The Pittston Tomato Festival Executive Committee closed out 2012 with a meeting at Tony's Wine Cellar.
Tomato Fest Chairperson Lori Nocito discussed donations and contributions to organizations and the City of Pittston over the last 15 years. The festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013.
Festival co-chair Jim Zarra spoke on the improvements in the next two years which include finding a permanent home for the festival. According to Zarra, the old Frushon Produce lot is the likely place. We can make a permanent structure there that would house a stand, stage area, storage and maybe an office area, he said.
Other items discussed included making a future constructed area behind the Pittston Library to be utilized as the amusement rides area. This would free up the lower parking lot for the bandshell. The organization is looking to purchase a band shell instead of renting one every year.
Nocito mentioned dozens of charities, civic and government agencies that benefited from the profits of the Festivals over the years, including:
• Scholarships to Luzerne County Head Start students
• Meals on Wheels
• Greater Pittston Food Pantry/Care and Concern Clinic
• Miles for Michael
• Pittston Memorial Library
• Pittston City Millennium Clock Restoration
• Greater Pittston Coats for Kids
• Concrete table and chairs for Pittston City streetscape
• American Cancer Society daffodils
• Stauffer Heights star restoration at Pittston Area
• Luzerne County Culture Council's Miles for Mules: Tomato Mule
• Pittston City Fire Department security cameras
• Sidewalk restoration grant for downtown businesses
• Welcome to Pittston and Welcome to Yatesville signs
• Pittston/West Pittston Fourth of July fireworks
• St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen
• St. Francis of Assisi
• Relay for Life/American Cancer Society
• Greater Pittston YMCA
• Pittston Manor Assisted Living Center: gifts for residents
• Landscaping/maintenance of Pittston Library and Tomato Festival grounds
• Farmers' Market
• Non-profit organizations that were allowed to set up booths at no cost for the Tomato Festival – a value of $375