SCRANTON -- It was a big bash in Scranton as the community came out to celebrate a long-time city icon.
Former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty turned 70 Friday and the party lasted for hours at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.
“I`ve been about boosting the city.”
Even in the midst of his 70th birthday celebration, McNulty couldn’t help but talk about the city he devoted his life to.
The former mayor of Scranton was feted by friends, family, and those who love him at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel to mark this milestone.
While McNulty may have served only one term as mayor from 1982 to 1986, he`s always been a part of Scranton’s political pulse.
For many guests, they say McNulty helped shape their political careers.
“I grew up next to his Aunt Florence and my first involvement in politics is when he ran the sticker campaign for mayor and we’ve been very, very close ever since,” said Andy Jarbola, the district attorney for Lackawanna County.
“Look at all the people that are here, he has so many friends, so many people he helped so I just wish him the best,” said Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright.
It’s fitting to have his party at the Radisson; he was there at the ribbon cutting when the former train station became a hotel in 1983.
McNulty even made red roses a part of the city`s history, calling his mayoral run in 1981 the “Rose Campaign.”
“I had run a number of times and lost, so name identification wasn`t really an issue. But I was looking for a symbol for the revival of the city,” said McNulty. “People would take them and they still have them pressed in books and everything.”
But the party was slightly bittersweet as McNulty is battling late stage colon cancer.
So the event was also a fundraiser for the Foundation for Cancer Care as well as to help with some of McNulty's medical costs.
But McNulty is a man who championed for a depressed city. He and his wife Evie Rafalko-McNulty say cancer isn’t going to get them down.
“We’re going book the snowmobile for the next party. We have hope that he’s going to beat this disease,” said Evie.
“I believe that you can do anything you want to do, but you got to try,” said McNulty.
Anyone interested in donating to the McNulty’s cause should contact the law offices of O’Malley and Lagan in Scranton. The number there is (570) 344-2667.