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Former Holy Trinity Church property makes unique home

Dawn Law
| Monday, June 21, 2010

Tom and Nancy Donchez get a lot of compliments on the fabulous restoration of their West Church Street home in Ligonier.

Except it's not a renovation. It's reuse of former Holy Trinity Church property.

The brick three-bedroom has the same charm and comfy front porch as older homes on the quiet, tree-lined street, but it was constructed in 2009, one of four condominiums planned on the site.

Since moving from the country, Donchez said he and his wife enjoy a stroll to Abigail's each morning for coffee, and not having to mow grass.

"We're quite pleased," he said Saturday, as he and Nancy greeted guests as a part of the 2010 Inside Ligonier Home Tour. "We're in town. We can walk anywhere."

The house is spacious and airy, with shining granite countertops and teak floors.

Peggy Shepler and Wendy Piper, with her daughter, Amanda, marveled over the master bedroom bath equipped with an overhead rain shower.

Joe Herbert hung out in the bonus room over the garage, which has a wet bar, access to the video and sound security system, and a full bath.

A generous window overlooks the rear, which will feature a fenced garden, and a sunroom makes a cozy reading nook.

Don and Kim Kramer chatted with visitors upstairs. Don, listing agent with Glenn Cook Real Estate, displayed floor plans for the next available condominium on West Church Street.

"I think you're going to see this more and more in Ligonier," Kramer said.

Chairwoman Kristin Poerschke said the tour of five properties, a benefit for the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce and Ligonier Valley Historical Society, drew 260 people.

Young Crowd Gathers for conTempo

Hip. Cool. Those words all describe the conTempo event at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. But the best word to use is "successful."

Organizers Jessica Zamiska and Katie Barnard planned a night to remember. And that is exactly what they are hoping the young crowd that gathered there Thursday night will do.

"We want them to keep coming back!" Zamiska said.

Bands Lovebettie, Chances Are High and Race the Ghost jammed outside, while photographer Fred Findley from Fine Line Multimedia set up a Hollywood-style photo shoot inside. Artists swapped works that were otherwise lying around the house. A do-it-yourself art station featured bedazzled tote bags, and a scavenger hunt encouraged the crowd to find special details in the works featured in the museum's biennial exhibit.

"We wanted to get young people to come here and see the awesome exhibits," Barnard said. Museum Director Judith Hansen O'Tool e said their planning worked!

-- Jennifer Miele

Main Street Music Night

Irwin knows how to jam. It seemed like every block had a band at the summer's first Third Thursday Art & Jazz Nite.

Dave Cremonese and Pittsburgh jazz legend Harold Betters played at 4th and Main, Ray Morretton at the Cheesecake Caffe, Thom Book 's venue was the Colonial Grille Tap Room and Rick Struzzi and Jason Hollar rocked Cafe Supreme.

Local artists lined the streets while visitors buzzed from store to store on a shoppe crawl. Shawn and Danae Martina stopped for a caricature of their girls, Eva and Elizabeth. Mike and Geralyn DeFelice enjoyed a smoothie donated by Sheetz.

Yoga Lounge owner Christen Moleton, Joyce Dean of Victorian Treasurers and Bill Waldsmith, owner of Pamela's Cards, Gifts and Crafts, said the turnout gave a big boost to business, all thanks to the motivated members of the Irwin Project, and sponsors S&T Bank, Duncan Financial Group, First Niagara, Jim Ryan and Gail Macioce, who also took a turn at the mic.

And they plan to do it again on July 15 from 5-11pm.

Other Irwin notables enjoying the night: Mike Pochan, Debbie Kelly, Dan Rose, Peggie Watson, John Duncan, Dave Brough and Donn Henderson.

-- Jennifer Miele

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