My Corner, Your Corner: Paint Pittston Pink reminds me to be thankful

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio | October 7th, 2016 1:59 pm

Hats off to Paint Pittston Pink founder Barbara Sciandra and her team for what looks like another great campaign for breast cancer research this year.

At press time, the Paint Pittston Pink Gentlemen’s Dash has raised more than $35,000. That’s incredible amount of money to see men race in high heels, including the Sunday Dispatch’s Jimmy Fisher. What a great effort by all.

I have to hand it to Barbara, Qiana Lehman and all the wonderful people that volunteer their time for Paint Pittston Pink. When this effort started, I knew it was only going to get bigger, and to see the City of Pittston and surrounding communities catching the campaign fever is great to see.

On Oct. 2, I covered the Paint the Night Pink lantern release at Pittston’s Riverfront Park, where a few hundred people gathered to send off the hot-air lanterns into the sky in remembrance of those that have died of cancer.

For as awesome as it was to see all those lanterns take off to the backdrop of a dark evening sky, it was also pretty emotional. Many shed tears as the lanterns were filled with hot air before being released. As a cancer survivor, I realized how lucky I was just to stand there and be part of the ceremony.

As I was focusing on my job as photographer, shooting the crowd and the lanterns floating away (not an easy task in the dark), I got choked up. Since my cancer surgery a decade ago, I find myself more emotional than ever.

With the many Paint Pittston Pink events completed, there is one more item left: the Paint Pittston Pink Luxury Lotto. Those interested can purchase a month-long calendar (starting Oct. 10 through Nov. 8) from a committee member and one winner will be drawn daily with a guaranteed minimum value of $100. The last day prize will be $500.

Prizes include an iPad, American Girl doll, Under Armor sunglasses, autographed Notre Dame jersey and many more items. For those on Facebook, go to the Paint Pittston Pink page for more details.

Congrats, Kitty

Congratulations and good luck to Kitty Bruce on the opening of the collection of personal papers, audio and film recordings and photographs of her dad and comic legend, the late Lenny Bruce, at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. All the artifacts will be stored there forever.

A symposium titled, “Comedy and the Constitution: the Legacy of Lenny Bruce,” will kick-off the opening Thursday and Friday, Oct. 27 and 28.

The keynote speaker will be Christie Hefner, daughter of magazine mogul Hugh Hefner. Christie is a 1974 graduate of Brandeis.

The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation donated a sum of money to Brandeis to ensure Lenny’s legacy will be documented so future generations could learn about the comic’s conviction to uphold the freedom of speech.

Those interested can go to the university’s website to register to attend the two-day event.

Kitty is the lone child of Lenny and the late Honey Bruce. She resides in Pittston.

Happy birthday, Mom

My mother’s birthday is Wednesday, Oct. 12, and it’s the first birthday since she passed away in April. It’s going to be strange not having her here to celebrate her 89th birthday.

I remember a time when children made birthday cards from construction paper and crayons. I know I have a few from my daughters. Those are the most cherished cards.

About 10 years ago I brought back the tradition and started giving personalized creations to my mom on her birthday. I traded the crayons for a computer and opted for nice shiny paper instead of construction paper.

I can’t tell you how much fun it was to create something that special again. Often times I would make up a poem (trust me, I’m no Edgar Allen Poe) and it would light and humorous. I always, throughout my life, would send my mom a funny card for her birthday.

Like I was 7 years old again, I would hold my breath as she opened the card to read what quip I penned. I’d have a huge smile on my face as she read the card aloud. She’d laugh, and many times speak with a quivering voice as she read my words.

It was so gratifying to do something so personal for my mom in her later years. I was always proud and privileged to have my mother as long as I did in my life. I will truly miss that for the rest of my life.

Quote of the week

“I won’t say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I’m going to be if I grow up.” – Lenny Bruce, American comic legend.

Thought of the week

“It’s good to have money and the things that you can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” – George Lorimer, American writer.

Bumper sticker

“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.” - Denis Diderot, French philosopher.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at