PITTSTON TWP. — Abington area business owners, community leaders and local personalities gathered at the WVIA-TV studio Thursday evening, April 14 to celebrate the live premiere of the station’s “Our Town: The Abingtons” program and volunteer their time answering phones for a mini pledge drive.
Produced in partnership with the Abington Journal and Times Leader, “Our Town: The Abingtons” is the 25th edition of WVIA Public Media’s “Our Town” series, which began in 2010. The episode showcases the various small communities that make up the Abingtons, with a focus on the people who live and work here. From Manning’s Ice Cream, to the Waverly Community House, to the downtown Clarks Summit business district, viewers are treated to a grand tour, guided by the locals themselves.
“I think the most exciting part (of the series) is people get to tell the story of their own community,” said Joe Krushinsky, WVIA vice president of advancement strategy. “And it’s been working, or we wouldn’t be at number 25.”
Jeff Felkowski, the show’s director and editor, said a main theme he noticed in working with the people of the Abingtons is “selflessness.”
“It’s their passion and their connection to the community,” he said.
He added one resident whose personality impressed him is LaVina Clark Lewis, the oldest living descendant of Deacon William Clark, one of the area’s first settlers. At the age of 100, Lewis contributed her time and knowledge of the area to help make the program even better.
“She’s a prime example of people who care about the community,” Felkowski said.
In addition to highlighting the area’s spirit of giving, the program also touched on the community’s plethora of talents. The Coal Town Rounders, a regional bluegrass band with Abington roots, performed live from the WVIA-TV studio during the premiere.
Thursday’s studio event began with a dinner for the volunteers and concluded with a celebratory “Our Town: The Abingtons” cake, which was ceremoniously cut by Lewis and accompanied by scoops of ice cream (Mannings, of course).
For those who missed the premiere broadcast of the program, an encore of “Our Town: The Abingtons” will be presented at 12 p.m. Sunday, April 24 on WVIA-TV. Those wishing to purchase DVD copies of the program and/or make donations to help the series continue, may do so online at wviaourtown.org.