Golden Photo Studio
Bob Dellarte, owner of Golden Photo Studio on Wyoming Avenue in West Pittston has been chosen best photographer in Greater Pittston for the fourth year in a row. “I love what I do,” Delarte said when asked how he felt about the honor. “I love shooting sports and working with kids.” Golden Photo specializes in wedding photography (ceremony, reception, candid bride and groom, wedding party) and videos; formal and casual senior photos, indoor and outdoor; sports, music and dance themes; video transfers (all formats); and commercial photography.
An artist for over 40 years, Livrone came upon a unique fused glass technique with metal to create indoor and outdoor sculptures. Her husband, Bill, does the welding. The couple are owners of Art on Main in Pittston.
State Rep. Mike Carroll
Carroll has been serving his constituents in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 2007. A graduate of Pittston Area High School and The University of Scranton, he serves on several house committees and has sponsored many bills. He and his wife, Kelly, have three children, McKenzie, Ali and Matt.
HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC COACH
Pittston Area girls basketball coach Kathy Healey is a staple in this reader’s choice category. She’s won the last three years, and a few times before that. This season, Healey also took over the Hanover Area softball team, leading the Hawkeyes to a successful run. In February, Healey led her Patriots to the PIAA District 2 Class 3A championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena. The girls left with a silver medal. “Having awesome assistant coaches is key,” Healey said. “They take a lot of the work off my shoulders.” Healey said she’s had to change her coaching style over the past several years because the students and society changes. She said it’s an honor for people to take the time out of their day to vote for her.
HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
A graduate of Seton Catholic and Misericordia University, Sal Carroll has spent the last 10 years at Pittston Area High School teaching psychology and AP psychology. He said it’s a great feeling to be honored because there are so many great teachers in his school district and the surrounding districts. Carroll said, “With a staff like this to be named the best teacher means a lot,” he said. “I have fantastic kids, which makes it a pleasure to come to work every day.”
CHILD CARE PROGRAM
Cookie Corner Childcare Center
The Cookie Corner, 272 W. Eighth St., West Wyoming, has been serving the community for over 36 years and continues to strive for quality child care by providing a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for toddlers and pre-schoolers. A special summer program call Kinder-Camp gives gives parents an additional option of part or full-time care prior to entering school in the fall.
Greater Pittston YMCA
With fitness facilities popping up throughout the Wyoming Valley, the Greater Pittston YMCA has stood the test of time, and has been honored with the Best Fitness Facility by Dispatch readers. “The Y has always strived to bring people together from children to senior citizens,” CEO Leslie Widdick said. “We provide a variety of programs to benefit the health and wellness of each individual that enters our facility. The YMCA has several nationally certified personal trainers, along with nutrition services and children’s programs. “We look forward to continuing to serve this area,” Widdick said.
PLACE FOR FAMILY FUN
MVP Sports Academy
MVP Sports Academy, located at 1950 Wyoming Ave. in Exeter, offers athletic training, classes, leagues, travel teams camps, clinics and private lessons in several sports for anyone looking to get an edge on the competition. Co-owner Mike Tierney said the facility tries to accommodate parents, too, such as holding aerobics classes during sports practices. “We tried to create a place that’s somewhat of a hangout, and offer those things that are conducive to an age group’s development,” he said.
This past July, Ashley Faraday opened Chiseled Fitness Studio in downtown Pittston. The family-friendly atmosphere has helped Faraday to win her first award from the Sunday Dispatch. Faraday said the trainers make it a point to learn everyone’s name before they leave. “It’s been stressful and exciting all at the same time,” she said. “People have been receptive and it’s been good. Everyone is having a good time and has been amazing.” The studio is located at 11 East St. on the second floor of the Cooper’s Co-op building, and it has a hardwood floor dance studio, a backroom with floor mats and pedal bikes.
Fox Hill Country Club
On June 23, 1920, a parcel of land along the West Pittston-Exeter border was chosen as a possible site for the proposed Fox Hill Country Club. By 1921, the nine-hole course was “ready for play.” It wasn’t long before membership outgrew the course and it was time to expand. Fox Hill, chosen by Sunday Dispatch readers as best golf course, is considered one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Social memberships are available and the club has a dining hall and banquet facilities.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
Volunteers are the key to the success of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church Bazaar in Dupont. Many hours are logged, not only working the event, but preparing a variety of ethnic foods such as pierogies, sausage, peppers, and haluski. But the one food item for which the wait time supersedes the term “long” are the bazaar’s famous potato pancakes. It’s widely known the church goes through two tons or more of potatoes preparing for the event.
Pittston City St. Patrick’s Parade
Pittston City Events Coordinator Sarah Donahue said the honor is a special one for the parade committee. “We’ve come so, so, far in four years, and I just can’t wait to see what we decide to add next. We started out four years ago with a parade, and now we have a pub crawl and a 1-mile race, too,” she said. “Our committee works hard all year round to plan our festivities and every ounce of work is worth it when we see the smiles on peoples faces. Thank you, Greater Pittston, for enjoying and supporting our parade and festivities as much as we enjoy bringing them to you. Slainté!”
BEST KEPT SECRET
Crossfit Blarney Stone
For the second straight year, Crossfit Blarney Stone in Duryea was named the Best Kept Secret, in this two-year-old category. Co-owner Shana Keeler, a head coach at the facility, along with her sister Shandra, oversees a core strength and conditioning program at the 4,000-square-foot facility. The gym offers gymnastic movements, Olympic weightlifting, running, rowing and biking at short, medium and long distances, along with a challenging yet supportive environment as a path to success. The facility opened in February 2014.
KIDS’ BIRTHDAY PLACE
MVP Sports Academy
Co-owner Mike Tierney said the staff is “very honored and ecstatic” about being chosen by Sunday Dispatch readers as the Best Kids’ Birthday Place. “We tried strongly to consider how much of a hectic time planning a child’s birthday party can be,” he said. “We tried to streamline the process so the party host can sit back, relax and let the party staff take care of it.” MVP Sports Academy offers a plethora of activities for youngsters, including kickball, dodgeball, Wiffle Ball and KnockerBall, a protective single-chambered ball of air, made to slam into opponents.
UNIQUE GIFT STORE
JK Holly sells plenty of unique items, including fresh loose leaf tea, fair trade organic coffee and snacks such as gourmet cookies, trail mix and pretzels. The tea offerings change monthly and seasonally. The store held its grand opening a year ago.
Home Yoga & Barre
Founder Alyssa Miller opened Home Yoga & Barre on Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston in 2015. The facility offers several styles of yoga and barre classes throughout the week. “It’s humbling to say the least,” said Miller of the win. “I think what makes us the best is our instructors. They all genuinely want to help people and help people have the best experience.”
Spotlight Dance Studio
In business for five years, the studio is located at 108 S. Main St. and ranges from students ages 3 to adults. The most popular dance categories are ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop, the latter being the most popular with the adult students. Boys and girls perform in two recitals at Christmas and in the spring and also belong to competition groups. Along with dance, the instructors teach Zumba and Piyo, a combination of Pilates and Yoga. Non-competitive classes in tumbling and agility are also offered.
Greater Pittston YMCA
While the Greater Pittston YMCA offers everything from swimming to basketball, its gymnastics can’t be overlooked either. CEO Leslie Widdick said the gymnastics program is one of the most successful programs for children. Nancy Wood is the head instructor, while Camille Seyers is assistant instructor. “We are honored that the community sees how much hard work our organization puts into our programming,” Widdick said. “We want to Thank the Greater Pittston area for awarding the Y with the Best Gymnastics Program.”
Booyah! Burgers & Bites
Booyah! Burgers & Bites, located at 2022 Wyoming Ave. in Wyoming, opened on Aug. 1. Customers can order ahead on the burger restaurant’s website, eatbooyah.com and then drive through at an express window to pick up their order.