PITTSTON — Members of the Rotary Club of Pittston gathered downtown on Saturday, April 23 to replace a tree that was damaged by a vehicle in recent months.
A Bradford pear tree located in front of the former M&T Bank building was destroyed when a vehicle ran into it, causing it to die. Bradford pear trees line North and South Main Street in the city.
Each year the club seeks a tree-planting project and this year member Karen Lugiano contacted the Pittston Redevelopment Authority to see if there was location where they could help.
“I met up with Jim Zarra from the redevelopment authority and talked to him about doing something for Earth Day and the tree we replaced was discussed,” Lugiano said.
The club purchased the tree from Midway Garden Center. Owner Ray Lauer was on hand to assist with the project.
Another project in the works includes the area at the Columbus Statue on the corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Main Street in which the Rotary Club will plant vegetation and care for the property, according to Lugiano.
Rotarian and retired veterinarian Dr. Robert Bishop, who has been a member for 35 years, discussed other beautification projects in the city.
“In the past, we planted a tree in front of the Anthracite apartment building on Main (Street), and we will be doing a project at the Columbus statue at the end of spring, beginning of summer,” Bishop said. “We will be planting flowers and possibly a tree at the site.”
In addition to tree planting, the club will be involved in a summer program feeding children once school is out. “We may possibly team up with the Salvation Army or library to get that project off the ground,” Bishop said.
Member John Joseph John said the club holds several fundraisers throughout the year to pay for projects, including its recent Easter flower sale.
John, who has been involved with Rotary since 1990, said the club is growing. Four new members joining in the past month brings total membership to 14.
“Although (Rotary Club of Pittston) is smaller, as most service organizations have seen a large attrition, ours is on the rebound,” he said.
John said the international goal of Rotary was to eradicate polio, and he believes the club is the main reason the disease is “pretty much a null factor” in today’s world. Now Rotary focuses on serving its communities.
“I believe it’s important to put back, rather than always take,” said John.
To join the Rotary Club of Pittston, call John at 570-814-1986 or visit www.rotaryclubpittston.com for more information.
The club meets at 12:15 p.m. every Tuesday at Perkins Restaurant on Highway 315 in Pittston Township.
Sarah Hite Hando contributed to this report. Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at email@example.com.