The Gathering Place occupies a prominent spot on State Street in Clarks Summit. Our old firehouse has been transformed. The original spot once saw firetrucks standing on an uneven floor so water could run into a floor drain. High ceilings were needed to house several tall firetrucks. In time, more space was needed and the outdated firehouse was abandoned. New, more modern quarters on Bedford Street currently provide fire safety for the Abingtons.
In a true effort of renovation and recycling, the first floor of the Clarks Summit Borough Building has been transformed to an educational center for anyone who wishes to become enriched or enlightened. The new entrance has doors of ordinary proportion, to take in people, not fire trucks. The floor no longer slopes and inside the doors is a stylish interior with comfortable spaces and classrooms of various sizes. No longer a fire house, it is now a community center. Set up as a non-profit organization, The Gathering Place occupies the first floor of 304 S. State St. in Clarks Summit. The second floor houses the administrative offices of the borough.
President of the Board of Directors of the Gathering Place is the innovator and founding member, Delores Talarico Waters, called Dori. She is ably assisted by hard-working board members, including Mary Ann Nichols, who acts as treasurer and capital campaign chair.
When Dori Waters was asked what her immediate plans were for 2018, she said the kitchen is high priority and in the developmental stage. Contributions from businesses and people in the community have already provided a new kitchen floor. Cabinets have been given and will soon be hung. An industrial stove has been ordered, also a local contribution. When asked what else she needed to make the kitchen, er answer came easily – a kitchen sink. This sink must be of lasting quality with adequate water source but also industrial in nature to accommodate the many dishes which would be washed in it.
The Rotary Club of the Abingtons heard of her request. Its response was affirmative. Let us provide the sink and all its parts for the Gathering Place. On Jan. 11, 2018 at our regular meeting at the Ramada Inn in Chinchilla, Dori will represent the Board of Directors of the Gathering Place and, hopefully, she will accept our donation for the sink.
Our very active and generous Rotary Club ended 2017 in several other charitable endeavors. Our first effort helped a friend in need. When the home of a local restaurant owner was destroyed by fire, Rotary helped with expenses.
Our second generous effort provided each child in the North Scranton Headstart program with toys and gifts, wrapped and delivered to their school. Since there were more children in the program than Rotarians, our Interact kids stepped up and many Rotarians took more than one child.
Our third charity was our annual December collection for the Salvation Army. In all kinds of weather, mostly cold and rainy, our members stood out and collected funds for the Red Kettle campaign. Several members took their children or grandchildren for the two-hour stint. One of our members took his well-mannered dog. He said people stopped to talk to the dog and seemed to give more. Our usual amount of annual collection is $10,000. We will give that this year, matching what we have collected for the past 40 years.
Our hope is that the good deeds we have done in 2017 will make life a little better for others in 2018. Happy New Year to each of you from the Rotarians of the Abingtons.