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Brunch organized for area legislators and the public

Published April 05. 2011 05:00PM

Carbon County agencies and organizations want to educate state legislators about the importance of child and family programs in the area.

That's why the Interagency Council of Carbon County, Carbon County Child and Family Collaborative Board and the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging have teamed up to host the second annual Legislative Brunch for area legislators and the public. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on April 29, at the Lehighton Recreation Center, 243 S. Eighth St., Lehighton.

Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said that last year's brunch was a success and that nearly 80 people, including numerous legislators and area agencies attended the event.

The purpose of this year's brunch, Nothstein said, is meant to help build a relationship between the legislators of the county and the area organizations. It is also meant to show the importance of the state and federal funding for these preventive programs.

"We want to reinforce how successful our programs are," Nothstein said, adding that through early childhood programs such as SHINE and Right From the Start, the annual total cost for child placements has gone down.

He said that it would be good for the public because it shows them what human services and programs are available.

During the brunch, speakers from six county organizations will speak on the programs they offer and how they affect the area youth and families. Speakers include Jeanne Miller, co-chair of the Carbon County Child and Family Collaborative and director of the Carbon and Schuylkill SHINE After-school program; Megan Croizier of Carbon County's Children and Youth Services; Sheila Theodorou, director of the Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/MR administration office; Jamie Drake of the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission; Pat Sasserath, executive director of the Carbon County Assistance Office; and Cheri Mae Santore, director of the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging.

The educational presentations will also discuss how these programs impact the public, the budget, schools, the future of the children and the court system.

Following the speakers, the floor will be open to the legislators for a question-and-answer session about the programs and services currently in the county. They will also receive informational packets containing facts and figures on the programs.

Legislators that have been invited to attend include Governor Tom Corbett; Lieutant Governor James Cawley; U.S. Sens. Robert Casey and Patrick Toomey; Congressman Lou Barletta; state Sens. David G. Argall and John Yudichak; state Rep. Doyle Heffley; Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek, Charles Getz, and Nothstein; and Carbon County Judges Roger N. Nanovic, Richard W. Webb and Steven R. Serfass.

Nothstein added that the public is also welcome to attend the event. Reservations are recommended.

For more information call Larissa Kimmel, CASSP coordinator at Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/MR, at (610) 377-0773 ext. 3621.

To make a reservation, send $12, payable to the Interagency Council of Carbon County, P.O. Box 284, Lehighton, PA 18235. The deadline for reservations is April 20.

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