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Ligonier endowment grants boost festival, fort, fitness programs |

Ligonier endowment grants boost festival, fort, fitness programs

Jeff Himler
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Sophomore Alex Tomack plays violin with the Derry Area High School marching band Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, while the Fort Ligonier Days parade makes its way through downtown Ligonier.

The Ligonier Valley Endowment has awarded four grants totaling $33,250 for the first quarter of 2019, including money to help mark the anniversary of the annual Fort Ligonier Days festival next fall.

A $25,000 grant will help Fort Ligonier Days Inc. prepare a special project to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its popular festival, set for Oct. 11-13.

“We’re thrilled to receive a grant,” said Bill Stablein, chairman emeritus of the festival committee. “It’s going to be for an enhancement to the diamond anniversary of Fort Ligonier Days.”

Planners have yet to determine the nature of that enhancement, Stablein said. “The potential is there for a number of different things,” he said.

The festival commemorates the Battle of Fort Ligonier, a local engagement of the French and Indian War on Oct. 12, 1758. Plans for this year’s event include a parade, live entertainment, craft and food booths, wine tasting, merchant sidewalk sales and a 5K race.

Symphony concert set for fort

An endowment grant of $3,000 was approved for the Fort Ligonier Association, to help underwrite the cost of a free June 29 Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra concert at historic Fort Ligonier. Other sponsors are being sought for the 7 p.m. performance, which will bring to a close the symphony’s 50th anniversary season.

The program will include some colonial music, recalling the era when the original fort was constructed as a British outpost in Western Pennsylvania.

“The WSO was formed out of a desire to have more live orchestral opportunities for our local neighbors,” said Endicott Reindl, executive director of the Greensburg-based orchestra. “It was clear to the symphony that our neighbors in Ligonier are ardent supporters of music and we are glad to be able to return to historic Ft. Ligonier to present a free summer concert.”

The symphony’s last scheduled appearance at the fort, in 2015, was canceled by rain. But that won’t be a problem now, according to Julie Donovan, director of marketing and public relations at the fort.

Ideally, she explained, the orchestra will perform on the patio of the fort museum while attendees, who may bring lawn chairs or blankets, will be seated in the lower area of the reconstructed fort. In case of rain, the event will move inside the museum’s new Center for History Education.

Support for strength training

Bethlen Communities’ Graceful Aging Wellness Center in Ligonier Township received a $2,850 endowment grant to introduce a new “Iron Cupcake” fitness program for menopausal and post-menopausal women. Center director Cathy Graham explained the 20-week program will have spots for 20 women to engage in strength training for improved strength, mobility, flexibility and posture.

The program is expected to begin in May, with an initial $30 fee per participant. Contact [email protected] for details.

Rope-jumping team to get gear

HT High Flyers, a competitive jump rope team based in Ligonier, received a $2,400 endowment grant for uniforms, team bags, jump ropes and replacement cables.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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