Manning Safety Breaks, Raising Funds

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- There are people traveling and laboring on this long holiday weekend, but some people gave up part of their Labor Day to help make money for their organizations.

Nicholas Gutkowski could have chosen to be in one of several other places on this Labor Day but he chose to be at a rest area along Interstate 81 south in Luzerne County. He's helping to earn money for his Boy Scout troop from Mountain Top by handing out coffee and snacks at what's known as a safety break.

"The money is important to our group because it always helps us go to really cool places and learn more about the world," Gutkowski said.

And he says helping man the safety break near the Dorrance exit gives him an opportunity to meet people and help his community.

The Wyoming Valley West Ice Hockey Club is working the opposite lanes of the interstate. They have the same goal -- make money, and give travelers, including Andrea Smith from Binghamton, a break.

"The restaurant wasn't open at the hotel we were staying at, so we haven't eaten anything," said Smith.

So, after a donut, and signing the big message board, Andrea was on her way. She's taken advantage of safety breaks like this before. We found a trucker traveling from Florida to New England experiencing his first.

"This is my first time. I'm traveling a lot. It's nice," Refik Jusufovic said.

Everything at the safety breaks -- the hot drinks, the cold drinks, the snacks -- is either donated by parents or by businesses in the community.

The Boy Scouts and the ice hockey club don't charge for the food, but they do take donations so every buck that goes into the jug is profit.

"Ice hockey is a pay-to-play sport, so anything we could offset for the parents is definitely going to be helpful," said Dave Zasada, WVW Ice Hockey Club president.

Manning the safety break at the rest area comes at a good time for the ice hockey club. It gets that financial boost about one month before the start of the new season.