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Tribute To Joe Snedeker

Rep. Lou Barletta

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Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor and acknowledge a local television personality and educator who has parlayed his regional fame and physical endurance into a community-wide fundraising effort for severely mentally and physically handicapped children in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Joe Snedeker was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, on February 19, 1966. At an early age, Joe showed an aptitude for science. After graduating from Millersville University, Joe got a teaching job at Carbondale Area High School. Between teaching; marrying his wife, Dawn; and raising three children, Joseph, Luke, and Aleah, Joe worked at a local television station on weekends. As a sign of his lifelong commitment to education and learning, Joe recently finished his master's degree in Biology/Environmental Science from East Stroudsburg University.

In 1999, Joe was hired full-time at WNEP-TV. Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of residents in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania have tuned in to Joe to find out what the daily weather forecast would be. Joe not only provides the weather forecast, but he also seeks to educate viewers about basic scientific principles.

Fourteen years ago, Joe, an avid cyclist, initiated an annual charity bike ride. For several days each summer, Joe pedals from location to location, raising money for severely mentally and physically handicapped children at St. Joseph's Center in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Over the years, Joe has started his ride as far away from Northeastern Pennsylvania as Atlantic City, New Jersey; Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Thousands of miles pedaled adds up to well over a million dollars raised--money that supports the outstanding work of the dedicated staff, administration, and volunteers at St. Joseph's Center, an independent Catholic agency sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that strives to provide individuals and families who have special needs the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential to the fullest extent possible.

Mr. Speaker, I commend Joe Snedeker for his charitable work on behalf of the mentally and physically handicapped children at St. Joseph's Center in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Thousands of people--from the families of those children, to the staff and administration of the center, to Joe's devoted viewing audience--join me in congratulating him and wishing him many years of happy pedaling.