Board of Ambassadors Announce 2019 Tribute to Courage Honoree


Ryan Robeson

(SCRANTON, PA) – The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute and the Board of Ambassadors and Associate Board announce the 2019 Tribute to Courage Honoree, Firefighter Ryan Robeson.  Ryan is the son of the late Scranton Fire Captain James and Linda Robeson.  Upon the passing of his father Ryan began traveling the country successfully participating in intense physically demanding races and competitions, which is where he found true solace. Nowadays, this spirited 28-year-old finds extraordinary ways to honor his late father and their mutual profession. This year at the 6th annual Scranton Half Marathon, Ryan courageously attempted to set a Guinness world record for running 13.1 miles in approximately 50 pounds of full fire fighter gear; all while breathing from a self-contained breathing apparatus. This daring feat not only astounded his hometown and community, but it also captured the attention, deservingly, of the renowned world news.Ryan did this in the hopes to raise awareness and money for two charities, Operation Unite and Foundation 58. Cancer is a serious issue that is estimated to affect 60% of firefighters due to an increased risk of exposure to toxins in modern structure fi​res. Foundation 58 seeks to compensate firefighters, first responders and their families who are struggling with the devastating effects of this disease.

“We are thrilled to honor Ryan for his tireless work to ease the burden of cancer for those affected by it,” said Leo Vergnetti, Chairman of the Board of Ambassadors.

Ryan will be honored at the eighth annual Spirit of Hope Celebration on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 7:00pm to 10:30pm at Mohegan Sun Pocono in the Keystone Grand Ballroom.

The event features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, food stations, live music by Paul LaBelle & Tony Vergnetti duo, EJ The DJ,  a live and silent auction and gift card guarantee.  Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased by calling the Cancer Institute at (570) 941-7984 or online at or purchased at the door the night of the event.The Board of Ambassadors is a group of individuals and business leaders in northeast Pennsylvania who have come together to raise funds & awareness to fight cancer in the local community through their support and promotion of a gala event.

The Spirit of Hope Celebration benefits the Cancer Institute’s Community-Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program. This program helps low income and un/underinsured individuals in northeast Pennsylvania get their recommended colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer screenings.

About The Board of Ambassadors

The Board of Ambassadors and the Associate Board of Ambassadors consist of individuals and business leaders in northeast Pennsylvania who come together to raise funds & awareness to fight cancer in the local community through their support and promotion of a gala event.
2019 Board of Ambassadors: Leo P. Vergnetti, Vergnetti Consulting, Chairman, Clarence Baltrusaitis, NET Credit Union; Matt Beynon, Brabender Cox, LLC; Thomas Blaskiewicz, McCarthy Tire; Jim and Susan Brady; Nicholas Colangelo, Ph.D., Clearbook Foundation; Richard P. Conaboy, Jr.; Mark Conway, Esq., Mark J. Conway Law Offices; Thomas P. Cummings, Jr., Esq., Cummings Law; Thomas P. Cummings, III, Esq.; William Davis, Office of Representative Kyle Mullins; Tom DePietro, DePietro’s Pharmacy; Mary Erwine, Erwine Home Health & Hospice; Joseph G. Ferguson, Esq., DBi Services; Greg and Meghan Gagorik; James T. Gorman, BB&T Bank; John and Jennifer Heil; Kristie Hynoski, Mohegan Sun Pocono; Suzanne Jaffe, Penn Furniture; Charles C. Jefferson, Jefferson-Werner, LLC; Joe Mattioli, Brookdale Recovery; Paul McGloin, McGloin’s Florist; Brian McQuestion, Pride Mobility Products Corp.; Evie Rafalko McNulty, Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds; Philip Medico, Medico Industries, Inc.; Dan Meuser, U.S. Representative (PA’s 9th Congressional District); Chuck Morgan, WNEP-TV; David Nape, Centris Consulting, Inc.; Christopher A. Peters, M.D., Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Board; Billy Rinaldi, Mark Construction Services, Inc.; John P. Rodgers, Esq., Caverly, Shea,Phillips & Rodgers, LLC; Vince Scarpetta, Pure Green Consultants, LLC; P. Richard Scheller, Geo-Science Engineering & Testing, LLC; Patrick Sicilio, Kem-Tek Industrial Chemical Supplies; Eugene Sperazza, Esq., Law Offices of Eugene D. Sperazza; Steven Szydlowski, Ph.D., University of Scranton; Joseph S. Tomko, Fidelity Bank; and Joe Van Wie, JVW Inc.
2019 Associate Board of Ambassadors: Angela Rempe Jones,  Office of PA State Representative Mary Flynn, Associate Board Chair;  Jessica Kalinoski, Admiral Management Services, Associate Board Co-Chair; Melissa Burke, Merck & Co., Inc.; Kathleen DeLeo, First National Bank; Traci Fosnot, Highmark Inc.; Jo Ann Romano Hallesky, Jo Ann Romano Hair Salon; Robin Long; Chris Lynch, Scranton School District; and Amanda Marchegiani, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.
About Northeast Regional Cancer Institute 
The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute is a nonprofit community-based agency serving seven counties in northeast Pennsylvania with offices located in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.  Focusing on surveillance, community and patient services, and hospital and practice support services, the Cancer Institute invests 100% of its resources locally.