SCRANTON – What do frozen hot chocolate, drones and kindergarten art have in common?

All three – and much more – will be featured at our first-ever First Friday fun rally and cause fair at the Diocesan Pastoral Center from 5 until 8 p.m. on Friday June 3.

Picture a telethon-turned-webathon with lots of in-person engagement. The event will include musical performances, comedy, games and a host of demonstrations, displays, exhibits, prizes and giveaways.

The fun is all part of NEPA Gives, the one-day online giving extravaganza and challenge spearheaded by five of the region’s charitable foundations
The Diocese is participating for the third year in a row and hoping once again to top the leaderboards and secure some of the thousands of dollars in bonus prizes.

For 24 hours – from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59:59 p.m. – on June 3, donors may make secure donations to the Diocese through the website, which features about 200 other nonprofit organizations.

The cause fair will highlight Catholic schools, Diocesan youth ministry, Saint Francis Kitchen and Saint Francis Commons.

Father Jim Paisley, winner of the Diocese’s first-ever Rectory, Set, Cook! Lenten online cookoff fundraiser, will serve as master of ceremonies, reprising musical favorites from the beloved Cathedral Capers shows of yore.

He’ll be joined by his friend and fellow Rectory, Set, Cook! contestant Father Joseph Elston for a duet of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better,” and he’ll perform his original composition “The Bishop and I” (with Bishop Joseph Bambera in attendance to thank donors) at 5:30 p.m.

The cause fair also will include wine and frozen hot chocolate tastings, live painting on site, a pet presentation highlighting the dogs of Saint Francis Commons and presentations by at least four schools:

• All Saints Academy in Scranton will offer artwork to donors and host a K’Nex exhibit.
• Our Lady of Peace School in Clarks Green will offer tile artwork to donors.
• Saint Clare/Saint Paul School in Scranton will host a creative kindergarten art show and butterfly art show.
• La Salle Academy in Jessup will offer science and STREAM displays plus a live drone demonstration.

Father Paisley’s and Father Elston’s performances will be livestream on the Diocese of Scranton Facebook page, as will live Leaderboard updates throughout the evening.

Sandra Snyder, Diocesan director of foundation relations and special events and organizer of the Diocese’s NEPA Gives efforts, said the rally/cause fair was planned to both raise money and thank donors.

“Our donors have always shown up in force virtually for this fun day,” Snyder said. “We’re thrilled we can offer a safe and socially distanced mini-event to allow them this year to actually ‘come and see’ where their dollars go.”

Donations of checks or cash received by June 3 also will count toward the Diocese’s tally. They can be mailed to:

Diocese of Scranton
Attn: Sandra Snyder/NEPA Gives
300 Wyoming Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503