TUNKHANNOCK — The Dietrich Theater served as base camp for the Oct. 18 meeting of the Leadership Wyoming (LW) team. In addition to getting a tour of the theater and learning of its importance as a cultural hub for the community, leaders of other organizations spoke to the group before and after they took part in the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour, which included a stop at the Wyoming County Historical Society Museum.
Wyoming County Cultural Center executive director Erica Rogler and program director Margie Young welcomed team members and provided an overview of the theater’s history and growth as a cultural center on the shoulders of an empowered corps of volunteers that remains largely responsible for its success. Young also showed the group the facility’s screening rooms, galleries, theaters and other spaces used for meetings and instructional activities.
Longtime Cultural Center volunteer Sandy Vieczorek served as a guide for the walking tour of downtown Tunkhannock, treating team members to tales of Wyoming County’s most impressive and colorful leaders of days gone by, the inventions credited to them, the businesses they started and the homes in which they lived.
Team member Rick Hiduk, owner of Endless Mountains Media Services, was cited by Rogler as the project coordinator for the tour.
Wyoming County Historic Society members Ken Layaou and Dick Daniels led the group on a tour of the museum and showed how they help to preserve the county’s historical artifacts. Group members were also given a few minutes to peruse the museum’s genealogy library.
Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau (EMVB) executive director Jean Ruhf explained how the state’s designated tourist promotion agencies (TPAs) utilize room tax funds collected from local hotels and bed and breakfasts to attract more visitors to the area to see historic sites, dine at local restaurants, and engage in events and seasonal activities. EMVB also sponsored the day’s activities.
Also discussed was the importance of natural resources and green spaces as they relate to heritage, culture and tourism. The Dietrich Theater hosts River Day in Tunkhannock’s Riverside Park each summer and also utilizes the space for Shakespeare in the Park. Doug and Ali Wilson, co-founders of the Friends of the Howland Preserve, related their efforts to renovate structures at the Vosburg Neck site and to enhance trails for hiking and biking and improved river access.
Leadership Wyoming is an annual venture sponsored by the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce. The entire group will meet again on Wednesday, Nov. 15 to learn about the natural gas industry. Tours of active gas facilities are planned as well as discussions with leaders in the industry as to the processes, safeguards, and opportunities involved with the industry as it continues its growth in Wyoming County.