The definition of a Community Superhero can mean many things to many people.
One of the Hazleton Area’s Community Superheroes are a local family who have contributed so much to the enrichment and betterment of our community. This family, who remains humble, quietly gives to many people in many ways. WYLN-TV 35 owners and operators Joe III, Pat and Joey Gans, the family of Hazleton media pioneers s, will help honor Greater Hazleton's CommUNITY Superheroes when they serve as grand marshals of the 2016 Funfest Parade.
To Joseph, Patricia and Joey Gans it means giving of their time, themselves, their home and their businesses to help so many, never looking for any recognition. The Gans family loves the community they grew up in, live in and keep their businesses in. They have a special place in their hearts for helping children, special needs individuals, friends, friends of friends, their employees, veterans, virtually anyone they can.
For nearly 50 years the Gans family who own and operate WYLN TV 35 in Hazleton has been dedicated to quality service and community pride in northeastern Pennsylvania. The family's strong ties to the community are evident in its commitment to important causes such as The American Cancer Society, Helping Hands Society, FUNFEST and many other civic projects.
It was over a quarter century ago when the Gans family first produced and broadcast the first Greater Hazleton Chapter of the American Cancer Society Telethon. Since then, millions of dollars have been raised during the event held each February.
The Gans family has also offered the full resources of their cable television network to assist the Helping Hands Society, an organization dedicated to the education and therapeutic well-being of physically and emotionally challenged children. An annual telethon broadcast on WYLN raises much needed funds for these important programs.
The Gans family’s commitment to the community doesn't end there. They broadcast community events throughout the coverage area and WYLN proudly broadcasts the FUNFEST parade, Hazleton's largest community event of the year.
The Gans family through WYLN also provides important community service through the broadcast of town meetings, school board meetings and other similar events.
The Gans family generously gives to numerous local families by providing transportation of loved ones for urgent medical needs when no other service is available.
They have provided transportation to Dr. Perlmutter along with a plane full of medical supplies to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, The Gans family and WYLN worked with the local Chapter of the American Red Cross to stage a Hurricane Katrina Relief telethon, raising thousands of dollars to assist the American Red Cross in their efforts. The same was done after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey.
The Gans family were founding members of SAFE, Supporting Autistic Families Everywhere. Mr. Joseph Gans and former Senator Arlen Specter worked together to secure millions of dollars in funding for the first Autism Research at Geisinger. The Gans family was instrumental in world-renowned autism spokesperson Temple Grandin's attendance at the Penn State and University of Pittsburg Autism Conference.
The Gans family were original donors and contributors to the first Hazleton Rotary Balloonfest and First Night Hazleton. The Gans family purchased the scoreboard at Harman Geist Stadium for our community. The Gans family facilitates an annual fishing derby for special needs youth in the Hazleton Area.
Additionally, the following is just some of the local and regional groups that have been touched by the Gans family's commitment to community. Palermo Heart to Heart Foundation, Dream Come True Organization, Special Olympics, The Boy Scouts of America, Paws for a Cause Autism, Run for KOPS, Hazleton Area Trap & Skeet Club, Hazleton Area Outdoors Club, Hazleton Area Public Library, Valley West Little League, West Hazleton Little League, Broadband Cable Association Pennsylvania.
The Gans family, the family who stays behind the scenes and is always there to help all community, that is a community superhero.
Joseph and Patricia Gans own and operate WYLN TV 35, Penny’s Classified and Whitetail Preserve. Joey Gans is the son of Joseph and Patricia Gans. Joey Gans is a 2006 graduate of Hazleton Area High School and 2010 graduate of Penn State University with a minor in Wildlife Life & Services.
Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce President Mary R. Malone said, “We are honored to have Joe, Pat and Joey Gans serve as our Grand Marshals for the 2016 Funfest Parade. They have been an integral part of our parade for many years through their generosity in airing our parade on WYLN. We're grateful that they agreed to do that again this year. The Ganses and their entire staff of WYLN put forth a lot of effort and countless hours of volunteer time to assist many community-minded causes and have helped Greater Hazleton stay on top of all of the local high school sports action through their coverage.”
Funfest weekend is set for Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11. The popular car show will take center stage on Saturday. The parade highlights Sunday’s activities. It is set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will feature also feature a host of dignitaries, marching bands, floats and several giant balloons.
Funfest runs Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. No pets and bikes are allowed at the event. For more information on Funfest, contact Julie Ferry at 570-455-1509 or email . Information is also available online at www.funfestpa.org, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FunfestHazleton) or on Twitter (@funfesthazleton).