The Foundation’s Board of Directors recently held its annual meeting at the CAN BE Innovation Center in Valmont Industrial Park. The board discussed the progress of its ongoing projects, the recipients of the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award and welcomed a new board member.

Bandshell construction progress 9.2022Lamont 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.

Annual Fund Drive Chairman and Vice President Earl Berger announced the fund drive kickoff for 2022 to begin October 1st. Berger expressed his appreciation for the individuals and businesses in the community who continue to contribute to the campaign. The 2021 fund drive focused on Ferrwood and the bandshell improvements.

“The bandshell is the most recent result of this generosity,” said Gary F. Lamont, president of the Foundation. The CAN DO Community Foundation has spent many years overseeing the restoration of Ferrwood. Thanks to the support of the community, contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, unions and various grants, the foundation is once again successful in its continuing efforts of restoring this historic gem located in Drums.

An update was also given regarding the additional projects that the Foundation is involved in, including downtown Hazleton projects like the Hayden Family Art Center and the CAN DO Community Park. A brief commentary by the new Executive Director Yosara Gonzalez of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress was provided.

In accordance with its mission, the Foundation continues to review mission-focused projects in the Greater Hazleton community.

Along with 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.

Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award

This year, the Foundation presented the 17th annual Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award Junior Leadership scholarships for the Junior Leadership of Hazleton program.

The service award is named after CAN DO’s founder, Dr. Edgar L. Dessen. Chris Stamatopoulos, chaired the committee that also included Melissa Curto, Melissa Frederick, Jeff Gicking, and Jocelyn Sterenchock. Committee members discussed the process of selecting the successful recipients and noted the difficulty of choosing the winners due to the impressive candidate pool.

The CAN DO Community Foundation has fully endowed scholarships at Penn State Hazleton and are presented annually.

Sherri O’Donnell elected as new member

Sherri ODonnell photoAt the meeting, new board member Sherri O’Donnell was elected.

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

The following were elected as Foundation officers: Gary F. Lamont, President, Earl Berger, Vice President, Donald M. Pachence, Treasurer, Chris Stamatopoulos, Secretary, and W. Kevin O’Donnell, Assistant Treasurer.

A resolution of appreciation was adopted recognizing E. Richard Moore for his service to the Foundation.

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.”

For more information on the foundation's accomplishments and activities, please visit our web site at

For further information about the foundation or the annual fund drive, please contact Chris Stamatopoulos at (570) 881-7868 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..