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Board continues working to make Connellsville Area Community Center self-sustaining

| Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Greater Connellsville Area Community Center's advisory members are working hard to make the facility self-sustaining and a community benefit.

Over the last several months, the group has been brainstorming, doing everything they can to determine how to bring funding into the center and, at some point, enough rental clients to make the center self-sustaining.

The board has talked about various efforts ­— from garnering donations to marketing the building to businesses or groups that need more office space.

Over the past week, the board received its first bit of good news — a $500 donation from Don Graft, governor of Moose Lodge 16.

The advisory board's approved donation letters, to be sent to businesses, groups and organizations, explain the community center's importance in Connellsville during the past 40 years and the need today to remain its viability.

“The GCACC advisory board is currently working with the city of Connellsville and its area residents to ensure success,” the letter states.

The advisory board's goal is to “develop and promote the partnership of business, recreation and the arts in order to better serve the Greater Connellsville community. The GCACC will serve as a gathering place for the entire community to enjoy all it has to offer. Our goal is to be the strongest link in the chain of our community revitalization.”

The letter acknowledges that the city has “stood firm in its commitment to ensure that this building remains open and active for all to enjoy, and we are now asking community clubs, organizations and businesses to make this same commitment by partnering with us.”

Any money raised will be used to make repairs and upgrades to the building. Donations can be made to the GCACC, 201 E. Fairview Ave., Connellsville.

Regarding the Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 “Christmas in the Community” event, advisory board members say they hope area businesses will donate and decorate a tree — all of which will be raffled at the end of the event.

Festivities at the community center will kick off Nov. 30, with doors opening at 6 p.m. The center will feature light decorations; a hall of trees, decorated and donated by organizations and businesses; and a crafts show in the evening.

A bonfire and caroling will take place outside. Carolers will perform from 6 to 7 p.m., just about the time Santa will arrive on a fire truck.

The fun will continue on Dec. 1, with doors opening at noon and closing at 5:30 p.m.

The second day will offer most of the same festivities, but it feature a puppet show at 1 p.m., followed by a showing of “The Polar Express” movie in Edwin S. Porter Theater. A children's dress-up contest will be held afterward. The puppet show and film presentation are sponsored by the Connellsville Recreation Board.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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