphony!

ients: Ingred a kielbas ces 1 pound to 1/2 inch pie in d e c sli oes 6 potat arrots f baby c o s 1 cup d onion choppe 1/2 cup elery opped c 1 cup ch broth hicken 2 cups c ) ater s (28 oz 1 cup w omatoe t d e h s f cru 1 can o d garlic anulate 1 tsp gr il eet bas 1 tsp sw pper 2 tsp pe







Kielbasa Stew, From Bosak’s Combine all ingredients in stock pot and cook until vegetables are tender. Sometimes we add zucchini and yellow squash Place in slow cooker and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low-for 6 hours. Enjoy!

November’s Blessings

Award Winning Store Made Kielbasi Black Angus Choice Beef Variety of Store-Made Sausage Pork, Poultry, Lamb & Veal Full Variety of Deli Meats & Store Made Salads

512 S Main Street Old Forge, PA • 570-343-8777 November 2023

16 First Place Awards!

524 Burke By-Pass, Olyphant • 570 383-5260


Hot Chocolate/ Egg Nog Bar

Eggnog is Available November 10 thru January 1

To increase the holiday spirit at your home or office, set up a hot chocolate station. Add candy canes, marshmallows, sprinkles and whipped creme. Local treats from My Mother’s Delicacies (rugelach and specialty cookies) and a punch bowl with Mannings’ egg nog and scoops of ice cream will leave guests wishing that everyday was a holiday.

We are a local dairy that milks our own cows and bottles our milk every day! No added RBST (bovine growth hormone)

Farm 563-1702 Dunmore 207-0405 Clarks Summit 586-1288 Meadow Ave. Scr. 961-1645 Main Ave. W. Scr. 558-1680 Holiday ice cream cakes and ice cream pies - all locations

Call & Order NOW for the Holidays! Corporate Gifts Available Featuring Fresh, Gourmet European Style Rugelach, Specialty Cookies and More! Exquisite Baskets • Party Platters • Gift Tins High Quality Tradition Attention to Detail

Celebrating 35 Years! 570-343-5266 ext.1 FAX: 570-961-8861

We Ship UPS Anywhere!

302 Cherry Street • Scranton, PA 18505 • 570-343-5266 ext. 1

November 2023








Easy Creamy Whipped Mashed Potatoes


3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered (8-10 medium potatoes) 1 cup milk (preferably whole milk; add a little more sparingly if needed when whipping) 4 tablespoons butter (or more, to taste) salt and ground black pepper to taste


ashed potatoes are one of America’s favorite comfort foods. Although simple to prepare, we are sometimes very disappointed with the results when we serve them. What causes mashed potatoes to be sticky and lumpy? Whether you realize it or not, the kind of potatoes that are used is key. Here are some tips to ensure creamy, whipped potatoes.

Directions Choose correct potato — Idaho and Russet potatoes are the best because they are starchy and produce that perfect light and fluffy texture when mashed, soaking up the milk and the butter. Yukon Gold potatoes are more flavorful, but do not mash very well. You can add a few Yukon Gold to your Idaho and/or Russet potatoes for the perfect blend.

Prep potato — Scrub potatoes before peeling. Remove any “eyes” (the little brown spots that are left on the potato after peeling). Do not use a potato if there is any green on the skin. Cut potatoes to approximately the same size so they cook at the same rate. Cook potato — Place potatoes in a pot of cold salted water (enough water to cover potatoes) and bring to a boil so they cook evenly to prevent lumps. Potatoes cook best when they are boiled gently, not vigorously. Reduce the heat and simmer. Keep the lid off the pan when cooking to monitor the boil until potatoes are tender (approx. 15-20 minutes). Fork should easily pierce potato. When done, drain well to prevent them from getting soggy. Return back to pot over low heat for 2 minutes to “steam off” remaining water. Heat milk and butter — When potatoes are almost finished, heat butter and milk together until the butter is melted and the milk is steaming. Whip potatoes - Mix gently, stopping as soon as the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Overmixing can result in sticky potatoes. You can use a potato masher if you prefer but potatoes will not be as whipped or creamy. Season to taste. Serve with gravy and extra butter on top. Serves 6-8 people depending on portion size. Variations — Add Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese, Chives, Rosemary, Thyme and/or Bacon for additional flavor.

Compliments of JoAnn Marianelli Finnerty Bella Faccias

Dining around the Region Abbiocco 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. 570-319-9633. Alter House Restaurant & Bar Introducing a farm-to-table restaurant with a vibrant ambiance! Enjoy our delectable cuisine made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Join us for a lively happy hour, indulge in our delightful Sunday brunch, and groove to live entertainment. Our versatile venue is perfect for hosting events. Open Thursday through

Sunday for your enjoyment! 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. 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. 570-842-2070.

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. 570-346-3172. Stirna’s 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. 570-961-9681.

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