From coaching milestones, to school achievements, to emergency alerts, 2015 was another eventful year in the Abingtons. The following are just a few of the highlights from the past year.
LT grad makes movie debut
Lackawanna Trail graduate and national wrestler Keith Gavin ended up on the mat, and on film, with Channing Tatum in the movie “Foxcatcher,” featuring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Tatum. Gavin played Bulgarian wrestler Alexander Nanev in a scene against Mark Schultz, played by Tatum, in the film.
“We just watched what happened in real life,” Gavin said in January of re-enacting the 1987 Schultz-Nanev World Championships match. “In filming, we just did the whole match how it really happened. We created the situation and they just edited it to make it more exciting, I guess.”
Frozen fairy tales line the streets
Themed “Frozen Fairy Tales,” the Abington Business and Professional Association’s 11th Annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice was held Feb. 13 through 16 at various downtown Clarks Summit locations. Visitors came from all over the region and beyond to to view the 57 ice sculptures carved by Sculpted Ice Works, enjoy live entertainment and participate in a variety of activities.
OLP celebrates 60 years
Our Lady of Peace School in Clarks Green celebrated its 6oth anniversary with an event, “A Night for Our Shining Stars” at the Leonard, a theater in downtown Scranton, on March 7. The event featured a student art gallery, cash bar, auctions, beer and wine tasting and musical entertainment by Mace in Dickson.
AHMS deemed a School to Watch
The Abington Heights Middle School was re-designated as a School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grade Reform. The school celebrated with an event on April 2, packing out the auditorium.
AHMS is of 380 middle schools in the United States to receive the honor, 35 of which are in Pennsylvania. It was first designated in 2009, and following the program’s three-year renewal time-line, re-designated in 2012 and this year.
Businesses make an ‘ImPAct’
Four Abington area businesses were announced in May as finalists in the third annual Governor’s ImPAct Awards, presented by the the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development: Sole to Soul, Clarks Summit; Ray’s Supermarket, Factoryville; Graves Accounting and Consulting Services, Factoryville and Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center, South Abington Township.
The awards included five categories, with between 40 and 45 finalists in each. They were Community ImPAct Award, Entrepreneur ImPAct Award, Export ImPAct Award and Small Business ImPAct Award. Sole to Soul and Ray’s were finalists in the community category, Graves in the entrepreneur category and the veterinary center in the small business category.
Smallest library in the Abingtons
The Rotary Club of the Abingtons opened its Little Free Library, located at the Finish Shop Pocket Park on Depot Street, Clarks Summit, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 11. Rotarian Eileen Christian cut the yellow ribbon and placed the first book into the library, a family Bible.
Dalton memorial unveiled
Members of the Dalton Veterans Memorial Day Committee and Mayor Aaron Holzman unveiled a new veterans’ memorial stone at a dedication ceremony July 4 in the downtown. The memorial honors veterans from all branches of the military and all wars from the Spanish-American War to present. It was designed by members of the committee with the help of artist William Chickillo.
“The purpose of the stone is to give us a place in the community where we can come and pay respect for those esteemed people in our community,” Holzman said.
Gators coach back in the pool
The Abington Gators welcomed back a familiar face to the pool this fall when Corey Wimmer returned to coach the youth swim team after a two-year absence due to the birth of her third child.
“The best part about coaching is seeing their improvement and how much they’ve grown as swimmers and athletes,” Wimmer said. “Also, seeing the joy in their eyes when they have a great race.”
Healing veterans on horseback
A facility that has helped many children through emotional distress and trauma since 2010 will treating active duty military members and former military personnel after Marley’s Mission formed an alliance and partnership with the non-profit organization Equines for Freedom.
Therapist Ann Marie Lewis and equine specialist Heather Stage will use an innovative equine facilitated therapy to treat veterans.
“It’s extremely effective and we’re thrilled to be able to bring this treatment to Marley’s Mission and the veterans,” Lewis said.
Keystone locks down campus
Hundreds of Keystone College students locked themselves indoors for approximately an hour-and-a-half Monday, Oct. 19 while law enforcement officers from at least six agencies, including the FBI, swept the campus in response to reports of a gunman. Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Connie Devens said no active threat was found.
According to Keystone College Senior Director of College Relations Fran Calpin, the college conducted lock-down drills in the past, but this was the first time for an official lock-down.
Chinchilla Post Office moves across the street
After 18 years of doing business in a “temporary” trailer, the Chinchilla Post Office opened at its new permanent location at 555 Northern Blvd., next door to McCarthy Flowers in November.
According to Karen Mazurkiewicz, USPS district communications programs specialist, the operating hours remained the same as they were at the previous spot, but people are now able to pick up their mail at any time.
Bianchi wins 700th game as coach
Abington Heights head basketball coach Ken Bianchi won the 700th game of his career when the Comets defeated Holy Cross, 59-37, on Friday, Dec. 4.
“I’m not naive enough to think the 700 (wins) are because of me,” Bianchi said prior to the start of the season. “Anybody who played and learned from the coaches I played for, and had the players and assistant coaches I’ve had would be standing right here instead of me. I just happen to be fortunate to be the guy that the Lord picked.”