Official graphic for NEPA Strong.

Official graphic for NEPA Strong.

Just four months after forming a group to help local businesses and community members during the coronavirus pandemic, Kristen Miller-Hahn of Jermyn is planning an ambitious fundraiser to further their mission.

NEPA Strong Small Business and Community Support is an online initiative formed March 13 when the stay-at-home orders started locally, said Miller-Hahn, the group’s founder. Since then, the group has been involved in events to support local businesses, identify and recognize community members through daily features and help locals through givebacks and community outreach.

“To continue to promote the group’s mission and provide support to NEPA local businesses, we decided to host an event to further promote and raise awareness of the amazing businesses in our community,” she said in an email this week.

With limitations on gatherings still in effect, the group worked with the Downtown Pittston Partnership, Art e Fekts gallery in Pittston and more than 80 local businesses to host a 24-hour Christmas in July virtual auction and raffles on July 26 on NEPA Strong’s Facebook page.

“The list of items continues to grow and already includes commitments from some of the area’s finest in apparel, food and beverage, music, photography and more,” Miller-Hahn said.

One hundred percent proceeds from the online benefit will help local businesses affected by COVID-19. All donations for the auction must be dropped off or scheduled for pickup by Wednesday.

Some of the businesses involved are Armetta’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Booyah Burgers & Bites in Clarks Summit, Chic Somethings Boutique, Electric City Bakehouse, Longworth’s Family Restaurant, Case Quattro Winery, Michele’s Sugar Shack, Osborne Specailities, Otown Craft House, Happy Valley, Lucchi Family Wine Cellars, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Leo’s Delacat, Texas Roadhouse, Pittston Popcorn Co, 8 Count Dance Wear and World Wide Crafting.

For a full list of businesses and items available in the auction visit the NEPA Strong Facebook group. For more information on how to donate email Kristen Miller Hahn at nepastrong@gmail.com or join the group.

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