PITTSTON — All Dr. Jennifer A. Sidari dreamt about from high school through medical college was helping people.
And even though she is no longer here to fulfill those dreams, her legacy continues to serve the community more than three years after her death.
The Fourth Annual Dr. Jen’s Hope Motorcycle Ride and Block Party was held Aug. 7 at Cooper’s Seafood House and Cabana. It featured food, raffles, music and a dunk tank to raise money for Dr. Jen’s Hope Foundation, named in honor of Sidari who died on May 29, 2013, at the age of 26 due to a brain hemorrhage.
Included in the event was a 52-mile motorcycle ride overseen by the Wyoming Valley Motorcycle Club.
The Sidaris were overwhelmed and grateful with the public’s response.
“We have given out, since Jen’s death, approximately $130,000 to local charities,” Pete Sidari, Jennifer’s father, said. “We are really proud to say no administrative fees come out of it. Whatever a donor gives goes 100 percent to charity, and we are always looking out for people that need help.”
“This is one of our high points since Jen’s passed — the awarding of our first four-year scholarship to med school,” Sidari said. “Our hope is that one of these bright young doctors that receive the scholarship will practice in our area.”
The scholarship is valued at approximately $240,000.
Chris Musto, 22, of Pittston, is a first-year student at TCMC and the recipient of a partial scholarship from the foundation, totaling $12,500.
“The scholarship money takes the burden off of me trying to find a way to pay for medical school,” Musto said. “Knowing who Jen was, I’d like to carry on her legacy.”
Money raised from Dr. Jen’s Hope has helped Wyoming Area, Wyoming Area Catholic, the Child’s Advocacy Center, the Red Cross, the United Way and, in the near future, Helping Hands in Hazleton.
“One hundred percent of the money raised stays in our area,” Sidari said.
Jennifer was a 2005 graduate of Wyoming Area and each year, the Sidari family donates to a graduating senior.
“It’s been a blessing to get to know the Sidaris,” said Rosella Fedor, Wyoming Area scholarship coordinator.
Fedor said the family has shown great courage in the face of the tragedy.
The three Wyoming Area recipients chosen for the 2016 Dr. Jen’s Hope Scholarship are Ashley Lamoreaux, Taryn Gates and Ryan Murphy.
Although Lamoreaux is looking toward working in a non-medical field, she has been inspired by Jennifer’s history of volunteerism. Jennifer traveled overseas to help the sick and needy in other countries.
“What she did was so inspiring that after college I want to join the Peace Corps.,” Lamoreux said. “What she did in her heart was just amazing.”
Although Lamoreaux is looking towards working in a non-medical field, she has been inspired by Dr. Jen’s history of volunteerism traveling overseas to help the sick and needy in other countries.
“What she (Dr. Jen) did was so inspring that after college I want to join the Peace Corps,” Lamoreux said. “What she did in her heart was just amazing.”
Lamoreaux is working towards a bachelor’s degree international studies and a master’s degree in peace and conflict resolution where she would like to work for the U.S. State Department.
Taryn Gates was equally happy to be a Dr. Jen’s Hope recipient. “I am so honored that they picked me,” Gates said. “This is the one scholarship that I was so, so thankful to get and writing the essay I threw everything on the table and was happy to see that they were able to see something in me that I was up to par with Jennifer.”
Gates plans on studying cellular and molecular biology in college and would like to work internationally in the science field after graduation.