Roman and Helen Pilch, group founders, with daughters Rosemary (left) and Rita (right) at one of the group's first Memorial Day Parades in Dickson City
The Double "R" Twirlettes is an award winning baton twirling group that holds state, regional, and national championships. The group is the oldest of its kind and the pioneer of baton twirling in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Twirlettes were organized in 1949 as a part of the Dickson City American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp. The group is currently celebrating its 71st season.
The Double "R" Twirlettes have been guest performers on Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines. The group has also performed at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda, the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World, Disney Springs, the Little League World Series Parade, the World's Fair in Tennessee, Paramount's Canada's Wonderland, Niagara Falls, Virginia Beach, the Miss America Pageant Parade and the Armed Forces Boardwalk Parade in Atlantic City, the boardwalk of Ocean City Maryland, Cypress Gardens, Sea World, Universal Studios, Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the U.S. Capitol, National Cherry Blossom Festival and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C, and throughout the eastern United States. Members of the Twirlettes' Senior Competition Corp have also performed in London, Paris, and Russia.
The Twirlettes pride themselves on their strong tradition of charitable and volunteer work. Each year they conduct a benefit twirl-a-thon for St. Joseph's Center and a spring recital for charity. Through the years, the group has donated well over $150,000.00 to local charities and has been awarded a PA State Senate Citation for their many years of generous contributions.
Kathleen Y. Mercatili, Director
In 1994 Kathleen Yankovich Mercatili became director of the Double “R” Twirlettes. She is the third generation in her family to hold this honor. Kathleen has been twirling from the time she was old enough to hold a baton. She marched in her first parade when she was just 18 months old. Although she did very little in the line of baton twirling at that time, it was the start of a very successful career. As a member of the Double “R” Twirlettes, she trained under her mother, Rosemary Pilch Yankovich. Kathleen has been a Pennsylvania State and a National Champion on both the group and individual levels. She holds solo national titles in two baton and show twirl. Kathleen has traveled and performed all over the world with the Twirlettes including Moscow University in Russia where she conducted a twirling clinic. She was also a member of the Florida Citrus Bowl twirling team, an honor that was awarded to only 30 competitive twirlers from across the country. Kathleen also choreographs the field shows for a number of local high school twirling teams and feature twirlers.
In addition to baton twirling, Kathleen has over fifteen years of dance training with Ballet Theater of Scranton/The Dance Studio. Kathleen earned a bachelor’s degree in Counseling/Human Services and a master’s degree in Human Resources Administration from the University of Scranton. Kathleen was also named Northeast Woman by the Scranton Times/Tribune.