Carbondale gears up for Christmas ball

Carbondale is getting a head start on the holiday spirit with their 19th annual Pioneer City Christmas Ball on Dec. 3.

Over the last 16 years, the ball has raised more than $210,000 to area organizations ranging from the Red Cross and the American Cancer Society to the Carbondale Police K-9 unit and Friends of the Forgotten. This year proceeds from the eventl will go to The Greater Carbondale YMCA, Carbondale Area Unified Sports Teams, the Carbondale Public Library and Forest City Lettermen’s Club.

Held at the Hotel Anthracite in downtown Carbondale, the ball will feature cocktails and hors d’ouevres starting at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and an open bar and dancing from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. The Jeffery James Band will provide entertainment. Tickets are $100 a person or $150 a couple.

The ball will also feature $100,000 in prize drawings, including a grand prize of $2,500, according to the organizing committee. For more information, visit Pioneer Ball Carbondale Pa on Facebook or call Brian Durkin at 570-499-5445 or; Bill Farber Jr. at 570-262-5853 or or Michele Bannon at 570-351-5607 or

YMCA gearing up for Giving Tuesday

A local nonprofit is hoping to benefit from a new global holiday tradition:

Giving Tuesday.

On Nov. 30, charities and nonprofits around the world will focus on raising

money to further their work. Locally, the Greater Scranton YMCA is one of many charities participating.

“The Greater Scranton YMCA is proud to turn no one away for an inability to pay,” said Trish Fisher, president and CEO of the Greater Scranton YMCA. “Annually, we award hundreds of thousands of dollars to low-income children, adults and families from our community, allowing them to benefit from all the Y has to offer. Funds raised for our year-end appeal will allow us to continue fulfilling our mission.”

There’s also a way to get more bang for your donation buck. As part of the Greater Scranton YMCA’s fundraising efforts, the nonprofit will participate in AllOne Charities’ GivingTuesday Match Day initiative. From Thanksgiving through Dec. 1 at 4 p.m., AllOne Charities will match contributions participating organizations raise up to $1,000. Donations can be made on AllOne Charities’ GivingTuesday donation form or mailed to 83 East Union St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. Checks must be made payable to AllOne Charities.

For more information or for questions on how to donate to the Greater Scranton or participate in AllOne Charities’ Match Day, contact Meghan Carnevale, mission advancement and marketing director, at

or 570-828-3113.

Jermyn celebrates Veterans Day

Jermyn residents remembered its veterans on Nov. 11 with a special ceremony at the borough’s World War I Veterans Park.

Commander of William J. Griffiths American Legion Post No. 465 Fred Jones led the ceremony program. The Lakeland School District band, directed by Molly Host, began the ceremony with their rendition of military anthems for each branch of service. Nicholas Mattise, post member and a World War II veteran led the Pledge of Allegiance. Christine McGeachie, a longtime member of Jermyn’s Saints James and George Episcopal Church choir, sang the National Anthem.

The Honor Guard was the Artisan Fire Company members served as honor guard, along with representatives from the Crystal Fire Company.

The Jermyn tradition of the tolling of the town’s five church bells and sounding of the fire siren at 11 a.m. was continued. That signifies the Armistice Day signing, ending World War I. Attendees also observed a moment of silence for fallen veterans.

Earl Granville served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. The retired Army staff sergeant served nine years in the Army National Guard as an infantryman, with deployments in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. On his final tour, he lost his left leg through the knee to a roadside bomb while on patrol. He has received many awards, including the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Purple Heart. Granville is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree in counseling and human services at the University of Scranton. He works for many nonprofits, including Operation Enduring Warrior, The Oscar Mike Foundation and Warrior Strong.

Also at the ceremony, the American Legion’s Richard Muhleisen led the Soldiers Prayer and Jones read of the Roll Call of the Fallen followed with three-gun salute and Taps. The Lakeland School District Chorus, directed by Bryan Brophy, sang “Amazing Grace.” To end the program, the Lakeland Chorus sang “God Bless America” and the Lakeland Band played patriotic songs with the Retiring of the Colors.

The Veterans Day Ceremony was sponsored and prepared by the William J. Griffiths American Legion Post No. 465, Jermyn Shade Tree Commission and Events Committee.

Wright Center to host Christmas events

The Wright Center for Community Health is combining holiday tradition and spirit with an important public health initiative in December to ensure every family member in Northeast Pennsylvania can safely celebrate the joyous holiday season.

“Pictures with Santa,” will enable children of all ages to carefully recite their wish list to the jolly old elf, as parents snap pictures of the treasured moment and participate in one of the vaccine clinics.

The Wright Center will be offering the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children, ages 5-11, with their parent’s permission, and vaccines for adults.

The holiday-themed events will be available free to the public at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, on Dec. 3 from 2-5:30 p.m., and Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, on Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The pediatric Pfizer vaccine will be available at both vaccination clinics. The Moderna vaccine will be administered at the Scranton Practice and the Mid Valley Practice will have the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people who are 12 and older.

To schedule a vaccine appointment at the Scranton or Mid Valley practices, visit and click on the “make an appointment” link at the top center of the page and follow the directions.

The vaccine clinic will be available simultaneously at both locations during “Pictures with Santa.” Parents can choose to have their children vaccinated before visiting Santa or after the annual tradition. COVID-19 masking will be required for everyone who participates in the event.

“Vaccination is the best tool to keep ourselves and our children safe from COVID-19,” said Geraldine McAndrew, the director of patient and community engagement “We carry our mission directly into the communities we serve, and hope to take the opportunity to encourage children and families to get vaccinated.”

To reserve a time for a photo with Santa, please call McAndrew at 570-267-4199 or email

Local students studying leadership

Leadership Lackawanna’s youth program, Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, recently met for its first session, which included an orientation, leadership basics, ice breakers and interactive sessions including a silent disco and tour around downtown Scranton.

Leadership Lackawanna’s seven-month Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program develops the leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills of high school juniors while giving them an enhanced understanding of northeastern Pennsylvania as well as the opportunity to explore teamwork. Participants learn collaborative decision making, explore different communication styles and engage in problem solving techniques. The challenges and opportunities of northeastern Pennsylvania are discussed as participants meet community leaders and other high school students.

Local students participating are: Colleen Blockberger, Dunmore High School; Carson Bushta, Valley View High School; Maya Chorba, Valley View High School; Audrey Cobb, Carbondale Area Jr/Sr High School; Abby Drozdick, Valley View High School; Sanliya George, Dunmore High School; Nina Ghirelli, Lakeland Jr/Sr High School; Adam Howanitz, Valley View High School; Edward Kaufman, Mid Valley High School; Lucas Kotcho, Valley View High School; Ayman Mounota, Dunmore High School; Julia Murphy, Carbondale Area Jr/Sr High School; Ethan Roberts, Lakeland Jr/Sr High School; and Morgan Seamon, Dunmore High School.