While the butterfly has been perfecting the art of being a beach bum the last two weeks, activities and news in The 570 haven’t missed a beat. From Wilkes-Barre to Scranton to the Poconos, our friends have been out and about in full force.
Our first stop is in the Diamond City. The Kirby Center’s Director of Marketing and Sales Will Beekman was schmoozing with a living legend: Tony Bennett. The star hosted a Meet and Greet for fans while he was in town. “He was a very gracious man,” Beekman said. “He made you feel like you were talking to the average person on the street, even though we all knew we were in the presence of a living legend.” The Meet and Greet included about 20 guests who had the chance to get a picture with Bennett and enjoy a brief conversation with him. “He requested that each guest be personally introduced to him so he could know more about whom he was speaking with.” His only request for his dressing room was to be able to watch the Yankees game on T.V., and at the end of the night, he asked Kirby Center staff if they would like to take a photo with him. “Normally, we are the ones doing the requesting, but not on this night,” Beekman said. “He was total class.”
Another high note comes to us from our friends at the Osterhout Free Library. Staff and volunteers are planning one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, the Rooftop Party on top of the Intermodal Parking Facility in the city’s downtown. The party will be held on Aug. 10, and will feature food, beverages and live music. We’re pleased to report that live entertainment will be provided by The Sperazza Band, who are generously donating their time to the event.
When it comes to supporting the Osterhout, the community really does love its library. We heard their annual Book Sale was a smashing success. Among those perusing the offerings on opening day were organizers Veronica Buzinkai, Diane Martindale and Dorothy Carr, plus book lovers Chef Kate Gabriele, Shawn Murphy, Bridget Giunta-Husted, Beth Shechner, Florence Gratz, along with Rick Miller, Alissa Lukasavage and Christopher Kelly, from the Osterhout Library, just to name a few.
And while we’re on the subject of supporting the library, it’s worth mentioning our friends from the Whirligig Hoopers who recently hosted an event to raise funds for the Osterhout’s Early Literacy Program. More than 100 people attended O, Jabberwocky, A Hoop Spectacular, raising $1,200. Congratulations to Jenny Hill, Susan Anderson and their team of happy hoopers for a fundraising job well done.
Speaking of fundraisers and good deeds, here’s a shout out to Megan Alpert, who was crowned the dancing queen of the latest installment of Dancing With the NEPA Stars at the Scranton Cultural Center (SCC). Alpert faced some tough competition from Terry Barrett. Both volunteered their time for a good cause, as each vote they generated put another dollar in the fund to support the SCC.
While we were mixing it up in the ballroom during Dancing With the NEPA Stars, we were sad to hear rumblings of a certain Cultural Center staff member leaving the area. We were hoping it was just an ugly rumor that our sweet Jessica Lucas was moving, but it is indeed true. And we can’t blame her when we heard her reasoning: she is moving to Ohio to be with her fiancé. We’ll so miss you, Jessica, but we are happy for you and wish you all the best. Please, don’t forget your peeps in Scranton!
From Scranton to the Poconos, you should be pleased to know there are warriors among us. Twenty thousand people recently turned out to participate in the Warrior Dash at Long Pond, including a team from Luzerne County — Chris Roberts, Matt Franckowiak and a trio of Dudicks – Ed, Brian and Jason – who were clearly in it to win it. The dash included an extreme 5K run with obstacles. Six hundred people started at a time, every 30 minutes, throughout two days. When we say extreme — we aren’t kidding. There were 13 obstacles placed along a 3.38 mile course that included balance beams, 20’ tall vertical climbing walls, stream crossings, cargo net climbs, fire pits to jump over and a 2.5 deep mud pit with barbed wire that runners crawled through. It may sound crazy, but it was a lot of fun for all those who dared to dash.
Whew. We’re exhausted just from hearing about it.
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