It's a banner year for chamber

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce will again hang approximately 70 new street banners throughout Connellsville in May.

This year's theme honors chamber member businesses that have been owned by a local family for 50 or more years.

Businesses that will be honored are Brooks Funeral Home (66 years), Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant (67 years), Faris Distributing Co. (73 years,) Fiesta Insurance (58 years), The Grasso Greenhouses (87 years), Lynn's Dairy Queen (62 years), Pechin Enterprises (66 years) Scottdale Bank and Trust Co. (113 years), Spotto's Hardware (77 years), Stefano's Printing (56 years), Stone and Company (90 years) and Tinker Associates (77 years).

Each business and years of operation will appear individually on its banner, the number of which will be determined by banner sales this year.

Banner sponsor names will appear at the base of the banner.

Anyone can sponsor a banner — businesses, clubs, churches, organizations and individuals.

The program has been popular for many years and there are many dedicated entities who participate in this chamber project year after year, often sponsoring more than one banner.

“The first banner in 1984 was to recognize and honor the Connellsville Charter Bicentennial. The street banners were a part of that celebration,” said Tony Grasso, chamber board secretary and the banner project organizer for more than 30 years.

Some of the past banners have included Connellsville Garden Club's Geranium Festival, Connellsville Area Historical Society's Braddock's Crossing, Carnegie Free Library, Mozart Club, The Molinaro Band, Harold Betters and many more. Each design has been unique in its depiction of a noteworthy anniversary or acknowledgement of a group, individual or historical event in Connellsville's history.

Banners are hung by Memorial Day so that they brighten and beautify the streets to welcome visitors prior to Connellsville's many summer activities.

“We are banner sponsors every year because it is a chance to celebrate what is great about our community and beautify our streetscape at the same time. You only get one chance to make a good first impression for the perspective residents and business owners entering our community through one of our main corridors. This program helps to make that good first impression and also promotes pride in our community,” said Bryan Kisiel, of Kisiel & Associates, chamber treasurer and past president.

The number of banners hung depends on the number sold so the chamber makes an effort to sell as many as possible in order to display as many as possible throughout town.

If desired, sponsors may claim their banners next year when the 2015 banners are installed. Notify the chamber of your request.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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