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Palmerton man is UWCC Community Service Hero

  • VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured with UWCC Roast Committee Chairman Dave Reinbold, standing, is this year's United Way Community Service Hero, Palmerton resident Geno Roberts, who will be honored at the UWCC's Third Annual Community…
    VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured with UWCC Roast Committee Chairman Dave Reinbold, standing, is this year's United Way Community Service Hero, Palmerton resident Geno Roberts, who will be honored at the UWCC's Third Annual Community Service Hero Roast on Nov. 12 at The Galleria at Split Rock.
Published October 26. 2009 05:00PM

United Way of Carbon County (UWCC) will be holding its Third Annual Community Service Hero Roast at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10 at The Galleria at Split Rock.

The celebrity roast is the United Way of Carbon County's biggest fundraiser of the year. The organization selects people to honor who are active in their community.

They are individuals who are heavily involved in the community through their businesses or through their jobs and who give back in many ways through events such as the celebrity roast where they are willing to "put their head on the chopping block" to have fun and raise funds for their community in the process.

Palmerton resident Geno Roberts will be the United Way's Community Service Hero at this year's roast. He was also the Man of the Year of the Palmerton Lions Club in 2007.

He has done a lot of volunteer work in Palmerton and Northern Lehigh where in the past he and his brother, along with some friends, built a lot of things such as a weight room, and baseball dugouts at the Palmerton High School, and a concession stand on Delaware Avenue for the knee-hi players.

It was all volunteer work with local businesses in Palmerton donating all the materials to help out the community.

Roberts also has a total of 37 years coaching experience in football, basketball, and baseball, many of them as a volunteer.

A former employee of the New Jersey Zinc and Geo Chemicals, Roberts lost his legs to diabetes three years ago but it hasn't slowed him down and he now works as a gym attendant at Jimmy's Gym on Rt. 209 Interchange Road in Lehighton.

Over the years he's had 29 operations involving his legs, eyes, and open heart surgery, but he hasn't let all this drag him down.

A member of the Jehovah Witnesses, he is a very religious man with a positive outlook on life.

Through it all, he said that everyone has been very supportive of him and he credits faith, family, and friends with helping him keep his positive outlook.

Roberts is married to his wife, Cindy, for 39 years and he has three children and five grandchildren who he spends a lot of time with when he's not at the gym. His children are Ryan, Becky and Steven.

Roberts has a twin brother, Darryl, who also lives in Palmerton and is three minutes younger.

Their mother will be 80 years old in November.

The Community Service Hero Roast is open to the general public with all proceeds going to the United Way of Carbon County which benefits over a dozen community service agencies in Carbon County.

Roasters will include, Dave Bonner; Jimmy Iacoviello, previous owner of Jimmy's Gym; Rich Sander; Doc Holiday; Steven Roberts and more.

For ticket information call Dave Reinbold at (570) 872-4248.

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