Since 1992, the CAN DO Community Foundation has been supporting worthwhile projects through its mission of conservation, preservation and reclamation. The Foundation’s volunteer Board of Directors recently held its annual meeting at Ferrwood Camp in Drums. The board discussed the progress of its many ongoing projects and announced the recipients of several scholarships it awards annually.
The meeting was held on July 8 prior to an open-air concert that featured 120 Ferrwood Music Camp students who treated a crowd of concertgoers to their talents. Before the concert, the Board of Directors joined the students, parents, instructors, volunteers and visitors at a picnic-style smorgasbord prepared and served by volunteers.
The board elected officers, reappointed board members and highlighted the accomplishments of the past fiscal year. Foundation President Gary F. Lamont recognized board members, volunteers, community members and CAN DO staff for their contributions of time, talent and resources to the Foundation during the past year. Lamont acknowledged the efforts of Nancy Stasko and Chris Stamatopoulos on Ferrwood activities that included coordinating the Youth Health Awareness Day and the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community and securing donated supplies. He also recognized the CAN DO maintenance staff for having the campgrounds in great shape for the season.
Prior to the meeting, Phil Latella, camp director, and a group of students made a presentation to the Foundation board expressing their thanks and offering stories of how Ferrwood favorably impacts them.
Foundation Vice President and Chairman of the Annual Fund Drive Earl Berger announced the fund drive goal for 2018. Berger expressed his appreciation for the individuals and businesses in the community who continue to make contributions to the campaign.
The CAN DO Community Foundation was founded in 1992 to fulfill the CAN DO Planning Committee’s goal of establishing an affiliate organization to support worthwhile projects that would enhance the quality of life in Greater Hazleton. The Foundation, initially funded with seed money from CAN DO, has grown through the generosity of donors to its annual fund drive along with donations of real estate and bequeathed endowments. The organization leverages these funds through the application of funding from other foundations and governmental programs.
The Foundation created a unique model to carry out its mission of “Conservation, Preservation and Reclamation CPR – Breathing New life into the Community.” It partners with other non-profit organizations to adopt a project that meets its mission.
During the meeting, active projects that the Foundation is involved in were reviewed, including the following:
In accordance with its mission, the Foundation continues to review mission-focused projects in the Greater Hazleton community.
In addition to its service projects, the Foundation also utilizes donations to fund several scholarships for high school and college students, as well as the young student musicians who attend Ferrwood Music Camp.
This year, the Foundation presented the 13th annual Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award Junior Leadership scholarships to 88 students from the high schools that serve Greater Hazleton. Incoming Dessen Scholars are: Megan Fay and Aliyah Smolinsky of the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences, Cayce Olander and Ann Stetz of Hazleton Area High School, Courtney Rodick of Marian High School, Jessica McClellan of MMI Preparatory School and Nikki Polivka of Weatherly Area High School. The service award is named after CAN DO’s founder, Dr. Edgar L. Dessen.
The eighth annual Joseph Yenchko Award “Camperships” were presented to students attending Ferrwood Music Camp. The “Camperships” are given in honor of Yenchko, who was CAN DO’s first employee, and continue to grow through the generosity of individuals, businesses and foundations. This year there were 76 “Camperships” donated.
The CAN DO Community Foundation Award at Penn State Hazleton is presented annually at the Highacres Society Dinner. This scholarship honors and recognizes outstanding academic achievement by an undergraduate student enrolled in the baccalaureate degree in business at the Hazleton campus of Penn State University.
The scholarship is specifically designated for a student from Greater Hazleton. Full- and part-time students who have attained high academic achievement at the end of their second semester are considered for the award. Continuing education students are given special consideration. This year’s scholarship recipients are Josiel Delgadillo, Arron Kacyon, Lauren Pataki and Victoria Warg.
At the meeting, the following were elected as Foundation officers: Gary F. Lamont, president; Earl Berger, vice president; Nancy R. Stasko, secretary; Donald M. Pachence, treasurer; Chris Stamtopoulos, assistant secretary, and W. Kevin O’Donnell, assistant treasurer.
Board members nominated for a three- (3) year term are: Matthew B. Bayzick, Berger, Mark Imbriaco, O’Donnell, Pachence, Lonnie Polli, Stamatopoulos and Stasko.
Remaining members are: Eugene M. Dougherty, George R. Hludzik, Esq. Lamont, Robert Moisey, E. Thomas Sandrock, Dr. Anthony Falvello, E. Richard Moore, Krista Schneider and John J. Spevak.
John H. Wright Jr., Joseph M. DeBias and Jennifer Hopkins are advisory board members.