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Member News- July 1, 2020

Berwick Industrial Development Association Presents Two Berwick High School Graduates with Scholarships 

L to R: Kelly O’Brien, B.I.D.A. Executive Director, Dann McGann, B.I.D.A. Board President and Megan McLaughlin

Berwick Industrial Development Association (B.I.D.A.), is committed to improving the economy of the region through marketing and managing its industrial assets, the retention, expansion and recruitment of business and industry; and contributing to community revitalization efforts. In line with our mission, B.I.D.A. created a vocational post-secondary educational scholarship program.

This year, B.I.D.A presented two Berwick High School graduating seniors with scholarships. 

Jendyn Knorr will attend BU in the fall as an early childhood education major while Megan McLaughlin will join her on campus as a nursing major. Both students were highly involved in civic engagements, participated in school clubs and organizations, maintained employment, all while keeping a GPA above 94% overall. Their hard work and dedication were recognized immediately.

This unique scholarship program was created as a way to recognize our local students and promote continuing education in various trades; and as a retention program to encourage our students to stay in school and stay local.

B.I.D.A will continue our efforts to assist local employers to build relationships with our local schools, and advocate for careers in the trades and in-demand job opportunities. For more information on the B.I.D.A. Vocational Education Scholarship email or call 570-752-3612 ext. 1.


Bloomsburg University Foundation Establishes Community Impact Fund

The Bloomsburg University Foundation recently established a Community Impact Fund to provide funding in support of student professional experience projects. The projects will benefit the Town of Bloomsburg and communities throughout Columbia County with marketing studies for nonprofits, special projects for the town, engagements within field of study, and more.

Professional experiences help students apply what they are learning in the classroom, establish a professional network and obtain career experience in a workplace while earning a degree. Faculty mentored research or internships, study abroad, creative performance activities, service projects and attending a professional conference are all considered professional experiences.

“This endowment provides our friends and supporters the unique opportunity to support our students and benefit the community at the same time,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “Through these valuable experiences outside the classroom, our students learn more about themselves and the world, further develop their professional networks and career paths, and gain meaningful work experience.”

To help offset some of the cost of participating in these experiences, Bloomsburg University Foundation offers Professional Experience Grants (PEGs).

PEGs from this fund are to be used exclusively for projects and/or initiatives supporting community needs within the boundaries of Columbia County.

As part of the fund’s establishment, an allocation committee comprised of five representatives – three from Bloomsburg University and the Bloomsburg University Foundation, one from Columbia County, and one from the Town of Bloomsburg has been formed.

The committee will meet three times a year (two for fall and spring allocations and one for a fund review). Initial work has focused on setting up the process and an online application, with the first funding round application period to be announced and launched in early summer 2020.

Current fund committee members include, Jerome Dvorak, executive director, Bloomsburg University Foundation; Heather Feldhaus, interim associate vice provost for research and sponsored programs, Bloomsburg University; Dan Knorr, director of external and government relations, Bloomsburg University; Bonnie Crawford, Bloomsburg town councilmember; and Chris Young, Columbia County Commissioner.

The first application period for funding consideration will open June 22, 2020 and close July 31, 2020. Applicants may be internal to Bloomsburg University – students, faculty, and staff – or may be external organizations, non-profits, and businesses.

Professional experience projects for this round of funding are envisioned to be completed within the fall 2020 academic semester. A prepared or existing collaboration between Bloomsburg University students/faculty and a community sponsor is encouraged but not required. Applications are available online at


Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital Blood Drive in Honor of John R. Thomas

Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital will be holding a blood drive on Wednesday, July 8th from 1:00-6:00 pm at the Caldwell Consistory in Bloomsburg.  This blood drive is in honor of John R. Thomas. 

John R. Thomas, 33 Degree M.S.A. Past Commander-in-Chief of Caldwell Consistory, Membership Chairman and Chairman of the Abbott Scholarships for the Valley of Bloomsburg.

As a Veteran of the US Army, John is very active in the Columbia County Veterans groups, Columbia County Historical Association, and has held several offices in Oriental Lodge in Orangeville.

As a community servant, John also served in the local fire services in both Orangeville and Espy for more than a quarter of a century.

An advocate for blood donation, John appreciates the opportunity to encourage donation and thanks all those whom give so freely of themselves to the cause.

To schedule your lifesaving donation, please call 800-B-A-DONOR or visit with code 8272 to participate. All donors need to make an appointment and are required to wear a mask.


Central Susquehanna Community Foundation Awards Second Round of Grants from Disaster Relief Fund in Response to COVID-19

The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation announced the second round of grants awarded from the Disaster Relief Fund in response to the current pandemic and resulting effects on the Central Susquehanna region. Grants totaling $160,677 were distributed to 51 local nonprofit organizations.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations to meet requests including essential items (personal care, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, nonperishable foods), meal prep and distribution, equipment maintenance, financial assistance and crisis services, educational programs, operational costs and human resource needs. These awards help provide continued services for clients across the region.

• Berwick Area Swimming Pool, Inc.
Berwick Area YMCA
• Berwick Theater and Center for Community Arts
• Beyond Violence Inc.
Bloomsburg Area YMCA
Bloomsburg Public Library
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
• By Grace Women’s Transition Home
• Camp Freedom, Inc. • Camp Koala
• Central PA Youth Ministries
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit
• Central Susquehanna Sight Services, Inc. (CSSS)
Columbia Child Development Program
Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library
• Columbia-Montour Council, Boy Scouts of America
Danville Child Development Center
• DIG Furniture Bank
• Eos Therapeutic Riding Center
• Father’s Hope
• Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA
• HandUp, Foundation
• Hummels Wharf Fire Company
• Lewisburg Children’s Museum
Maria Joseph Manor
McBride Library
• Merakey Foundation
• Montgomery House Library 
• Mount Carmel Public Library, Inc.
• Nescopeck Township Volunteer Fire Company
Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center
• Orangeville Public Library
• Psychological Services Clinic, Inc.
• RiverStage Community Theatre
Ronald McDonald House of Danville
• Setebaid Services, Inc.
• Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius
• Snyder County Libraries
• Sunbury’s Revitalization, Inc.
• Susquehanna Council, Boy Scouts of America
• Susquehanna River Valley Dental Health Clinic
• Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children
• The Arc Susquehanna Valley
• The Children’s Museum, Inc.
• The Dental Health Clinic
The Good Samaritan Mission
• The Hope Center of Nescopeck, PA, Inc.
• The Salvation Army, Berwick
• The Salvation Army, Sunbury
• Transitional Housing and Care Center of Columbia and Montour County
• Union-Snyder Community Action Agency

The Disaster Relief Fund, which launched in 2011, provides support for disaster recovery efforts in Columbia, Lower-Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union Counties. The Fund has continued to coordinate initiatives and grants to benefit local nonprofits during critical times through the generosity of community members, businesses, and other Foundation funds.

Grant decisions from the Disaster Relief Fund are made from an advisory committee composed of ten partner organizations and Foundation representatives. This was the second round of grants this year from the Disaster Relief Fund. In total, $368,105 was given to 78 organizations in 2020.

The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation (CSCF) is a 501(c)(3) organization that develops, manages, and distributes funds for charitable purposes in communities across the Central Susquehanna region. For more information, visit

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