COAL TOWNSHIP - Funds raised during the annual Salvation Army Adult Benefit Basketball Tournament passed $3,000 mark for the first time in the tournament's 11-year history, officials announced.

Salvation Army Advisory Board members and tourney co-chairmen Brian Persing and Chris Venna said the annual charity event raised $3,278.

"We had tremendous support from the community to make this happen," Persing said. "In addition to the players, volunteers and officials, we also had 10 local businesses and organizations make donations between $50 and $200 each to help defray the costs of the PIAA officials. It was amazing.

"This was our biggest tournament yet. We had 12 solid men's teams and, for the first time ever, three women's teams competing," he said.


Businesses and organizations making monetary donations include Bernie Romanoski Hall of Fame, Varano Insurance, First Columbia Bank and Trust, Olvany Insurance Agency, The Medicine Shoppe, Bumpers Beverage, Subway, CSP Office Equipment, IBEW Local Union 607 and The News-Item. Joe Winehofer of WIN Graphics provided a welcome banner for the tournament, which listed all donors.


More than 30 community members and Shamokin Area Middle/High School students volunteered their services or made donations to the concession stand, including Bernie and Christine Sosnoskie, Janice Kotwica, Buddy Kneobel, Steve Minker, Jan Diorio, Henry Linton, Violette Feudale, Flo James of James Pizza, Jim and Patty Kelley, Harry and Beverly Deitz, Linda Persing, Earl Sheriff of Irish Isle Provision Co., Paul Metrocavage, Jeff and Maxine Kashner, Robert Getchey of SYGBL, Tara Venna, Debbie Powell, Bill and Betsy Richie, Salvation Army Major Tina Streck, Kourtney Chapman, Tevin Gonzales, Kayla Parker, Alexis Casilli, Shaylee Pesarchick, Carson Houser, Adam Derck, Aaron Derck, Elizabeth Vittorio, Rachel Poplaskie and Devvon Gallie.

Persing and Venna extended their thanks to PIAA basketball officials Dwayne Scicchitano, Ty Scicchitano, Mark Prusch, Steve Lapotsky, Mike Koons, Chip Wetzel, Corey Houser, Steve Jacobi, Samantha Scicchitano, Rick Miller, Frank Marcinek, Carm DeFrancesco, Mike Slodysko, Rich Weikel, Jesse Butler, Luke Butler, Matt Spears, John Palacz and Jordan Rickert. Dwayne Scicchitano created the officials' schedule. Persing and Venna also officiated.

Persing and Venna also thanked the Shamokin Area School Board for the use of the gym.