Anderson News

Published on November 9th, 2016

Oz-Themed Geocaching Event at St. Luke’s Celebrates Courage

Bethlehem, PA (11/7/2016) – St. Luke’s University Health Network, Wildlands Conservancy and Zoellner Arts Center went looking for courage recently and found it in the hearts and laughter of children.

Wildlands and Zoellner invited families to St. Luke’s Anderson Campus on Nov. 6 to geocache — to go on an Oz-themed scavenger hunt using GPS technology — to coincide with a collection of activities leading up to Zoellner’s production of the “Journey to Oz” on Nov. 20.

Festivities centering around the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Wicked Witch, plus Dorothy and Toto have been and will be held at destinations throughout the Lehigh Valley leading up to the Nov. 20 production. When the time came to anchor the Cowardly Lion to an adventure, organizers were excited to partner with St. Luke’s University Health Network to gift this experience to children from eight families who live with chronic illnesses.

“We decided to use the Lion’s theme of courage to provide a very special experience for children and families with difficult health circumstances,” Megan Sciarrino, Wildlands’ director of annual fund and communications, said, “Which, in turn, led us to St. Luke’s.”

St. Luke’s identified eight families who have displayed bravery in dealing with major health issues to participate in the event.

“To see these children get through a day sometimes is just an amazing display of courage. They dodge road blocks all the time whether they’re dealing with diabetes or the results of traumatic injury. It’s a treat to have them here and to honor their tenacity and heroism,” Dr. Jennifer Janco, St. Luke’s Chief of Pediatrics, said.

Just as the Lion earned recognition for his courage, these families, especially the children, deserve recognition for the courage they displayed in dealing with harsh realities of life that include recent serious, chronic and/or traumatic illness.

Participants thought one lucky family would receive tickets to the production through a drawing at the final cache but there was more than one winner among the geocachers. All the children and their families won tickets to see the show on Nov. 20 at Zoellner Arts Center.

“At a glance, these organizations may seem like nontraditional partners but we found that working together to connect health, outdoor life and the performing arts doesn’t seem to be so odd at all. And when it connects to children in need, that’s something we can always come together for,” says Andy Cassano, administrative director of Zoellner Arts Center.

All eight families also received copies of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” made possible through the St. Luke’s department of community health and preventive medicine ongoing literacy efforts in our community.

Photo caption: The Cowardly Lion helps a little girl along her geocaching adventure on Nov. 6 at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus. St. Luke’s, Wildlands Conservancy, and Zoellner Arts Center partnered to gift the unique experience to children and families who live with chronic or traumatic illnesses.

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