SCRANTON, Pa. — It's a scene that's been missing from the campus of Marywood University for the last two years.
The St. Joseph's Center Summer Festival is back in full force this weekend.
"It's the spirit of welcome home. So yesterday as volunteers were coming to set up, that's what we were saying to one another - welcome home. Yes, it's a parking lot at Marywood University, but it's our summer festival!" said Sister Maryalice Jacquinot.
It's the largest fundraiser of the year for St. Joe's. The money helps the center continue to serve kids and adults with disabilities.
But it also brings people together from all over our area.
"Well obviously the tradition is so long, dating back to 1961, so really generations. It's not uncommon to have 4 generations volunteering in the same booth, and having passed it down from family member to family member."
St. Joseph's Center still hosted fundraisers throughout the pandemic, but volunteers say it just wasn't the same.
"No, not at all. We did have a chicken dinner, which was nice. It was a drive-by. But you don't get to associate with people, chat one-on-one. It's kind of like you come in and go out, where this, we can all hang out, and be together again. So that'll be fun," said food coordinator Jan Needham.
The festival wraps up Go Joe week here at WNEP, and all week long, we've seen viewers from Shamokin Dam to Summit Hill donate money to Joe as he makes stops in their community, even if they're more than an hour away from St. Joseph's Center itself.
"There's such a sense of caring, caring about neighbor but also caring about those they don't know who are coming upon hard times or have special needs," Jacquinot said.
The festival runs all weekend long: Friday and Saturday from 4-10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
The WNEP telethon is also back this year; you can watch it LIVE on WNEP, WNEP.com and with WNEP+ on Roku and FireTV.
You can also DONATE ONLINE or by phone tonight and tomorrow during our LIVE telethon from 7 to 9 p.m.