My Corner, Your Corner: Honoring a petite girl with a big heart

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio | August 6th, 2015 3:15 pm

We’ve turned the corner on summer as most, if not all bazaars have been held and vacations are over. Now, it’s time to focus on back-to-school season.

It’s interesting to see so many people headed to the beach this summer. When I was a child, that was about the only vacation destination as not many people could afford anything more extravagant. Atlantic City was the go-to place and, although it didn’t happen often for my family, I can recall going a few times.

My gang made our summer destination to Long Island, New York, visiting relatives in Brentwood. We always made our way to Jones Beach, a crowded but happening place.

It was a slow start to summer this year, but since the Fourth of July it’s been a great one, with warm temperatures, plenty of sun and fantastic sunsets — always my favorite. I get mesmerized by a spectacular sunset.

Join us at Dr. Jen’s Party

Today promises to be another great day after a stretch of incredible weather. If you’re out and about, make your way to Cooper’s Waterfront on Kennedy Boulevard in Pittston. The restaurant, along with the Wyoming Valley Motorcycle Club, will host the Dr. Jen’s Hope Third Annual Memorial Ride & Block Party.

Prior to the block party, there will be motorcycle registration from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with free coffee and doughnuts followed by the blessing of the bikes at 11:45 a.m. The 40-mile cruise will begin at noon, returning to Cooper’s for the block party.

The block party is for one-and-all, featuring a children’s balloon contest, face painting and a dunk tank. There will be an adult egg toss contest, hot dog eating contest, bake sale, local vendors and over 50 gift baskets and prizes to be raffled. A DJ will be on hand for entertainment.

You can purchase commemorative T-shirts marking this rain-or-shine event. Proceeds will support the Dr. Jen’s Hope Foundation.

Dr. Jen is the late Dr. Jennifer Sidari, a former West Pittston resident and 2005 Wyoming Area graduate who earned her medical degree from The Commonwealth Medical College after receiving her B.S. from The University of Scranton.

Jennifer was a promising physician with a huge heart, tons of compassion and a smile that lit up a room. She accepted a position in pediatrics at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville after graduating with her medical degree; however, after a brief illness, she passed away on May 29, 2013, a week from her starting day at Geisinger.

Her death stunned Greater Pittston and dealt a devastating blow to her family, fiancé, friends and medical colleagues.

I knew Jennifer and watched her grow from a tiny 13-year-old playing softball through high school and finally conquering medical school. Despite her small statue, you could not underestimate her. She was strong, extremely intelligent and had an incredibly bright future in the medical field.

Through the efforts of her family, the Dr. Jen’s Hope Foundation was started not only to keep her name alive, but to also keep alive her wishes and beliefs in helping others.

I believe Jennifer will help thousands of people for many decades to come through the Dr. Jen’s Hope Foundation, the Jennifer A. Sidari, M.D. “13” Scholarship at The Commonwealth Medical College, the Jennifer A. Sidari, “13” Global Health Award Heart to Heart International, the Jennifer A. Sidari Scholarship at Wyoming Area, the West Pittston Library Jennifer A. Sidari, M.D. Collection and many more scholarships in her name.

She was a very special person. Whether or not you knew her, you can’t help but be impressed by this dynamic personality we call Jen.

Hope to see you today at the block party for this great cause.

Quote of the week

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol, American artist.

Thought of the week

“Just remember – when you think all is lost, the future remains.” – Dr. Robert H. Goddard, American rocket engineer.

Bumper sticker

“Write what should not be forgotten.” – Isabel Allende, Chilean writer.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

If you have a birthday, anniversary or special event you’d like publicized, email Tony Callaio at