[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 56 (Friday, April 15, 2011)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E743]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. LOU BARLETTA

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, April 15, 2011

  Mr. BARLETTA. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor and acknowledge Mr. 
and Mrs. John and Tina Dowd, recipients of the 2011 Volunteers of 
America Pennsylvania's Spirit of Youth award.
  The Spirit of Youth award is given to those who instill hope and 
belief in the advancement of all. Their support of the community and of 
Volunteers of America ranges from helping children to helping those who 
are young at heart. John and Tina Dowd exemplify these traits, and have 
used their own lives to help others.
  John Dowd grew up in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. He attended Shikellamy 
High School before studying engineering at the Pennsylvania State 
University. John is the president of Sundance Vacations, which he grew 
from one small office in Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania, into a national 
company that was named one of the Inc 500 fastest-growing companies two 
years in a row. As he grew his business, he also dedicated himself to 
giving back to his community. In addition to his work with Volunteers 
of America, John donates to the Luzerne Foundation and the Wyoming 
Valley Children's Association. His company sponsors local Little League 
and booster club sports teams, and he participates in many other local 
and national charitable causes.
  Tina Dowd co-founded Sundance Vacations with her husband, John. Tina 
is a graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She has been an 
integral part of growing the business. In November 2010, Tina accepted 
the Employer of the Year Award at the seventh annual Stevie Awards for 
Women in Business. In addition to managing and training employees, Tina 
oversees all of the firm's communications. John and Tina spend a lot of 
time with their three daughters, but like her husband, Tina volunteers 
for many organizations. Tina serves as vice president of an 
organization serving homeless children and their families in Carbon 
County--an organization she helped found. She is a member of the 
Lehighton Area School District Board of Directors, the Community Action 
Council of Palmerton Area Churches, and the Luzerne Foundation 
Millennium Circle. She is a past board member of the Northeast 
Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau.
  Mr. Speaker, Mr. and Mrs. Dowd have not only grown a business that 
employs more than 700 people, but they have used their talents to give 
back to the community they love so much. Their philanthropic efforts 
and volunteerism have helped so many of our neighbors. John and Tina 
are extraordinary both as a couple and as individuals. Mr. Speaker, 
today, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating John and Tina 
Dowd, recipients of this year's Volunteers of America Pennsylvania's 
Spirit of Youth award.