Dunmorean of the Month: Tim Drewes

Timmy Drewes, right, is shown with his girlfriend, Ariana Brennan, at left, and his niece and goddaughter,, Charlotte Davis, center.

By Steve Svetovich

If you need an instant pickup for your day, just call Dunmore’s Tim Drewes.

Drewes, 26, former Dunmore football all-state defensive lineman who played in two state title games, has stage 3A metastatic testicular cancer and recently had 28 chemotherapy treatments.

But he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He focuses only on the positive. The bottle is always half full to Tim Drewes.

“Every morning I get up and put one foot on the ground,” he said, “Just by doing that, I can climb a mountain.

“I try to put a positive spin on this. I see a lot of people who are worse off than me. I use my positivity to make them feel better. That makes it all worth it.

“When my two doctors got me in a room and informed me of this diagnosis, my immediate response was ‘let’s do this.’ They were surprised by my positive reaction, but there was no other choice for me.”

Son of Tom and Molly Drewes, Dunmore, Tim played in two state championship games for Dunmore in  2012 against Clariton and in 2014 against South Fayette, both losses. Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Boyd played for Clariton.

“I have a picture of myself tackling him,” said Drewes. “We should have won one of those games.”

Twin brothers Dan Drewes, number 57, and Timmy Drewes, number 55, played outstanding football for the Dunmore Bucks.

The former all-state lineman said he has plenty of supporters as he fights cancer.

“Bobby Judge was my position coach at Dunmore,” he said. “He also went through this very same cancer. He walked me through this and has been one of my biggest supporters. He checks on me daily.

“I was an assistant football coach under Kevin McHale for a few years at Dunmore. He has been very supportive. One of the only times I really broke down was when I told Kevin about my diagnosis. He was there for me.

“I was a clubhouse assistant for four years for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. I’ve met a lot of good people in the baseball world. One of my very best friends is Tyler Austin who played for the New York Yankees. He has been playing baseball in Japan. He’s been killing it there. Tyler also had testicular cancer. He’s been beating it. He checks on me all the time and texts me every day from Japan.

“My best friend is Johnny Barbato who pitched for the New York Yankees. He also checks on me all the time. I got to spend some time with him this past October during the World Series in Houston where he now lives. My parents were with me too. It was nice to be able to go there and hang out with him before starting chemotherapy.”

Drewes was diagnosed with testicular cancer this past September after dealing with pain since June. “Once the doctors came up with the diagnosis, I was ready to fight it head on,” he said.

Drewes enjoys photography which he finds therapeutic. “It’s my side hustle,” he said. “I do it as much as I possibly can.”

Drewes, who has a bachelor of science degree in Tourist and Hospitality Management from Temple University, said he contracted COVID-19 in the middle of his chemotherapy treatments. “It took a toll on my body, but I got through it.”

Drewes has always been involved in volunteering and supporting many Dunmore organizations and sports. He was a volunteer coach for Dunmore Bucks football and basketball.

Timmy Drewes, left, is shown with his cousin Bridget Miller and his twin brother Danny Drewes at Dunmore High School’s Class Night in 2015.

He takes photos for many of the Dunmore sports organizations, including DGR soccer, Dunmore Little League, Saint Mary of Mount Carmel youth leagues, and all Dunmore High School sports.

His number 55 was retired by Dunmore High School in 2015. He was Mr. Dunmore at his senior class night.

Abigail Davis, Ph.D., physician assistant program director at Marywood University, is Drewe’s sister and also one of his big supporters. “Our family jokingly calls Tim a professional volunteer,” she said. “He has a full time job with Northeast Utilities in Dunmore and a side gig as a photographer. He is undoubtedly the most generous, kind, and thoughtful person I ever met. He is a loving brother, son, and uncle to his eight nieces and nephews. He is always there for us. For years he volunteered as Santa at the Country Day Nursery School. He made Christmas house calls for families in Dunmore.”

His sister told a story of Tim volunteering to help out at a cancer benefit, “Jamming for Gemma.” His sister, as cheerleading coach for Saint Mary of Mount Carmel, was supposed to coach the girls for the event, but came up with a stomach bug. “Tim did not hesitate to immediately step in. He coached the girls for me. With such positive energy, he was doing silly cheers with the girls. It was a big success.

Timmy Drewes is shown with family at Disney World. From left are: Gavin Kovaleski, Tim, Jack Davis, Charlotte Davis, Abbey Davis, Bobby Davis, Cate Davis, and Bobby Davis.

“Tim has chosen to get his cancer treatments in Dunmore where he is most comfortable. He battles the illness with silent strength and immense positivity. He never asks for anything, but has so much support from family and friends. He continues to go to Dunmore sporting events and takes pictures which he shares freely with teams and families.

“Since his diagnosis, he constantly discusses how he can use his experience to help others. From planning to fundraise for cancer research, forming a foundation to assist other Dunmoreans battling cancer, to using his awareness about testicular cancer, he focuses on finding the best ways to help others. He is selfless to a fault and represents everything that’s good about Dunmore.”

Drewes, humble and gracious in nature, knows he is not fighting his cancer battle alone. “I always tell people from anywhere that if you are looking for a place to live, move to Dunmore,” he said.

“You have 12,000 people who are genuinely supporting you.”

Dunmorean of the Month: Patrick Devaney

By Steve Svetovich

When you talk to Patrick Devaney Jr., you get the impression he is much wiser than his age of 17.

Maturity, intelligence, humor, introspection, people skills, and a strong work ethic make for an impressive first impression of the Scranton Prep senior.

Son of Patrick and Jackie (Ruddy) Devaney, Dunmore, Patrick has a perfect 4.0 grade point average at Scranton Prep.

Patrick, 17, spearheaded the Leaf Project which raised money for the Great Ignation Challenge food drive. The high honors student is involved in various school clubs and activities outside of school.

The Great Ignation Challenge food drive began as a school charity project in which Scranton Prep students and faculty were asked to bring in canned goods for food pantries.

The Scranton Prep senior organized the project. “It is an organized service project,” said Patrick. “We bagged leaves in local neighborhoods. We raised a total of 1,200 pounds of food which was provided to local food pantries. Instead of pay, we took charity donations.

“I gained more satisfaction than I ever could imagine, better than if it was a for-profit project. The smile I witnessed from the little elderly lady on my block was something worth way more than money.”

Patrick, whose favorite academic subjects are math and philosophy, is a student leader in the Chess Club and Business Club leader at Scranton Prep.

The Dunmore resident has been playing piano since the first grade and enjoys kick boxing. He is a second degree black belt in karate. He will be going out for speech and debate at Scranton Prep this year.

Patrick also runs Paddy’s Lawn Care in Dunmore and surrounding neighborhoods.

“I have been involved in the lawn care business forever,” the young entrepreneur said. “Since I was about 12. We expanded our business last year.”

The articulate scholar said he has learned a lot from his parents.

Dunmorean of the Month Patrick Devaney is joined by classmates, from left: Max Snyder, Brendan Shaffer, Devaney, Isaac Diaz, and Patrick Shaffer, and Prep theology teacher Mrs. Catherine Casey.

“My dad always taught me to be a good man, but not in the traditional masculine way. He taught me how to communicate discomfort. That prevents problems. There are no solutions when slamming doors and shouting.

“My mom taught me not only to train the mind, but also the body. She has a strong belief that a balance between the two creates a well rounded individual. She’s the reason I do kick boxing and chess.”

Well-versed and ambitious, Patrick talked about his future goals. “I would like to attend Cornell University and study business,” he said. “I want to go into finance. Running a lawn care business has given me nuggets of wisdom. I have found out that compromise is always necessary.”

Patrick, well-spoken and personable, has thoroughly enjoyed his experience at Scranton Prep. “I would not trade it for anything,” he said. “I am constantly surrounded by such great talent. It pushes you as a person. It’s been a spectacular experience. It will be a sad day for me when I leave at the end of this year.”

Patrick also loves living in Dunmore. “I love Dunmore,” he said. “It’s my little bubble. I feel safe. There are so many nice local businesses. The borough is filled with nice people. There is very little crime.”

Patrick enjoys music and wishes he could have seen the late Michael Jackson in concert.

He has a positive view of the future. “It will not matter what I go into as an occupation in the long term,” he said. “Of course, having a good occupation and being ambitious is nice, but what matters most is surrounding myself with people who love and support me. No amount of money can provide that.

“I will always want to have people and relationships in my life.”

Dunmorean of the Month: Dave Hawk

David Hawk with his wife Ann

By Steve Svetovich

Tis’ the season to buy chocolates, and this has been a way of life for Dunmore’s Dave Hawk and his family for many decades.

That is making and selling those chocolates.

Dave Hawk’s grandmother started the Gertrude Hawk business as a paid hobby in 1936.

“It all started in my grandmother’s home at her dining room table,” said Dave Hawk, 71.

“She made the candy and chocolates and molasses coconut–a big item in those days–at her dining room table. Her house was open for business during holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

“Gertrude Hawk became a full-fledged business in 1946 after my dad, Elmer Hawk, returned home to Dunmore from World War II where he was a POW for 17 months in Austria. He was owed half of his back pay from those 17 months and he put it into the business.”

Hawk, the third of a fourth generation owner and operator of the business, is now semi-retired.

“My dad asked me to become his partner in 1971,” said Hawk, a polite, soft-spoken gentleman. “It was a terrific partnership that lasted for 21 years until he sold me the business in 1992. My dad died in 2013. Now I have my four children run the business.” His children took over the business a year ago, he says.

Members of the Hawk family are shown, from left: Patrick Hawk, Paul Hawk, Ann Hawk, David, Carolyn Hawk Horter, and Jennifer Hawk.

His son Paul Hawk is current owner. Daughter Jennifer Hawk is vice president of IT and purchasing. Son Patrick Hawk is vice president of special business. Daughter Carolyn Harter is chairman of the board.

Hawk remains very active as chairman of the board for the Hawk Family Foundation. He is also founder and chairman of the board for the Nativity Miguel School at Marywood University. “The school is based on the Nativity model of education,” said Hawk. “There are about 63 students enrolled from fifth to eighth grade. It is tuition-free, but you have to get accepted. Many of the students go on to receive scholarships from Holy Cross or Scranton Prep High Schools.”

Hawk is married to the former Ann Walsh. The couple met at the local Penn State campus where Dave was studying for an associate’s degree in business. “It was love at first sight.”

The couple has 12 grandchildren. Each of the Hawk couple’s children have three kids.

Hawk is a North Pocono graduate, but has lived in Dunmore with his wife for the past 50 years.

The original Gertrude Hawk business location was at 1325 Drinker St., Dunmore.

Hawk said his family runs 45 Gertrude Hawk stores at present. There are 14 located in Northeast PA, including the one at Keystone Industrial Park.  All of the stores are located within a 156 mile radius from Dunmore. Some of the stores are in New Jersey and parts of New York State such as Binghamton and Syracuse.

“We’ve had a dynamic year with the business,” said Hawk. “Business is growing like crazy. We never knew it would be like this. We developed a unique product.

“However, the most important thing is not about the money exchanged. It’s about how you treat people. It’s about treating people well. It’s about treating the customers and also the people who work for you well. You need to instill a feeling of trust, especially in this community.”

Hawk said fund-raising has become a huge part of the business. He said a piece of the Gertrude Hawk business was sold five years ago.

“We try to come up with the right blend of cocoa for our chocolates,” said Hawk. “We work hard at it. Molasses coconut was big in my grandmother’s day. Times change and people’s tastes change. You have to be able to adjust to those changes. Cocoa over the years changes, so we have to search for places for that flavor.

“We are always trying to keep up with food trends and what people like. Chocolate products have to be responsive to changes in taste. Coconut was the number one seller during my grandmother’s time.”