Mt. Pleasant-area groups benefit from county tourism grants
Joining the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau was one of the best decisions that members of the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum have made to date, according to Cassandra Vivian, executive director of the nonprofit organization.
“It's just unending, the services (the bureau) is providing to this area, so it was wise to (become a member),” Vivian said.
The benefits of membership were recently enhanced when the museum was approved for funding related to two of the facility's ongoing initiatives by the Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Program, which is administered by the Ligonier-based bureau.
In all, 65 businesses and nonprofit organizations will receive more than $382,000 in funding through the program.
Those groups will get funding via 71 grants — the largest number of grants the program has funded since its creation in 2003, said Ron Virag, president and CEO of the bureau.
Since the program's inception, $3.5 million has been distributed, Virag said.
This year's funding allotment was awarded during a ceremony on March 12 at Westmoreland @rt30 in Unity.
The glass museum, located at the Mt. Pleasant Glass Center in Mt. Pleasant Township, received a $2,500 capital grant for tourist-oriented, directional signs for placement along state routes 31 and 119, pending approval of sign permits from PennDOT and other involved municipalities.
“We are hoping to install four signs total, hopefully two on Route 31 and two on Route 119,” Vivian said.
The museum, which celebrates the history and heritage of Mt. Pleasant's three former glass factories, also received a $2,000 marketing grant via the program to be used for brochure distribution to promote the museum.
“The (bureau) will distribute up to 15,000 of our brochures outside the region at visitor centers and other key places,” Vivian said. “That's exciting, too. The more publicity you have, the more visitors you may have.”
Local watershed group accepts ‘challenge' grant
Among other area organizations with the opportunity to receive program funding is the Mountain Watershed Association, which is dedicated to creating healthy streams and safe trails within the Indian Creek and Youghiogheny Watershed.
The association will receive a $10,000 capital grant if its members can raise an additional $40,000 by Dec. 31 to be used for the construction of a bridge across Indian Creek on the Donegal section of the Indian Creek Valley Trail.
“We already have in hand $35,000, and we need $80,000. We have $45,000 with this grant, but we will need to raise an additional $35,000 to make it count,” said Bev Braverman, the association's executive director.
In addition to monetary donations, the association is seeking those willing to donate building materials, Braverman said.
“We need oak deck boards which we need to be a minimum of 8 inches wide, 3 inches thick and 10 feet long. We also need donations of wolmanized lumber for railings.”
Donors who wish to be sponsors can give $250 for a plank in the bridge, or any amount in general, at mtwatershed.com/give.
Those interested in discussing a major gift or naming rights for the bridge should contact Braverman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-455-4200, ext. 1#.
Many other local recipients are rewarded
West Overton Village & Museums near Scottdale will use a total of $9,800 in capital and marketing grants to promote the site and create an entrance that clearly directs visitors to the historic mansion, managing director Jessica Kadie-Barclay said.
“The biggest first impression when people come to West Overton is, ‘Where do I go?'” she said. “We don't want (big) signs that say, ‘Start here,' so officials are looking to create a walkway that leads visitors to the mansion first.”
Other area program grant recipients included:
• Days Inn Donegal — $7,500
• Caddie Shak — $5,000
• Westmoreland Agricultural Fair — $5,000
• Escape to Donegal — $4,500
• Hillside Orchards — $4,000
• Historic Scottdale — $4,000
• Laurel Highlands Heritage Festivals — $4,000
• Living Treasures Animal Park — $4,000
• Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival — $4,000
• Christmas in the Mountains — $3,600
• Overly's Country Christmas — $3,000
• Christian Family & Children's Center — $2,000
• Geyer Performing Arts Center — $2,000
• Holiday Inn Express & Suites Donegal — $2,000
• Scottdale Fall Festival — $2,000
• Laurel Highlands Snowmobile Club — $750
• NSDAR Braddock Trail Chapter — $700
• Youngwood Historical & Railroad Association Inc. — $500
• Living Treasures Animal Park — $4,000
Grant funding comes from a 3 percent tax levied on overnight accommodations throughout the county.
One-third of the revenue from the hotel room tax goes toward the grants, which can be used for capital improvements or marketing outside of the county.
“There's so much good that can be done with the funds available. We wanted to involve as many (recipients) as possible,” Virag said. “Every little bit helps further the reach of tourism.”
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or email@example.com. Staff writer Kari Andren contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Saturday essay: Waltz of the robins
- Cole outduels Mets rookie, carries Pirates to victory
- Lenape students earn berth in national SkillsUSA competition
- Kittanning Municipal Authority seeks agreement to clarify its role
- Police boost efforts to aid child victims in Armstrong County
- Glassport honors native son as polka drummer
- Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
- Leader Times staffers recognized for journalism excellence by Press Club
- North Versailles commissioners withhold fire tax funds, cite 1 company’s noncompliance
- Shareholder vote causes ATI to review executive pay packages
- West Mifflin towing companies defend practices