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Irwin businesses continue greeting card tradition

| Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, 1:22 a.m.
Irwin Business & Professional Association president Lois Woleslagle holds an original drawing of a wintery scene in Irwin illustrated by former resident Bob Weaver. Drawings were printed into holiday cards available for purchase at Woleslagle’s shop at 205 Fourth St. in Irwin. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Holiday cards featuring wintery scenes in Irwin are illustrated by former borough resident Bob Weaver and printed by Laurel Quick Print in Irwin Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News

A tradition of creating holiday greeting cards with wintery scenes and a bit of Irwin history is continuing through the Irwin Business & Professional Association.

IBPA president Lois Woleslagle did not want to classify the works of art as mere Christmas cards.

“There's always a story on the back of what (the depicted scene) is — who lives there now, or how it was built, or what happened at the time,” Woleslagle said. “But they're usually empty inside so that you can write your own little message. Our whole idea is to keep people in touch with Irwin, and to remember here's where their hometown is. There is a lot of history that happens here.”

Woleslagle came up with the idea in 1997.

The IBPA commissioned artist Bob Weaver, a former Irwin resident, to create the original 16 x 20 drawings. Laurel Quick Print in Irwin converts the drawings into 5 x 7 cards, which are sold in packs of eight for $10 at Interiors by Woleslagle at 205 Fourth St.

Woleslagle sorted through prints for this year on Wednesday morning. She still has A few packs from 1999 through 2011.

“A lot of people buy them just to send away,” Woleslagle said. “People buy them to put them in little frames and hang them on walls, or they'll buy them just to keep them in a notebook.”

Scenes include the Larimer Trolley, the old Irwin Hotel, G.C. Murphy Co., Veteran's War Memorial, the Lamp Theater, Irwin Savings & Trust Co., and the United Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.

Weaver, a Norwin graduate, lives in West Newton and works as a teacher in Yough School District.

Woleslagle said she retains Weaver to do the drawings every year so that the series remains consistent.

“We keep the same (artist) so that the cards all are done with the same technique, and so it flows,” she said. “I think it captures the whole idea of what we want to do. He's very good. A lot of artists look as his work and they say, ‘Wow, this is good stuff.' He's very talented.

“To have the same technique, I think, is a plus.”

More information about the cards is available by calling 724-864-0560.

The IPBA serves as the marketing arm of the Irwin Project, the umbrella organization for a variety of community developmental projects involving infrastructure, revitalization and recreation in the borough.

Irwin is rich in history. Most of its story can be found online at The Irwin Project's website,

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965.

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