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Connellsville chamber planning for 2013

The Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce donated children's coats to the Community Ministries of Connellsville. From left are Michael Edwards, Mike Bowman, Jack Yard, Lori Kaczmarek, Bryan Kisiel, Ronn Hall (manager, Chamber), and Charles Prevot (Executive Director, Community Ministries). Submitted

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By Rachel Basinger
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 6:22 p.m.

The Connellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is staying busy these days working on one event after another to raise funds for projects that better the community and help area residents.

Recently the group raised funds at its Christmas in the Park event and used some of that money to purchase children's coats to donate to Connellsville Community Ministries.

Ronn Hall, chamber manager, said the chamber contacted officials at Community Ministries to see what was needed.

Michael Edwards with the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority and the chamber said they had gotten several donations of adults coats, but were in need of children's coats.

The chamber was able to purchase and donate 52 children's coats.

“We always pick a project each year for the money to go toward,” Edwards said.

Last year the chamber purchased the decorative lights that are placed on top of the Victorian-style light posts during the Christmas season.

Another fundraiser, besides the Christmas in the Park, that was held recently was a Winter Wonderland dinner. The dinner featured a chinese auction. Centerpieces on the tables were sold and a portion of the proceeds from the dinner will be used for special projects.

Craig Appliance was honored at the event for its 55 years of service to the community.

Hall said the chamber hopes to hold the event annually and honor a different business each year.

The chamber awards banquet is scheduled for Feb. 26 and will be held at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Bullskin Township.

The award categories include beautification, community service by an individual, community service by a group, distinguished individual and the Athena award.

Edwards said they are accepting nominations until Jan. 25.

The chamber also sponsors the annual community yard sale sometime in May as well as the Fourth of July fireworks celebration on July 3.

The Savor the Avenue event where local restaurants provide food that is set up on Crawford Avenue is scheduled for Aug. 17. They are still working on finding all the different restaurants that will participate this year.

The event is open to anyone.

This year the light post banners will recognize the 10th anniversary of the reenactment of Braddock's Crossing.

Along with that, chamber officials are involved in scheduling different after hours events where businesses offer refreshments at their facility for an evening. They also recognize a business student each month. On May 6 the chamber will host a recognition dinner for all of the recipients throughout the school year. Each recipient is eligible to participate in an essay contest for the chance to win a $500 scholarship from the chamber.

Finally, the Christmas in the Park event is scheduled for Nov. 23 this year.

Hall said the chamber is always looking for sponsors for all of its events as well as new members to join the chamber. Anyone interested in either should call the chamber at 724-628-5500.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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