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Around The Towns 8/26/2018

August 26, 2018

Carbondale

When 8-year-old Gianna DeAntonio got to go backstage before a Luke Bryan concert, she had the biggest smile on her face. When she met the popular country musician, her smile got even bigger.

“Gianna had the time of her life from the moment we got out of our car right up to the end of the concert, her mom, Roseann DeAntonio of Carbondale, said.

Band-Aids, a local charity organization that “sends mentally challenged and medically fragile individuals to the concert of their choice,” arranged for Gianna, her mother and her father, John DeAntonio, to get VIP passes for a Luke Bryan concert last week at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Gianna is on the autism spectrum and loves music, her mother said.

“She’s been a fan of Luke Bryan since she was 3 years old,” Roseann DeAntonio said.

The DeAntonios hung out backstage in Bryan’s lounge, and he performed two acoustic songs for them, signed VIP gifts and held a meet-and-greet, DeAntonio said. Band-Aids also set the family up with a $200 gift card to buy merchandise at the venue.

“It was a dream come true for Gianna,” her mom said.

To donate to Band-Aids, visit band-aids.org/index.php/shop.

— FRANK WILKES LESNEFSKY

flesnefsky

@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9100 x5181;

@flesnefskyTT on Twitter

Dunmore

Borough residents will celebrate Angel Night — an event that officially began in 2015 to honor the late Kelcey Hallinan and Carissa Dartt, and which has grown in the years since — on Saturday by releasing paper lanterns into the night sky in memory of lost loved ones.

Before she passed away in November 2013 after a battle with Hodgkin lymphoma, Kelcey, 18, regularly watched the Disney movie “Tangled” with her mother, Alicia Hallinan. She particularly enjoyed the scene when the princess looked out the window on her birthday and saw hundreds of lanterns floating by.

In that spirit, more than 75 people gathered at Dunmore High School in 2014, releasing lanterns in honor of Kelcey. The event was dubbed Angel Night in 2015, when 2,000 lanterns ascended in remembrance of Kelcey, Dartt — a 22-year-old aspiring pediatrician who died in 2002 from an accidental fall — and other lost loved ones who individuals chose to honor.

This year, participants plan to release their lanterns at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. Participants may release them from anywhere in the borough, though people often congregate at local parks or in large open areas. Tom Hallinan, Kelcey’s father, plans to release his at the Dunmore Elementary Center.

“Everybody has lost somebody that they love so much, and it’s just so heartwarming to see everyone come together for those few moments as they watch the lanterns go up,” he said.

Lanterns are available at the following borough businesses and restaurants: Ragnacci’s, Lox Unlimited, Honeychilds’, Backburner Café, Roosevelt Beer Garden, Cara Mia’s Delicatessen, the Patch Bar and DePietro’s Pharmacy. They can also be purchased at Morganz Pub in Scranton or by contacting the Hallinans at 570-877-0201.

Proceeds from the lantern sales benefit the #kelceystrong scholarship fund, which provides annual scholarships to two Dunmore High School seniors pursuing a degree in theater arts or music.

— JEFF HORVATH

jhorvath

@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9141;

@jhorvathTT on Twitter

Olyphant

A memorial ride and benefit today will help fund a 7-foot-tall statue of a soldier to watch over the borough.

The fundraiser will be at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Registration for the ride will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and vehicles will head out at 12:15 p.m. Cars and motorcycles are welcome, and registration is $20 per operator and $10 per passenger.

Festivities will include live entertainment, guest speakers and basket raffles.

All proceeds will benefit the completion of the borough’s Freedom Fighter Memorial, which will be a stainless steel statue based on a sculpture of a Desert Storm soldier created by Olyphant resident Mark Zinskie. The statue will be placed at the train station in the borough, organizer Kim Onda Atkinson said in an email.

Both the statue and the ride will memorialize Zinskie’s father, Sgt. Harry “Skip” Zinskie Jr., who was a combat photographer in World War II and the Korean War.

Officials estimate the project will cost $60,000, and organizers hope to accrue the funds in about two years, Atkinson said.

Memorial pavers will eventually be available for purchase, Atkinson wrote.

— FRANK WILKES LESNEFSKY

flesnefsky

@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9100 x5181;

@flesnefskyTT on Twitter

Scranton

Scranton has been named the safest driving city in Pennsylvania by Insurify, a Massachusetts-based insurance-shopping website.

Insurify scientists analyzed more than 1.5 million car insurance applications nationwide, including information on each applicant’s driving record, which allowed it to identify the cities with the highest proportion of safe drivers. Put another way, the findings suggested that Scranton had the lowest proportion of drivers reporting at-fault incidents in their driving record in the state.

For information on the award and to see other winning cities across the country, visit insurify.com/insights/safest-cities-awards.

— JEFF HORVATH

jhorvath

@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9141;

@jhorvathTT on Twitter

State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-113, Scranton, will honor Scranton Prep student Dominic Argenta this week for the student’s quick thinking early last month.

Argenta was working at his family’s restaurant, Downtown Victoria’s, on July 1 when a customer began choking. Her family attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver, but to no avail. Seeing this, Argenta stepped in and successfully dislodged the blockage, likely saving the woman’s life.

Commonwealth Health Emergency Medical Services recognized Argenta for his actions last month. Flynn plans to present Argenta with a citation from the state House of Representatives early this week, possibly at his family’s 201 Penn Ave. restaurant, the state representative’s chief of staff, Thom Welby, said.

— JEFF HORVATH

jhorvath

@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9141;

@jhorvathTT on Twitter

 

AROUND THE TOWNS appears each Sunday, spotlighting the people and events in your neighborhoods. If you have an idea for an Around the Towns note, contact the writer for your town, or the Yes!Desk at 348-9121 or yesdesk@timesshamrock.com.

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