Marley’s Mission announces award recipients for Eighth Annual Blue Ribbon Gala


NEWTON TWP. — The Board of Directors of Marley’s Mission announced the award recipients who will be honored at the 8th Annual Blue Ribbon Gala to be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave., Scranton.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given from time to time by Marley’s Mission to recognize outstanding commitment to and complete selflessness toward the work of the mission. This year’s award is being presented to the gala honorary chairperson Rebecca Haggerty.

The Reins of Healing Award given from time to time recognizes an individual who has demonstrated deep compassion, commitment and dedication to the work of Marley’s Mission and, most importantly, to the children it serves. This year the awards will be presented in honor of Kenneth C. Santarelli, of Santarelli and Sons Oil Company, to the Santarelli Family, and Maryann J. Grippo, former director, Lackawanna College Police Academy, to Lackawanna College.

The Platinum Reins Award recognizes a business, corporation or individual whose financial support of the Blue Ribbon Gala and to the work of Marley’s Mission is momentous to the cause of building hope in children. This year’s recipient is Presenting Sponsor Arley Wholesale.

The Golden Bridle Award 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. This year’s recipients are The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. and Toyota of Scranton.

The Champion of Hope Award 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. This year’s recipient is the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation.

The Saddle of Hope Award recognizes an individual who has inspired members of Marley’s Mission and has made a significant, positive impact in the lives of others. This year’s recipients are Maggie Langan Davis, of VaxServe and Meghan Gagorik, of Toyota of Scranton.

The Spirit Reigns Award is designed to honor a dedicated young person under the age of 18 who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to Marley’s Mission. The award acknowledges the dedication and positive spirit of children who, by their actions, promote hope and healing. This year’s recipient is Kodee Lynn Bates.

The Blue Ribbon Award recognizes a volunteer who embodies selflessness and charity through time and extraordinary dedication to Marley’s Mission. This year’s recipient is John Guimento.

The Remembering Zachary Award is 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. This year’s recipients are Scranton Police Officer Aimee Redd, Scranton Police Officer Gene Groysman and Throop Police Officer Gene Ruddy. This year’s Remembering Zachary Awards will be presented by Zachary’s mother, Chrissy Marie McLaughlin.

Tickets for the gala are $125 and event proceeds will support the annual operations of Marley’s Mission, allowing all services to be provided free of charge to children served by the organization.

Marley’s Mission is a non-profit organization based in Newton Township that provides equine-based therapy at no cost to children and their families who have experienced trauma.