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February 19. 2013 3:51PM
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Sarah's Table provides meals for those in need

I am writing about the Jewish Family Service's food pantry, Sarah's Table. It is non-denominational and has both kosher and non-kosher sections.

Being on a very limited income, I find Sarah's Table is invaluable. And the volunteers there always were very good to me.

Sarah's Table is open from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or by appointment by calling 823-5137.

I became a volunteer at Jewish Family Service of Greater Wilkes-Barre because everyone was so congenial and, after using Sarah's Table for about a year, I felt I should give back. I'm at the pantry for an afternoon per week and once a month I deliver kosher meals to those who cannot get out.

So for those of you who cannot make ends meet and need some help with food, take my advice, try Sarah's Table.

Karen Weltman


Daughter urges donations for all cancer research

Life doesn't allow us to choose our birth when we are brought into this world. But like I have told my parents, if I knew what my life would be like, I would choose them over the queen of England, the most favorite celebrity couple or the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company.

My dad was amazing, taking me hiking for hours at state parks all over the state. We camped and fished along the river. He loved to take my sister and me, but one at a time, to plays at the area's theaters including the Music Box, where I would get my happy meal and enjoy the Wizard of Oz, or, as we got older, the Little Theatre.

He taught me not to judge what is on the outside but to get to know that person before making any judgments.

In 2010 he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which spread to his liver. He received an experimental chemo treatment, which took away the tumor but cancer remained in the liver; however, the side effects were getting too lethal and they had to stop.

My father suffered with horrid pain up until his last breath. No amount of medication helped. He passed on April 11, and part of me died with him.

I am writing to ask this: Why is cancer awareness for one form of the disease so much more important than the others? Why do people raise billions all for breast cancer research? Why can't we rotate years for different kinds of cancer?

When donating, consider donating to research of cancer cells in general.

I miss my dad every day. I just don't want his cancer put in the shadows; breast cancer fundraising has made many people rich people because they exploit the pink ribbon.

Dad, I miss you. And Mom, Kim, Nan and family: I love you, and we will be strong.

Stephanie Cibello

Bear Creek Township

Compost autumn leaves; make sure trees are safe

Although many people consider fallen leaves a nuisance, there is a way to recycle them for future benefit. Gather leaves, store them in a plastic bin and let them decompose. When you find twigs that also have fallen, add them to the bin and in a few months you will have a rich mixture of vital nutrients for your gardens!

Fall is also the perfect time to have your trees examined by a professional arborist to make sure they are structurally safe for winter. Many trees can have hidden stress cracks that can cause a limb or the whole tree to fail under the weight of ice and snow.

It also is an ideal time to have dead wood pruned off the tree since diseases and insects are now starting to disappear due to the cold weather. Many trees are now starting to prepare for dormancy, so chances of injury to your tree are starting to decline.

Remember, dead or damaged limbs can cause serious injury or a fatality if they fail and fall. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Have your trees examined for structural integrity.

Jonathan Stewart

Hanover Township

Will Boy Scouts suffer same sanctions as PSU?

I have only one question: Now that pedophiles have been discovered in the Boy Scouts leadership, I wonder if the current Boy Scouts will be prohibited from going to camp for the next four years?

Frank Rollman

(A loyal Penn State fan)


Family of cancer patient grateful for broad support

In June of last year, our son Eric was diagnosed with an ependymoma, a type of brain tumor. He underwent surgery at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, followed by proton radiation therapy. In March, it was discovered that the tumor reoccurred. Eric underwent a second surgery in July at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and is receiving follow-up treatment. It has been a long and difficult road, but we are looking forward to a long and healthy future.

Our family thanks everyone who has kept Eric in their thoughts and prayers. Words or deeds can never express what your support and prayers have meant to our family.

Special thanks to Dr. Michael LaQuaglia for his prompt referral to the wonderful doctors and staff at Sloan-Kettering, to the caring and compassionate doctors and staff at Sloan-Kettering, to Monsignor Sempa of Corpus Christi Parish for his constant support, guidance and visits, and to our family for their love, prayers and unending support. Our gratitude also goes to our West Pittston family for being there with us through every step of this strenuous journey and to Eric's friends for their phone calls, texts, visits and inclusion in their everyday lives.

Our thanks to Bart & Urby's, Wilkes-Barre, for allowing our friends to hold a benefit to help our family. Thank you to everyone who arranged this wonderful night and to those who attended and contributed to its success.

We thank the Four Seasons for holding a motorcycle rally and picnic for Eric and our family. Thank you to everyone who organized this benefit and worked so hard to make it a successful and fun day! We sincerely appreciate the numerous donations, baskets and treats.

We also thank Corpus Christi Parish for allowing us to use its facilities for a pasta dinner that was held for Eric and our family. Thank you to everyone who spent countless hours working so hard to accomplish this benefit. Again, we appreciate the numerous donations, baskets, treats and volunteers.

It was truly astonishing to see organizations and businesses from all over Northeastern Pennsylvania and other areas, our community and friends, even people we did not know, rally around our son. In their words, we just had to do something.

We are truly blessed to live in such a kind, caring and compassionate area. We will be forever grateful to all of you. Thank you!

Eric and Jessica Speicher

On behalf of the Speicher family

West Pittston

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