CAN DO Community Foundation Holds 2024 Annual Meeting

Beth Dessen Duffy elected as new board member

Beth Dessen Duffy profile 200At the Foundation’s Annual Meeting, Beth Dessen Duffy, daughter of CAN DO’s founder Dr. Edgar L. Dessen was elected as the newest member of the Board of Directors. Beth has been a volunteer on the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award (“ELDCSA”) committee and is involved in fundraising for Ferrwood and growing the foundation’s endowment.

Hugh “Terry” Campbell was appointed to the ELDCSA committee.

Beth Duffy joins Matthew B. Bayzick, Earl C. Berger, Melissa Curto, Eugene M. Dougherty, Jeffrey S. Gicking, Mary Beth Hayden, George R. Hludzik, Esq., Gary F. Lamont, Joseph Lettiere, Robert Moisey, Sherri O’Donnell, Donald M. Pachence, E. Thomas Sandrock, Krista Schneider, John J. Spevak, Chris Stamatopoulos and Dan Sweeney.

The following were elected as Foundation officers: Gary F. Lamont, President; Earl Berger, Vice President; Donald M. Pachence, Treasurer; and Chris Stamatopoulos, Secretary.  Melissa Frederick was appointed as the Administrative Coordinator.

CAN DO Community Foundation announces the establishment of academic scholarship in memory of late CAN DO CEO, W. Kevin O’Donnell

W. Kevin O'Donnell Memorial Scholarship Fund

In remembrance of the late W. Kevin O’Donnell, the CAN DO Community Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the ‘W. Kevin O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship Fund’. This fund, created in collaboration with CAN DO, Inc. and The Luzerne Foundation, seeks to honor O’Donnell’s legacy and his years of commitment to community service.

The W. Kevin O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship will support a $2,500 annual scholarship to provide post-secondary tuition assistance for qualifying students residing within the geographic area of the Hazleton Area School District. Qualifying applicants must be admitted to and/or attending an accredited college or university to study Engineering, Architecture, Construction, Economic Development, or a similar field. Scholarships will be awarded based on community involvement and academic achievement, and will be selected by a committee of individuals representing CAN DO, Inc., the O’Donnell Family, and the Luzerne Foundation.

When asked about the O’Donnell Scholarship, CAN DO’s Chair of the Board, Charles Burkhardt said, “Kevin was a man devoted to his family, CAN DO, and our community. By having this scholarship to honor his memory, we not only help our local students further their education, but we also ensure his legacy of improving the community we call home continues. I know he would be proud.”

Applications are currently being accepted for students interested in applying for the scholarship and can be found on the Luzerne Foundation website or by searching “O’Donnell” on the Luzerne Foundation’s website.

Ferrwood band shell will be re-dedicated June 4 during special concert from the Hazleton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

Fr Joe Pope front 1On Sunday afternoon, June 4th, the Hazleton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (HPSO), under the direction of Mr. Bob Lagana, will perform a concert in conjunction with the re-dedication of the newly refurbished and updated band shell at Ferrwood Music Camp in Drums, PA.

Coincidentally, the Hazleton Philharmonic Society, the creation of the late Reverend Joseph J. Ferrara, will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding in October of 1953. In that year, “Fr. Joe”, as he was affectionately called, was stationed in Lattimer Mines by the Diocese of Scranton to tend to the spiritual needs of St. Mary’s R.C Church in Lattimer and St. Nazarius R.C. Church in nearby Pardeesville.

Within months after his arrival the new pastor had convened a boy scout troop, a theater guild, a small parish choral group and had begun an instrumental music education program under the auspices of the then Hazle Township School District. The district was comprised of many patch town “Little Yellow Schoolhouses” around the outskirts of the Hazleton city limits. This new music education program was aimed at any students who, at that time, were being bussed to the nearby Oakdale and Jeddo schools in the wake of the closing of the Lattimer and Pardeesville elementary school buildings a year or two earlier.

Former Ferrwood Music Camp student Luke Kanyak performs with Penn State Blue Band at the Rose Bowl

Luke KranyakLuke Kranyak has made us Ferrwood Proud!  Luke, is a graduate of the Hazleton Area School District and as a saxophone student spent many summers at Ferrwood.  His long-term goal of making it to the Penn State Blue Band was realized as an incoming Freshman.  He was certain all of his dreams had come true until his recent performance at The Rose Bowl in California!

Incidentally, after “aging-out” as a camper, Luke continues to volunteer at the camp and hopes to return as a counselor and ultimately instructor.

Luke’s journey is an example of the opportunities offered to the youth of our community . . . be proud!

CAN DO Community Foundation kicks off the 2022 fund drive

CAN DO Community Foundation Vice President and Fund Drive Chairman, Earl C. Berger, announced the start of the 2022 fund drive. Contributions from this campaign will be used toward the preservation efforts at Ferrwood Music Camp and planned upgrades and upkeep to the CAN DO Community Park.