The United Way of Wyoming Valley held its annual campaign kickoff Thursday, September 7 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Township! Over 500 supporters attended in an effort to eliminate childhood poverty.

Sundance Vacations United Way Kick Off Erin Gruwell

Key Note Speaker Erin Gruwell

Local United Way President and CEO Bill Jones kicked off the event and explained why his group has decided to tackle childhood poverty as its sole mission.

CEO Bill Jones-

“If our community is going to thrive, we need to invest in the education, health and financial stability of our kids, we all know that if poverty, hunger, abuse, violence, addiction, homelessness or other adverse conditions exist in the family, the spelling quiz on Monday, the math test on Friday, the English paper due on Thursday mean very little if children are not safe, healthy or if they live in a constant state of fear, uncertainty or instability.”

Erin Gruwell, teacher in Southern California and author of “The Freedom Writers Diary,” which inspired Hilary Swank’s 2007 film “Freedom Writers,” was the key note speaker during the event. Find Grewell’s full speech here:


Sundance Vacations acted as a Lead Sponsor for the event

Sundance Vacations was proud to sponsor the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s 2017 Campaign Kick-Off Reception to raise funds for the organization’s Poverty to Possibility program.

The United Way’s Poverty to Possibility program focuses on three core areas: education, income and health. According to the United Way, events like this one allow them to further opportunities for families to achieve higher self-sufficiency.

Nearly 11,535 of children under the age of 18 are living in poverty locally, with 33 percent of those under the age of 5. Additionally, the poverty rate for all children in Luzerne County has doubled since 2000.

Sundance Vacations Co-Founders John and Tina Dowd,  Joe Molitoris and Marvin Metzger attended the event.

Sundance Vacations United Way Kick Off Dowds

Sundance Vacations John & Tina Dowd

Sundance Vacations United Way Kick Off Joe

Sundance Vacations Joe Molitoris

Sundance Vacations United Way Kick Off Marvin

Sundance Vacations Marvin Metzger









To learn more about the United Way of Wyoming Valley and their programs for children, check out their page on our Charities site.

View all charities Sundance Vacations Wilkes-Barre worked with here: Wilkes-Barre News.

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Robert writes for Sundance Vacations’ Charities, Blog and News site as the Digital Media Coordinator.