LOCK HAVEN – Over $70,000 was doled out this evening to various organizations providing services to better the community by the Loggia Giosue Carducci Lodge No. 146 Sons and Daughters of Italy.
Dan Vilello, lodge president, announced that a total of $73,150 was being presented in this round of gift-making.
“This community wouldn’t be what it is without the love you give and the support you show,” Vilello told a roomful of organization leaders during the special gathering at the lodge.
The donations include: In Your Shoes, $1,000; North Central AIDS Coalition, $500; Clinton County Wildcats 11U travel baseball, $150; Clinton County Housing Coalition, $2,000; Red Cross, $5,000; Lock Haven University men’s and women’s soccer teams, $2,000; Clinton County Treatment Court, $2,500; Central Pennsylvania Community Band, $500; Mill Hall Youth Soccer, $200; Keystone Central Foundation, $1,000; Lock Haven University Foundation, $2,000; Captain Andrew Koss Memorial ROTC Scholarship, $250; Harger Utility Charities, $2,500; Bear Country Radio’s Christmas Wish, $150; Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, $2,500; Chelsey Chaplain senior project (providing automated external defibrillators to schools), $150; Infant Development Program, $4,500; Clinton County Women’s Center, $1,000; Downtown Lock Haven Inc. Most Patriotic Town in America campaign, $500; City of Lock Haven Free Summer Concert Series, $2,000; Lock Haven-Flemington Little League, $5,000; Salvation Army, $5,000; Anne Halenbake Ross Library, $5,000; Lock Haven Area YMCA, $5,000; Clinton County Community Connections, $3,000; and West Branch Soccer, $2,000.
Three donations are forthcoming, Vilello said, including: $17,500 to the southern Clinton County fire departments; $181to the Clinton County Special Olympics; and $150 to Team Edge Dance Group of Rachael’s Dance Unlimited.
Throughout 2016, the lodge donated $130,000 to worthy causes in the community, he noted.
Representatives present to receive the donations each took a moment to explain what exactly their organization does.
Paul Caimi of In Your Shoes said the organization provides grant opportunities for individuals in Clinton County to be able to participate in sports and athletics.
Lou Ann Masden, executive director of the North Central AIDS Coalition, said that organization provides services for people living with HIV and AIDS, including housing, assistance with utility and certain medical payments.
Maria Garlick, executive director of the Clinton County Housing Coalition, said the organization, now in its fifth year, serves the homeless residents of the county through four programs.
Valerie Whyman of the American Red Cross said the donation from the Sons will be used toward services for armed forces, although the organization also provides disaster relief, blood services, and health and safety services.
Dave Goodwin, specialty courts coordinator with the Clinton County Treatment Court, said the program provides a structured atmosphere to assist people in the community through counseling and other services.
Wayne McCullough, representing the Clinton County Community Band, said the group is comprised of 50 members of all ages and meets weekly. The donation from the Sons will be used toward purchasing music, he said.
Angela Harding, communications coordinator for Keystone Central, said the district foundation is a nonprofit that supports the county education system through several programs.
Shannon Walker, interim executive director of the Lock Haven University Foundation, said the foundation exists to support the university as its fundraising arm.
Tom Robinson, president of Harger Utility Charities, said the organization – now in its 6th year – selects a veteran or veteran’s family to support financially.
Jamie Caputo, development and communications relations director at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, said the organization works with partner agencies throughout the counties they serve to provide meals for individuals suffering from food insecurity. One out of eight people in the state face food insecurity, and that ratio is one out of five for children in the state, she said. According to Caputo, one out of seven people in Clinton County suffer from food insecurity; for children in the county, that ratio is one out of four.
Lisa Bangson, executive director of the Infant Development Program, said it serves students with developmental disabilities and works with other organizations to provide remediation services for children and parents. Recently, she said, one of the vehicles used to transport children broke down and now needs a new transmission. In addition, a vehicle accident that occurred along the Renovo Road led to the school needing to replace all the car seats inside, per regulation. The donation will help with those unexpected expenses, she said.
Sandy Ludwig, executive director of the Clinton County Women’s Center (CCWC), said the organization provides free, confidential services for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Funds from the Sons will help replace the back porch at the CCWC, which provides a safe, outdoor environment for the clients, she said.
Eric Brungard of Lock Haven-Flemington Little League said funds will enable the league to purchase a new scoreboard, which will highlight the Sons of Italy as a sponsor, as well as a field drag, needed to loosen dirt on four fields.
Maj. Sharon Cupp of the local Salvation Army described the various programs offered by the organization, including More Than Bread, which provides a hot meal; a Free Food Program on Wednesdays; an after-school program offered for students Monday through Wednesday; a food pantry; and assistance with rent and electricity bills.
Mark Casson, CEO of the Lock Haven Area YMCA, said funds will directly benefit the organization’s scholarship program, which provides funding for individuals who cannot afford program fees.
Abe Stauffer, founder and vice president of West Branch Soccer, said the organization has been using the same goals since the early 1990s and intends to use the donation toward a new set of goals.
Scott Moore, executive director of Clinton County Community Connections, said the organization provides services for individuals with intellectual and mental disabilities.
Before the gathering concluded, Vilello thanked the Loggia Giosue Carducci Lodge No. 146 Sons and Daughters of Italy board for their work.
“This group of individuals works hard to make the Sons of Italy what it is today,” he said. “They do a heck of a job … so we can stay open and do what we do.”