Diamonds to pinwheels, blood drives and much more

Maybe it was the official start of spring, or just the substantial dose of warmer weather and sunshine, but this sure felt like a good week for all diamonds.

Diamonds to the 10th annual planting of pinwheels at the Luzerne County Courthouse by the Child Advocacy Center. These blue and silver spinners are an effective and eye-catching way to draw attention to the number of child abuse cases the Center handles each year (about 500) and to increase awareness so that, hopefully, more people will speak up when they see signs of suspected of abuse.

Diamonds to the three Luzerne County officials who declined participation in the US house of Representatives committee hearing on the paper shortage debacle of last November’s election. As Wednesday’s editorial noted, we think the hearing is fine, but it is senseless political grandstanding to hold it before the county District Attorney’s office completes an investigation. Declining participation shows the officials rightly put there trust in the Luzerne County DA, not in a committee of representatives from other states.

Diamonds to all those who managed to free up $8 million in federal funds for improvements to the Wyoming Valley Levee. This should be money very well spent.

Diamonds to the Pittston Area and Wyoming Area hockey teams and alumni for arranging a game April 8 to benefit Violet Pantucci, a 10-year-old born with a rare brain disorder making her prone to seizures and respiratory issues. You need only look at her photo in Tuesday’s Times Leader — or last week weekend’s Pittston Dispatch — to want this April 8 event to succeed big.

Diamonds to the Pierce Street Deli in Kingston for turning a blood drive into a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, including a basket raffle to raise money for the Red Cross. The Deli teamed up with neighboring Vision Imaging to host the drive, which was so successful the Red Cross had to bring in extra help. Giving blood is, in it’s own right, a celebration of saving lives. Adding a St. Pat theme just ices that cake.

Diamonds to the return of the Back Mountain Bloomers garden tour, set for June 24. Green thumb gurus open their gardens for inspection, inspiration and education, along with a flower show at the EMS building on Route 118. For more info and ticket purchases visit backmountain bloomers .org.

Diamonds to those who brought author and literacy advocate Stanley Tucker to Dana Street Elementary School in Forty Fort. Tucker spent the day encouraging students to be kind and strive to do their best, in a lively and engaging way. The message may be an oldie, but it’s also timeless.

Diamonds to the Getaway Lounge in Plymouth for hosting a Sunday fundraiser for the FSB Initiative, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans get back on their feet. The Lounge doubled the impact by both selling dinners with proceeds going to the FSB and accepting donations of blankets, backpacks and clothing. It’s unfortunate that enough people slip through the cracks of our veteran support systems to require an organization like the FSB, but it’s encouraging that people step up to assure the organization can help.

Diamonds to the United Way of Wyoming Valley for continuing the effort to help children escape poverty through educational support with the second annual Million Minute Challenge launched March 1. You can read more about it online in Bill O’Boyle’s story, or contact United Way Community Impact Director Ashley Winslow at [email protected]unitedwaywb.org, but the short version is simple: Reading proficiency has been proven a key in academic success, which in turn can help break the cycle of poverty trapping too many local children.

— Times Leader

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