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Annual picnic still happening, just virtual

Organizers in North Scranton thought this year, it was even more important to host the picnic, even if it has to be virtual.

SCRANTON, Pa. — For nearly two decades, hundreds of people would show up to Weston Park every summer for a picnic. It was eventually called Al Scheatzle Family Fun Day, named after the man who started it all.

"To live on in his memory, they've done this picnic every year. When COVID-19 came along, we were at a loss. How do we still keep on this tradition in honor of his memory?" said North Scranton Rotary Association member Rosemary Bohenek.

Al Shaetzle died in 2014. He was a well-known Scranton business owner, a founding member of the North Scranton Rotary Association, and was all about giving back to his community. So, members of the North Scranton Rotary Association and the North Scranton Neighborhood Association thought this was the most important year to hold the picnic, even if it has to be virtual.

"He would be thrilled that we didn't just say, 'Oh, well, another year.' Our association persevered and found a way around it and got creative. Of course, they can still serve the kids," Bohenek said.

Right now, only a few people are signed up, but there's enough food for 200 families. For safety reasons, you must preregister online by Friday.

"Preregistering ahead of time not only helps us to make sure we pack your basket appropriately and have the right amount of food and things for the kids. Also, it's the safest way to do a first-come, first-serve basis, is to preregister," Bohenek said.

Families will be able to pick up their picnic baskets at Mary Mother of God Parish in North Scranton on Sunday. You'll just drive-thru the parking lot, you won't even have to get out of your car. The baskets will be filled with food and games for families to have their own socially distant picnics at home.

"The people on this committee that have brought this picnic to life, a creative bunch, heart, and soul into giving back to our community. They are volunteers with a lot of heart."

The virtual picnic is this Sunday from 2-4 p.m. You can register by calling Kathy at 570-687-4533. You can also find more information here.