So, you really love Wilkes-Barre? Why shouldn’t you?
First Posted: 11/17/2014
This past week I was fortunate enough to attend the Greater Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. On top of the food and drink menu being top notch (Thank you Genetti’s Best Western) the atmosphere created a sense of community that was unmatched.
The general theme was based around technology, but the overall question was “I love Greater Wilkes-Barre because….”
This got me thinking. As a resident of the Wyoming Valley my entire life, why haven’t I left? What has kept me here so long? Someone once called me a townie, but aren’t we all townies from different towns? The valley certainly has its share of naysayers that could turn away people from wanting to live here, but after leaving the dinner I felt inspired about the positive influences that growing up and raising a family in Luzerne County has given me.
The Valley has given me roots, but it never prevented me from growing wings. In my 30 years, I have traveled the world. I have chased dreams, both professionally and personally and I still choose to live here. It is home-base for me.
So what is so great about living here? For me personally, it is the people and the opportunities. They are out there so long as you are willing to chase them and work for it. I was taught young to not look for a hand out, but there are helping hands available. As a young mother, I struggled to find my footing in the adult world, but I had the drive and passion to chase the dreams and never let anything stop me. There were days that I was living off Ramen noodles and Nardone’s pizza and I wanted better than that for myself (OK, I still eat Nardone’s because it is delicious, but it is by choice, not circumstance).
The education I received from LCCC and Misericordia University helped me to land a professional job and the roots I established as a young writer at Lake-Lehman gave me the courage and inspiration to follow that dream (Thank you to Stacey Stack (I think she is now married and has a different last name)of LLHS for being my biggest supporter.)
I think if I was living in a bigger city, Philadelphia, Manhattan etc. that I would have not been able to reach the goals I set for myself. I would have been another face lost in the shuffle. In my experience, the people there are cold and out for themselves. There is no sense of community. I have found the people here to be approachable and willing to help each other out. The Valley pulsates with humanity. If you have ever attended a church or fire company bazaar, a charity benefit, a bike run or bought a ticket to a basket raffle, you have helped to contribute to a cause bigger than yourself. Flip through the pages of the Weekender or scroll through your Facebook invites to see how many of these events go on every weekend.
The Valley is on an upward swing to greatness and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I want to give my sincere thanks to the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce for inspiring me to recognize how great of an area we live in. Be sure to check out the Chamber online at http://www.wilkes-barre.org/ and tell us why you love our city.