provided jobs to people for decades,” he remarked. “And, in her own way, she’s given a lot to the community.”
Button has been the recipient of numerous community awards, including the YMCA Leadership Award, the Luzerne Foundation Mary Bevevino Community Award, the United Way Rose Brader Community Service Award, and the Wyoming Valley Woman’s Club Woman of the Year Award.
She started the Max and Lorraine Foundation which supports Camp AsthmaCadabra for children who suffer from severe asthma conditions. The foundation was created in memory of her daughter and grandson, who both passed away from complications of asthma.
When Button was awarded the Luzerne Foundation’s highest honor in 2015, a head of that organization stated, “When you meet Kate Button, you know you have met an unassuming angel who quietly reaches out to help others in her community. Her love and concern extend far beyond children living in poverty or those afflicted with asthma. I have witnessed her as a beacon of love and hope to many.”
In addition to donating to local charities and volunteering limitless hours to raise money for those charities, Button still works daily at the family business with her children and grandchildren.
This year marks America’s 241st birthday as a nation and the July 4 parade will be the 30th one held in Mountaintop. “It’s gone from literally a small-town venue to being almost a mile long. It went from a couple fire trucks and a band to almost one thousand people participating,” related Haverlak. “How it’s grown is fantastic.”
Members of Mountaintop on the Move developed the idea for the parade in 1986, as they discussed ways to create a sense of community identity, particularly on July 4. With a fireworks display being the only Independence Day event here, and occurring on July 3, the organization decided a morning parade would give locals a reason to stay home for the nation’s birthday.
“The parade is perfect because it doesn’t monopolize your day,” Haverlak explained. “Now you can go home at noon, have your barbecue, and feel a little bit patriotic. The parade makes you feel like you’ve done something special for the Fourth of July.”
The group plans for the parade all year round, but “gets serious” in the 90 days before the event. Last year, almost 100 motorcycles led the parade and Haverlak hopes that even more will join the lineup this year. “Anyone with a motorcycle is invited to participate,” he said.
Other regular parade participants include political leaders, members of the American Legion, local Boy Scouts, and school bands and sports teams. Burger King will donate the use of its oversized American flag and members of the local baseball team will carry it with white gloves.
Close to 30 fire and rescue vehicles, as well as police cruisers will ride in the parade. These are a favorite for children and, Haverlak added with a laugh, “They all try to see who can blast their horns the loudest.” New this year, Haverlak and others have been trying to get “Stuie,” a World War II tank that was manufactured in Berwick, to ride in the parade.
Mountaintop resident Katie Fitzgerald, Ms. Keystone’s Outstanding Teen of 2017, will ride in the parade, as will Stephanie Grazio, also of Mountaintop, who is riding her bicycle 500 miles to raise money for cancer victims.
Mountaintop on the Move is delighted that, for the second year, Keystone Community Bank has signed on to be a major corporate sponsor of the parade, a contribution that is valuable to the event.
The parade begins on Mountain Boulevard, diverting onto Main Street at the triangle and ends at the Wright Township municipal building. There, a flag is raised, taps are played, and a ceremony commemorating the holiday is held.
Haverlak reiterated that anyone interested is invited to participate in the parade. Lineup is on Route 309 at 9:15 a. m. Also, any motorcycle riders who wish to participate may gather at Keystone Bank that morning.