Increasing Awareness of Substance Abuse and Recovery

The United in Recovery coalition is participating in events throughout the fall to raise awareness of substance abuse issues and celebrate recovery. A display in the Education building at the Bloomsburg Fair is designed to help parents and guardians identify potential hiding places for drugs. The Hiding in Plain Sight display simulates a child’s bedroom and was recently unveiled at a high school football game.

The coalition, organized by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, seeks to reduce substance abuse in our area through education, prevention, and recovery and treatment. Community organizations, including the Chamber, and concerned citizens meet monthly to coordinate efforts in all three areas. The most recent newsletter provides an overview of these efforts, as well as information on a 5K event to be held Oct. 13 at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the coalition should contact Adrienne Mael, United Way President & CEO, at 570-784-3134 or email.

Bloomsburg Community Foundation Awards Over $10K to Local Nonprofits

Front Row (seated): Linda Resseguie, Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library, Inc.; Ruth Joy Capozzi, Your Loving Choices, Inc.; Laurie Swank, AGAPE; Sandie Yule, AGAPE;
Second Row (standing): Kara Walsh, Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library, Inc.; Heather Beagle, The Exchange; Anne Cosper, The Exchange; Jim Mccann, Central Susquehanna Sight Services; Debbie Jones, Columbia County Child Development Program; Ashley Miccio, Bloomsburg Area YMCA; Sue Jackson, Coalition on Social Equity; Lydia Kegler, Bloomsburg Public Library; Oren Helbok, The Exchange

The Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation (BACF), whose funds are administered by the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, recently awarded $10,300 to local nonprofits during its competitive grantround. The awards were granted through the Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation Fund. The awards were given out at a luncheon at Monty’s on the Bloomsburg University, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, during which the BACF’s impact was also celebrated. Included in the 13 organizations that received awards were five Chamber members.  

The BACF focused its funding on organizations that invest in community programs and projects within Bloomsburg and surrounding areas.  Those grant recipients include:

  • AGAPE – Love from Above to our Community, Daily Bread Meal $1,000
  • Benton Area School District, Student of the Month Award Program $300
  • Bloomsburg Area YMCA, Summer Camp $500
  • Bloomsburg Public Library, Health Literacy Resources for Teens $700
  • Central Susquehanna Sight Services, Inc., Prevention of Blindness Services 500
  • Coalition for Social Equity in honor of former board member Isabelle Tarr $1,000
  • Columbia Child Development Program, Increase Mathematical Materials for 2-5-Year Olds $1,500
  • Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library, Inc., Establishing Core Collection of Children’s Audiobooks $800
  • The Bloomsburg Salvation Army Service Center, Back to School Clothes Shopping $1,500
  • The Children’s Museum, Update and Improve Health and Nutrition Exhibit $600
  • The Dental Health Clinic, Financial Aid Awards to Help Individuals Pay for Dental Work $1,000
  • The Exchange, Creative Engagement with Youth-Artmaking Programs for Summer Camps $500
  • Your Loving Choices, Inc., Dad Parenting Curriculum $400

The Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation which helps administer BACF’s grant investments. Nonprofit organizations that provide programming in the Bloomsburg community and surrounding areas are encouraged to apply during the 2019 competitive grantround.  Details will be available on the CSCF’s website.

BACF Board Members are Fred Gaffney, Cleveland Hummel, Lauren Martz, Paul Reichart, Rev. Howell Sasser, Jr., John Thompson, Fred Trump, Rick Vanderpool


SEDA-COG Requests Input For Travel Needs Survey

SEDA-COG wants to hear from you.  How are you affected by transportation services in the central Pennsylvania region?  How could services better help you, your family, or your business in Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties?

Let us know by participating in a brief online survey.

The survey, available through Oct. 29, is being conducted by the SEDA-COG and Williamsport Metropolitan Planning Organizations, as they update the Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan in coming months. They especially want to know what you think about gaps in transportation services affecting seniors, minorities, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities or with limited English language skills.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Steve Herman by email or phone at 570-524-4491. In Lycoming County, feel free to also contact Mark Murawski by email or 570-320-2138.  SEDA-COG and Williamsport Metropolitan Planning both thank you for your time.


Bloomsburg University Students Seek to Engage With Businesses and the Community

Even before the fall semester began at Bloomsburg University, members of the football team were helping local residents clean up from the recent flooding. With the semester now underway, there are many opportunities to engage with students for volunteer efforts and professional development. Businesses and non-profit organizations are invited to connect.

The Big Event is recognized for organizing thousands of students for community service projects on a Saturday each spring. However, student groups volunteer in the community throughout the year. The Center for Leadership & Engagement on campus can help connect non-profits and other groups with students for events or other efforts. Contact Keith Spencer at 570-389-3864 or email.

As students seek to develop employability skills, Professional U connects students with alumni, employers, and opportunities integrating the academic experience with professional experience in “real world” settings. Through the exploration of professional development topics and experiential learning, students build skills and confidence which prepare them for personal and professional success upon graduation. Opportunities include on campus engagement, internships, and workplace observations. Additional information with contacts can be found on this sheet.

Get an Update on Downtown Berwick Efforts

A public information session will he held Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Berwick Theatre to provide updates on efforts to enhance downtown Berwick. The updates will be provided by members of the Berwick: The Next Step steering committee, which has been meeting regularly to advance recommendations in the downtown enhancement plan, developed in early 2017. The Chamber supported the development of the plan and is part of the committee. Information will be presented on potential development projects, marketing activities, and other efforts. There will also be opportunities for concerned businesses and residents to get involved in these efforts.