This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Louis J. Rapoch about the Eynon-Archbald Lions Club annual Snowflake Gala benefiting Leader Dogs for the Blind.

Residence: Mayfield

Professional background: Owner and operator of the Louis J. Rapoch Funeral Home for more than 30 years and charter member of the Eynon-Archbald Lions Club

Title: Co-chairman with his wife, Karen

Q: Tell us about Leader Dogs for the Blind.

A: Leader Dogs for the Blind is an organization located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It is a nonprofit program which breeds and train dogs to be the answer for people who are blind or visually impaired. The Eynon-Archbald Lions Club believes every person deserves equal opportunity for a life of confidence, independence and safe mobility. Leader Dogs for the Blind provides that. More information is located at Here you will find photos of clients, trainers and Leader Dogs destined for greatness. Each year, more than 75,000 people will become visually impaired or blind in the United States.

Q: Who is the guest speaker?

A: Jeff Hawkins with his Leader Dog, Gracie.

Q: What will be on hand at the fundraiser?

A: The 2020 Snowflake Gala will feature passed hors d’oeuvers, a chef-inspired dinner, open bar throughout the evening, dancing with the Wanabees and Top Shelf Entertainment. There also will be basket raffles, a silent auction and cash raffles. Tickets will be available for a chance to win a snowflake tree filled with lottery tickets. The room will be eloquently decorated by Ros-Al Floral and Mazza Linens, with photos taken by Mike and Kathy Haffner, plus a photo booth.

Q: What is your fundraising goal?

A: Our club wants to make sure all our guests have a great and memorable time. Because of the support and generosity of local businesses/sponsors and residents, Eynon-Archbald Lions Club is ranked fourth internationally in donations to Leader Dogs for the Blind. This is an honor and tribute we wish to uphold for Northeast Pennsylvania. We make every effort to keep the event at a favorable cost so all may be able to attend and enjoy the evening of fun while contributing to a worthy cause. We hope to raise the same if not more then we raised in 2019, which was $23,000. All money raised will go directly to Leader Dogs for the Blind organization.

If you go

What: Ninth annual Snowflake Gala

When: Saturday, Jan. 25, 6 to 11 p.m.

Where: Fiorelli Catering, 1501 N. Main St., Peckville

Details: Tickets cost $75 and can be purchased by contacting Fran Stepkovitch at 570-470-7838 by Monday, Jan. 20. Proceeds benefit Leader Dogs for the Blind. For more information, visit the Eynon-Archbald Snowflake Gala Facebook page, text or call Karen at 570-877-4845, or email or