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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:08:20 14:20:04

Carmen Donato shows off his trophy.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:08:20 14:13:45

Above, Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni speaks at the awards presentation. At right, Carmen Donato shows off his trophy. Other state award winners honored at the picnic were Cara Welby, first grade flag drawing; Bridget McDonald, eighth grade essay contest, and Simon Girman, ninth grade essay contest.

Greater Pittston AMVETS Post 189 capped off a busy Aug. 18-20 weekend by hosting its annual family picnic Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Plains Lions Pavilion. During the picnic, the post handed out awards to Greater Pittston students who won a statewide contest in the Americanism program and an award to a teacher in the district who helped the students. The post also hosted disabled veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Plains Twp. and the Gino Merli Veterans Center in Scranton.

The busy weekend kicked off with members of the post participating in the Tomato Festival and marching in the Tomato Fevtival Parade with Gov. Tom Wolfe and Grand Marshal Jimmy Cefalo. The weekend culminated with Sunday’s picnic and the awarding of certificates and trophies to kindergarten student Carmen Donato and first grader Cara Welby, for earning top honors for their drawings of the American flag. Eight grader Bridget McDonald and ninth grader Simon Girman also won awards for their essays on the importance of voting. The students’ winning drawings and essays are now entered in the national competition, which will be decided later this year.

In addition to the student awards, Pittston Area teacher Mike Fuller was cited for his work with the students.

On hand to present the awards were Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni, state Rep. Mike Carroll, and Magisterial Judge Alexandra Kokura-Kravitz. The trio praised the AMVETS, the school district, and the students for their work in displaying and promoting patriotic American ideals in the community.

Anyone interested in joining AMVETS Post 189 or volunteering with the organization can contact Commander Bernie McDonald at 570-817-4858 or Chaplain Richard White at 570-407-2044.