You may remember the strange phenomenon that overtook the mountain last summer in the form of flocks of pink flamingoes scatters across unsuspecting homeowner’s yards. That practical joke that neighbors were playing on each other was part of a fundraiser spearheaded by Mountaintop resident and Miss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen, Madison Dompkosky. This past weekend, Madison was at it again with another fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network that made Public Square in Wilkes-Barre look a little like New York City.
On December 1st and 2nd, Madison co-hosted horse drawn carriage rides around Public Square in partnership with the City of Wilkes-Barre. This is the second year for the carriage ride fundraiser and was part of the Wilkes-Barre City Holiday Market event that included holiday entertainment provided by local performers, as well as food from various venders and holiday gifts from local artisans. Always on the lookout for new and fun fundraising ideas, Dompkosky got the carriage ride idea from trips she had taken to the Big Apple.
“I always liked NYC and always wanted to go on one of the carriage rides they have there,” explained Madison. “They were so expensive and I thought this would be a great way to make them affordable for the average family.”
The two horses and one carriage were provided by Brook Valley Farm and accommodated two to eight people. Madison was able to get several sponsors for the event to keep the cost at a low five dollars per person and the trip around the square took approximately five minutes. Demand was so high that tickets sales the first night had to be stopped an hour before the event ended in order to accommodate everyone who had already purchased tickets. Businesses that included Berkshire Asset Management, North Penn Manor, Hottle’s Restaurant, City Market & Cafe, the Blazick Law Firm, Bell Furniture and PNC Bank all chipped in for the cause. Madison was able to raise a total of $1500 this year for the Children’s Miracle Network, surpassing last year by $200. “The fundraiser was a hit! The lines
again this year were stretching out to the center of the square. Everyone and their families loved having this opportunity. My sponsors were all so generous,” said Madison.
Madison is not new to competing in pageants or fundraising, having been a part of the Miss American Organization since she was a small child. While it is widely known for promoting the physical beauty of young women across the country, the Miss America Organization also encourages community service and scholarship in young women and has a national partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network.
As a part of the organization, Madison coordinates fundraisers nearly all year long. The list includes the Flamingo Flocking last June which raised nearly seven thousand dollars, Candy for Soldiers, the Thank a Veteran campaign, Cell Phones for Soldiers, a Halloween benefit for homeless veterans and birthday party fundraisers for the SPCA. She is also a VA youth volunteer and volunteers to provide Thanksgiving meals for the homeless, as well as performs for nursing homes and patients at the VA Medical Center.
Madison was awarded Miss Outstanding Pennsylvania Teen in June, which is the 15-17 year old age group precursor to the Miss America Pageant. As Miss Outstanding Pennsylvania Teen, Dompkosky will continue her community service, but is ineligible to compete for another three years, when she will be in the 18-24 year old “Miss” category; the televised event with which most Americans are familiar.