Member News- November 18, 2020

Going Gold 2020 Raises Awareness and $6,500 for ThinkBIG® Pediatric Cancer Fund

During September, a number of local businesses, organizations and communities joined together to “Go Gold,” raising awareness about pediatric cancer and $6,500 to support the ThinkBIG® Pediatric Cancer Fund (ThinkBIG®). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Going Gold 2020 kick-off event and fundraisers were held virtually this year.

“ThinkBIG is again very appreciative to be the beneficiary of the Going Gold efforts this year,” said Colby Wesner, Founder, ThinkBIG® Pediatric Cancer Fund. “It was amazing to see this committee navigate these unprecedented times to still create a movement that was able to continue to bring more awareness to pediatric cancer and to help raise funds to support local families who are unfortunately battling the disease. ThinkBIG® is incredibly grateful for this support, especially during a year when it has been challenging to fundraise.”

Nearly 15,500 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer every year. ThinkBIG® is dedicated to minimizing the stress families battling pediatric cancer experience, by providing financial support for everyday cost of living expenses and unpaid medical bills. Since 2014, this organization has allocated over $715,000 to help local families; over $190,000 in 2019 alone.

“While we look forward to the day when we can come together again in-person to help raise awareness, the support the Going Gold virtual events received was overwhelming,” said Bill Lavage, President/CEO, Service 1st. “Thank you for joining us and supporting this year’s fundraisers. Your support is making a difference and touching the lives of local families.”

In addition to an online t-shirt sale and raffle, Marley’s Brewery & Grille, Bloomsburg and Old Forge Brewing Company, Danville collaborated on this year’s Gold Dust Pale Ale, donating $1 per pint sold throughout September. Jackass Brewing Company in Lewisburg donated $1 per 16 oz. of “Isn’t that Peachy” Peach & Ginger Sour to benefit ThinkBIG® as well.

In 2015, Woody Wolfe approached Old Forge Brewing Company and Service 1st Federal Credit Union and asked, “Why not go gold?” Going Gold soon grew into a month-long awareness effort. Each year, support continues to expand as additional communities and organizations join the fight against pediatric cancer.

This was the sixth consecutive year for the Going Gold initiative. To date this initiative has raised over $66,500.

For more information about Going Gold, call Service 1st Federal Credit Union at 800.562.6049.

Scholarship Fund Established by Aunt to Honor Local Surgeon

The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of a new scholarship fund in honor of local surgeon and Berwick native Dr. Mark C. Pyles. While looking for a way to honor Dr. Pyles and his work, Helen F. Pyles (Fort Wayne, Indiana) realized that starting a fund at the Foundation was the perfect way to recognize her nephew’s service in the community while benefitting future professionals.

“I am very proud of Mark—the commitments he has made to his community and the goals he has reached in his medical profession,” explains Ms. Pyles. “I have no idea how many people have been served by his knowledge and skill, but I know each patient was able to enjoy better health as a result. If this scholarship can help students reach their life goals through medicine, we are all winners.”

The Dr. Mark C. Pyles Scholarship Fund was established by Ms. Pyles on her birthday in September, and will provide an annual scholarship to a graduating senior from Berwick Area High School pursuing a certification, associate, or undergraduate degree in a health-related or medical field.

Dr. Pyles was a graduate of Berwick High School and demonstrated interest in the community through volunteerism and extracurricular activities like the Boy Scouts. After completing his medical education and training, Dr. Pyles returned to his hometown and established a medical practice as a general surgeon serving the greater Berwick area.

“When I went to college, I was awarded a local scholarship through the Berwick High School. That support helped propel me forward, and I knew I wanted to return to my hometown and give back to the community through my professional career. I hope that this scholarship will have the same effect for a deserving student, and maybe even influence them to come back to benefit the community in the future,” comments Dr. Pyles.

Contributions can be made to the Dr. Mark C. Pyles Scholarship Fund online at csgiving.org (click Donate and search “Pyles”), or mail to the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, Attn: Pyles Scholarship Fund, 725 West Front Street, Berwick, PA 18603.

SEDA-COG Broadband Project Awarded Largest Grant in 12 States

SEDA-Council of Governments’ (SEDA-COG) four-county broadband project earned the highest POWER grant award in 12 states by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), along with securing or partnering on two other POWER grants.

The ARC recently awarded $43.3 million across 51 projects in 12 states to support economic diversification in coal-impacted communities. More than half of these investments will support recovery-to-work efforts or strengthen broadband infrastructure.

In Pennsylvania, SEDA-COG’s project award also was the highest of 12 awarded projects.

SEDA-COG’s broadband effort was awarded $2.5 million for internet expansion to underserved areas in Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland, and Union counties. This project will reach over 1,500 households, including over 20 businesses. Union County served as the main applicant.

Mike Fisher, SEDA-COG assistant executive director, said the grant award shows how powerful projects can happen with a regional effort.

“We are honored that our efforts earned the largest POWER grant award in the entire multi-state ARC region,” Fisher said. “This shows how vitally important it is for our counties to have better broadband service. It also demonstrates the collective power of our counties working together for the betterment of our communities and businesses.”

The grant will supplement $4 million of SEDA-COG’s revolving loan funds. The selected internet service provider will match these funds with $1.5 million of private investment funds.

SEDA-COG will provide funding through reimbursable grants and low-interest loans to incentivize an internet service provider to expand internet service into unserved and underserved rural regions of the four counties where traditional buildout is otherwise economically infeasible. 

OTHER SEDA-COG POWER GRANTS

 SEDA-COG also is part of a statewide broadband initiative in a separate grant and is a partner in a workforce grant.

SEDA-COG was awarded a $108,125 ARC POWER grant to expand internet service in the Snow Shoe Township area in Centre County. SEDA-COG will match the ARC POWER grant with the same amount, offering a $210,000 grant to incentivize internet service providers to provide high-speed internet in the area.

The grant is part of a statewide $1.2 million ARC broadband grant award to the seven Local Development Districts (LDDs) that serve 52 of Pennsylvania’s counties. The LDDs are organizations through which member counties share information, address common concerns, and develop regional responses to critical issues. SEDA-COG is one of the seven LDDs and serves 11 central Pennsylvania counties.

Additionally, SEDA-COG is a partner in a $1,018,500 recovery-to-work POWER grant awarded to the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC) and Geisinger.

SEDA-COG and the PA CareerLink® Business Service Teams will identify employers that are “recovery friendly” and assist other businesses to become recovery friendly to increase their pool of workforce talent. To accomplish this, SEDA-COG will work with their extensive business service provider network to power this initiative through education and information. Geisinger will focus on expanding telemedicine to broaden access to specialized services, like addiction treatment, in underserved rural areas. SEDA-COG will receive $18,500 for its partnership efforts.

Betsy Lockwood, SEDA-COG grants manager, described the void the initiative fills.

“Removing barriers to recovery has been a longstanding issue for people, and workforce issues have plagued businesses. Employers need staff and people need jobs, especially with the effects of the pandemic. By expanding the workforce toward those in recovery, we fill a valuable workforce need while providing someone in recovery a job that can help them remain in recovery,” Lockwood said.

SEDA-COG Board President Rich Ridgway said as an 11-county community and economic development agency, SEDA-COG is recognizing and meeting needs.

“We know the hardships our residents and businesses are facing. We are working hard to alleviate the most acute pressure throughout our counties, particularly with high-speed internet access,” Ridgway said.

As a community and economic development agency, SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives. SEDA-COG also is an advocate for the interests of its communities at the state and federal levels. For more information, visit www.seda-cog.org.

Montour Area Recreation Commission 2021 Lawn Care Invitation to Bid Application Terms and Conditions

Sealed bids for lawn care at the various properties managed by the Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC) will be received by MARC at any time until 11:00 am on Monday, November 23, 2020. Bids will be publicly opened and read aloud during MARC’s regular November 23, 2020 meeting at 7:00 pm through the Zoom online meeting platform.

Specifications and bid forms may be obtained online at www.MontourRec.com or by submitting a request in writing or by telephone or email to:

Montour Area Recreation Commission PO Box 456, Danville, PA 17821 570-336-2060 or [email protected]

Each bid must be enclosed in a sealed envelope, plainly marked with ‘2021 Lawn Care Bid’, and mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to MARC at the address listed above. Sealed bids may also be hand-delivered to MARC on Monday, November 23, between 8:00 am and 11:00 am, at the Montour Preserve visitors’ center, 374 Preserve Road, Danville, PA 17821.

Bids may be withdrawn by bidders for any reason for a period of forty-eight (48) hours after the time of bid opening. After forty-eight (48) hours from bid opening, bids may not be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days.

WHLM Parade of Lights

PennDOT has approved the permit for the WHLM Parade of Lights so it will be held Friday, November 27th at 6:00 p.m. Registration is not required this year. The 2020 WHLM PARADE OF LIGHTS will illuminate Downtown Bloomsburg with classic cars, floats, boats, fire trucks, thousands of Christmas lights, and usher in the Christmas season when Santa Claus comes to the only Town in Pennsylvania! The parade route forms at 4:30 PM at the Geisinger Bloomsburg parking lot on Lightstreet Road, then moves at 6 PM down Main Street to Market Street, and ending at the Bloomsburg Firehall.

Additional details are at https://www.whlm.com/whlm-parade-of-lights

 

2020 Holiday Open House Updated Details

The Chamber’s Holiday Open House, sponsored by Geisinger, is quickly approaching Wednesday, December 2nd. Out of concern for the health and safety of members, the format of the event has shifted. 

Begin with a drive through Knoebels Joy Through the Grove display. Then, proceed to the tent at The Nickle Plate Bar & Grill. A contactless pick-up of your food and other items will take place with attendees remaining in their vehicles.  

Register on our website or by calling the Chamber at 570-784-2522.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Allison at the Chamber at [email protected] or by phone if you’re interested in helping to make this event a success and gain visibility for your organization.

Chamber Welcomes Pediatric Specialty Care to Danville With Ribbon Cutting

The Chamber helped welcome Pediatric Specialty Care- Medical Day to the area on Monday, November 16th, with a ribbon cutting in Danville. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with the staff, learn about the services offered, and enjoy some tasty food and refreshments from fellow member, Craft Catering.

Pediatric Specialty Care- Medical Day, located at 15 Wesner Lane in Danville is a specially developed pediatric medical daycare that meets the needs of medically fragile children, offering skilled nursing in a safe and nurturing environment while promoting a child’s growth, development, and socialization.  To learn more about Pediatric Specialty Care- Medical Day, visit its website, and Facebook page.  

Plan Fiduciary Responsibilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires that plan fiduciaries act with “care, skill, prudence, and diligence” when managing retirement plans.  This includes acting only with the interests of participants and their beneficiaries in mind, keeping plan expenses to a reasonable level, following the terms of the plan’s governing documents, and ensuring that the plan’s investments are diversified.  There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique set of challenges for plan fiduciaries.  However, plan fiduciaries should not expect audit relief from the IRS or DOL, nor should they expect relief from litigation risk. As a result, plan fiduciaries may want to identify the steps they have taken and the decisions they have made to adjust their processes in the face of the pandemic. 

Following are several items to consider:

  • Reach out to the plan’s service providers to verify the provider’s ability to handle, and adjust to, the economic and societal disruption(s) caused by the pandemic. This may include inquiries about the service provider’s business continuity plans, investment continuity, and/or delays in plan reporting.
  • Review the plan’s investment lineup. During this time of uncertainty, it may be appropriate for plan fiduciaries to review the plan’s investments/funds to consider whether they remain prudent in the current market environment. It may also be a good time to execute more frequent or more detailed monitoring of the performance of the plan’s investments, especially if the markets experience further volatility.
  • In defined contribution plans many participants are seeking long-term financial security. However, there may be participants (e.g., those nearing retirement) that are focused on the short term. Plan fiduciaries may wish to reach out to their consultants and other advisers to evaluate whether the investment options on the more conservative end of the lineup offer sufficient income preservation opportunities.
  • Provide participant education/communication that is meaningful and helpful given the circumstances. If the markets continue to experience volatility, both the plan participants and the plan fiduciaries will benefit from an increased focus on educating participants to empower them to make decisions that best suit their investment and retirement goals.
  • Continue to hold plan committee meetings and engage in an appropriate level of plan oversight. Committees may need to adjust their processes in light of the new virtual and work from home environments.  More frequent meetings may also be necessary during this time of disruption and volatility.
  • The pandemic may cause an increase in fraud-related activities due to economic disruption and an increase in electronic communications. Plan fiduciaries may want to evaluate the adequacy of the plan’s fraud protection mechanisms (i.e., those that protect participant information and participant assets).  This could involve inquiring about the plan’s service providers and/or conducting a formal audit to evaluate how participant information is protected and what mechanisms exist to protect participants from identity theft and fraudulent benefit payouts.

Employers may be tempted to place their plan fiduciary duties on hold or even decide to discontinue their plan oversight responsibilities due to COVID-19. However, with the economic volatility and uncertainty that continue to affect plans, quality fiduciary oversight is needed now more than ever.

For more information about McKonly & Asbury’s Employee Benefit Plan services, or for questions regarding this article, please contact Stephanie Kramer, Manager with McKonly & Asbury, at [email protected]. And be sure to register for our upcoming webinar – Employee Benefit Plans Industry Update – taking place on Thursday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m. for more in-depth information on this topic. You can learn more and register by clicking here.

Member News- November 11, 2020

Free Laser Cataract Webinar


On November 17th, Eye Care Specialist will be offering a free Laser Cataract Webinar from 6-7 pm to learn more about exciting new FDA approved technology that can help you gain great vision in the distance, intermediate and close- without the need for glasses after cataract surgery.  Register here for the webinar.

 

 

 

Montour Area Recreation Commission 2021 Lawn Care Invitation to Bid Application Terms and Conditions

Sealed bids for lawn care at the various properties managed by the Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC) will be received by MARC at any time until 11:00 am on Monday, November 23, 2020. Bids will be publicly opened and read aloud during MARC’s regular November 23, 2020 meeting at 7:00 pm through the Zoom online meeting platform.

Specifications and bid forms may be obtained online at www.MontourRec.com or by submitting a request in writing or by telephone or email to:

Montour Area Recreation Commission PO Box 456, Danville, PA 17821 570-336-2060 or [email protected]

Each bid must be enclosed in a sealed envelope, plainly marked with ‘2021 Lawn Care Bid’, and mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to MARC at the address listed above. Sealed bids may also be hand-delivered to MARC on Monday, November 23, between 8:00 am and 11:00 am, at the Montour Preserve visitors’ center, 374 Preserve Road, Danville, PA 17821.

Bids may be withdrawn by bidders for any reason for a period of forty-eight (48) hours after the time of bid opening. After forty-eight (48) hours from bid opening, bids may not be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days.

WHLM Parade of Lights

PennDOT has approved the permit for the WHLM Parade of Lights so it will be held Friday, November 27th at 6:00 p.m. Registration is not required this year. The 2020 WHLM PARADE OF LIGHTS will illuminate Downtown Bloomsburg with classic cars, floats, boats, fire trucks, thousands of Christmas lights, and usher in the Christmas season when Santa Claus comes to the only Town in Pennsylvania! The parade route forms at 4:30 PM at the Geisinger Bloomsburg parking lot on Lightstreet Road, then moves at 6 PM down Main Street to Market Street, and ending at the Bloomsburg Firehall.

Additional details are at https://www.whlm.com/whlm-parade-of-lights


No-Cost Leadership Development Webinar

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRCwould like to extend an invitation to attend our live webinar on Leadership Development. This two-hour event is complimentary and is an excellent way to kick-start your leadership development initiatives.
The Leadership Development program helps individuals become stronger, more impactful leaders. While joining other managers and supervisors to discuss workplace challenges, attendees will explore topics that include self-awareness, power & authority, risk & failure and leadership style. Using self-assessment tools and experiential learning, attendees will examine their strengths and weaknesses while exploring best practices of exceptional leaders.

This seminar will be held on the following dates from 8 to 10 a.m.:
Monday, December 21st, 2020 
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

Attendees will receive the webinar link via email one to two days prior to the event.

To register, please visit nepirc.com/events.  Space is filling up quickly, so register today!