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Marley’s Mission board members are pictured at their Blue Ribbon Gala, held annually at the Hilton Scranton. From left: Denise Vitali Burne, Rebecca Haggerty, Robert Dempsey, Ann Cook, Gene Talerico, April Loposky, Jody Cordaro, Sarah Fox, Tim Trently and Sandy Insalaco, Jr. Louis Costanzo, Nunzio Allegrucci, Justin Genzlinger and Scott Prebich are also board members. PHOTO JULIE JORDAN

Newton Twp.-based Marley’s Mission has been selected a top five nominee for the fifth annual CLASSY Awards in the category of Mental Health Services. The CLASSY awards are the largest philanthropic awards event in the United States and organizers say they recognize the greatest champions of social progress in the United States and beyond.

Marley’s Mission provides Equine-assisted psychotherapy free of charge to children who have experienced emotional trauma, receiving clients from seven counties in northeast Pennsylvania. Since opening in July 2010, it has provided care to more than 300 children from our region.

In September 2011, Marley’s Mission was named “Best New Charity in the United States” at the third annual CLASSY awards. At last year’s CLASSY awards, board president Gene Talerico was named volunteer of the year for the eastern region of the United States and was a national finalist in that category.

“Our recognition by the CLASSY awards as a top nominee is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our treatment teams, our board and our volunteers,” said program director April Loposky. “They each stand committed to making positive change in the lives of children and I am so grateful for their unending support. For so many who had lost hope, we have helped them rebuild it.”

“We strive each day to combine the healing power of horses and talented treatment teams to break down barriers once thought to be insurmountable,” Talerico added. “We study our work; we focus on outcomes and success. And that has made the difference in the lives of so many children”.

The CLASSY awards are held annually in San Diego, Calif. For more information on the awards and a complete list of nominees, visit

For more information on Marley’s Mission, including volunteer information and information on “The Giving Stable,” which accepts donations of new or gently-used clothing for children receiving therapy at the mission, visit