Pocono Television Network host Brianna Strunk looks at how businesses in Monroe County are giving back to the local community.
Paul's House in Jonas is a former hotel turned temporary housing facility for homeless veterans. In addition to running Paul's House, Valor Clinic Foundation provides a variety of resources and services to help struggling veterans get back on their feet. The non-profit relies on grassroots fundraising, which took a hit with COVID-19 and now inflation.
“We don't generally have a problem keeping the place full. Financially, it has been a tough time to be Valor Clinic Foundation recently. I can’t tell you how grateful we are for what they do for us at that dealership,” founder Mark Baylis said.
That dealership is Pocono Mountain Harley-Davidson in Tannersville, a destination among motorcyclists from near and far. Through a unique partnership with Pocono Raceway, hundreds of bikers come together every year for a charity ride to support Valor. As part of the fundraiser, motorcyclists can take a spin around the iconic track all for a good cause.
“Valor is a local organization, which we truly believe in and love their mission,” said Falon Knipe, marketing & events manager of Pocono Mountain Harley-Davidson.
Speaking of Pocono Raceway, the third-generation family owned and operated superspeedway is known for its community minded efforts, even during its big NASCAR race weekend.
“A key focus of ours is families and kids. For fourteen years we've had our annual Kids Day which is not only fun for the kids with bookmobiles, bounce houses, face painting, crafts and games, but it also gives a platform for local and regional non-profits to come out and talk to our fan base about what they do for the region and what they do for giving back as a whole,” explained Ben May, president.
Kids 12 and under enjoy free admission to NASCAR events, camping, and the fan fair area. Plus, the inclusive playground in the infield, built for children of all ages and abilities, is open to the public seasonally during regular business hours. “Being able to use our facility, our presence, and our popularity in the world of sports to better this community is something that is extremely important to us,” May added.
From kids to kids at heart. The outgoing duo behind The Frogtown Chophouse in Swiftwater found their niche way to give back: Chopped Live.
For the past four years, Eric and Lyman have gone live on social media every week to help promote small businesses across the Poconos. Neighboring restaurants are treated as friends, not competitors.
“We've done everything including axe throwing and pizza tossing. We've highlighted about 40 restaurants locally and have done about 20 other local businesses. We showcase the fun side of their business and their character as owners and operators,” explained Eric Noone.
Thanks to the Frogtown Chophouse's popularity, Eric and Lyman are able to make regular donations to local food banks, little league, and other non-profits. “The saying is true that whatever you get is going to come back tenfold. We give, and we give very joyfully,” Noone said.