WILKES-BARRE — A group from the 2013 class of Leadership Wilkes-Barre wants to turn Public Square in Wilkes-Barre into an attractive city centerpiece once again.
The group, Promoting Pride in Public Square, wants to put in a permanent bandshell on the Square and beautify the space with the help of money it will raise Saturday.
A project fundraiser will take place at Rodano’s on Public Square from 4 until 7 p.m. For $20, guests can enjoy pizza, stromboli, beer and wine, listen to live tunes performed by “Grunge Theory” and “White and Grey” and maybe even win prizes during a raffle.
“This is one we chose because it was close to us,” said Joseph Rodano, a group member who also is a Wilkes-Barre code officer/health inspector. “We’re first to do a beautification project.”
Rodano, whose uncle Frank Rodano owns Rodano’s, said the group plans on redoing all the flower beds once the weather breaks. Its members also will schedule a cleanup day. They will round up volunteers to assist with both tasks.
“We’ll look for different groups to help,” he said. “There are 36 flowerbeds on the Square. We’re looking for in-kind donations.”
The group also is in discussions with city officials about building a permanent bandshell, about 40 feet by 20 feet, to replace the mobile stage damaged in a storm last year.
“That’s the harder part of the project,” Rodano said. “We went at that first. It’s in the process right now.”
The group is allowed to raise up to $5,000 for the project under Leadership regulations.
“We hope to raise that, and we’re allowed to accept any in-kind donations – supplies, food.”
The city is involved only with the bandshell part of the project and had been accepting bids for another temporary unit. Rodano said the mayor more than likely will have the final say in the process.
“We’ve been meeting with the city and engineers for several weeks now, but nothing is guaranteed,” Rodano said. “We just wanted the Square more appealing.”
Other members of the Leadership class are: Patrick Doyle, an attorney at Anzalone Law Offices; Matthew Pugh, trust advisor and assistant vice president at PNC Bank; Richard Miller, executive director of the Osterhout Free Library; Michael Pisarcik, store manager at Wells Fargo Bank; Melissa McLaughlin, area director at Riverside Rehabilitation Center; Leah Matusek, family and community partnership specialist at Luzerne County Head Start; Alexis Kolpakas, administrative fellow at Geisinger Wyoming Valley; William Jones, president and CEO of United Way of Wyoming Valley; Joan Gima, project-management specialist at Prudential Retirement and Cecilia Baress, features editor at The Citizens’ Voice.