Coordinators of the St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital Black Diamond Garden Party met with the Mauch Chunk Historical Characters at Kemmerer Park in Jim Thorpe recently to share plans of the upcoming event.

The Black Diamond Garden Party will be held June 11 from 6-9 pm at the Asa and Harry Packer mansions and Kemmerer Park in Jim Thorpe. The event is open to the public and anyone wanting to attend is asked to make a reservation.

Funds raised will be used on renovations for the recovery and operating rooms at St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital.

"The event is a fundraiser but it is meant to be a good time for the guests of the event," stated director of development at St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Micah Gursky.

"The garden party is to bring a fun event to the area that also gives the guests a cultural and historical experience of Jim Thorpe," said Diane Luicana, community chairwoman of the event.

This will be the fourth Black Diamond event. For the past three years it has been held at Penn's Peak. Past fundraisers have aided the hospital in building a new Day Room, a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, and a Critical Care Unit.

This year coordinators wanted to try an outside venue.

"St. Luke's Miner's Memorial has a long history with the Packers and Jim Thorpe. This year we were looking for an outdoor venue and having the event at the Packer mansions and Kemmerer Park was perfect," said Gursky.

The Black Diamond Garden Party will feature tours of the Asa Packer Mansion and Kemmerer Carriage House. The Carriage House will host historical tours, tours of the renovations, and a regional folk artist exhibit by the Wyso Foundation.

The Harry Packer Mansion will also be open for the guests to take a tour of the first floor.

There will be live music and a horse-drawn carriage for guests to take a ride through Kemmerer Park. There will be a featured artist for the event who will display an original painting and prints will be available.

"We have changed artists each year and they all have brought their own personalities to the history of the hospital and the area in their original paintings," said Andrea Visnosky, director of marketing and public relations at St. Luke's.

Numerous local restaurants will provide food for the event, including: Albright Mansion, Bear Appetite, Broadway Grille and Pub, Flow, Johnnies II, Molly Maguire's Pub and Steak House, RiverWalck, Through the Looking Glass and Alice's Pantry. These restaurants will give the guests of the garden party a taste of Jim Thorpe and the surrounding area.

The garden party will also host the Mauch Chunk Historical Characters and the Eckley Players. These two groups will dress up in period costume and portray historical characters such as Asa Packer and other key figures in Mauch Chunk history.

The characters and players will be responsible for circulating the guests through the park, while giving historical background of the area.

The characters and players will also ask guests trivia questions in a historical walk-in-time game. These questions will be asked throughout the event, giving the guests the chance to win a prize.

Packer Hill Road will be closed the day of the garden party to ensure the safety of the attendees.

"The Jim Thorpe Borough and Police Department have been very helpful in aiding us with blocking off the road for this event," stated Gursky.

Reservations for the Black Diamond Garden Party can be made by calling Gursky at (570) 645-8118. Information can be found online at www.SLHN.org/BlackDiamond [1] and reservations can be made there as well.