Scranton to Host Inaugural Ice Festival

A small group of community-minded volunteers in partnership with First Friday Scranton, Scranton Tomorrow, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and the Scranton Area Community Foundation, have joined together to host the inaugural Scranton Ice Festival, which will be held on Friday, Feb. 5, through Sunday, Feb. 7, in Downtown Scranton. 

The Scranton Ice Festival will feature a number of ice sculptures in front of businesses in downtown Scranton including various businesses located on Adams Avenue, North Washington Avenue, Penn Avenue, Linden Street, and Wyoming Avenue. Family-friendly activities are also planned. Some of these activities include ice sculpting demonstrations, musical acts, and more. The event coincides with First Friday. The Scranton Ice Festival aims to bring people to downtown Scranton to support small businesses after a challenging year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This free and largely outdoor festival will be an opportunity for the community to safely patronize local businesses and generate charitable support for the Scranton Small Business Relief Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which will help small business owners and employees experiencing hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Any and all remaining proceeds from this nonprofit event and its sponsorships will go towards this charitable fund. Contributions will be tax-deductible. 

For questions about the Scranton Ice Festival, please email scrantonicefest@gmail.com.

“Rally For Restaurants” Supports Local Businesses

With restaurants feeling the impact of COVID-19, Lackawanna College teamed up with Scranton Tomorrow and the City of Scranton to raise money to help local restaurant owners and workers make ends meet. The effort raised over $30,000, which went directly to participating restaurants, and over $7,000 for the Lackawanna College School of Hospitality scholarship fund.  

Lackawanna College’s student-run restaurant, 409 on Adams, pivoted in a multi-faceted effort to help support the restaurant industry while also giving students valuable culinary experience with some of the area’s leading chefs. 

“Rally for Restaurants exemplified what our region is known for-neighbors helping neighbors. We were honored to serve alongside the City of Scranton and Scranton Tomorrow to bring much-needed dollars to local restaurants,” said Stephanie Decker, Associate Vice President of Social and Economic Impact.

Lackawanna College’s School of Hospitality students worked alongside expert chefs from eight local restaurants, serving a total of 684 meals since the initiative launched in February 2020. A combination of generous sponsorships and in-kind donations helped offset the operating costs for the events, along with funds raised from private donations and t-shirt sales. 

“I want to thank Lackawanna College and all of the students, and anyone involved at the College who has generously donated their time and energy to put these events on. There are few places like Scranton where you see a community rally around each other in times of need. It has been the bright spot in an otherwise dark year,” said Patrick Nasser, co-owner of Backyard Alehouse. 

Lackawanna College will launch a second Rally for Restaurants initiative later this month.

Hospice of Sacred Heart Receives Support for “Camp Healing heARTS”

Hospice award

Scranton Tomorrow, in partnership with the 2018 Governor’s Arts Awards Local Committee, announced the award of over $40,000 in community mini grants. Hospice of the Sacred Heart was awarded a $2,500 grant for “Camp Healing heARTs”, a week-long day camp that provides grief education for children ages 8 to 14.

The camp helps children progress to the first steps of acceptance following the loss of a loved one. Trained bereavement counselors and members of the local arts community interact with the children using the arts as a means of self-expression.

Shown from left: Cassandra Coleman, Director, NE/Central Regions Office of the Pennsylvania Governor; Diane Baldi, CEO, Hospice of the Sacred Heart, and Gina Malsky, Chair, 2018 Governor’s Awards for the Arts Ceremony.