Champ was there. The furry porcupine mascot of the Railriders welcomed everyone at the Walk for a Healthy Community, the 5K walk organized and sponsored by Highmark. Nine non-profits in our area participated in this first-ever NEPA event.
The weather was ideal, PNC Field in Moosic provided a perfect walk around the concourse surrounding the field The Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater, along with other non-profits, including St. Joseph’s Center, United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA, CEO People Helping People, Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania and others filled the concourse with walkers.
Strollers. Wheelchairs. Dogs on leashes. All joined in the walk, energized by the music and the community of fellow walkers. Nine times around the field completed 5K or 3.1 miles. Our Dietrich teams were psyched to keep walking, spurred on my Highmark’s encouragement, including healthy snacks and water. The inaugural event in NEPA was a great success and will definitely repeat next year.
Now that we know how much fun it is and how magnificently it is run, we will give you a heads-up about next year’s opportunity. It is truly a walk for everyone. Some did one lap around the field; others did several laps. It didn’t matter. Everyone had the same goals: to encourage walking and to help support their non-profit organizations. Heartfelt thanks to Highmark for promoting good health and supporting local organizations that support good health, also. All donations benefited the non-profits.
What is going on at the Dietrich Theater that you should know? Let me tell you about the opportunities for children to participate in live theater production. Yesterday, I learned from May-Ling Ijoma’s mother that she is spending her summer in Italy teaching English, a program sponsored by the Italian government. May-Ling was a participant in our After School Players program for middle and high school students for at least five years. Her mother credits her theater experience with her gaining enough confidence to pursue such an opportunity during her college summer.
Yes, gaining confidence and working with others in a team has so many benefits. This summer our All Star Players program is free for ages 12-18, sponsored by Toni Hockman and Sarah Sidorek. Mondays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to noon, July 9 to 20, directed by Brenda Fager, students will learn all aspects of play production: costumes, props, acting, sound, culminating with a performance for family and friends on July 20 at 11 a.m. To register, call 570-996-1500.
For the younger set, we have two theater and visual arts camps for 5-12 year olds. Thor’s Hammer begins Monday through Friday, July 23 through the July 27, 10 a.m. to noon. This camp will explore Nordic myths, tales of Thor, Loki, and Odin, with art projects and a production of a play for family and friends. Amy Colley and Michaela Moore lead the explorations
African Safari comes to the Dietrich Monday through Friday, July 30 to Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon. Amy Colley and Michaela Moore will take the children on a trip through the amazing world of African animals, history and culture, with art projects and culminating with a play for family and friends. Both camps are $65 for all five days. Call 570-996-1500 to register.
You can see we are all about promoting good health and good opportunities to prepare your children for a richer life. Come to our theater and see what we are all about. We hope we will see you soon. And often.