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Parade of Trees Advancing Welsh Awareness – 6th Year


~~~(Left) Grotto Christmas Tree-2015… (Left – Richard Davis, Joan Horwatt and Louise Davis)  (Right) Richard and Louise Davis, George Horwatt – President, Joseph  and Irma Paglianite- founder, Grotto Pizza~~~

Parade of Trees Advancing Welsh Awareness

The 20th annual Parade of Trees is once again under way at Grotto Pizza, Harveys Lake, PA with a Christmas tree competition for the benefit of various area charities. Grotto Pizza was founded at this location in 1953 by Joseph A. Paglianite a Dallas resident, and over several decades expanded his operation to 20 restaurants in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.  Paglianite says their Harveys Lake Pennsylvania sponsored event has generated more than $140,000 for charities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Joe, known for his sharp wit and humor, stated that his Welsh ancestry comes from Calabria Italy, which he knows is close to Wales.  Even at age 88 he admits that it’s hard to stay away from the day-to-day activity of his business and is still actively involved.


Again, this year’s sponsor of the Welsh tree is Attorney John H. Kennedy of Harveys Lake, who is a well-respected and highly recommended personal injury law practitioner.  Kennedy is also proud in the fact that he is Welsh through his mother the former Marian Jones.  Kennedy boasts that his grandfather John Henry Jones for many years had a tailoring shop located in the Heights section of Wilkes-Barre, which was predominately Welsh.  The Welsh Cultural Endeavor of Northeastern Pennsylvania is again honored to have ‘one of our own’ to sponsor this Christmas season.


Typically, a business sponsors one of about two dozen or more trees for $150 and Grotto dedicates half of the entry fee to the desired charity.  Organizers and friends adorned the tree with Welsh artifacts such as love spoons, Welsh phrased ornaments, pewter statues of St. David, his banners, Y Ddraig Goch flags for the sixth year in a row.  At the base of the tree there is a manger (only one of two displayed), a recent copy of the organization’s DVD titled Pwy Sydd Fel Nyni? – Neb! or Who Is Like Us? – Nobody!  Placed next to the tree is a mailbox marked CYMRU which displays website contact information, DVD order forms, and information of interesting upcoming Welsh events are placed under the tree.


The program is a win-win situation for everyone involved; the restaurant draws crowds and additional revenue to supplement their off-season, the business sponsor receives media publicity, and the charity receives recognition as patrons donate money to their selected favorite and deposit an envelope in a box.  Half of the entry fee goes to the charity and the other half goes to a pool.  At the end of the Parade of Trees, the top three winners (based on total dollars raised) share the pool among the charities they are supporting.


The Welsh Cultural Endeavor of Northeastern Pennsylvania was founded by Dr. William L. Nash, III and George C. Horwatt in 2006 for the purpose of recognizing Welsh identity and accomplishment in all northeastern counties of Pennsylvania which were very diverse.  They will be using the donations to cover expenses incurred in the upgrade and expansion of their website and for the development for new planned events.









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