‘Taste’ benefits NEPA Health

Maloney’s Restaurant Chef Gus Wilber serves up a slice of prime rib to Christie Benacquisto Thursday at Taste of Summer while Maloney’s owner Dennis Maloney and Ashley Skiba look on. The event is a fundraiser for NEPA Community Health Centers and was held on the bank of the Susquehanna River in Hallstead.

BY STACI WILSON

From prime rib, crabcakes to Chinese spring rolls, local fresh produce, amazing appetizers and delightful desserts – the third annual ‘Taste of Summer’ offered something to satisfy every palate.

Held Thursday evening, July 14, on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Hallstead, the food-filled social event helped to raise funds to further the mission of the NEPA Community Health Care.

NEPA Board President Michael Briechle said, “We could not have asked for a better evening to host such a wonderful community event. We hope that everyone had a wonderful evening and look forward to hosting future community gatherings.”

The year’s event was dedicated to the memory of Helen Jean Raymond, who passed away earlier this year. It was Raymond’s tireless efforts that helped launch, promote and grow the event in its first two years.

At this year’s affair, eight local restaurants and vendors offered up tastes of their signature items.

Pennstar Bank was once again the primary ‘A Taste of Summer’ sponsor. Other sponsors included: Hospice of the Sacred Heart, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.; and Schneider’s Market.

Briechle said: “On behalf of NEPA Community Health Care, I would like to thank all of our sponsors, especially Pennstar Bank, for their support in making ‘A Taste of Summer’ so successful and enjoyable.”

Donna Cosmello and Maria Conigliaro, from event sponsor Hospice of the Sacred Heart, sample dessert and salad offerings from the Montrose Price Chopper during Taste of Summer, a fundraiser for NEPA Community Health Centers, held in Hallstead on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

The Board of Directors, administration and staff wish to express their utmost thanks and appreciation to the participants that provided food, gift baskets and merchandise, he continued.

Briechle said, “The funds that are raised through ‘A Taste of Summer’ will assist our organization in providing quality health care services to all segments of our community, including those that need assistance the most.

NEPA Community Health Care is a non-profit, private, federally funded community health center dedicated to providing quality medical care to the underserved.

In addition to offering primary medical care to residents of all ages, the Center also administers the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutritional Program for Susquehanna County.

NEPA is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Nationally, there are approximately 1500 similarly designated systems.

Through its unique federal designation, NEPA provides approximately $1 million dollars of benefit to the county residents annually. These benefits include an annual operating grant to provide reduce fee care to the indigent or uninsured, as well as the administration of a drug program which allows the center to purchase drugs at wholesale and pass the cost savings to the patients.

NEPA Community Health Care offices are located in The Shops Plaza, Susquehanna, and The Mountain View Plaza, Hallstead.