Misericordia University hosts ‘Empty Place at the Table’ exhibit


DALLAS TWP. – An exhibit called ‘Empty Place at the Table’ was held at Misericordia University on Oct. 24.

The exhibit is a traveling memorial featuring a table with 27 place settings to represent victims from Luzerne County whose lives were lost to domestic violence.

The table included place settings honoring Jane Aiello, 47, a nursing surgical specialist who died from domestic violence on Sept. 26, 2013; Richard Janczewski, a 23-year-old Avoca police officer who died in 1986 responding to a victim’s call; and Diane Snyder and her 37-day-old son, Brian, who died in an arson fire in Mountain Top in 1983. The 27th place setting is the “unknown” place setting, designed to represent all victims known and unknown in Luzerne County.

The exhibit was hosted by a partnership between Promoting Health Relationships Through Education and Empowerment, a student organization at Misericordia University and the Luzerne County Domestic Violence Service Center.

During the exhibit, Misericordia’s PHREE peer educators Linsey Parks, of Pine Beach, N.J.; Taylor Daton, of Jackson, N.J.; and Lauren Balogh, of Drums, provided information on support services available on campus and in the local community.

Lori Ianni, a medical counselor advocate at the Luzerne County Domestic Violence Service Center, and Louise Keller, a service-learning specialist with the Office of Service-Learning at Misericordia University, helped coordinate the project.

October has been recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1987. That same year marked the launch of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline, 1-800-799-7233. The Luzerne County Domestic Violence Service Center was founded in 1976 to provide services to battered and homeless women and their children. For more information, please go online to www.domesticviolenceservice.org or call 1-800-424-5600.