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Connellsville Area Chamber of Commerce gives $1,00 from fundraisers toward purchase of 61 winter coats for children

| Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 5:27 p.m.

Local children recently received a gift from the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce that will help to keep them warm this winter.

In November, the chamber hosted its annual Christmas in the Park at Yough River Park. The money raised allowed the chamber to buy winter coats for area children.

The chamber then donated the coats to Connellsville Area Community Ministries.

Shirley Rosenberger, the chamber's office manager, said money to purchase the coats is raised through the donations from sponsors; food sales; a Chinese auction; and donations for photos with Santa during the Christmas in the Park event.

Rosenberger said donations totaled $1,000.

“This is a yearly event, It is a way for the chamber to give back to the community,” said Rosenberger. “The Community Ministries does so much good for many people facing difficult times. I cannot imagine being without a coat during the winter months, but it troubles me greatly to know that there are children without warm coats to wear. The Community Ministries is doing a wonderful service.”

“The Christmas In The Park event is all about bringing the joy of the holiday season to our community children,” said Bryan Kisiel, the chamber's treasurer and past president.

“What better way to leverage the generosity of the many event sponsors and everyone who volunteered and attended the Christmas in the Park event than to support a program to make sure our community children are warm this winter. We appreciate everyone's generosity and support of this chamber event which in turn benefits our community,” said Kisiel.

“There is a great need in Connellsville, and it has been met with a greater generosity. This wonderful donation from the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce will mean that 61 children will have a warm winter. The children that receive these coats have been selected through our food pantry, guidance counselors, churches and other ministries. Every child needs to know they are loved and cared for. This is a community with a large heart, and we see it shining through this donation,” said Shelly Auer, assistant director at CACM.

The Connellsville Wal-Mart assisted the chamber on providing the coats to Connellsville Area Community Ministries.

Chip Rowan, director of Connellsville Area Community Ministries, said the coats will be distributed to families who participate in its food pantry and other ministries.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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