Dunmore Cemetery Tour Returns Next Month

By Julie Esty
Tour Director

The annual Dunmore Cemetery tour will return to the first two Sundays of October, which fall this year on Oct. 3 and 10, beginning at 2 p.m.

Because of the uncertainty of Covid 19, we have decided to go with a drive-through format again. It was a very successful event in 2020, and we will give visitors a new tour book and expanded route through the cemetery. The tour book they receive can be used at any point following the tour, either for drive or walk through.

We will have a different line-up of people from the past featured this year, with a whole new route. As always, admission is free. Since we have learned that many people on a national level are returning pets adopted from shelters during the pandemic, we have decided to partner with Griffin Pond Animal Shelter this year and accept donations of pet items at the gate.

We have been the fortunate recipients of a sizable Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Covid grant for adapting our art form, and we have also received a Municipal Arts Grant from the Borough of Dunmore to aid in financing this free tour.

It is our plan to make the cemetery more of a harvest festival this year.  We did this to a degree last year, but our funds were limited.  We plan to do more this year.  The cemetery looked absolutely gorgeous with corn stalks and scarecrows – even ghosts — so we’re expanding on that.  

The final resting place of Dunmore music teacher and director of music Martha Matthews Owens was decorated by the Dunmore Federation of Teachers.

Right now we have close to 100 bouquets of flowers for the Home for the Friendless Section and about a dozen wreaths to adorn mausoleums. We’re just starting to get ready now — I’m sure there will be an explosion of autumn in the cemetery for folks to see.

Our dear friends at Gertrude Hawk Chocolates will be supplying a “goodie’ for tour visitors.  Some people/organizations are decorating mausoleums.  Our friends at the Lackawanna Historical Society are going to take care of George Catlin’s spot.

As always, our Dearly Departed Players will be in the cemetery to guide people along the tour route. Costume planning has begun, and the Players are looking forward to getting out in the cemetery and seeing everyone.

We look at back and remember the tour was so positive last year.  People were so happy, and even with our visitors  in vehicles, we got to interact with the public on a large scale and it was wonderful.  The drive through method is really cool, and it works like a charm.  Of course, we are looking forward to the time when we get back to our regular format,  but for now this is great.  

The tour took about a half hour last year, and this year we expect it should take a bit longer.  

Since I am up the front where the cars come in, I decided a hoop skirt or dress isn’t the safest thing, so I will be going out there again as a hippie. Last year, folks were flashing me peace signs — soI am hoping they will do it again this year!

On another note, local filmmaker Luz Cabrales from Scranton Films worked with the tour for two years and has made a one-hour documentary about our beginnings. Then Covid hit.  That took the documentary down an interesting avenue.  

Luz showed how bleak things looked and how we adapted and a community worked together to help others.  It’s a beautiful film – she did an amazing job. The aerial views of the cemetery/Dunmore/the huge crowd are amazing.  She started submitting the documentary to different film festivals internationally and it is being seen on an international level. 

Space Time to Announce Label Art Contest Winners

Winners will be announced today (Sept. 1) for Space Time Mead & Cider Works 3rd Annual Label Art Competition. Four finalists have been selected from 16 submissions.

This year’s theme is the “Overview Effect” – a shift in perspective, attributed to astronauts  who experience firsthand the reality of the Earth in space.  

“During the past year, many of us had their own shift in perspective and priorities caused by the global pandemic. I love the creativity and hard work that went into this year’s entries – from literal interpretations to more abstract,” says Dan Schreffler.  “Again, it was hard to choose just four out of all the entries, and even harder to pick just one winner.”

Two prizes will be awards – $250 for the Judges’ Selection and $100 for the People’s Choice Selection.

Winners will be announced at the winery and via traditional and social media outlets.

Fidelity Plans to Remodel Dunmore Branch

Fidelity Bank opened its doors to Dunmore, Pennsylvania, 119 years ago. Today, its home remains the same. And while the Bank may look different than it used to – imposing metal teller windows have been replaced by welcoming, round desks, and the use of mobile banking apps has surpassed that of checkbooks, one thing has never changed… Fidelity Bank’s commitment to its clients and community.  

“We aren’t afraid to try something new,” says Fidelity Bank’s President & CEO, Daniel Santaniello. “As we learn, as new technology becomes available, we embrace opportunities while continuing to put our clients at the center of every decision we make.” 

“Where the future may take us is yet to be seen,” said Santaniello. “But no matter what, Dunmore will always be home.” The Bank plans to remodel the branch office which has sat on the corner of Blakely and Drinker Streets since 1902. The innovative approach to delivering our clients an extraordinary experience the community have gotten to know and trust will remain. 

That innovative leadership has been a part of the Bank’s philosophy since its early days. In 1951, Fidelity Bank was the first in the area to introduce a drive-through bank window. It was an early adopter of digital delivery, having the ability to open deposit accounts online since 2008.   In 2019, the Bank released a totally digital mortgage application process that can be done from any mobile device easily and securely.

In was in 2007 that Fidelity Bank’s leadership decided to make a concerted effort to think boldly about tying its brand and sustainability into the banking experience.  

As it built out new branches over the years, Fidelity refined its prototype, adding new features and shrinking its overall footprint to take clients’ banking needs into account. Bank leaders and architects from firm DxDempsey visited financial institutions across the country, from Chicago to Florida, to research the latest trends and bring back best practices to the area. 

It is not just about appearances either… the client experience had a redesign, too. Today, under the Bank’s service model, a banker will greet a client within two steps of entering a branch or office. Inside, a table made from milled lumber provides a platform for local businesses to showcase their work, a digital wall displays what’s happening in the community via slick LCD TVs, and a hospitality bar offering coffee and cookies baked that morning.

All Fidelity Bank enhancements are made not to be trendy, but to help Bankers build relationships with clients.  Technology and experiences always stay true to the Bank’s brand. 

In 2020, Fidelity Bank acquired Lehigh Valley-based Merchants Bank and on its heels, recently completed the acquisition of Landmark Community Bank. Now, the Bank operates 23 branch offices throughout four counties. “We’ve come together with these Banks to form one, strong organization, committed to delivering the best client experience possible,” he said. “These unions allow for expanded products, services and benefits for clients, and create an expanded business and community banking footprint.”

Fidelity Bank believes that a strong community will have a strong community bank, and that the relationship is symbiotic. Fidelity is proud to give back in time, talent and treasure to the people, businesses and organizations that support it. “We are grateful to those who’ve supported us, especially here; it’s because of them that we are as successful as we are,” he said.