A Steinway piano adorned the lobby of the Scranton headquarters of Diversified Information Technologies, a firm founded in West Pittston by Clifford (Mickey) and Ruth Melberger. The piano served many functions but none more important to the Melbergers than being used for free music lessons for underprivileged children. Free violin lessons also were offered, with the company purchasing the violins.
For countless such community outreach projects along with innumerable philanthropic endeavors, the Melbergers, of West Pittston, will be presented with the Greater Pittston YMCA 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Y’s annual dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Keystone Grand Ballroom of Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Each year, the YMCA honors local leaders for their impact on the YMCA and the Greater Pittston community.
In addition to the Melbergers, this year’s honorees include: Corporate Distinction Award to Susquehanna Brewing Company; YMCA Spirit of Community Award to The Sidari Foundation; Sam Milazzo Volunteer of the Year Award to Jennifer Borton; James & Jean Yates Youth Leadership Award to Olivia Meuser.
Attorney Michael I. Butera will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased by contacting Leslie Widdick, interim CEO at 570-655- 2255 ext.101 or emailing email@example.com
The Melbergers began their business in 1980 in West Pittston as Diversified Records Services, storing paper records of national and international firms headquartered in New York City. By the time they sold the company five years ago, it had expanded to 600 employees in Northeast Pennsylvania and hundreds of others throughout the United States and abroad. Today, the Melberger family operates Greenspace Properties, a real estate venture dedicated to embracing the environment.
The Melbergers’ primary philanthropic efforts have centered on college scholarships. They have provided funding for hundreds of students at their alma maters, Bucknell and Wilkes universities.
“Without scholarships, neither Ruth nor I could have afforded a college education,” Mickey Melberger said. He pointed out the scholarships the Merlbergers provide are based on need rather than purely academic accomplishment.
An All-Conference running back on a championship football team at West Pittston High School, Mickey continued his education and football careers at Bucknell, where he captained the Lambert Cup championship team in 1960. That earned him an appearance on television’s Ed Sullivan Show. He was an Honorable Mention All-American.
Ruth Melberger, who played sports throughout high school and college, is a graduate of Meyers High School and Wilkes College, now Wilkes University.
The Melbergers are substantial supporters of the visual and performing arts, libraries, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, animal shelters, public broadcasting, various capital campaigns, and individuals in need.
The Melbergers are parents of two children: Erica Romanowski (married to Tom Romanowski), and Clifford “Mickey” Melberger (married to Amy Melberger). They have six grandchildren: Thomas, Ann and Kate Romanowski, and Dylan, Kari and Evan Melberger. Just over a year ago they opened their home to two dogs, siblings Mickey and Minnie, they adopted from a shelter in Florida.
“That demoted me to the third Mickey in the household,” Mickey Melberger says. “My son is first, this little guy is second, and I’m now third.”