Maddon leads a merry Thanksmas in Hazleton

This gift from the Ripken foundation, he said, helps teach that lesson again to HIP children. The children of HIP, he said, are really excited about the batting cages, too. He hopes for the cages to be installed sometime in the beginning of the new year.

Friday, Maddon held his holiday banquet at Best Western Genetti Inn & Suites, Route 309, Hazle Township, that included a silent auction. On Saturday, the Hazleton’s Kids Have Talent show took place.

Next year, Maddon said, he hopes to see a full audience at the free Hazleton talent show, “I was staggered by the performances,” he said.

“We’ve got to fill these seats next year,” he said, while remarking on the talented youth in greater Hazleton.

By 12 p.m., about half of the tables set up at the center were filled with diners as more guests arrived, ready to dine at the annual feast. Food was brought from the kitchen to steam tables in the dining area. From there, volunteers plated food before other volunteers hand delivered them to the dinning guests.

The Smoke and Mirrors Saxophone Quartet provided seasonal music for the diners’ pleasure.

Jackie Getz of the Hazleton chapter of Stitches of Love, called the Msg. Paul Karpowich Memorial chapter, celebrated its 10th anniversary at Thanksmas doing what it’s namesake would want, Getz said — tending to those who need help.

The group began and is based in Allentown, she said. Through Stitches of Love, volunteers knit hats, gloves, scarfs and blankets for the needy with donated yarn. She stood before a mountain of knitted goods, gently folding and sorting them ahead of the diners’ arrival, readying them to be handed out to those that need them most. Getz thanked the volunteers who spent time all year knitting the items and to those who donated yarn to keep others warm.



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