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Endowment announces 2nd quarter awardees

| Thursday, July 11, 2013, 12:21 p.m.

The Ligonier Valley Endowment awarded its second-quarter grants to six organizations last month in the amount of $23,455.

According to Jack McDowell, Ligonier Valley Endowment vice president and chairmen of the screening committee, the endowment reviews applications from groups within Ligonier Valley School District, with their parent organization, The Pittsburgh Foundation, overseeing the operations. Some projects the endowment awards money to include ventures related to health, education, environment, recreation, arts, civic endeavors or startup costs, as well as equipment and facility needs, specialized research of a technical nature and capital campaigns.

All six applicants were granted money this quarter.

• The Ligonier Township Police Department was granted $2,455, that will go toward updating its surveillance camera system from a four-camera system to a 16-camera system.

“It allows us to do more surveillance inside the building and outside the perimeter of the property,” said Chief Mike Matrunics. “It serves the entire municipality. It will help us keep an eye on things and do our job better. The tax office and water authority are also here, so it also benefits those other agencies as well.”

The cameras will be installed by the end of the week.

• The Ligonier Township Volunteer Fire Co. will spruce up their facilities with its $5,000 grant.

According to fire company member Keith Neiderhiser, the grant will fund the “betterment of the fire department grounds,” including painting the fire hall and reseeding the lawn. The money also went to the fire department's annual Laurel Highlands Bluegrass Festival. It allowed them to stain the ceiling of the festival stage for the event held in June.

• New Florence Police Department will spend its $5,000 grant on purchasing bulletproof vests for its officers.

“Being a part-time department, you're required to buy your own vests,” said Chief Dan Colflesh. “There's a lot of officers who can't afford them.”

Colflesh said the department has some money left over from the grant and plans to spend it on other safety items.

• Bolivar Borough's Sesquicentennial Committee received $5,000 to help fund the celebration that will take place Aug. 16 to Aug. 18.

Chairwoman Colleen Mazey said the committee has raised money through dances, dinners and food coupon sales for the past three years. With the grant, the committee will be able to afford musical entertainment, fireworks, security, outdoor bathroom facility rentals and trash disposal.

• The Ligonier Valley Rail Road Association received $1,500 to restore an old ball signal, which is a pole with round green lights that illuminate from the bottom as a signal to approaching trains.

“It was a signal to the train engineer telling which track to use,” said Bill Potthoff, president of the Ligonier Valley Rail Road Association and executive director of the Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum at Darlington Station.

The funds were used to transport and erect the ball signal that was restored by the Terry Weimer Blacksmith Shop in Somerset using other funding.

West Penn Power Co. will dig the hole for the signal at no cost to the museum.

The ball signal is one of three signals donated to the museum from a collection of railroad memorabilia belonging to Russ Lowden of Latrobe.

• The Boy Scouts of America received $4,500 for equipment and facility needs, including items for camping, Eagle Scout projects, Fort Ligonier Days and Courts of Honor. A representative from the Boy Scouts could not be reached for comment.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or