COAL TOWNSHIP - Members of the Salvation Army Advisory Board heard updated plans to replenish its food pantry during a meeting at Salvation Army headquarters, 1300 W. Spruce St.

The 11th Annual Salvation Army Adult Benefit Basketball Tournament and a duck drop are planned to fill the shelves of the Salvation Army's pantry. Other ideas were discussed to help feed local residents in need.

Empty shelves

Judy Orner, social services director, said the food pantry is so depleted she had to close it this week. She said an order of food is expected within days and hopefully the pantry will reopen next week.

Maj. Tina Streck, commanding officer, said she plans to contact the Pennsylvania Food Bank to purchase food items at a discounted price to help alleviate the emergency situation.

Also, Streck said she would like to place a Salvation Army canteen truck in Shamokin's 150th Anniversary Parade this summer, asking parade-goers to place food items in the truck. It is the Salvation Army's 100th anniversary of service in the Shamokin-Mount Carmel and surrounding area.


Chris Venna, Shamokin Area Middle-High School principal, and Brian Persing, former member of Shamokin Area School Board, both members of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and tourney co-chairmen, announced plans for the tournament slated for next month.

Venna and Persing said teams are needed for the adult benefit basketball tournament scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 11, 12 and 13, at Shamokin Area Middle-High School gymnasium. Games will also be played from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the annex gym.

Ten men's and three women's teams have shown an interest. Deadline for teams entering the three-day event is Monday. Interested teams may contact Venna at 570-205-1144 or Persing at 570-847-2479. Entrance fee is $125.

Venna and Persing are also seeking merchants, clubs, business people or individuals to provide money for a donation to the Shamokin Chapter of Pennsylvania Interscholatic Athletic Officials (PIAA) Basketball Officials for their services. PIAA officials have donated their services during the last 10 tournaments.

The following donations have been made: Bernie Romanoski Sports Hall of Fame, $200; Olvany Insurance, $100; Medicine Shoppe, $100; Varano Insurance, $100, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), $100. Jeff and Maxine Kashner has donated $100 to cover the cost of the gymnasium rental fee.

Donors' names will be placed on a banner in the gymnasium during the event.

Items to be sold at the concession stand are also needed, especially sports drinks. Items can be taken to the Salvation Army headquarters during business hours by April 10.

Venna and Persing said the double-elimination tourney will operate under the same format as in past years. Games will consist of two 20-minute halves. Teams must have the same uniform tops with numbers. Players must be high-school varsity level or older.

Any player or spectator receiving a unsportsmanlike technical foul will be required to leave the gym and will not be able to return or play for the remainder of the tournament.

Duck drop

Gerry Knapp, advisory board member, delivered a report from Ronald "Buddy" Knoebel, board member, on a duck drop scheduled for early June at Knoebels Amusement Resort. The duck drop is a new event that was proposed by Knoebel with hopes of making it an annual event.

The drop is tentatively scheduled for at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7, at the Log Flume ride at Knoebels. Participants will receive three ducks for $10, one for each heat. The winner of each heat will advance to the grand prize heat.

Knoebel, who is spearheading the event, said a list of prizes will be announced in the near future.

Easter eggs

The Salvation Army will be selling Easter eggs at $9 a dozen; they will be ready for pickup April 11. The eggs are also available at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Independence Street and can be purchased for 75 cents each.

Donations of items to make the eggs are being sought and can be dropped off at the headquarters. For more information or to place an order, call 570-644-0486.

The next meeting of the advisory board will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10.

Henry Linton, board president; William Richie, Janice Kotwica, Harry Deitz, Jan Diorio, Ned Sodrick and Jack Murdock also attended the March meeting.