Monumental presidential visit set for May 28

June 27th, 2015 1:43 am

First Posted: 1/20/2013

Former United States President Jimmy Carter, along with his wife Roslynn, is coming to Greater Pittston on Tuesday, May 28, to benefit of the Plains Helping Plains initiative.

Carter, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, will speak at the Wyoming Monument. The public is invited free of charge.

The event will be followed by an invitation-only dinner at the Stegmaier Mansion, Wilkes-Barre, hosted by Larry and Diane Cook, owners of Cook & Cook Estate Liquidators.

The Carters were guests of the Cooks in 2011 at an auction benefiting the preservation and restoration of the Carters' hometown of Plains, Georgia. Larry Cook came up with the name of the fundraiser, Plains Helping Plains, which he founded in 2010. The Cooks and Carters have been friends since 2004.

The Cooks have worked on several projects with the Carters over the years including the auction in 2011 and a stained glass window project (2012) that now resides at the Plains Historical Inn, in Georgia. They are currently working on getting welcome signs made for the entrance of Plains, Georgia. We really wanted to do something big for 2013. We had a lot of people that enjoyed their visit in 2011, said Larry Cook.

Carter will be the third U.S. president to speak at the Wyoming Monument, the first Rutherford B. Hayes and the second, Theodore Roosevelt. I explained to President Carter that we've had a president speak in the 19th Century, one in the earlier 20th Century and it would sure be great to have him here in the 21st Century, said Cook.

I'm absolutely elated that this is going to happy, said Marcella Starr, president of the Wyoming Monument Association. I cannot wait for this event to happen.

The Wyoming Monument was struck by lightning 2008. Starr oversaw a complete restoration thanks to the donation of $100,000 by the late Pocono Racetrack owner, Dr. Joseph Mattioli. I would have never dreamt that I'd see that monument repaired, said Starr. It's resorted for another generation.

Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer said overflow parking for the president's visit will be available at the Flack Field Complex where shuttle buses will be provided.

We are going to be doing a proclamation on that day, proclaiming it Jimmy Carter Day and we plan on throwing a warm welcome for the president, Boyer said.