Need a summer job? NWNEPA needs a VISTA

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is looking for a full-time temporary staffer (eight weeks) to play a key role in our Home Matters Repair Initiative and Community Impact Survey. Click the link below for full details on a rewarding service-oriented summer experience:

I’m interested in becoming a VISTA for NWNEPA

Apply now for NeighborWorks Week 2017 help

 

We’re gearing up for NeighborWorks Week 2017!

In 2010, NWNEPA established a weeklong event through a partnership with Group Cares Inc. to help bring free volunteer repair services to homeowners in underserved communities throughout Lackawanna County.

This year, NWNEPA will be serving the East Scranton, Jermyn and Mayfield communities through this special, volunteer-driven event, which will take place the weekend of July 21-24, 2017.

If you or someone you know in these communities are in need of home repair and improvements, please review the Homeowner Qualifications and complete a Home Matters ™ Repair Application.  For more information or questions about this event and our application process, please contact Ellen Holden, Volunteer and Office Coordinator, at 570-558-2490.

 

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Over The Edge 2017 a smashing success on June 2-3!

Cheryl Connolly of 2017 ropes sponsor Geisinger shows us how rappelling for a cause is done — with a huge smile on your face!

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES AT THE BEST ROOFTOP PARTY IN NEPA!

Click here for our Over The Edge 2017 Video Slideshow!

Sky-high excitement returned to The Electric City on June 2 and 3 as NWNEPA brought the second annual Over The Edge Scranton: A Rappelling Adventure event back to Bank Towers in downtown Scranton.

Katie Berlin of Fox 56 went Over The Edge with us this year.

We once again sent almost 50 rappellers off the roof of the tallest building in the city as we celebrated their charitable accomplishment of raising at least $1000 apiece to help their neighbors in need, specifically those trying to age in place.

Thanks to the success of the event, 50 homeowners in need will receive help with home modifications or repairs this summer. The event itself raised more than $58,000, with individuals, teams, sponsors and donors all contributing to the months-long effort. For final results, visit www.crowdrise.com/neighborworksnepa.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our two-time presenting sponsor, Gibbons Ford, which sent company representatives to speak at and attend the event as well as a team of rappellers Over The Edge, and to returning sponsor, Geisinger, which this year became a ropes sponsor with The Geisinger Health Plan and sent a team of six Over The Edge.

The event also was supported by several other generous sponsors, including Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, The Perry Law Firm, Charles W. Grimm Construction Inc., Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Citizens Savings Bank, NeighborWorks America, The Hilton Scranton and The Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

This year’s expanded streetfest also was especially memorable, and we are most grateful to the local businesses that took part in turning the 300 block of Spruce Street into an adventure zone on a beautiful pre-summer day: NEPA Cornhole/TJ Griffith and Backyard Ale House/Patrick Nasser; American Grill in Exeter and owners Shaun and Trista Cruz; Jeff Swire and The Can Cuddler; Captain Don’s Chilly Willy, LuLaRoe Katie Lane; and Holy Cross High School in Dunmore, which sent a team of cheerleaders and coaches to add excitement to the event.

Special thanks also go out to:

  • Voyager Video and Lindsay Barrasse and David Corigliano, who filmed the event over three days and provided excellent promotional footage.
  • Access Aerial and Lee DeAngelis and John Culkin, who provided incomparable aerial photography.
  • Mike Walton Productions/Pulsations DJs
  • The Scranton Police Department and Scranton Fire Department, which provided plenty of logistics help as well as human capital in the form of ropes volunteers.
  • Coca-Cola and Melissa Getz, who arranged for the donation of water and soft drinks as well as giveaways and raffle prizes.
  • Susquehanna Brewing Company, which donated raffle prizes, along with Lorraine Perry, Jeff Swire, Lisa Rosser, Elizabeth Rosser, The Hilton Scranton, Michele Bannon and Randy Williams, who also made prize donations.
  • Ryan and Amy Hnat of Electric City Escape, who served as ropes volunteers and provided valuable recruitment-party space in the event’s lead-up days as well as sponsored a cornhole court.
  • Our other cornhole court sponsors: Classic Properties/Sara Levy, Joyce Jackman & Bell Insurors and Gregg Betti’s Landscaping. 

    Look up! It’s a lesson for us all.

We also are immensely appreciative of our volunteers and ropes volunteers, who pitched in their time and special expertise to help us pull an event of this magnitude off.

Our ropes volunteers included:

  • Christopher Mackie

    We thank the Holy Cross High School cheerleaders for once again adding extra spirit to our streetfest as they cheered on their principal, Ben Tolerico, and all 2017 rappellers.

  • Ryan and Amy Hnat
  • Stephen Sunday
  • Salma Ahmed
  • Erik Goetsch
  • Linda Walsh
  • Peter Sakowski
  • Daniel Frantz
  • Matthew McDonald
  • Andy Polansky
  • Caroline Moskwa
  • Eric Youshock

And we salute our general event volunteers, who included:

  • Frani, Mariah and Julia Mancuso
  • Ann Marie Herne, Amanda Herne and Emma Kaub
  • NWNEPA board members Michele and Rita Bannon, Kurt Bauman (and Keira), John Cosgrove, Jon Konzelman, Katie Leonard, Cindy Yevich and Randy Williams
  • Chris Helmers, NeighborWorks America
  • Matthew Bryant
  • Donna Zilla
  • Meghan Loftus

Finally, we, of course, could not have pulled this off without the commitment and hard work of our rappellers themselves. This year’s 2017 team of fundraising rappellers included:

  • Mark and Kyle Perry of The Perry Law Firm
  • Todd Pousley of Marywood University
  • Brian Ebersole of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education
  • Mary and Michael Hales Jr.
  • Joseph Kreis of MJ Cordaro Electric
  • Lauren Loftus and Marjorie Solsman
  • Ryan Wilson of Janney Montgomery Scott
  • Sandra Snyder of NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • Benjamin Tolerico, principal of Holy Cross High School
  • Christopher Szewczyk of Mazzoni, Karam, Petorak and Valvano
  • Kathleen Riley
  • Father Jeff Walsh of the Diocese of Scranton
  • Sara Ergott, Paola Montross, Maria Sherwood and Dana Crowley
  • Mike McGinley of Pepperjam
  • Sierra Titus
  • Teddy Michel of Ignatian Volunteer Corps.
  • Theresa Curto of Community Bank, N.A.
  • Dianna Jagodzinski
  • Chris Howe and Maggie Lipperini of Regional Hospital of Scranton
  • Amy Killeen
  • Dawn Hansen
  • Rebecca Park

Thank you also to all who made donations to the above rappellers – your names are on our CrowdRise site (www.crowdrise.com/neighborworksnepa) – as well as those who came out to our event and brought friends and family with them.

We were thrilled to see you all there and could not have done this without any of you!

Stay tuned for 2018 event information, and thank you again for taking your neighbors to new heights!

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A lady in waiting in Jermyn, Pa.

img_0237What happens when the three most important words in real estate – location, location, location! – happily collide with three equally great housing words, those being, potential, potential, potential?

Magic, we say!

NeighborWorks NEPA is thrilled to announce the latest house it has acquired through Project PAR, or our Property Acquisition & Redevelopment Initiative.

Allow us to introduce you to a grand lady in waiting.

Here are the bullet points:

  • She’s situated on a large, level lot on peaceful Cemetery Street in Jermyn, where the speed limit is a mere 15 miles per hour.
  • She’s got great bones, as it’s also said in the real-estate world. That’s probably because she’s one of the last remaining DuPont company houses in the area, which means she has Sears Craftsman lineage.
  • She’s surrounded by fantastic neighbors invested in their community whose pride is abundantly evident in the way they maintain their properties.
  • Her outside is in almost-pristine shape and just needs a little cosmetic attention, mostly in the form of landscaping. It’s her inside that needs a lot of love.

Fortunately, we here at NeighborWorks NEPA, together with our faithful volunteers and professional teams, have tons of love to give, and we cannot wait to pour it all out on this lovely white house with almost gingerbread qualities and a storied history.

In case you were not aware, in the 1850s, during the unfolding Industrial Revolution, coal mining was king, and coal mining consumed incredible amounts of explosives, meaning explosives mills were hardly eyebrow-raising sights. In fact, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, commonly known as DuPont, bought such a mill on Wapwallopen Creek after an explosion and flood bankrupted its previous owner in 1859. DuPont successfully operated this mill as coal production doubled in the 1860s and demand for military and blasting powder increased with the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1911, two explosions, however, hit the DuPont plant. Instead of rebuilding, DuPont moved its operations to Moosic, Pa., and operated plants in Towanda and Jermyn as well.

Workers in Jermyn would have been members of the United Powder and High Explosives Workers of America Union, Local 107, and several of them resided in houses built by the parent company. Through the 1920s, you see, it was widely believed that providing housing for employees created a more stable work force. Near as we can tell, DuPont had at least 12 designs of houses built for its workers in factory towns across the country.

Most of these houses exist now only as part of historical archives, such as at the Hagley Museum near company headquarters in Wilmington, Del. (where you can view an extensive photographic collection), but, here and there, a few continue to stand the test of time in former factory towns where remnants of a humming, village-like past still whisper on the wind.

We invite you, then, to come with us on a grand journey into the past as well as the future as we not only return this Jermyn beauty to her former glory but resurrect her to something even bigger and better.

We’ll be working with a team of skilled contractors and volunteers to make the magic happen here, and we welcome inquiries if you’d like to be part of this very special project. When all is said and done, we hope, we’ll have accomplished all that we set out to do when Project PAR began.

Namely, we’ll have prevented deterioration of a worthy home and, in turn, a great surrounding neighborhood, we’ll have increased surrounding property values and stabilized a neighborhood threatened by an abandoned property, we’ll have created a new homeowner not burdened by out-of-reach renovations who will, in turn, begin paying local property taxes and, perhaps most important, we’ll have saved and raised enough funding to do it all over again in another neighborhood with a need.

Have a look! Click here: http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4451324d544d314e54633d0d0a&blogview=true

 

 

 

 

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10th annual Casey event a smashing success!

The 10th annual Gov. Robert P. Casey Medal for a Lifetime of Service event was a complete success!

During this special anniversary event, which took place Oct. 13 at the Hilton Scranton &  Conference Center, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania honored four community leaders, one posthumously, with the prestigious medals.

We were thrilled to welcome more than 400 guests to this beloved affair, including former Pennsylvania first lady Ellen Casey, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. and a large contingent from Washington, D.C.

A bit about this year’s honorees:

  • A posthumous medal for lifetime achievement was awarded to the late Meg Cullen-Brown, who died unexpectedly in May. She had dedicated her professional life to service to her community, parish and higher education and was most recently director of the University of Scranton’s office of the registrar and academic services.
  • Don and Cathy Rhoten were the driving forces behind the new Scranton School for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Children. They saved a state school threatened by a funding cut-off and turned it into a thriving private institution that still serves the people of greater Scranton.
  • James W. Brown was U.S. Sen. Robert Casey’s former chief of staff and is best known for the key role he played in two of Gov. Casey’s major accomplishments: the Steamtown Mall project and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which later became a model for the nation.

This year, we send out special thanks to our 75 sponsors and contributors, without whom we could not have pulled off this gala affair. To view those sponsors and supporters and the congratulatory ads or greetings they placed in our Tribute Book, click here: http://www.nwnepa.org/robert-p-casey-medal-for-a-lifetime-of-service/2016-gov-casey-medal-tribute-book/

The Casey medals, named in honor of the late governor, are presented annually by NWNEPA, which has worked with community partners to strengthen local neighborhoods through homeownership and home-preservation services for 35 years. NWNEPA is a chartered member of the NeighborWorks America network.

Paint The Town 2016 a neighborly community success

2016 PTT Collage (2)Another PAINT THE TOWN week is in the books, and what a week it was! Mother Nature could not have been kinder to the scores – 125 in total! — of volunteers from community businesses and organizations who joined NeighborWorks NEPA this week to provide face-lifts to five houses and begin the arduous process of cleaning up a vacant community lot to make way for a possible new Chutes and Ladders themed park.

From Aug. 28 through Sept. 2, our team members spread out across the city with paintbrushes, rollers and tons of yard tools in hand, all in an effort to beautify and preserve our neighborhoods one house at a time.

Paint The Town, a community-wide service NWNEPA offers as part of its Home Matters Repair Initiative, which primarily serves low-income, elderly and/or disabled homeowners, this year took NWNEPA staff and volunteers to:

  • 211 Van Buren Ave
  • 1134 Farr St.
  • 1325 Blucher Ave.
  • 3321 Pittston Ave.
  • 512 N. Sumner Ave
  • and Clay Avenue and Poplar Street in the Hill Section, for a project involving what’s hoped to become community space.

We cannot thank our volunteers enough; they are our without-which-nothings for these types of labor-intensive projects. This year, several excellent corporate citizens sent teams, including The Commonwealth Medical College, the Hill Neighborhood Association, Entercom Communications, Fidelity Bank, Citizens Savings Bank, Community Bank, N.A. and Erie Materials.

Volunteers enjoyed not only a day of camaraderie outside the office, with relatively low humidity and just enough sunshine but the satisfaction of knowing the big difference they were making in local lives.

Said one homeowner, Fred Battaglia of Farr Street, “The only thing I can do anymore is change that clock.”

While his hands may fail him as he ages, his heart does not. Fred not only tried to offer the volunteers lemon ice pops from his freezer but made sure they enjoyed their pizza lunch around his welcoming kitchen island.

It was the least he could do in return for receiving so much more than he expected, he said. Thanks to the meticulous efforts of a crew from Entercom Communications as well as a professional contractor, Fred got two deteriorating front pillars replaced and painted. Then the volunteers painted his deck and railings as well as his foundation.

Everything looked so beautiful, Fred said, that he feared only his girlfriend’s reaction. He worried she’d visit and say, “I want it this way all the time!”

“NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is extremely grateful to the volunteers who once again helped us pull off one of our signature service projects,” said Jesse Ergott, NWNEPA president & CEO. “They made such a visible difference in our city. We also thank the businesses who graciously provided their employees this time to work alongside us.”

For more information, about the project or NWNEPA, call 570-558-2490 or visit www.nwnepa.org

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NWNEPA grateful to several summer funders

Willary Grant Photo

A $10,000 grant from The Willary Foundation helped NeighborWorks NEPA launch Light The Town this year as an add-on component to Paint The Town. Johnna and Michael Davis of Rundle Street in Scranton were among the grateful recipients of new solar security lights. The Davis family also received a complete exterior paint job. Shown are: NeighborWorks NEPA President & CEO Jesse Ergott; Johnna Davis and daughter; Bill Scranton of The Willary Foundation; Jennifer Spitler, NWNEPA Director of Neighborhood Redevelopment; and Sandra Snyder, NWNEPA development and events coordinator.

NWNEPA is especially grateful to four new summer 2016 funders, all of whom made our ongoing service projects possible or helped us launch our newest initiatives:

  • The Margaret Briggs Foundation awarded a $35,000 grant to Project PAR, or Property Acquisition & Redevelopment, a grant that helped us purchase our two latest rehab properties, which we plan to renovate and resell at an affordable price. We will reinvest the revenue the sale generates directly back into service projects in struggling areas of Scranton.
  • The ESSA Foundation awarded a $7500 grant to assist us with the extensive renovations needed within our PAR properties. Those renovations will be made by a team of volunteers as well as professional contractors. Our key partner on this project is Johnson College.
  • The Willary Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to help us launch Light The Town, an add-on component to our signature service project, Paint The Town. This year, several Paint The Town clients as well as several new clients received brand-new, installed solar security lights on their properties thanks to the kindness of the Willary Foundation.
  • Finally, The Home Depot Foundation awarded a $3,000 Community Impact Grant to help us arrange a bathroom modification for World War II veteran Gene Passarella, a.k.a. Gene Dempsey of The Gene Dempsey Orchestra, and his beloved wife, Louise. During the war, Gene suffered a debilitating knee injury that affects his leg to this day, and getting in and out of his high-walled bathtub was becoming more and more difficult.

We can’t do what we do without the support of these funders, and we join our most grateful clients in thanking them for their confidence and support!

Project PAR off to a strong start, promising future

1 (11)Project PAR (Property Acquisition and Redevelopment) is NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania’s newest mission-oriented social enterprise. At its core, it is designed to use property-rehabilitation work in strong neighborhoods as a means of raising revenue to put weaker neighborhoods on par. Kitchen (17)

NWNEPA staff, in partnership with Johnson College, manages the full cycle of property selection, purchase, redevelopment and resale of foreclosed and/or abandoned properties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. With the sale of each property, approximately 1/3 of the profits go toward our Home Matters™ Repair Initiative programs (such as Paint the Town, Light the Town and NeighborWorks Week), which provide free critical home repairs, modifications and exterior improvements for low-income elderly and disabled homeowners in at-risk neighborhoods where there is declining public investment and a substantial need for redevelopment. The beauty of this approach is that all investments into the project are continually recaptured and reused for future projects, creating a self-sustaining cycle of impact.

1 (1)At the basic level, the program benefits two groups: 1) prospective homebuyers who are seeking an affordable, renovated property to purchase, and 2) existing homeowners who will have their properties repaired through the profits generated from property sales.

For the first group, the more blighted or troubled properties we are able to acquire and renovate using our partner-driven renovation model, the more we can remove the often costly renovation burden that gives potential homeowners pause when considering a long-term homeownership investment in our region. When renovations are complete and overhauled properties are resold, the surrounding neighborhood similarly can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from eliminated blight as well as potentially increased property values. Our hope is that one renovation leads to another, not only by NeighborWorks NEPA but by newly inspired surrounding homeowners who feel more confident investing their own money in a neighborhood on the rise rather than on the decline.

For the second group, the program will serve existing homeowners in at-risk neighborhoods who are elderly, disabled, and of modest income. The homeowners will benefit from the profits from the sold properties, and those profits will then be reinvested into their own properties via our volunteer-led repair initiatives (Paint the Town, Light the Town, and NeighborWorks Week).

Through this innovative undertaking, NWNEPA sees real opportunity to make a meaningful community difference. By turning inadequate or vacant housing into desirable housing using our redevelopment and volunteer work models, we can offer more potential homeowners relief from major renovation costs that prevent new investments into vacant or foreclosed properties. The revenue raised directly benefits at-risk neighborhoods and neighbors both in our educational and service realms.

Our first Project PAR house, at 331 2nd Street in Blakely, was a true success story, creating on-the-job training for several Johnson College students, raising the property value on a foreclosed home significantly (thereby increasing surrounding property values), and, best of all, creating a happy new homeowner who has made an investment in a stable neighborhood as well as underserved surrounding neighborhoods, which already have reaped tremendous benefits from proceeds of the sale. Dining Room (2)

NeighborWorks NEPA is most grateful for the support of the funders who believe in this project and have financed it: The Margaret Briggs Foundation, the Scranton Area Community Foundation and The ESSA Bank Foundation as well as those who are still considering backing this ongoing effort as a successful model not only of neighborhood revitalization but of a proactive approach to long-term organizational sustainability.

Here’s to brighter neighborhood futures!

 

Kitchen (17)Bathroom - Upstairs (2)

 

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Success story: West Scranton NeighborWorks Week 2016

Thank you pic

NWNEPA-GroupCares Annual Collaborative Project Spruces Up 24 Homes

Structural repairs and staining to a back deck plus a walk-in shower for a beloved local veteran and his wife who have long served the community themselves.

A wheelchair ramp and backyard shed repairs for a former TV cameraman and lifelong Scrantonian who now spends the bulk of his time caring for his disabled wife in the home they have shared for 27 years.

A new coat of exterior paint and light landscaping for new homeowners with a young daughter who are struggling with needed renovations on a limited budget.

These are just some of the highlights of NeighborWorks Week 2016, an ongoing partnership project with the national GroupCares youth-ministry organization. This year’s event, which saw more than a hundred youth volunteers and their adult leaders arrive in Scranton from up and down the East Coast, took place from July 4-11 on the west side of the city for the third and final year. Next year, the project will serve a different part of the city.

Twenty-four homes were served by NeighborWorks NEPA and GroupCares throughout the week, and of the homeowners:

  • 17 are age 65 or over.
  • 12 are disabled.
  • Four are U.S. military veterans.
  • Four have young children.

The full scope of repairs and renovations also included exterior and interior painting – two full exterior jobs in addition to multiple partial projects – weatherization of doors and windows, one full deck replacement, basement waterproofing and weeding and landscaping work.

Neighborworks Group hi resNeighborWorks Week was established in 2010 as a way to offer a range of services to qualifying homeowners in underserved neighborhoods and has proven a partnership success with meaningful, significant impact.

From 2010 to 2016, NWNEPA and Group Cares, Inc. have:

  • Mobilized approximately 1,475 volunteers.
  • Completed 42,000 total volunteer service hours on project sites throughout Lackawanna County, which equates to an estimated value of $883,000 in volunteer labor.
  • Completed needed repairs for 211 homes in Lackawanna County, serving hundreds of homeowners and their family members.

NWNEPA recognizes two distinct, intersecting needs in Northeastern Pennsylvania that will have a deep impact on the region in the next five to 10 years, and they are aging and deterioration of homes and the aging adults who live in those homes.  The average area home was built in the early 1940s, and most homes from that era do not adequately serve today’s homeowners. Nearly 20 percent of Northeastern Pennsylvania homeowners will reach 65 or older in the next five years.  As more adults continue to age, NeighborWorks NEPA has recognized a clear need to ensure they have safe, healthy housing that supports independent living for as long as possible.

To that end, this year NWNEPA incorporated new safety and health measures into its overall Home Matters Repair Initiative programs and into its signature events such as NeighborWorks Week and Paint The Town. This year, 50 homeowners received a free exterior motion-detecting, solar-powered security light installation, and at least 10 homeowners received home repairs and modifications critical to health and safety.

The light installations were part of Light The Town, a companion initiative to Paint The Town, and were made possible by several key funders, including The Willary Foundation and PPL Electric Utilities.

The key aging-in-place project, the rip-out of an old, hazardous bathtub and shower and the installation of a new, walk-in shower unit in the home of Eugene and Louise Passarella, was made possible by a $3,000 gift from the Home Depot Foundation as well as funders who supported Project PAR and those who supported or participated in NWNEPA’s first-ever rappelling fundraiser, Over The Edge Scranton, in June.

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Over The Edge and going again!

OTE collage 1First-ever Over The Edge Scranton a rousing rooftop success

As part of the national celebration of NeighborWorks Week 2016, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania sent almost 50 adventurers over the edge of the tallest building in Scranton, the Bank Towers Building at 321 Spruce St., on June 10 and 11.

Mother Nature cooperated to deliver two perfect days that left rappellers and onlookersAnna Weiss4 buzzing about the challenge they’d just taken on or the ground-level excitement they’d just witnessed.

NWNEPA teamed up with Over The Edge USA, a national event company that works with nonprofit organizations, and presenting sponsor Gibbons Ford to bring this first-of-its-kind rappelling adventure to Scranton, and nearly 40 people representing the business, educational, medical, legal and religious communities, signed on to raise a minimum of $1,000 for the cause by promising to take the 146-foot leap. Another 10 rappelled the day before the main event, representing sponsors and local media.

Gibbons Ford was on hand Friday and Saturday, sending four rappellers, Casey and Kurtis Medeiros, Lisa Gormley and Kate Webster, over the edge on Friday and another, Kate Grow, on main-event day.

Casey Kurtis and Lisa trainOther major event sponsors also sent representatives to the event and off the roof. Geisinger Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Golden rappelled on Friday while an entourage from Geisinger cheered her on from the streets below. NeighborWorks America sent three representatives from Washington, D.C., and New York City to the event. Andy Blomme, senior director of legislative affairs for NeighborWorks America, rappelled on Friday, while Susan Jouard, senior regional public affairs and communications advisor, served as cheerleader. Christina Deady, director of Leadership and Workforce Development Programs for NeighborWorks America, rappelled on Saturday dressed in a Ninja suit.

Two other rappellers also took the plunge in costume. Laura Agostini of The Foley Law Firm rappelled as Wonder Woman, and Michael Stanton of Bold Gold Media wore his Jose The Dysfunctional Leprechaun outfit. DJ Prospector of Rock 107 also took the rooftop plunge, as did Ian Lopera and reporter Joe Kohut of the Times-Tribune. Laura Agostini5

All told, this innovative fundraiser was a tremendous success, one NeighborWorks NEPA intends to repeat next year. Thirty-eight registered rappellers raised a total of $49,814 by creating a profile on www.crowdrise.com/neighborworksnepa and asking for support from within their personal networks. Corporate and organizational sponsors contributed another $17,175, bringing the fundraising total to $66,989.

Comments received from rappellers were all positive, with several thinking ahead to next year.

“This was a fantastic event. So happy to have been a part of it,” Theresa Curto Collins of Community Bank, N.A., wrote on social media. “Looking forward to OTE 2017!”

OTE 2017 will take place on June 2 and 3.

In a note to NWNEPA, Collins added that Community Bank hopes to form a rappelling team for next year’s event.

Barb TaylorLocal author and teacher Barb Taylor and Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP partner Tim Maloney shared similar sentiments on social media. “Can’t believe how much fun this was,” Taylor wrote. “Can’t wait to do this again next year,” Maloney wrote.

Derick Reinhart, the Over The Edge safety manager for the NWNEPA event, also had high praise for the event, writing on NWNEPA’s Facebook page that this was “one of THE best events and nonprofits I have worked for in many years.”

Spectators at the main event enjoyed breakfast and lunch selections from four on-site food trucks and a ground-level celebration that included party and personalized rappelling music by Mike Walton Productions, an instant photo booth and a children’s craft area. The Holy Cross High School cheerleading team, wearing “Team Tolerico” shirts, was on hand the entire day not only to cheer for their rappelling principal, Ben Tolerico, but to provide all-day entertainment and support their principal’s fellow rappellers.

All money raised will support NWNEPA’s mission to build stronger, more sustainable neighborhoods by providing crucial home-repair services to elderly, disabled and disadvantaged homeowners throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. The funds raised flowed directly back into the community beginning July 4, as NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania staff and volunteers and adult leaders from the national GroupCares team once again descended upon West Scranton for the local service-oriented celebration of NeighborWorks Week.

Teams of volunteers painted home interiors and exteriors, repaired porches and built a wheelchair access ramp.

Special thanks to the other Over The Edge event sponsors – North American Warhorse, Highmark, Citizens Savings Bank and Grimm Construction Inc. – as well as to in-kind sponsors Access Aerial, The Hilton Scranton and Times-Shamrock Communications. NWNEPA also recognizes and thanks Bank Towers building owners Jerry and Joseph Ferrario, the youth philanthropy organization OurDash, which volunteered on a number of pre- and post-event tasks, the 40-plus community volunteers who tended ropes, took registrations or performed other critical event-day tasks, and Schiff’s Restaurant Service and the North Scranton and Mulberry Street locations of Domino’s Pizza, which made food and beverage donations.

We can’t wait to do this all again! Stay tuned for full details. Meanwhile, watch our event video below and please consider joining us next year!

 

 

 

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