James F. Swift Scholarship Recipients Announced

Shown first row from left: Gabrielle Snee, Rebecca Lucas, Liz Stone, Olivia Manarchuck, Taralyn Reilly and Ryan Coleman. Second row, same order: Hannah Carr, Maura Turi, Jillian Brennan and Alexis Tanana, both from Holy Cross High School; Ava Decker, Caitlin Doughton, Gerardo Sanchez Garcia, Gwyneth Serowinski, Fione Evans, Korey Kruk. Third row: Hunter Geise, Ben Thompson, Antonio Pugliese, Nicholas Guerra, Ashley Capone, Taylor Seprosky, Jenna O’Malley. Fourth row: Christian Snee, Jacob Vituszynski, Joshua Vituszynski, Claudia Pitts, Tyler Muskey, Marguerite Flynn, David McKenney, Eric Spivak. Also in the photo are Cathy Fitzpatrick, Grants and Scholarship Manager, and Frank Caputo, Grants and Communications Coordinator, Scranton Area Community Foundation.

Twenty students from 13 different high schools in the area, including Alexis Tanana and Jillian Brennan, two students from Holy Cross High School in Dunmore, have been awarded a prestigious scholarship through the James F. Swift Scholarship Fund administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which provides $5,000 per year for each recipient for up to four years to assist with continuing education expenses. 

The James F. Swift Scholarship Fund has awarded over $3.2 million since 2008, benefiting over 220 local students to date. Created in 2002 through a gift by James F. Swift to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, the James F. Swift Scholarship Fund provides support for higher education for students graduating from high schools in Lackawanna County. 

Following Mr. Swift’s death in 2006, the Scranton Area Community Foundation gratefully received a significant gift from his estate to the scholarship fund which has allowed a great number of students from Lackawanna County the opportunity to pursue their academic and professional goals through higher education.

The scholarship aims to provide an ongoing stream of matriculation at Lackawanna County colleges and universities. It is the goal of the Scranton Area Community Foundation to award 75% of the scholarships to students who plan to attend institutions of higher learning in the Lackawanna County region.

Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO Laura Ducceschi praised the generosity of Mr. Swift, noting “he has left a permanent and enduring legacy for the young people of our region. His scholarship fund makes higher education more attainable for generations of students.”

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is a partner with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in their Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Program to offer qualifying students additional financial aid. Through PHEAA, these scholarship recipients may be eligible for additional dollars toward their tuition.

For more information on the James F. Swift Scholarship Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

Scranton Area Community Foundation works to enhance the quality of life for all people in Northeastern Pennsylvania through the development of organized philanthropy. With assets of more than $40 million and more than 180 charitable funds, the Scranton Area Community Foundation distributed over $1.3 million in grants and scholarships in 2018. Additionally, through its foundation management services offered to other private and public foundations, the Scranton Area Community Foundation manages assets of more than $31 million and distributed an additional $1.5 million in grants and scholarships in 2018 through assets under management. More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at www.safdn.org.

Family Service Association Gets Grant to Support Guardianship Program

Participating in the ceremonial check presentation, from left, are Janyne Gurnari, chief operating officer, FSA; David Hawk, Hawk Family Foundation; Ann Hawk, Hawk Family Foundation, and Nancy Hudack, BSW, supervisor, Guardianship Program.

The Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania (FSA) recently received a three-year financial commitment from the Hawk Family Foundation in support of the nonprofit agency’s Guardianship Program.

The Hawk Family Foundation’s $45,000 grant will support the services FSA’s social workers provide for people who have been declared legally by the court system to be unable to make decisions on their own behalf and do not have family or friends available to care for them. 

FSA’s program provides guardianship services for anyone aged 18 or older, which includes managing their legal, financial, personal, health and end-of-life care.

“Guardianship is one of our most vital programs, as it ensures the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities have a voice and advocate in their overall care,” said Gertrude C. McGowan, Esq., chief executive officer of FSA. “FSA is extremely grateful for the generous investment David and Ann Hawk have made through the Hawk Family Foundation to ensure people who are unable to care for themselves have the proper resources available to them in the greater community.”

The Guardianship Program’s clients usually have an intellectual disability, dementia, physical issues, and/or age-related health problems that cause physicians to refer decisions about their care and overall well-being to the legal system. More than 80% of clients in FSA’s program qualify for medical assistance, which provides very modest reimbursement. Community foundation grants and fundraising assist with operating expenses and assure the program remains financially sustainable.

David and Ann Hawk established the foundation in 2006 and permanently endowed it in 2017. The family foundation represents and promotes the philanthropic interests of Mr. and Mrs. Hawk, the family’s descendants, and Gertrude Hawk Chocolates by working to improve the quality of people’s lives, particularly children, senior citizens, and the most vulnerable people in society.

“It is important that the Guardianship Program, and other similar programs, remains viable so everyone has a say in the physical, financial and emotional aspects of their lives,” said Ann Hawk. “David and I are intimately familiar with caring for a loved one, and we believe in the importance of everyone receiving proper care in a dignified and respectful manner. We are extremely pleased to be able to support the Guardianship Program and the people it represents.”

FSA was established in 1895 by a group of involved and concerned members of the community in order to provide diverse services that empower children, individuals, seniors and families to reach their full potential by building healthier relationships and ultimately stronger communities. Today, its 13 programs provide services to residents in 17 counties in Northeastern and North-Central Pennsylvania. For more information about FSA or to support its programs, please log on to www.fsanepa.org or call (570) 823-5144.

Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company Receives $100,000 Grant

The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO) – the economic development affiliate of The Greater Scranton of Commerce – received a $100,000 Local Share Account (LSA) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a national advertising campaign targeted at remote workers and talent attraction.

The goal is to draw awareness of career opportunities available and recruit new talent to Lackawanna County.

Local state-elected officials who gave their support in receiving the grant are shown, from left,  with Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Rep. Kyle Mullins, Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, Senator Marty Flynn, Rep. Mike Carroll, and P. Timothy Kelly, Esq., Needle Law.