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Ligonier groups benefit from Westmoreland 'Day of Giving'

| Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 10:30 a.m.

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County Day of Giving proved to be a valuable event for 14 Ligonier-area nonprofit agencies.

The 24-hour fundraising event held Oct. 3 raised a total of $484,000 in public donations and $95,000 in matching funds for Westmoreland County nonprofits agencies.

Foundation Executive Director James Bendel said it turned out to be “a fabulous day for Westmoreland County.”

“It certainly underscores the commitment of the citizens of the county in supporting organizations that are trying to do good for people,” Bendel said.

The foundation held the event in partnership with The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Bethlen Communities will put its $1,025 in donations towards its charitable care fund, which aims to provide financial assistance to long-time residents who may have depleted their financial resources, according to the Rev. Imre Bertalan.

Ligonier Camp and Conference Center ranked in the top 10 for number of donations, receiving 96 donations totaling $27,690. Executive Director Patrick Myers said the money will benefit various aspects of the center, such as camp programs, scholarships and operational costs.

Ligonier Valley Fire Companies raised $1,615, which will be split evenly among Ligonier, Waterford, Wilpen and Darlington fire companies, according to treasurer Phil Fleming.

Ligonier Valley Historical Society will use its $1,695 in donations for general operating costs and the educational programs it sponsors at the Compass Inn Museum, said Tina Yandrick director of operations.

Ligonier Valley Learning Center's $375 will fund program operations. The center offers mental health services to children, youth and adults, according to the agency's director, Rebecca Faulk.

Ligonier Valley Library Association will add books to its collection and cover general operating costs using its $4,315 in donations, said Director Janet Hudson.

Ligonier Valley Rail Road will put its $1,800 towards general upkeep of the museum, said the association's president, Bill Potthoff.

Ligonier Valley Writers will use $750 in donations to cover production costs for “The Loyalhanna Review,” the group's annual literary magazine, according to Judith Gallagher, the publicity director.

Various scholarships will benefit from the $3,610 raised by the Ligonier Valley YMCA, according to Ben Wright the YMCA's chief executive officer.

Loyalhanna Watershed will use $2,755 for water quality projects, purchasing new equipment for monitoring streams and programs for students, according to its executive director, Susan Huba.

New Florence Community Library raised $3,635, which will help fund general operations, book purchases and educational programs, like its adult reading program, according to librarian Peggy Betz.

Powdermill Nature Reserve's $1,200 will be used to support general operations, such as scientific research initiatives and educational programs, according to Cassie Rubino, interim director of development at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and assistant director of foundation relations.

The Valley School of Ligonier raised $6,125, which will go towards its annual fund campaign, according to Director of Development Mallory Reese. The campaign helps pay for operating costs, professional development for teachers, financial aid for students, technology and curriculum enhancement, she said.

Fort Ligonier Association raised $2,585. A representative from the fort could not be reached for comment.

For more information about the Westmoreland County Day of Giving, visit the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County's website at

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