YMCA to hold Halloween party

The Greater Scranton YMCA is inviting families from across the community to celebrate Halloween this month.

The Hoot & Howl Halloween Party will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the YMCA, 709 N. Blakely St., Dunmore. The event will feature a costume contest, DJ, magician, Family Haunted Walk, refreshments and more.

“We are thrilled to offer a free Halloween event at our facility that welcomes all members of our community,” said Trish Fisher, president and CEO. “Following more than a year of social distancing and disruptions to seasonal celebrations, we are proud to provide children and families with some excitement.”

Children of all ages are welcome. Costumes are optional. While pre-registration is not required, it is preferred. For more information or to RSVP, contact Brandon Whipple, health and wellness director, at bwhipple@greaterscrantonymca.org or 570-828-3116.

Health provider plans pumpkin painting



The Wright Center for Community Health will host children’s activities for the fall season and offer important information about the services they offer on Oct. 21 from 2-5:30 p.m. at the Carbondale Farmers Market, 185 Fallbrook St.

The Wright Center for Community Health will set up its information and activities table in the Fallbrook Healthy Aging Center. A pumpkin-painting activity will be provided to all children that attend the market.

Market shoppers will also receive free merchandise and information about health care services.

“The Carbondale Farmers Market is a perfect opportunity for The Wright Center to engage with community members of all ages and reinforce the health care services we provide at eight regional clinics,” said Allision LaRussa, the director of health humanities at The Wright Center. “We will be creative with our pumpkins and other crafts, while highlighting the important role art can play in our daily lives.”

The Wright Center for Community Health also participated in the grand opening of the farmers market in September. The market is open year-round on Thursdays.

Bluegrass concert planned

The Forest City Area Historical Society is hosting an evening of music featuring the talented bluegrass team Spare Parts from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Historical Society Museum, 629 Main St.

Spare Parts is a traditional bluegrass band, formed over 30 years ago, by New York state bluegrass legend Gene Clayton. After his passing in 2017, the members in his band decided to continue to carry on his legacy.

Josh Sudigalais a young master guitarist/singer/songwriter. He is one half of the the bluegrass duo “Cavage and Sudigala,” and has also played with “The Hickory Project.” His blazing solos and rock solid rhythm are sure to delight. With roots in traditional bluegrass and a vision to the new bluegrass movement, Josh is surely a guitarist to watch, according to a press release.

Don Hardic is a long time mandolin player and singer. His powerful voice, driving rhythm, and melodic solos are a key to Spare Parts’ traditional bluegrass sound. He spent the majority of his bluegrass career playing in churches and, for the last decade, as the mandolin player for Spare Parts.

Bill Kerchner has played banjo and bluegrass music for more than 40 years. With an ear to the traditional bluegrass, he is one of the best-known banjo players throughout eastern Pennsylvania. He played with the band “Country Grass,” for many years, and his solid Scruggs-style banjo playing is sure to keep audiences everywhere entertained.

Tom Honeyford started playing bass just a few years ago, and within that short time, has becoming one of the most solid bassists around. With his straight on, hard driving rhythm, spare parts is happy to have him, keeping the band in time.

While at the Spare Parts concert, attendees can view the many historical items and history of the Forest City regional area. The Forest City Area Historical Society Museum is handicapped-accessible and air-conditioned.

There is no admission charge for this concert, however, donations will be accepted.

Local business in venture contest

A Jessup business is among several in a statewide contest for $15,000 in start-up money.

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania will host its 18th annual Ben Franklin Venture Idol on Nov. 9. A cross between Shark Tank and American Idol, the technology entrepreneurs will earn their way through the selection process. The three selected there will briefly pitch their start-up companies to investors and attendees. Audience members will “invest” 100 “Ben Bucks” among the companies.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

will later award a total of $15,000 to the companies based on the crowd-funded audience vote.

Jessup-based Precision POS is one of the contestants this year. According to a press release, Precision POS is a complete software solution for restaurants that provides technology solutions that help optimize and grow the brand. Whether a client is replacing its legacy system or building a new IT infrastructure, Precision POS has intelligent responses to all of its clients’ restaurant technology needs in a non-fragmented way. Its goal is to completely revolutionize the restaurant-related software industry. Precision POS supports and manages the business and consumer-facing technology for clients.

Six other companies will participate in the contest.

The event will also include a keynote panel discussion, “The Changing Face of Investing in Technology Companies.” To attend this free, virtual event, visit ventureidol.ticketmambo.com/.

Johnson College gets grant

Community briefs

Johnson College has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, managed by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. From left, Dr. Katie Leonard, president and CEO, Johnson College; Karen Baker, senior director of college advancement; Cathy Fitzpatrick, grants and scholarships manager, The Scranton Area Foundation; and Jack Nogi, trustee, Robert H. Spitz Foundation.

Johnson College has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, managed by the Scranton Area Community Foundation to support the college’s Animal Care Clinic and pet owners in our community.

Johnson College will purchase medical equipment that will help enhance the safety and comfort of patients receiving surgical care, according to a press release. The grant will give Johnson College veterinary nursing program students valuable clinical experience preparing them to enter into the workforce or advance their careers.

As many people struggle to feed their families every week, family pets, while loved dearly, are not always updated on vaccines and spay/neuter procedures until finances are available. This grant will help these families take proper care of and responsibility for their pets by providing up to 20 reduced-cost spay/neuter surgeries for qualifying low-income families. The grant will also provide low-cost rabies vaccines.

Johnson College’s veterinary nursing program prepares students to join an animal care team as entry-level technicians. Their tasks can include collecting samples, performing lab tests, taking radiographs, preparing the surgical suite, assisting in surgery, monitoring anesthesia, and providing general nursing care to patients. The American Veterinary Medical Association accredits the program. Students become certified veterinary technicians upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam.

“Through this grant, we are excited to give low-income pet-owning families peace of mind that their pet is cared for without incurring financial hardships,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, president and CEO of Johnson College. “Equipment purchased will help our Veterinary Nursing Program students with the hands-on training they need to pass their national exams and enter the workforce.”

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