Pittston has been going through a revitalization the city hasn’t seen in many decades and, with former Mayor Mike Lombardo about to be sworn in come January, you can bet the revitalization won’t stop. If I know Mayor Mike, his sleeves are rolled up and he’s ready to go.
Let’s not forget the current mayor, Jason Klush. Jason picked up right were Mike left off when Mike decided not to run eight years ago. Jason has been a great ambassador for Pittston and has been proactive in every way. My guess is, we haven’t seen the last of Jason Klush; he’ll be pitching in whenever needed by Mayor Lombardo.
When you drive through Pittston, you see the changes and improvements. The streets, the lighting, the sidewalks, the filled storefronts are all tangible items, but what you don’t see are the people in the background responsible for making sure things go right.
In 2012, city officials saw the need for a focal point to carry out special projects, a person who would take the bull by the horn and organize special events. Councilman Mike Lombardo saw a need for a PR person to create and run special events. That person is Sarah Donahue, special events coordinator for the City of Pittston.
I’ve known Sarah for a few short years and she impresses me more and more as time goes on. She’s a team player and wants to see Pittston get better and succeed. She’s a doer and it seems she can tackle any task given to her.
Even though Sarah does not get paid for the position, she was so proud to hand me her business card when we met this past week. She treats the position like a full-time job even though she has a full-time job as a middle school teacher at Pittston Area.
Sarah graduated from Elizabethtown University with a degree in Public Relations and later went back to college to get a teaching certificate.
Prior to Sarah getting on board, the only event the city held was the Tomato Festival. Her goal is to plan events around the major holidays.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a now a huge event that is getting recognition all over NEPA, Trick or Treat Main Street gets bigger and bigger, the Columbus Day ceremony was revamped this year and, on Saturday of this week, the Christmas Holiday Toy Truck Parade will take place where decorated vehicles will parade through town sponsored by Froggy 101 radio station.
Sarah is at anyone’s disposal if needed. Such events like the Art Walk, Paint Pittston Pink and the Tomato Festival all have their own committees.
What more can be celebrated in the City of Pittston? Plenty, if it’s up to Sarah. She would like to see an event to honor the military, possibly a Memorial Day Parade. It’s no secret Mayor Mike would like to see a jazz festival come to the city and that would suit Sarah just fine.
There’s always an art theme to events held in Pittston. The city has many murals, painted fire hydrants, art shop downtown and even a painted horse statue.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade has plenty of art present from musical groups to theatrical groups and, according to Sarah, takes nearly a year to plan. “Honestly, it takes a year,” she said. “Immediately after the parade is over, I book the local bands to make sure they have it on their schedule. And then we start our fundraising.”
For the 2018 parade, Sarah would love to book a few big bands from New York and, as a special treat, she’s arranged for the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile to make an appearance. That is no easy task. Paperwork has to be filed to secure the vehicle almost six months prior to the event and, just this past week, Sarah learned the Wienermobile will be in the parade.
Sarah loves all the events held in Pittston and holds the ones near and dear to her heart that she has planned and brought to fruition. I’m guessing one of her favorites is Halloween’s Trick or Treat Main Street.
This year’s Halloween event was over the top. It’s hard to estimate, but there had to be a few thousand on hand.
The merchants participating did a great job and Sarah dressed once again as Snow White. She looked and acted the part and the kids just loved it.
Sarah Donahue is a hands-on leader.
Shr began cutting her teeth on civic duty and community events when she was in college and got involved with the Tomato Festival. She’s learned a lot over the years to the point were she’s an integral part of the team in the City of Pittston.
At 35 years old, Sarah is just hitting her stride in her career and volunteerism. I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next.
Quote of the week
“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” – Oliver Goldsmith, British poet
Thought of the week
“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving, American writer
“The end of all good music is to affect the soul.” – Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.