Around Town: Salvation Army Luau honored one of my favorite folks


Summa summa summa time.

With the wacky weather we’ve had recently, it was a nice reprieve to feel “summery” on Tuesday night.

I attended the Salvation Army’s Summer Luau at Appletree Terrace at Newberry Estates in Dallas, where the honoree, or “Big Kahuna” of the night, was none other than one of my favorite people: Bill Yeager, the owner of Yeager Insurance Agency, Inc.

Attending the luau meant dressing Hawaiian (or attempting to) and imbibing in blue Island-style drinks on the deck overlooking Newberry’s gorgeous pool and grounds.

Bill’s dedication to the community – specifically youth – won him the big recognition of the night.

Friends from all over attended to support him and the Salvation Army, the international organization dedication to enriching the lives of those in need.

I enjoyed my time spent talking with supporters like Mitch Kornfeld, Jeff and Kim Woytowich, District Judge Thomas Malloy, Luzerne County Judge William Amesbury, Richard and Michele Hojsack and Wilkes-Barre City Controller Darren Snyder and his wife, Kelly.

In all honesty, there were too many people to name. It seemed every time I turned around more people were walking in, which is a testament to Bill and his work. People want to support those who work hard and do good. It’s natural to be drawn to those types of people. I know I am.

I first met Bill several years ago at a networking event. He talked to me about his work with youth organizations, particularly Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bridge that night.

We became fast friends, and I continue to be in awe of the time he devotes to others.

On another night, Thursday, I was invited to a mixer for PA CareerLink.

The host of the affair was none other than the fabulous Kathi Bankes, the Director of Sales-Catering and Private Events, at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. She and her staff put on quite the night.

The food spread consisted of salmon, fresh fruits and other deliciousness.

The purpose was to meet and talk with college-aged interns, part of a specially funded CareerLink program where the students are just as motivated as their mentors.

Times Leader Publisher Mike Murray and Wilkes-Barre City Special Events Coordinator Patty Hughes also volunteered their time. We talked with two young men in particular about their current internships and their plans after college.

Mr. Murray was impressive – sharing stories from his years of experience running media companies and agencies.

The students listened intently, and I learned a few things myself.

When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to do internships at four organizations: Luzerne County, Joint Urban Studies Center, WBRE/WYOU and the Times Leader. I told the students that’s what shaped my professional career. I learned how to network, talk articulately and take on new challenges.

Those experiences shaped me.

In closing (and in full transparency), I am writing this column on Friday, so I can’t share my Saturday at Plymouth’s annual Kielbasa Festival, but I’ll be sure to fill you in next week.

I hope you were able to attend and enjoy the many eats, live entertainment and vendors as I planned to.

If you weren’t able to get there, consider the 35th annual Pittston Tomato Festival next weekend.

Our Times Leader team will be there marching in the parade on Saturday and we’re super excited about it.

See how lucky we are to live in an area with so much to do?

Don’t listen to naysayers who say otherwise.

This area is chock-full of events, so it’s up to us to pick our pleasures.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.