Monday, July 21, 2014

Moose casts large shadow in Pittston area

February 19. 2013 9:16PM
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WEST PITTSTON – Moose Lodge 1207 celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday with a community open house and social event to say thank you to the local community and to let interested future members learn more about what services it provides.

Since its inception, the organization has always concentrated on giving back to the Greater Pittston community, according to members.

Members gathered to discuss their history and share some fellowship, said member Bill Goldsworthy, former mayor of West Pittston.

Now about 300 members strong, the group takes pride in its contributions to residents of Greater Pittston, Goldsworthy said. The lodge provides $500 scholarships for students from both the Pittston Area and Wyoming Area school districts, organizes and runs a Little League team as well as other youth programs, and tries to be there when needed, he said.

Governor for the last two years, Dan Castner said besides celebrating 100 years, the group is looking toward the future.

Some of our members are getting older and less active, Castner said. We want to bring in new group members to continue our Moose traditions, he said.

Being the governor has given Castner satisfaction in being part of community outreach. He reminisced about how the group provided shelter and food for flood victims last year. In addition, members help elderly residents, he added.

We are always willing to help when we can, Castner said.

At 1 p.m., the group gave the formal sendoff to member Doug Warabak, Goldsworthy said. Warabak is embarking on a 1,300-mile bicycle journey to Moosehaven in Florida, which is an organization that helps children, he said.

Other highlights included a children's hour during which local children were able to make holiday crafts and decorate holiday cookies. They also got the chance to meet with lodge mascot Tommy Moose.

West Pittston resident Bill Hastie gave a historical lecture about the history of the organization and the building it currently uses. When mines collapsed in the 1940 in the borough, a school located on the same lot was destroyed, according to Hastie. The lodge members at the time decided it was a good location for a new lodge, he said.

Besides working in the community, the group members enjoy social time together, Goldsworthy said. On Saturday night the party was expected to go from 7 p.m. to closing, he said.

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