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Yough River Trail Council gets $5,000 grant

The Marilyn Kiefer Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 grant to the Yough River Trail Council of Connellsville. Mike Comiskey, (left) YRTC secretary and board member along with Ralph Wombacker (right), board member, accept the check from Larry Kiefer, foundation treasurer. Submitted

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By Nancy Henry
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 4:00 p.m.

The Marilyn Kiefer Foundation has awarded a grant of $5,000 to the Yough River Trail Council.

The YRTC, an all-volunteer group, maintains 23 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail in the Connellsville area.

The Kiefer family are the owners of Scottdale Bank and Trust, which has four branches. The Marilyn Kiefer Foundation, named for Larry Kiefer's mother Marilyn, has donated money to the Yough River Trail Council every year since the foundation's inception in 1996.

“I was on the Greater Connellsville Chamber Board at the time when the trail was being talked about in the earliest days,” Larry Kiefer said. “Our foundation organized after that and has always seen the importance of the trail to the City of Connellsville. I think the trail and the river itself are two of the best assets we have for tourists and for local residents to enjoy. The trail has played an important part in local economic development and will into the future. There are businesses that are here because of the trail. Yough Park is in fine shape because we have the trail. It took a long time to get that trail and it has evolved into a vital asset to this area.”

YRTC President Ted Kovall said the trail council has been able to commit to purchase a new tractor with the grant money.

“We have earmarked this money for the new tractor and it has really helped a lot,” Kovall said. “It then frees up more money for us to do other things such as working on the Ohiopyle section of the trail, buying other equipment and building fences. Grants for equipment rarely happen. The Kiefer Foundation has been wonderful to YRTC and we can't thank them enough. Our fundraising efforts throughout the year go for many other needs.”

The next YRTC event will be held March 30, the annual spring 5K Run and Walk, 10K Run, 10 Mile Run and 1 Mile Fun Run. For more information visit

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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