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Thanksgiving Festival of Choirs set for Sunday

| Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

The Mozart Music Club of Connellsville presents the annual Thanksgiving Festival of Choirs Sunday at Wesley United Methodist Church. This is the best way to start the holiday season. Before all the shopping and decorating and baking and list making, take time to attend this wonderful program. Saxophonist Mike Tomaro, director of jazz studies at Duquesne University and soprano Alyssa Hensel, a student at Oberlin Conservancy of Music, are the featured performers. Other outstanding musicians included in the program are Fay-West Brass, St. Rita Roman Catholic Choir, Geibel Junior-Senior High School Chorus, Connellsville Junior High Eighth Grade Chorus, Connellsville Presbyterian Church Choir, Payne AME Choir and a Combined Choir. Many of the area's best known names will also be a part of the evening, such as Levi Graft, Christopher Mickey, Ben Haines and Blake Michaux. Music directors include Nick Bell, Henry F. Molinaro and Marilee C. McFadden, who is also the festival coordinator. Members of Fay-West Brass are directed by Chris Hornick and the Payne AME president of the choir is Toni Colland. Various members of the local clergy will also participate. The program starts at 6 p.m. and Nick Bell assures attendees that it will be over before the Steelers kickoff.

• Christmas in the Park will be held Saturday at Yough Park. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be there to visit with children who will receive a free goodie bag and cookie too. Coordinated 360 will be getting everyone into the spirit with holiday music. There will be horse and buggy rides and crafts for the kids. This popular yearly event is sponsored by the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce. At 7 that night Connellsville will celebrate Light-Up Night with the New Haven Hose Company sponsored Christmas parade starting on the West Side, going across the Crawford Avenue Bridge and ending up at East Side Fire Station where kids will get a free treat from Santa and then enjoy the grand fireworks display, also sponsored by New Haven.

• “It's A Connellsville Christmas,” sponsored by Downtown Connellsville, will be held Dec. 1 and 2. There will be beautiful poinsettias for sale, church tours, a cookie sale with businesses hosting non-profits, a Christmas Market and various activities at the community center and a spectacular celebration of Christmas music at the Christmas Concert at Wesley United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by a reception in the dining area. The Presbyterian Church Creche and Angel display is held on these two days, so invite your friends. This event has grown each year and continues to be a favorite of those who are in the holiday spirit. There will be lots of activity on the main streets, at the library, at the churches and at the community center.

• “Believe In Connellsville” is sponsoring a decorating contest for windows and storefronts. The group is hoping for good participation to help boost community spirit. For more information, call 724-628-3639 or 724-628-1513.

• The Buy Local Holiday Giveaway will start Nov. 23. Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 3. One winner will receive $500 in gift cards and a second winner will receive $250 in gift cards from Buy Local businesses. For contest details and a list of all Buy Local businesses visit:

• This was sent by Lori Kosisko at the Connellsville Community Center: “Times are hard right now and everyone is hoping the future will be better for the Connellsville Community Center. We would not ask you for your help if our concern for the community center was not so great. However, if we are to keep our community center open for the coming New Year and for years to come, we must raise funds. We are working on many changes at the community center. Our goal is to make the community center a true part of the Connellsville community, open to all. Our plan for the future is to make the community center the true center meeting place for all members of the community. A place were art, business, charities, sports, religious groups, and all members of the community come to meet, share ideas, and grow for a better future.

“Here is where we need your help. We are not asking for money, rather we are asking for you to please come and be part of the holiday season with us. We are appealing to our local businesses to help us with providing one decorated Christmas tree for our Christmas tree auction. We encourage our local businesses to decorate the tree in a way that would advertise your business or display a particular theme. Christmas trees should be 8 feet high or less. You may also set up a table if you wish to advertise your business or sell your goods or services. So far we have been blessed with many people that wish to help make this event a very special celebration for our wonderful city. There will be lights, decorations, a puppet show, movie, music, a bonfire, refreshments, Santa, carolers, a fire truck, craft show, dress up contest for children and all we need is you, to help make this event complete. Friday, Nov. 30, 6-8 p.m., lights, hall of trees with sounds of the season and refreshments. A bon fire will be held at 6 p.m. with carolers until 7 p.m. when the special guest arrives with a fire truck. On Saturday, Dec. 1, noon to 5:30 p.m. there will be a craft show, lights, hall of trees with sounds of the season and refreshments. At the Edwin S. Porter Theater a puppet show will be presented by Robert Sanner with a movie to follow, then our special guest returns at the end of the movie for the children's dress up contest. The tree drawing will be held in the hall of trees at the events conclusion. Please come celebrate a beautiful holiday and a new year filled with new hopes and dreams for everyone.”

• Casey Sirochman, the Carnegie Free Library director, sent this announcement: “The Paranormal DVD is now available and at a reduced rate because the DVD cases did not come in and it is time to get them out to you. Please come into the library today to buy your very on copy with check made out to Carnegie Free Library or cash for only $15. They will make great holiday gifts, especially to mail to people out of town.”

• There will be plenty to do at the Carnegie Free Library in the upcoming weeks. Wednesday at 11 a.m. is “Storytime with the Puppetmaker.” All ages are invited to come and enjoy stories for the harvest season that remind us of bounty and thankfulness. Santa Claus will visit with children at the library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 5 and 8 — bring your camera for pictures.

• Scott C's Auto Sales will sponsor Stage Right! presentation of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” from 11 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 in the library auditorium. This is a free event, all ages are welcome, get there early, seating is limited.

• Professional Development Trainings For Child Care Providers will be held Saturday and on Dec. 15 at the Carnegie Free Library. The instructor is Cathy Brady, certified instructor for PQAS (PA Quality Assurance System). The program includes DVD presentation, hand outs and group discussion. Registration must be made by Thursday by calling 724-430-0888 or 724-628-1380.

Practical Self Defense For Women will be held at the library from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Saturday. Don Witt is the certified instructor. A suggested $5 donation goes to the library.

• South Connellsville Borough will hold the third annual Holiday Celebration Dec. 8 with Santa visits and a treat, a bonfire, horse drawn wagon rides, and hot chocolate and refreshments. You can have pictures taken with a live reindeer too.

• The annual Festival of Trees is now going on in Highlands Hospital lobby, sponsored by the Hospital Auxiliary. Opportunities will be sold Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 7, when at 7 p.m. the winners will be drawn. There are 10 theme trees. There is also a Giving Tree; anyone in the community who would like to can put something new on this tree. These items will be given to Connellsville Area Community Ministries to pass out to the needy for Christmas. On Wednesday Geibel High School Chorus, directed by Nick Bell, will entertain and on Dec. 3, Connellsville Junior High Eighth Grade Chorus, directed by Marilee McFadden, will perform. St. Rita's Choir will present Christmas carols at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Henry F. Molinaro is the director. Refreshments will be served after the entertainment. All proceeds will benefit ongoing projects at Highlands Hospital.

• The FRIENDS of the Library are hosting a Vendor Fair for nonprofits at the library Dec. 1 for “It's a Connellsville Christmas.” They have spaces available for $10 per space. They will provide tables until they tables are gone, then the vendor will need to provide their own table. The library does have an elevator and is handicapped-accessible. For more information and to reserve a space, email Cathy Kumor at or call 724-626-1114. The $10 set-up fee benefits the FRIENDS of the Carnegie Free Library.

• The annual St. Rita Cookie Sale will be held Dec. 8 — you won't want to miss that!

• Dec. 16 will be the date of the spaghetti dinner fundraiser at South Connellsville Fire Hall to help the U-13 Kick-It 3v3 girls soccer team raise money for their trip to Disney World to compete for the World Championship. Everyone is invited.

• Mark your calendars for these events: Saturday, Christmas in the Park and Christmas parade and Steel City Comedy Tour at CTVFD; Sunday, Mozart Music Club Festival of Choirs; Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-2, Connellsville Community Center events, Dec. 1-2, “It's a Connellsville Christmas” including Presbyterian Church Creche and Angel display, cookie sale, church tours and Wesley UM Church Holiday Concert evening of Dec. 1; Dec. 8, St. Rita Cookie Sale and Christmas Celebration in South Connellsville; and Dec. 16, spaghetti dinner fundraiser at South Connellsville Fire Hall.

If you have a local upcoming event that you would like mentioned in this column, email it well in advance so I can include it at

Nancy Henry is a Connellsville resident.

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