My Corner, Your Corner: It was a busy week in Greater Pittston

My Corner - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

This past week saw a lot of activity. We had an election that created change, the Greater Pittston YMCA held its annual awards dinner, autumn remembered it’s not summer anymore and winter took a peek in, as well.

Tuesday’s election saw some change on the national level as well as on the local level. Nationally, it seems a lot of Republicans were replaced with Democrats and here at home, Wyoming and Exeter will have new mayors and West Pittston will have a new-old mayor with Tom Blaskiewicz.

Congratulations to Denise Adams who will take over for Herman Castellani as mayor in Exeter and Joe Dominickwho will replace Bob Boyer in Wyoming.

Last week, I asked readers to carry out their constitutional right and vote. Unfortunately, Luzerne County wide, only 24.24% of all voters voted. That’s awful. We have 204, 757 registered voters and only 49,624 made the trip to the pole.

It’s not just in our area, but it seems to be nationwide. Unless there’s a key election, people don’t vote. When I reached my polling place, it was about 11:30 a.m. and I was only the 25th voter. I just about had to wake up the good folks working at the polls.

There were only two people passing out material for those running. I know it was a bit chilly on the morning of the election and some places saw snow flurries in the afternoon, but years ago, that never stopped people from voting.

I hope one day the lack of voters at the poll will turn around or perhaps a new method of voting could be used. Phoning in a vote may not be a bad idea – remember you may only cast five votes per phone line. Hey, it works for “Dancing With the Stars.”

This past Wednesday, I had the honor of covering the annual Greater Pittston YMCA Awards held at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Approximately 200 people from the Pittston area were in attendance. The awards dinner is one of the Y’s biggest fundraiser.

There were five categories that included the Greater Pittston YMCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award (Clifford and Ruth Melberger), the Corporate Distinction Award (Susquehanna Brewing Co.), the YMCA Spirit of Community Award (Dr. Jennifer Sidari Memorial Foundation), the Sam Milazzo Volunteer of the Year Award (Jennifer Borton) and the James & Jean Yates Youth Leadership Award (Olivia Meuser).

All recipients are very well deserved and the bios on all choices this year are very impressive.

You can’t help but walk away very proud to live in Greater Pittston. There are so many outstanding people out there who really care about our community and go above and beyond when it comes to serving our area.

I’ve known Mark Nobile since my Little League days and I couldn’t be prouder to see how he and his partners have taken an upstart business like brewing and become such a success in northeastern PA and beyond.

The Sidari family has done so much to honor the memory of their beloved daughter and sister, Dr. Jen. Jennifer was a newly degreed physician who died way before she could roll up her sleeves and make her mark on the world. In a short time on this earth, she made an impact on everyone she came in contact with.

Jennifer Borton – what can you say about a person like Jennifer who has always believed in volunteerism> The Wilkes University student and Wyoming Area grad has been involved with the Y since 2014 and she hasn’t looked back as she’s blazed her way to running a few programs there. In her “spare” time, she volunteers with the Avoca Fire Dept.

I never met Olivia Meuser, and judging by her resume, she’s a go-to person. The Wyoming Seminary senior spent time volunteering as a counselor at the Greater Pittston YMCA. She certainly has a bright future in whatever she decides to do.

Lastly, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mickey and Ruth Melberger, two folks who have made a difference in their community.

It’s no secret the Melbergers have made great business decisions over their lifetime and those decisions have made them financially successful. Honestly, you won’t find more down-to-earth folks.

Needless to say, the Melbergers are not only known for firmly believing in their community, but they also believe in paying it forward by being philanthropic.

During Mickey’s acceptance speech, he urged the political leaders, financial institutions and the Chamber of Commerce to lure New York City firemen and police officers to look towards Greater Pittston for their retirement days. Mickey cited Pennsylvania is one of four top states to retire.

Hey, how about 12 degrees for a low this past week? Summer finally let go and fall made a return but come on, 12 degrees? Give us a break winter and let us enjoy a bit of autumn before you tear into us during December, January and February.

Quote of the week

“The sheepskin conferred on a student by a college hardly compensates for the human side that will be knocked off him later in the school of experience.” – Charley Jones

Thought of the week

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” – Martin Luther, German priest and scholar.

Bumper sticker

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” – Oliver Goldsmith, British essayist.

My Corner

Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at