Painting Pittston Pink for a good cause — cancer research

By Geri Gibbons - For Sunday Dispatch
Top Female finisher Kim Drozda, of Hanover Township, runs through a cloud of pink dust in Paint Pittston Pink’s Color Me Pink 5K Run on Saturday. Chris Lubinski, of Forty Fort, runs in the Paint Pittston Pink Gentlemen’s Dash on Saturday. - Bill Tarutis |For Sunday Dispatch
- Bill Tarutis |For Sunday Dispatch

PITTSTON — The first week of preschool, Barbara Sciandra’s mother got a call from her teacher and held her breath.

“Barb always spoke her mind,” said Elaine Fisher. “So, my first thought was, ‘What did she say?’”

Much to Fisher’s delight, the teacher relayed to her that Barb had told everyone, “I have a wonderful mother and a wonderful father and a wonderful sister. I’m so happy.”

It is that spirit, Fisher said, that not only sustained her daughter during her battle with breast cancer, but also then moved her to organize Paint Pittston Pink with Qiana Lehman to raise money to help others who are suffering.

“She participated in a clinical trail and she wanted to help others have the same opportunity for treatment,” Fisher said of Sciandra. “All the money raised goes directly to cancer research.”

The month-long effort, now in its fifth year and anticipated to raise about $100,000, culminated Saturday with a 5K race, one mile walk and the ever-popular Gentlemen’s Dash, with hundreds of people making their way to the city’s Main Street to raise money for a good cause.

Melissa Heffron, of Wyoming, clad in pink, covered with pink chalk dust and smiling, participated in the walk portion of the event not only to raise money for cancer research, but because she was recently diagnosed.

“I have a wonderful prognosis and a solid support system,” she said. “It’s all about having a good outlook and a positive attitude. It’s been a great day.”

Gene Blaum, of Malvern, returns to Pittston each year to participate in the 5K race.

“Barb is my cousin,” he said. “I’ve run for the whole five years. It’s a bit of a family tradition.”

Blaum also enjoys seeing the city’s Main Street continuing to flourish, with new businesses and improvements every year as he runs through the city.

Mike McGinley of the Times Leader Media Group was one of 11 ​men participating in the Gentlemen’s Dash which required high heels, a bit of humility and a great deal of balance as participants ran a block on Main Street.

McGinley said not only had the event provided the opportunity to raise money for such a great cause, it did so in the midst of a positive environment under clear skies.

“As long as this event continues, we will continue to support it in any way we can,” he said.

David Pedri, Luzerne County manager, also ran in the dash, and said he had a new respect for women who make their way through the day in high heels with a great deal of grace.

As Pedri took off his high heels, he said, laughing, “It’s easier to run the county than to run a block in high heels.”

For those who worked up a hunger during the day event’s, Arcaro’s Pizza and other businesses provided a great opportunity for good food for a good cause.

When it was suggested to Francine Arcaro, an owner of the business, that the business participate in Paint Pittston Pink, she immediately asked for pink food dye and came up with pink pizza and garlic knots shaped like the breast cancer ribbons.

Arcaro, who has five children and whose husband passed away last year, said when faced with adversity, people either become bitter or better.

“People have been so kind to us here in Pittston,” she said. “And our family is more than happy to give back to the community.”

Sciandra said the month-long effort is anticipated to raise about $100,000 which goes directly to cancer research.

In addition to raising money, she said, the month of activities raised breast cancer awareness, provided multiple opportunities to gather with friends and brought the community together.

In addition to raising money, she said, the month of activities raised breast cancer awareness, provided multiple opportunities to gather with friends and brought the community together.

Top Female finisher Kim Drozda, of Hanover Township, runs through a cloud of pink dust in Paint Pittston Pink’s Color Me Pink 5K Run on Saturday. Chris Lubinski, of Forty Fort, runs in the Paint Pittston Pink Gentlemen’s Dash on Saturday.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_PSD100718Dash_1-2.jpgTop Female finisher Kim Drozda, of Hanover Township, runs through a cloud of pink dust in Paint Pittston Pink’s Color Me Pink 5K Run on Saturday. Chris Lubinski, of Forty Fort, runs in the Paint Pittston Pink Gentlemen’s Dash on Saturday. Bill Tarutis |For Sunday Dispatch

https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_PSD100718Dash_4-2.jpgBill Tarutis |For Sunday Dispatch
Organizers hope this year’s events will raise $100,000

By Geri Gibbons

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.