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LCCC Logo Bullet Solano named chair of 50th Anniversary Gala Oct 7
The Honorable Patrick J. Solano has been named as honorary chairperson of the Luzerne County Community College 50th Anniversary Golden Gala.

The event will be held on Saturday, October 7, at 5:30 p.m., at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Hotel and Convention Center. Entertainment for the event will be Eddie Day and The Star Fires.

Solano was appointed to the LCCC Board of Trustees in 1978 and served until 1987. He served again on the LCCC Board from 1994 until 2000. While on the LCCC Board of Trustees, Solano served as a member of the Finance Committee, Academic Committee, and Legislative Committee.

He is the recipient of the Joseph Saporito Lifetime of Service Award from the Sunday Dispatch, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, and the Thomas P. Shelbourne Environmental Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. He received the Doctor of Humane Letters from both King's College and Misericordia University and is a Service to the Community Honoree by The Commonwealth Medical College. Solano also is the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth Award from the Pennsylvania Society and the Commander's Award from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The Environmental Education Center at Frances Slocum State Park has been renamed the Patrick J. Solano Education Center in his honor and he is a recipient of the Community Leadership Award from Leadership Wilkes-Barre which has been renamed the Patrick J. Solano Community Leadership Award.

Solano is a graduate of Pittston Township High School and the U.S. Air Force School of Engineering, Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1946. During this time, he served with the Eighth U.S. Air Force Heavy Bombardment Group and completed 23 combat missions. He was awarded the Group Presidential Citation, the Air Force Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Combat Theatrical Medal with two Bronze Stars.

Solano had a long career with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He served as senior counselor in the Office of the Governor to Governor Tom Ridge and Governor Mark Schweiker, as Senior Advisor to the Majority Leader in the PA State Senate, and as Acting Secretary in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Within the Department of Environmental Resources, he served as Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry, Special Deputy Secretary, Deputy Secretary for Public Liaison, and Deputy Secretary for Resources Management. Solano also served within the Department of General Services as Deputy Secretary for Public Works, as Assistant Executive Director for The General State Authority, and as Principal Assistant Superintendent, District 4-3 for the Department of Highways.

He is a member of the Hospice of the Sacred Heart Board of Directors, the Sordoni Foundation Board of Directors, and the Pittston Memorial Library Building Committee. He is a member of the John F. Kennedy Council of the Knights of Columbus in Pittston, the Wyoming Rod & Gun Sportsman Club, the Oak Ridge Sportsman Club, Dupont Post 4909 Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Pennsylvania Wing Civil Air Patrol.

Solano previously served as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board of Wilkes University, the Northeast School District Jointure Board of Directors, the Pittston Joint Vocational Training School Board, the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors, and the Pittston Township Planning Commission Board. He also was past president and secretary of the Pittston Township Board of Education and a past member of the Pennsylvania State University Advisory Board. He previously was a member of the Pittston Township Police Department and formerly served as assistant scout master with Boy Scout Troop 12 of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

Solano resides in Pittston with his wife, Marie. They are the parents of six daughters, 11 grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

A portion of the proceeds from the 50th Anniversary Golden Gala will go toward a scholarship for veterans in Solano's name at LCCC.

For more information, or to contribute to the scholarship or make reservations for the gala, contact the LCCC Foundation Office at 570-740-0731 or e-mail jyuhas@luzerne.edu.