NEPA Rainbow Alliance returns to Kirby Park with 5K, family day

By Cabrini Rudnicki - For Times Leader
After a 5K race at Kirby Park on Sunday, members of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance and race participants applauded the race winners and had a pot luck picnic. -
Tavias Fisher, of Bloomsburg, sold raffle tickets and took a first-place medal at the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre. -
Paul Shaver, of West Pittston, took top overall honors in the Rainbow Road 5K on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre. -
Meghan Flanagan, of Kingston, holds Max Novakowski as he dances. - -
Christine Penn, of Jim Thorpe; Davienne Piatt, of Hanover Township; and Jamie Putriment, of Pocono Pines,enjoy the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday. - -
Paul Shaver, of West Pittston, took top overall honors in the Rainbow Road 5K on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre. - -
Tavias Fisher, of Bloomsburg, sold raffle tickets and took a first-place medal at the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre. - -
Christine Penn, of Jim Thorpe; Davienne Piatt, of Hanover Township; and Jamie Putriment, of Pocono Pines,enjoy the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday. - -
FOR THE TIMES LEADER/CHARLOTTE BARTIZEK After a 5 K race at Kirby park Sunday members of the Rainbow Alliance of NEPA and race participants applaudde the race winners and had a pot luck picnic. - -

WILKES-BARRE – The NEPA Rainbow Alliance came back to its roots with the first-ever Rainbow Road 5k and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday.

The event featured a 5K race as well as a picnic in the gazebo at Kirby Park.

The 5K portion of the day began at 9 a.m. and ended around 10:30 a.m, while the family day portion started at 11 a.m. The event featured a potluck, activities and a DJ. Basket raffles featuring numerous prizes were also available for those attending.

Ben Eaton, the programming co-chair for NEPA Rainbow Alliance, said the event began as a way of coming back to Kirby Park, where the organization held its first Pride Fest in 2004.

“Since then, we outgrew Kirby Park and moved to Montage,” said Eaton. “We wanted to do something that brought us back to our roots.”

The 5K, which welcomed runners, walkers or rollers, was a way of bringing health into the event. The race had 25 runners of all ages and had participants running through portions of Kirby Park and Nesbitt Park.

The Rainbow Road 5K & Family Day was sponsored by Geisinger.

“We are super happy to partner with Geisinger,” said Eaton. “We want to show the community the resources they offer for LGBT, plus individuals in the area.”

Dawn Fisher, program specialist of Diversity and Inclusion at Geisinger, spoke about the kinds of resources offered for the LGBT community at Geisinger.

“We have all kinds of things,” said Fisher. “We have employee resource groups for current employees to get them more involved, as well as for us to get to know what they are thinking. We also have unconscious bias training and safe-zone training.”

Geisinger also featured booths at the event, including a recruitment table, an EMS team table and a general information table.

The EMS booth featured impairment goggles, which simulate levels of alcohol impairment, for people attending the event to try.

“The kids have been using them all day and trying to walk up and down lines without tripping,” said Fisher. “It’s been very fun to watch.”

Geisinger is a participant in the Healthcare Equality Index, a program hosted by the Human Rights Campaign.

“We have pretty good scores at our six hospitals,” said Fisher. “This means that we have good policies and procedures in place, and now we are working hard on our people skills.”

For the 5k, medals were awarded to the top participants by age category, as well as top overall.

“We want to show that we are part of the community,” said Eaton. “We want to show that we are just like everybody else, and show that we are out there.”

After a 5K race at Kirby Park on Sunday, members of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance and race participants applauded the race winners and had a pot luck picnic.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-5-1-1.jpgAfter a 5K race at Kirby Park on Sunday, members of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance and race participants applauded the race winners and had a pot luck picnic.

Tavias Fisher, of Bloomsburg, sold raffle tickets and took a first-place medal at the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-3-1.jpgTavias Fisher, of Bloomsburg, sold raffle tickets and took a first-place medal at the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Paul Shaver, of West Pittston, took top overall honors in the Rainbow Road 5K on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-2-1-1-1.jpgPaul Shaver, of West Pittston, took top overall honors in the Rainbow Road 5K on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Meghan Flanagan, of Kingston, holds Max Novakowski as he dances.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-1-1.jpgMeghan Flanagan, of Kingston, holds Max Novakowski as he dances.

Christine Penn, of Jim Thorpe; Davienne Piatt, of Hanover Township; and Jamie Putriment, of Pocono Pines,enjoy the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-4-jpg-1.jpgChristine Penn, of Jim Thorpe; Davienne Piatt, of Hanover Township; and Jamie Putriment, of Pocono Pines,enjoy the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday.

Paul Shaver, of West Pittston, took top overall honors in the Rainbow Road 5K on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-2CMYK.jpgPaul Shaver, of West Pittston, took top overall honors in the Rainbow Road 5K on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Tavias Fisher, of Bloomsburg, sold raffle tickets and took a first-place medal at the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-3CMYK.jpgTavias Fisher, of Bloomsburg, sold raffle tickets and took a first-place medal at the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day on Sunday at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Christine Penn, of Jim Thorpe; Davienne Piatt, of Hanover Township; and Jamie Putriment, of Pocono Pines,enjoy the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-4CMYK.jpgChristine Penn, of Jim Thorpe; Davienne Piatt, of Hanover Township; and Jamie Putriment, of Pocono Pines,enjoy the Rainbow Road 5K and Family Day at Kirby Park on Sunday.

FOR THE TIMES LEADER/CHARLOTTE BARTIZEK After a 5 K race at Kirby park Sunday members of the Rainbow Alliance of NEPA and race participants applaudde the race winners and had a pot luck picnic.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL07162018-rainbow-5CMYK.jpgFOR THE TIMES LEADER/CHARLOTTE BARTIZEK After a 5 K race at Kirby park Sunday members of the Rainbow Alliance of NEPA and race participants applaudde the race winners and had a pot luck picnic.

By Cabrini Rudnicki

For Times Leader

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.