SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) — He was a U.S. Army captain, community organizer and fundraiser who died much, much too young. But his family is keeping this Pennsylvania patriot’s memory alive through a special event later this year. He died 9 years ago, but Captain James Minicozzi’s legacy is being felt every year in NEPA, and his dedicated sister is making sure that will never stop.
It’s become as much a staple of La Festa as the cannoli and porketta sandwiches. The Captain James Minicozzi 9th Annual 5K Run, 1-mile walk memorial. The event honors the former Army captain who wore several hats in Lackawanna County. From eucharistic minister to La Festa board of directors. He also did work with the Gino Merli Veterans Center and the American Cancer Society. But many say his top passion was working with the Boys and Girls Club of NEPA. The money raised from the memorial run provide meals for up to 300 kids during the club’s Christmas party.
“His favorite time of year was La Festa and the volunteer work he did there and he loved the Boys and Girls Club. He always loved volunteering his time, especially with the children’s Christmas party,” said Leslie Minicozzi Galacci.
The last run saw 170 hit the streets and Galacci is hoping this year is even better. She’s pulling for at least $10,000 in fundraising with a pair of $500 college scholarships going to students at Minicozzi’s almamater, West Scranton High School. Galacci says her brother Jimmy was typically running the show, so it’s been a learning experience for her being out in front.
“It’s so much fun and very rewarding. This is outside my comfort zone. I’m used to being on the sidelines or in the background with donations, not spearheading up in the front line. That was him, he was the lime light,” Galacci added.