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One S. Church Street, Suite 200, Hazleton, PA 18201      
570.455.1508   570.454.7787    

 

CAN DO News

News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.

 The Anthracite District of Boy Scouts of America announced today that CAN DO President W. Kevin O’Donnell has been chosen as the group’s 2014 Distinguished Citizen of the Year.Kevin O'Donnell

O’Donnell will be honored at the annual Hazleton Area Friends of Scouting Dinner on May 8. He will be recognized by Scouts, friends, family, business and community leaders for his achievements and service to the community and the area’s youth.

The Distinguished Citizen Award recognizes individuals who set a positive example for others and demonstrate selfless concern and care for their communities.

O’Donnell has been with CAN DO since 1973, when he was hired as assistant director. In 1984, he was named to the position of director, a title that in 1995 was changed to president.

kurtz-greg-webGregory Kurtz has been appointed as CAN DO director of operations, CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell announced.

As director of operations, Kurtz is responsible for the planning, management, administration and expediting of all building construction, land development and other technical projects. He will oversee the utilities and facilities divisions at CAN DO and serve as a liaison with project architects, engineers, contractors and municipal representatives.

Kurtz has 22 years of experience in facility management, project administration, manufacturing engineering support and construction management, including land development.

kelshaw-0169-lgJames C. Kelshaw has been appointed as CAN DO director of economic development, CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell announced.

As director of economic development, Kelshaw will oversee and plan CAN DO’s economic development initiatives and most importantly, procure funding for business clients and CAN DO infrastructure projects. He will also assume the operation of the Community Association for New Business Entrepreneurship (CAN BE), an entrepreneur development program at the Greater Hazleton Business Innovation Center in Valmont Park.

CAN DO, Greater Hazleton’s economic development agency, has spent this Christmas season thinking of others through community outreach programs.christmas-events-operation-CANDO

One of those, Operation: CAN DO, was launched nine years ago as a way to make the holidays brighter for local servicemen and servicewomen serving in the military abroad. Members of CAN DO’s Student Action Committee, made up of local high school students who plan and assist with special community projects throughout the year, collect items from schools, individuals and businesses. The committee then delivers the thousands of food, personal care and entertainment items to the American Legion Post 473 in Freeland. The American Legion places the items into care packages that are then sent to the military members.

Hundreds of children and adults enjoyed a festive kickoff to the holiday season during the 21st annual CAN DO Community Christmas on Wednesday evening.

CAN DO_ChristmasThe event was held at Christ Lutheran Church in downtown Hazleton. CAN DO Community Christmas is coordinated by CAN DO’s Student Action Committee, which is made up of local high school students who plan and assist with special community projects throughout the year. Committee members Mary Susan McAndrew, Marian Catholic High School, and Haylee Kirschner, MMI Preparatory School, served as this year’s co-chairs for CAN DO Community Christmas.

The event included music from the following school groups: the MMI Chamber Ensemble, the Hazleton Area High School Chamber Singers, the Hazleton Area High School Jazz Ensemble and the Heights-Terrace Elementary/Middle School third-grade chorus.

CAN-DO-Christmas-Commitee-2013The public is invited to ring in the Christmas season at the 21st annual CAN DO Community Christmas on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The event, which features music from several school groups, will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in downtown Hazleton. Admission to Community Christmas is free and light refreshments will be served.

“The CAN DO Community Christmas is a longstanding downtown holiday Christmas tradition and a great way for us to showcase talent from our own community. We’re sure the community will enjoy hearing the festive music these students will share,” said CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell.

Operation-CAN-DO--2978After months of planning and weeks of collecting donations, members of the CAN DO Student Action Committee on Thursday delivered thousands of items donated by businesses and individuals throughout Greater Hazleton as part of the annual “Operation: CAN DO” drive.

The food, books and personal care items, delivered to American Legion Post 473 in Freeland, will be used to create care packages that will be delivered to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving abroad who have ties to Greater Hazleton.

This is the ninth year of the Operation: CAN DO program. CAN DO has partnered with the Freeland American Legion since the drive’s inception, and members of the Student Action Committee once again expressed their thanks on Thursday to Commander Gerald Gaffney and other members of the Freeland American Legion in recognition of their continued assistance with the program and their dedication to the men and women of the United States military.

With the help of students at Freeland Elementary/Middle School, local military personnel stationed abroad will enjoy a brighter holiday season this year.

Operation-CAN-DO-Freeland-School-102913-9925Members of the Builders' Club at the school have been helping collect items for "Operation: CAN DO," a project of the CAN DO Student Action Committee to collect food, entertainment and hygiene items for servicemen and women.

On Tuesday, the items the students have collected were gathered and taken to the CAN DO offices in downtown Hazleton. The collection included items such as snacks, coffee, powdered drink mixes, baby wipes, lip balm, toothbrushes, personal-sized toothpaste, magazines, playing cards, puzzle books and other items.

With the help of students at Drums Elementary/Middle School, local military personnel stationed abroad will enjoy a brighter holiday season this year.

Operation-CAN-DO-at-Drums-school-102813-2822Members of the National Junior Honor Society and Student Council at the school have been helping collect items for "Operation: CAN DO," a project of the CAN DO Student Action Committee to collect food, entertainment and hygiene items for servicemen and women.

On Monday, the items the students have collected were gathered and taken to the CAN DO offices in downtown Hazleton. The collection included items such as crossword puzzle books, soap, pens, toothpaste, first aid kits, tissues, trail mix, Ramen noodles and many other items.

"Our National Junior Honor Society and Student Council wanted to bring awareness to all our students about the needs of our troops. Both clubs felt it was important to give back to those that serve. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade collected much-needed items throughout the month of October. We are happy to have the opportunity to work with CAN DO and thank them for their assistance in making this a big success," said Melissa Stauffer, a teacher at the school and NJHS adviser.

CAN DO, Inc., Greater Hazleton’s economic development organization, released its strategic plan on Tuesday during its board meeting.

From left: Bill Genetti, chairman of the Governance Committee, which oversaw the development of the strategic plan; Kevin O’Donnell, CAN DO president; Lew Dryfoos, CAN DO chairman of the board; and Al Weber of Tweed-Weber, strategic plan consultant. CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell said, “To continue our progress as we move toward a future in which we will encounter different challenges, we set forward to determine a strategic plan for our organization. Although we recognize that we live in a rapidly changing world, we wanted to create a strategic plan to let others know the direction we are taking and hold ourselves accountable to staying on course.”

The strategic plan was developed in conjunction with consulting firm Tweed-Weber of Reading. Throughout the process, Tweed-Weber conducted extensive research of Greater Hazleton and sought input from community leaders, focusing on both qualitative data (personal perceptions, descriptions and meaning) and quantitative data (numbers and statistics).

The plan includes goals and strategies for meeting those goals as CAN DO continues its work to help improve the local economy and increase prosperity for the Hazleton area’s residents. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of and progress toward the goals of the plan, CAN DO will track certain measures of success, with the organization’s leadership team reviewing results on a regular basis.

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