First Posted: 1/27/2015
NEWTON TWP. — The Marley’s Mission Board of Directors announced the Fifth Annual Blue Ribbon Gala will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center.
Although the event is already sold out, community members of all ages are invited to a free pre-gala event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13 downstairs at the Hilton, featuring entertainment by Olivia Kay, of Edmond, Oklahoma, who will also perform at the gala.
Kay, an 11-year-old singer, is known by her fans as “the little girl with the big voice” and has performed in front of tens of thousands of people, appearing on ABC’s “The View” with Barbara Walters and Fox-TV’s “The Real.” Her You Tube music channel has more than 2.5 million views.
The theme of this year’s Gala is “The Journey of Love and Hope: Looking Back with Thanks and Looking Forward with Hope.”
Masters of Ceremony are John Lawless and WNEP-TV Reporter Stacy Lange. Musical entertainment will be provided by Daddy-O and The Sax Maniax.
This year’s gala co-chairs are Donna Nasser, Ronda Beemer and Trudy Scotch-Cordaro. Honorary chairperson is Joseph D. Burke, Esq., of West Pittston, a strong supporter of the organization.
Marley’s Mission, based in Newton Township, is a non-profit organization that provides Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy at no cost to children and families who have experienced trauma. To date, it has treated more than 350 children in an eight-county area since opening its doors in July 2010.
Three trips will be raffled off at both events, including a nine-day trip to Costa Rica, donated by Perillo Tours. Raffle tickets may be purchased in advance and winners do not have to be in attendance to win. To purchase raffle tickets, call Marley’s Mission at 570-587-4673.
The organization will also present recognition awards at the gala, including:
• Golden Bridle Award, which recognizes a corporation or business that has financially contributed to the success of Marley’s Mission by promoting awareness and making a significant difference in the life of a child. Recipients are Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Toyota of Scranton and Anne DeNaples, V.M.D.
• Champion of Hope, an award which recognizes an individual, organization or agency that is an advocate for children’s rights, is dedicated to protecting children and collaborates with Marley’s Mission in the healing of children. The recipient is Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit.
• Saddle of Hope Award, which recognizes an individual who inspires members of Marley’s Mission and makes a significant, positive impact in the lives of others. Recipients are Hilton Scranton and Conference Center and Ellyn Schindler, director, North America Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement at Sanofi Pasteur and Sanofi.
• The Spirit Reigns Award, designed to honor a dedicated young person under age 18 who demonstrates exceptional commitment to Marley’s Mission. The award acknowledges the dedication and positive spirit of children who, by their actions, promote hope and healing. Recipients are Scranton Preparatory School students Cameron Price, Ally Wanas and Richard Holden.
• The Blue Ribbon Award, which recognizes a volunteer who embodies selflessness and charity through time and extraordinary dedication to Marley’s Mission. Recipients are Antoinette “Nettie” Goldstein, Valerie Langan and Maj. Clyde Brown, US Army.
• Remembering Zachary Award, a special award in memory of Zachary, a 14-month-old boy who was a victim of child abuse. This award recognizes the passionate and tireless efforts of an individual who brings greater awareness to child abuse and the protection of children. Recipients are the Marley’s Mission Treatment Team Members: Ann Cook, Joann Farley, Alishia Allegrucci, Kimberly Portanova Feibus, Jeanne Sebastianelli, Traci Berardelli, Brooke Herman and JoAnn Pane.