TRR photo by David Hulse

As has become customary, the Wayne commissioners’ meeting room was all but overflowing with large gift boxes and black bags of new clothing and toys on November 29, as the “haul” from the sheriffs’ deputies “Cram the Cruiser” effort went on display. Pictured behind the seated commissioners are Rozalyn Burke of Wayne Children & Youth, left, Sheriff’s Department staff and family including Danene Van Horn, Rory Steelman, Megan Rosler, Chris Rosler, Nick Corazzi, Chad Hankinson, Anna King and Sheriff Mark Steelman.

Wayne deputies haul in holiday gifts

HONESDALE, PA — The generosity and holiday spirit of Wayne County shoppers were on display November 29, as Sheriff’s deputies again filled the commissioners’ meeting room with donated gifts they collected during the fourth annual, holiday “Cram the Cruiser” effort in the parking lots of local stores on Black Friday.

Dozens of large black trash bags and packages too large to bag were in the lot to be collected by the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau (WCCCB). Rick Hnatko, an 18-year bureau board member, said 330 children and 145 families who had registered for the program will benefit from this year’s December 9 gift distribution at the Stourbridge Center.

Commissioner Wendell Kay praised the longevity of the bureau, which he said was already in operation when he arrived in the county. This is the fifth decade for WCCCB, which was initiated in the mid-’70s with creation of the county’s human services department.

A kind-hearted case worker in the new Department of Children and Youth was then forced to place several children in temporary foster care during the holiday season. Realizing the impact this would have on the foster family and their plans for Christmas, the case worker enlisted the aid of co-workers and gathered gently used clothes and toys to ease the burden and ensure the recently placed children would have gifts to open on Christmas morning.

The Honesdale Area Jaycees work with the bureau to provide the manpower for this important community-supported program.

Hnatko said the original aim of the program was to provide disadvantaged children with new winter coats and clothing. The giving is not all random. The bureau also has donors who commit to donations of $100 per child and the purchase of at least one set of clothing for specific children who remain anonymous.

Moving onto their business agenda, the commissioners approved receipt of $80,000 in pass-on funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cover the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s assessment of Wayne flood-control, mitigation dams.

The commissioners opened four bids on three upcoming bridge paving and guiderail installation projects. Kohr’s Excavating of Honesdale was the apparent low-bidder at $264,755. Bids were tabled for review by the county engineer.

On Friday, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) and the Wayne County commissioners announced the availability of 2019 Tourism Project Disbursement Allocation applications for non-profits and other organizations promoting events or activities in the Northern Poconos. For applications, email Chief Clerk, Vicky Botjer, or download an application from the PMVB website at                                                        

Applications are due by December 14.


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