WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)—Irish eyes were on the Greater Pittston Sons of St Patrick’s 109th-anniversary dinner Friday night.

It was a lucky night on Friday as dozens of people gathered at the Woodlands Inn and resort in Wilkes-Barre for the annual Greater Pittston Sons of St Patrick’s dinner.

This event has been a tradition for 109 years as the organization gathers to celebrate its Irish heritage.

“The Friendly Sons were built on giving back to the community we do give back to two scholarships a year every year we donate back to the local community,” said Chris McFarland, the 109th president of Greater Pittston Friendly Sons.

The night honored and awarded many men who have been a pillar to not only the Irish community but the area as a whole for decades.

“Life long family event for me my grandfather was a past president my uncle was a past president my cousin is the third generation first third-generation past president with the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons and I’m the sixth person in our family to be a past president in the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons, it’s just a great heritage,” explained McFarland.

Before the dinner, a mass was held at St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston hosted by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s past presidents and officers.

Keynote speaker and former Penn State football player Kijanna Carter says it was an honor to speak at the event thirty years after playing for the Nittany Lions.

“I’ve been away from football, and being a celebrity but 30 years later they still remember me to come out and speak it’s very flattering, humbling, and obviously what they do and what they do for the community on top of that makes it, you know even more a mission to come out here to speak,” said Carter.

Normally on Fridays, during lent, meat is not allowed for Catholics older than 14 years old.
But since St. Patrick’s day falls on a Friday this year, Bishop Bambera of the Scranton Diocese gave the go-ahead to eat meat.

Before the award winners were recognized at Friday Night’s event, a brunch was held on March 5 to announce the recipients of this year’s awards.