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Cancer Fighters' Dinner

  • Tom and Noreen Clark
    Tom and Noreen Clark
Published March 10. 2010 05:00PM

The American Cancer Society Telethon Committee has named their annual Cancer Fighters' Dinner award recipients for 2010, and announced that this year's dinner will feature remarks by local Meteorologist and cancer survivor Tom Clark of WNEP 16.

An evening including dinner, awards presentations and entertainment is set for Sunday, March 21 at the Lansford AMVETS, 201 W. Ridge St., Lansford.

This year the Telethon Committee will recognize two long-time telethon entertainers Angela Nardini and Frederick Douglas (Fred Battle) with the second annual Pat Haughton Award. The Haughton Award, named after the late executive director of the local cancer society unit responsible for founding the telethon, is given to individuals, groups or businesses giving long time and exceptional service to the telethon.

Both Nardini and Douglas have performed on the local telethon throughout most of its 31-year history. Both also are leaders, along with troubadour Danny Farole, in bringing pledges to the telethon in connection with their performances.

"Everyone agrees that Pat Haughton would have loved the idea of recognizing these two stars in our Telethon family," said Joe Krushinsky, telethon chairman.

Krushinsky will emcee the dinner event at the Lansford AMVETS and the Haughton Award will be presented to Nardini and Douglass by Danny Farole of Nesquehoning and Peggy Zimmerman of Tamaqua, both of whom worked with Haughton on the very first telethon in 1980.

The James J. Rhoades Award for Outstanding School Participation reflects the late senator's deep interest in schools and young people; as well as his long involvement and support of the cancer society. The 2010 Rhoades Award will recognize the Carbon Career & Technical Institute, which has become a strong telethon supporter of the telethon in recent years. Students use their talents and skills to create fundraisers to benefit the telethon, and even to prepare sets and decorations for the television production.

"The CCTI kids and some of the teachers have become truly indispensable parts of the telethon team," said Kathy Dombrosky, Cancer Fighters' Dinner chair and president of the local Unit of the American Cancer Society. "We are grateful to Dave Reinbold, administrative director of CCTI and to Maritza Reinbold, because they have just been tireless in their support."

This year's dinner will also name the 2010 "Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year."

Last year Christina Obrecht and members of Palmerton Fire Company No. 1 unexpectedly brought to telethon more than $2,000, helping to make the 30th Anniversary telethon the most successful ever. The group's good works continue the fight against cancer through Crusaders for a Cause.

"Christina is a cancer survivor. She really 'gets it' when it comes to raising money and how one person can make a difference," said Krushinsky.

"She works with a group of quality people. We want to celebrate that. They are making them very worthy of this special recognition."

The evening promises to be made extra special because those who attend will get to hear from WNEP's Tom Clark. Dombrosky had Noreen Clark's contact information from last year when Clark helped promote the 30th Anniversary Telethon and on Channel 16's public service bulletin board.

"I asked if Noreen or Tom could come to our dinner, and without hesitation she said she thought they'd both like to come," said Dombrosky.

Reservations for the dinner are available by contacting Krushinsky at or (202) 297-3274, and Dombrosky at or (570) 573-2807. Reservations can also be arranged by contacting the American Cancer Society office at 33 W. Ridge St. in Lansford at (570) 645-2154 or at the Lansford AMVETS.

The evening begins with a cash bar from 5 to 6 p.m., dinner at 6, and the program begins promptly at 7, which includes the awards presentations, keynote remarks by Tom Clark, and entertainment by Danny Farole and by the vocal group ICE.

About the awards

Patricia A. Haughton Award for Exceptional Service: This award is designed to recognize a group or individual whose exceptional contributions to the telethon extended over several years and it is named for one of the telethon's founders and its driving force, the late Patricia A. Haughton of Lansford

Haughton was executive director of the Carbon-Tamaqua Unit of the American Cancer Society from 1976 until retiring in 1999. In 1982, she assumed the additional responsibilities of executive director of the ACS Schuylkill Unit, based in Pottsville. She was instrumental in organizing the first telethon at Tamaqua Area High School 30 years ago. Through the ensuing years, she kept the event on course and expanding.

Through this annual award, the name Pat Haughton will be permanently associated with the American Cancer Society Telethon and those individuals or groups whose commitments and contributions are great and long-standing in the fight against cancer.

The James J. Rhoades Award for Outstanding School Participation: The late Sen. Rhoades and his wife, Mary, supported the American Cancer Society Telethon for many years by volunteering their time, making financial contributions, and through fundraising and publicity stunts such as having Mrs. Rhoades shave off her husband's beard if a certain donation goal was reached.

Throughout his distinguished career of public service, Sen. Rhoades emphasized an interest in advancing education, schools and students. For these reasons, and with the consent of Mrs. Rhodes, the American Cancer Society Telethon Committee established the James J. Rhoades Award to recognize annually recognize outstandingly creative and effective efforts by schools, educators, and students to support the fight against cancer.

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