Moose Lodge helps West Pittston bid farewell to summer with block party

By Geri Gibbons - ggibbons@timesleader.com | August 29th, 2015 6:41 pm

WEST PITTSTON — An end-of-summer block party hosted by Moose Lodge No. 1207 brought a spirit of fun and entertainment that went beyond the lodge’s parking lot and even beyond the borough’s boundaries, raising money for the needs of children and the elderly.

As Lodge Governor Bobby Messina, of Harding, looked out over area residents enjoying the food, games and entertainment, he said the effort was not just about socializing but about helping others.

Monies raised by the lodge throughout the year go to benefit such programs as Mooseheart, a residential childcare facility, and Moosehaven, a continuing care retirement community for its elderly members.

The lodge also has its heart and its energies deeply rooted in the Greater Pittston area, offering scholarships to area high school students, providing facilities for sporting teams to gather and responding to general needs of the community.

Anthony Forlenza, 9, thought the best part of the event was the bounce house. He was accompanied by other youngsters who simply didn’t want to leave the multi-colored inflatable.

Youngsters also flocked to the dunk tank and a “Who will pop the balloon first?” game, trying not to think about the books, early wake up times and colder weather that upcoming weeks will bring.

Music lovers at the event were not disappointed as a steady stream of hits provided the backdrop for the event. Crockett from Froggy 101 provided the music.

A beer tent was also open to adults.

Volunteer Barb Sherinsky, of Exeter, said the block party had been held in the past, but had not been held for many years.

Sherinsky said she was delighted at the turnout and looking forward to growth in upcoming years.

Ann Marie Skilonger, of West Pittston, said she would certainly come back to the event next year.

“I had two slices of pizza and a diet coke,” said Skilonger, smiling, “and the prices were reasonable.”

Indeed, those who came hungry were not disappointed with a menu that included wings, pizza, pierogies, french fries and corn on the cob.

“I just had french fries, but they were really good,” said Reynold Grenfeld, of Exeter. “I had a lot of fun.”

Overflowing with color and variety was a basket raffle, offering a chance to win a variety of items from hand towels to holiday items to Tastykakes.

The Gift of Life Donor Program volunteers were also on site, providing information about organ donation and enjoying a time of laughter and fellowship with attendees. Volunteer Karen Van Why, of Wilkes-Barre, said the group’s goal was to raise awareness and encourage people to become organ donors.

Moose member Ki Grazellareflected on the organization’s commitment to helping others within the context of fun.

Best friends Michele Maryovich, of Exeter, left, and Ann Marie Skilonger, of West Pittston, grab a bite to eat at an end-of-summer block party in West Pittston on Saturday.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Moose-Block-Party-1.jpgBest friends Michele Maryovich, of Exeter, left, and Ann Marie Skilonger, of West Pittston, grab a bite to eat at an end-of-summer block party in West Pittston on Saturday.
Anthony Forlenza, 9, left, and Jackson Evans, 2, play in the bounce house.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Moose-Block-Party-2.jpgAnthony Forlenza, 9, left, and Jackson Evans, 2, play in the bounce house.
Doug Warabek, sitting in the dunk tank, is about to be dunked by Leona Broda, 8, left and Caitlyn Hess, 8, at a block party in West Pittston on Saturday.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Moose-Block-Party-3.jpgDoug Warabek, sitting in the dunk tank, is about to be dunked by Leona Broda, 8, left and Caitlyn Hess, 8, at a block party in West Pittston on Saturday.
Who will break the balloon first? Falin McCann, 10, left, Brandon Cegelka, 8, center, and Anthony Forlenza, 9, give it their best try at a block party in West Pittston Saturday.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Moose-Block-Party-4.jpgWho will break the balloon first? Falin McCann, 10, left, Brandon Cegelka, 8, center, and Anthony Forlenza, 9, give it their best try at a block party in West Pittston Saturday.
Karen Van Why, Wilkes-Barre, left, Cindy Timinski, Harding, center and Dan Peck, Wyoming, man the Gift of Life booth at the Moose Lodge, West Pittston, Block Party held on Sat., Aug. 29.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Moose-Block-Party-5.jpgKaren Van Why, Wilkes-Barre, left, Cindy Timinski, Harding, center and Dan Peck, Wyoming, man the Gift of Life booth at the Moose Lodge, West Pittston, Block Party held on Sat., Aug. 29.

By Geri Gibbons

ggibbons@timesleader.com

Reach Geri Gibbons at 570-991-6117 or on Twitter @TLGGibbons


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