Rising to the occasion
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Volunteer Galen VanDine of Jim Thorpe rides his two-wheeled velocipede during the event. Among the early velocipedes there were designs with one, two, three and four wheels. Some two-wheeled designs had pedals mounted on the front wheel, while three- and four-wheeled designs sometimes used treadles and levers to drive the rear wheels.
Approximately 300 guests were treated to many transportation and Victorian Era-related activities during St. Luke's Annual Black Diamond event held inside and outside the Asa and Harry Packer Mansions in Jim Thorpe Saturday evening.
The event, hosted by St. Luke's Hospital - Miner's Campus, offered visitors a trip into the past while taking part in numerous activities.
"It was great to see so many in the community come out to celebrate and raise funds to help support our new St. Luke's Miners Heart and Vascular Center," said Bill Moyer, president, St. Luke's Hospital - Miners Campus.
Guests enjoyed dinner, live classical piano, and guided tours of the Asa Packer Mansion and Kemmerer House. They were also treated to a free 30-foot rise in a hot-air balloon, courtesy of Sargent SEI Enterprises, Inc.
Visitors were also able to participate in the "Travel of History" game and learn about various modes of transportation in Victorian times. Wearing Victorian era attire, Mauch Chunk Historic Characters added ambience to the event by mingling with guests.
"Everybody had a great time," said Diane Luicana, five-year Black Diamond Committee chairwoman. "The amount of community support during the event shows how much they appreciate what St. Luke's offers smaller communities."
Proceeds from this year's event will help construct a Heart and Vascular Center at the hospital. The new center will cost more than $2 million said Moyer.
"It will provide full access to the latest treatments and technology, including echocardiograms, EKGs, holter monitoring and outpatient visits," said Moyer.
"There has been an 18 percent growth in patients requiring cardiology services," added Moyer.
The outpatient center, located on the ground floor, immediately adjacent to the hospital's main lobby, will occupy the space formerly held by administrative office and St. Luke's physical therapy.
"The center will be staffed by experienced and skilled cardiologists of St. Luke's Cardiology Associates, to include Palmerton native Christopher Cutitta, DO; Richard Kolecki, MD; Hazleton native Lynn Moran, DO; and Sobhan Kodali, MD," said Micah Gursky, director of development, St. Luke's Hospital - Miners Campus, and event co-chair.
It will also provide access to heart specialists for local patients to receive identical cardiology care with the same cardiologists that also serve St. Luke's Heart and Vascular Center on Eighth Avenue in Bethlehem.
Staff estimate the completion date of the new center to be late August.
"The event also provided an opportunity for community and staff to celebrate our hospital and to see the people that make it great," Gursky added.
"The event helped us move forward and is truly a partnership and celebration with our community," said Moyer.