If you’re looking to promote an event, Doug Long is your guy.
Thirty-one years in the business, Long has promoted everything from small and large boxing events to New Year’s Eve parties and Halloween parties. His biggest accomplishment over the past three decades, however, is his charity work.
Long was featured in the Sunday, Sept. 24, 1995 edition of the Sunday Dispatch’s “Spotlight” section. A resident of Port Griffith then, he was promoting his War of the Warriors event taking place at Genetti Manor in Dickson City. That event was the biggest he ran in his first 11 years as a promoter.
From there, things just got bigger.
Long is currently running Digital Memories Entertainment, which offers promoting services to events such as weddings and concerts. He’s still in the boxing scene while running his Facebook page Frankie’s Voice. With all that going on, Long still finds time to work 12-hour shifts at Specialty Records in Olyphant, something he’s done for 35 years.
Long spent over a decade living in Jenkins Township. He was on the recreation board for many years. He was a key component in renovating two parks in Jenkins Township. He was also involved in a lot of Halloween functions at the Jenkins Township Fire Hall.
How it all started
Long began his initial boxing career in 1984 with his first appearance in the ring. Led by local Irish boxing great Gene Reed, Long was set for an exhibition.
“I lost the fight, of course,” he said during an interview in 1995. “At that point, I decided I did not want to be in the ring. I’d rather plan the event.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
Later that year, Long and a few of his partners promoted an event at the Hideout Resort in the Poconos. His first independently promoted event was at the pavilion at Rocky Glen Park in Moosic. The first fight he promoted provided a $300 budget. He spent two years at Rocky Glen promoting fights before moving to Scranton’s West Side Theater in 1986.
The War of the Warriors event was presented with a budget of $13,000, a far cry from his first gig. It was his biggest promotion at the time.
Reed and Long founded the Irish Boxing Club, located at Weston Fieldhouse in Scranton, in 1988. Long would manage Reed’s career and promote through Long Productions. The club is still open today, and boxing is free to the public. There is a $2 fee to enter the facility.
“I still scout young fighters,” he said.
In the early 1990s, Long Productions began hosting numerous events at the Scranton Catholic Youth Center (CYC). His big break, he said, was hosting the 1994 and 1995 Pennsylvania Gold Gloves.
Most recently, Long helped friends organize the Fights 4 Vets boxing event held in mid-August at the parking lot of the Vault Tap & Kitchen in Scranton. Twenty-five bouts were on the card and it was the first outdoor fight in Scranton in 16 years.
The event raised $10,000 for veterans.
The last time Scranton hosted an outdoor boxing event was in 1999 when Reed fought for the last time.
For 18 years, Long was the host of a sober New Year’s Eve event at the Ice Box in Scranton. That’s a project that hit home with Long.
While attending Lakeland High School, Long had an alcohol problem. He’s happy to report he’s currently in a 12-step program and has been sober 31 years in February of this year. He’s also been the host of several sober Halloween parties throughout the area.
“That’s why I’m kind of really involved in the recovery programs in Northeast PA,” he said. “It’s still the grassroots of my life.”
Long will host a Halloween Party called Sober Spirits on Oct. 31 at the Clark Summit Methodist Church on the Morgan Highway. The event, open to the public, allows families to celebrate Halloween in an alcohol-free environment.
His life is busy, he said.
“I’m still strong and I feel good,” he said. “It turned into a lot of charity work. If somebody is running an event, then Doug Long is the guy to call. I’ve been doing it all my life.”
Long and Frankie Bonacci were good friends.
In late July 2013, Bonacci went missing. That led to a high-profile search with the aid of Long. Long quickly established a Facebook page called Frankie’s Voice, which has garnered nearly 14,000 “likes” since Bonacci went missing. Along with www.frankiesvoice.org, Long helps those families in need to help find missing persons.
Bonacci’s body was found on a rainy night a week later in a vehicle in a ravine overlooking Roaring Brook near Nay Aug Park in Scranton. The 24-year-old from Dunmore was dead from a gunshot to the head.
“I dedicated a year to that,” Long said. “That was my handling of trying search and rescue. I was on TV for about a year. I stopped the promotion business. I dedicated most of my time to violence and crime, and Frankie’s Voice.”
Since then, Long has established the Frankie’s Voice Bandana 5k Run-Walk, in memory of Bonacci. This year’s 5k was run in memory of Bonacci and in honor of Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Alex Douglass, who was injured in an ambush on the Blooming Grove Barracks last year.
Long said many people on the East Coast contact him when dealing with missing persons.
All about the entertainment
Long is 53 years old but his work doesn’t show it.
As the owner of Digital Memories Entertainment, Long can be found at local weddings and promotional events. He’s a hands-on promoter, he said and runs the business with Reed.
“I still do the worm,” he said, speaking of a very physical dance movement. “People can’t believe it.”
Long owns high-end production equipment he uses at his events. He offers a DJ services, a photography studio, a photo booth and lighting productions at all different kinds of events.
When he isn’t promoting an event or scouting out boxers, he can be found in the real estate business as he owns several properties in the area.
“I found my roots at a young age learning something I was good at,” he said. “Now I do all this stuff, still at 53.”
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick