THANK YOU!! Together we made our Inaugural Blue Ribbon Gala a huge success and a great celebration.

Click the image to view a printable pdf of the beautiful painting that was created by so many caring hands on the night of the Gala.

A Message from the President of Marley’s Mission:


As guests entered the 2nd floor cocktail area of the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center, they were greeted by young people from St.Clare/St. Paul’s School in Scranton and from Our Lady of Peace in Clarks Green.  Children are part of the fabric of Marley’s Mission…children helping children.  They were greeters, they played instruments, they helped raise money but, most importantly, they certainly raised awareness in a new generation of volunteers.

Moving through the cocktail area, those attending could admire the messages of dozens of young children, contained in artwork decorating the room.  Life-sized horses made from cardboard, small ones made of wire & paper-mache, drawings & centerpieces of all shapes and sizes.  Amazing work for amazing children.  One piece struck me as I perused the imaginative works: a white box with translucent paper allowing light to shine thru horseshoe cut-outs on the box.  It was simple.  It was hopeful.  Then, on top…a quote.  “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”  Perfect.  It spoke to who were are as a Mission.  Spoken by a child.  Incredible.

Throughout the evening, a wonderfully talented artist, Trinka Ravaioli, directed guests to an easel with the Blue Ribbon Gala Logo stenciled on it.  Guests were asked to leave their mark, in paint, on the logo as an expression of the importance of community in the success of Marley’s Mission.  By night’s end, an incredible piece of art was created.

The Story of Marley’s Mission…

As April Loposky, Founder & Program Director of Marley’s Mission ended her inspirational remarks & handed out awards to some very deserving people & organizations, she directed everyone’s attention to a large video screen to view a production created by Dan Simrell & the team at Dan Simrell Advertising.

The video told the story of the Mission: how it began as a vision of a courageous, dedicated  mother; the incredible hope for healing provided by the Mission; the power of an exceptional therapist willing to chart new territory by using horses to help a very special little girl; and, what the future holds for the Mission.  Powerful. No one could tell the story of Marley’s Mission better then Dan Simrell.  Amazing, awe-inspiring work.

Also, present during the evening..reflections of the giving-spirit of Matthew Burne.  A young man who gave so much and left us far too soon.  A young man who now inspires the growth of the Mission.

Overall, the Inaugural Blue Ribbon Gala was an amazing night.  Tremedous work by a dedicated committee led by Co-Chairs Rebecca  Haggerty (Board Member) and Jeanne Giallorenzi.

Our friends from the band Picture Perfect were, in fact, perfect!  Such talent & energy!

One of the most poignant moments of the evening occured as Chrissy Mclaughlin rose to accept the Remembring Zachary Award – named in memory of her son.  The Award is given to a person who has dedicated themselves to child advocacy & protection – making a difference.  As she rose; so did the crowd…to recognize him and her.  It was a powerful sign of support for her, her effort & her beloved son.  We are honored to have her in the Marley’s Mission family…

The Future…

Planning for next year will begin soon.  But before it does, to all who helped make Saturday a tremendous success, please accept a hearty thank you for a job well done!  Until then, drink it in and be proud of all you have done.  The Mission could never succeed without the commitment of each of you!

Gene Talerico, President of Marley’s Mission 2/21/11

Inaugural Blue Ribbon Gala
Saturday, February 19, 2011
6:00 PM – 11: PM
Hilton in Scranton, PA

Entertainment includes the band: Picture Perfect
-Learn more about the band here!

Tickets: $125 per person ($64.00 tax deductible) / 10 to a table  SOLD OUT!

Cocktail Attire

During the Gala, a drawing will be held to select the winners of our “Who Wants to be Like a Millionaire” Raffle


Special Recognition Awards to be Announced at the Inaugural Blue Ribbon Gala


  • Golden Bridle Award

This award recognizes a corporation or local business that has financially contributed to the success of Marley’s Mission.  Congratulations to this year’s Triple Crown Sponsors: The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. and Jack Sordoni/Homeland Energy Ventures, LLC

  • Gateway Award

This award recognizes an individual, group, or local/national nonprofit organization that is an advocate for children’s rights, is dedicated to protecting children, and collaborates with Marley’s Mission in the healing of children.  Congratulations to our first year’s recipient: Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA

  • Saddle of Hope Award

This award recognizes an individual who has inspired members of Marley’s Mission and has made an impact in someone’s life for the better.  Congratulations to our first year’s recipient: Dan Mahoney

  • The Spirit Reigns Award

The Spirit Reigns Award is designed to honor a dedicated young person under age 18 who has demonstrated his/her exceptional commitment to Marley’s Mission. The award acknowledges the dedication and positive spirit of children who, by their actions, promote hope and healing.  Congratulations to our first year’s recipient: Katie Talerico

  • The Blue Ribbon Award

This award recognizes a volunteer who embodies selflessness and charity through time and dedication to Marley’s Mission.  Congratulations to our first year’s recipient: Gretchen Wintermantel

  • Remembering Zachary Award

A special award in memory of Zachary, a beautiful fourteen month old boy, who was a victim of child abuse.  This award recognizes the  passionate and tireless efforts of an individual who brings greater awareness to child abuse.  Read Zachary’s story here.   A very special award, in our first year, to Zachary’s mother: Chrissy McLaughlin

Marley’s Mission Inaugural Blue Ribbon Gala
Committee Members

Rebecca Haggerty, Co-Chair
Jeanne Giallorenzi, Co-Chai

Alishia Allegrucci
Kathy Bell
Michele Boland
Jennifer Boyle
Bridget Cabets
Trudy Cordaro
Rose Marie Crotti
Laura Fedak
John Ford
Susan Gershey
Eleanor Gwyn-Jones
Barbara Hughes
Joe Kenney
Jennifer Macknosky
David Petz
Marlene Sammon
Amy Scoblick
Kara M. Seitzinger
Katie Sunday
Laura Talerico
Kathy Weis
Gretchen Wintermantel


The Gala in the News


embedded by Embedded Video


Making sure Marley’s Mission accomplished – The Times-Tribune, March 6, 2011

Marley’s Mission celebrates future with gala dinner – The Times-Tribune, Feb. 20, 2011

Gala will raise funds for Marley’s Mission – The Times-Tribune, Feb. 12, 2011

Students share art, messages for Marley’s Mission – The Times-Tribune, Feb. 11, 2011

Namedropper, Marley’s Mission Blue Ribbon Gala – The Times-Tribune, Feb. 10,2011