Dunmore Groups Nominated for SAGE Awards

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for the 2021 SAGE Awards, the Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence, which honor outstanding local businesses for their talent, creativity, and innovation. 

Among the finalists from Dunmore are Fidelity Bank, FNCB Bank, DePietro’s Pharmacy, Dearly Departed Players at Dunmore Cemetery, and Space Time Mead & Cider Works.

The winners will be announced on Friday, March 19, at the Chamber Gala, a hybrid event held at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center and live via Zoom.

This year’s SAGE Awards have been enhanced to honor and recognize the innovation our local businesses employed due to COVID-19. In addition, the new IMPACT Award for 2021 iincludes three categories: Community Outreach, People and Culture, and Products and Services. 

Close to 100 applications were received for this year’s awards and nearly 40 community leaders and professionals volunteered to review applications and select finalists. The finalists, in each category, are: Best Practices in Community Involvement, Coal Creative, Scranton Area Community Foundation, Valhalla Veterans Services; Best Practices in Customer Service, Center City Print, Maternal and Family Health Services, Tech42 LLC.

Best Practices in Marketing and Communications,m Horizon Dental Care, Inspired Studio, Posture Interactive; Business of the Year, Benco Dental, Fidelity Bank, Horizon Dental Care; Hometown Star, Dearly Departed Players at Dunmore Cemetery, Scranton Memorial Park at Scranton High School; Food for All Campaign at The Settlers Inn.

Impact: Community Outreach, Center City Print, DePietro’s Pharmacy, FNCB Bank; Impact: People and Culture, DePietro’s Pharmacy, Golden Technologies, Penn Foster, Impact: Products and Services, DePietro’s Pharmacy, Hemotology & Oncology Associates of NEPA, Woodloch Resort.

New and Emerging Business of the Year: Birdhouse Outdoor, Scholars in Training Preschool, Space Time Mead & Cider Works;  Non-Profit Organization of the Year, Camp Freedom, Inc., Keystone Mission, Maternal & Family Health Services; Small Business of the Year, Center City Print, PennWood Financial Group, United Sports Academy.

In addition, all award finalists can also win the People’s Choice Award, where the winner will be chosen by a community wide online vote, available on www.scrantonchamber.com from Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5.

New Documentary Focused on Dunmore Cemetery Tour

Luz Cabrales

Luz Cabrales is director of a documentary entitled “The Dunmore Cemetery Tour, with The Dearly Departed Players.”

Luz runs Scranton Films, a group of filmmakers in the area making films, TV shows and series, all featuring local resources and local talent. 

“We believe that this area is full of talented artists and beautiful landscapes that can be featured in many creative projects,” Luz explains. “Our goal is to bring film back to the area and to build a filmmaking community by fostering and highlighting the work of talented artists, local businesses and our beautiful community.”

The Dunmore Cemetery Tour Documentary takes a personal look into The Dearly Departed Players and tour director Julie Esty and follows their journey into making the tour a success every year. 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis,, a Virtual / Online premiere will be held on the group’s Facebook event page on Nov. 21, starting at 6 p.m. Go to facebook.com/scrantonfilms.

The direct link is: https://www.facebook.com/events/734810377132067/

First Ever Drive-Thru Dunmore Cemetery Tour

Participants in October’s annual Cemetery Tour sponsored by the Dearly Departed Players included, from row, from left: Laura Doyle and Julie Esty, tour director, with Maura Mark of United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA. Back row, same order: Jake Mozeleski, Crista Gaskill, Nelson Wood, Christine McGeachie, Roger Mattes, Amy Black, Leslie Kirchner and Wendy Belaski. Not pictured: S. Robert Powell and Kathy Sponenberg.

The Dearly Departed Players rolled through the cemetery with the first ever drive-thru edition of the Dunmore Cemetery Tour on Oct. 4.  With the tour beginning at 2 p.m., cars were lined up down Warren Street, past Dunmore  High School and out to Quincy Avenue. Vehicles  also lined Church Street.  

A total of 170 cars went through before The Players got a very slight lull, then the procession started up again in force and continued until 4 p.m.  At least 350 cars went through, each car averaging between two and four people in each.  The drive through tour took almost 25 minutes to complete.

Participants were given a copy of the guidebook, “Who’s Who in the Dunmore Cemetery.”  With this guide book, participants were able to drive through the cemetery and learn about 12 cemetery “residents” and their historical significance.  Following the tour, they could use the guidebook, compiled by tour director, Julie Esty, to take a walking or drive-through tour at their leisure.  

The cemetery was decorated with corn stalks, harvest wreaths and scarecrows. In addition, Space Time Mead and Cider Works, Jerry’s for all Seasons, Dunmore Federation of Teachers, Lackawanna Historical Society, Carlucci – Golden- DeSantis Funeral Home, Miller Bean Funeral Home and Steven’s Wreaths donated decorations or sponsored and decorated a mausoleum or gravesite with harvest decor.  

Due to a sizable donation of fall flowers by the Dollar Store, 30 bouquets of flowers were assembled and laid at the gravesites of 30 Civil War soldiers buried in the Civil War section of the cemetery.  

The Dearly Departed Players were also assisted by Dunmore Mayor Timothy Burke and the Dunmore Police Department.  Gertrude Hawk Chocolates and PS Advertising  also contributed to the tour.  As always, Sam Quinn and the employees of the Dunmore Cemetery did a top notch job with the maintenance of the cemetery grounds.

Spaced throughout the cemetery, the Dearly Departed Players assisted the procession  through the cemetery.  Each Player reported numerous positive comments and thank you’s from the public for continuing  the annual event. The Players also reported that some tour attendees got back in line immediately following their first trip through the cemetery to take the tour again.

Suggested tour admission was the donation of non-perishable food items for Feed-a-Friend.  At the end of the tour Players reported that almost every collection barrel was overflowing with donations.  

Tour director Julie Esty stated, “We adapted, the public adapted.  It worked well and it was a joy to see everyone.  Good things happen in the cemetery! We will see everyone again in 2021!”