NHS senior project is a dance for children’s health


First Posted: 3/26/2013

Miranda Warunek is busy organizing an Irish step dancing benefit performance by the Emerald Isle Step Dancers at Pittston Area High School at 1:30 p.m. next Sunday, April 7, for the Pediatric Center at the Care and Concern Free Health Clinic in Pittston.

Tickets are $7 and will be sold at the door.

The event doubles as a National Honor Society service project for Warunek who is not just an organizer, but a step dancer who will dance in the show.

Two years ago, Warunek’s sister, Letitia, organized a similar project for her NHS senior project. Miranda considered doing something different, but as a volunteer at the clinic, an experienced step dancer and because her doctor Michael Imbrogno also volunteers at the clinic, she felt the dance project was a natural for her.

The sisters have been dancing for a decade with the Pittston-based Emerald Isle Step Dancers.

Letitia, now a Wilkes pharmacy student, will also dance in the show.

Money raised will help purchase medicine and medical supplies for the clinic which is sponsored by the Ministries of St. John the Evangelist Parish Community and housed in the old Seton Catholic High School. The event will also include 25 themed raffle baskets.

The girls’ mother, Pat Warunek, was at a friend’s house in Mountaintop in 1999 when she saw a business card for the Emerald Irish Step Dancers. Proud of her Irish heritage, which included a great-grandfather who was a vaudeville bagpipe player, she decided to give it a try, as much for the exercise as for the Irish component.

Soon Miranda and Letitia were Emerald Isle students, too.

The highlight of the year for the Pittston Emerald Isle troupe was performing in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade. Miranda said they marched and danced for 40 blocks, the last two in snow. The Emerald Isle dancers also performed in the Scranton parade, where they were voted most photogenic, and the Jim Thorpe St. Paddy’s parades.

Miranda, who has been accepted into the King’s College physician’s assistant program, also dances in competitions, called fies. She and her sister have won fies medals and trophies for first, second and thirds in competitions.

Letitia’s project raised $7,100 in 2011. Miranda, who also bagged groceries Gerrity’s Supermarket and sold candy bars for the clinic, hopes to top that.

Emerald Isle Step Dancers studio is in the Cooper’s Co-Op building next to Cooper’s Restaurant. The director is Jennifer Woss.

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