If Scranton looks different than it did 25 years ago, Scranton Tomorrow has something to do with that.
The nonprofit group — which partners with organizations, businesses and volunteers throughout the city to work as a catalyst for change — celebrates its silver anniversary this year.
To mark the occasion, a cocktail party and celebration will take place tonight, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave. Tickets are $50 and are for sale in advance online at scrantontomorrow.org and at the door.
“It’s a way to come out for everything that’s grown and changed in the city in the past 25 years,” said Laurie Cadden, who co-chairs the event with Randy Williams. “It’s going to be a fabulous night.”
The night will include a short program and honor past volunteers. Cocktail hour runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and then gourmet dinner stations will open from 7 to 9. Guests can enjoy an open bar and entertainment by Picture Perfect Singers and DJ Edwin.
The organization has a lot to celebrate, noted board member and past president Andrea Mulrine. Scranton Tomorrow started in 1992 to implement and develop initiatives to make the city a better place to live, work and enjoy, she said. For more than 20 years, the organization acted as a liaison between downtown businesses and the city.
The creation of public access channel ECTV continues to be a paramount moment in Scranton Tomorrow’s history, Mulrine said, as it made local government proceedings available to everyone. 
The group also is responsible for implementing dozens of initiatives, such as facade grants to local business Horizon Dental, the annual CityPride cleanup, maintenance of planters and street islands, and relighting the Electric City sign atop Electric Building (with the help of UNICO Scranton, which supplied the bulbs).
Scranton Tomorrow’s events include the Downtown Drive-In Movie Series on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, the Holiday Window Showcase, Winter in the City cocktail parties, Small Business Saturday, Scranton’s 150th Birthday Celebration and the original First Night, a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.
Incoming president and city business owner Joshua Mast said Scranton Tomorrow’s role in driving people downtown for events and activities makes up part of its mission.
“We want people to come into downtown and know there’s always something going on, that it’s safe and that they can have a great, fun night in Scranton,” said Mast, a longtime board member. “Downtown should be a destination for everyone, and Scranton Tomorrow, along with its partnerships, have continued to do that.”
While the night looks back on the past 25 years, it also celebrates the future, with Scranton Tomorrow taking on a new role as the city’s downtown economic development partner.
The first initiative in its goal of creating a Business Improvement District is transforming a vacant lot at Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street into a pocket park. Scranton Tomorrow will partner with local organizations and government on the project.
“This organization has evolved — and continues to evolve — due to this community’s support and our great partnerships with businesses and organizations,” executive director Leslie Collins said. “Now, as (Scranton Tomorrow) assumes our new role, we’re all working toward the same goal. … It’s like we have a new energy. This is an exciting time for us.”

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