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Foundation raising funds to furnish Bethel Park community center

| Thursday, April 12, 2007

Now that ground has been broken for the addition to the Bethel Park Community Center, fundraising efforts are under way to furnish and equip the building.

The Bethel Park Community Foundation has embarked on two projects to raise money -- the sale of commemorative tiles and a car cruise and craft festival.

"We wanted to involve the whole community in the fundraising for amenities in the new recreation center, so we asked the Bethel Park Community Foundation for help," Bethel Park Councilman Mark O'Brien said.

Judy Lorigan, committee chairwoman for the tile sale, said the foundation developed plans for a "Hall of Honor" that will be housed in the hallway connecting the existing and new portions of the building.

"This is similar to the 'Brick-by-Brick' campaign used for Phase I of the community center," Lorigan said. The commemorative bricks are incorporated in a curved wall beside the sidewalk leading to the entrance of the existing building and in the lobby.

Tiles available for the new fundraiser include 4-inch-by-4-inch tiles for $100 and 8-inch-by-8-inch ones for $500. They will be displayed in a mural designed by Mark Edelmann of EPM Architecture, Bradford Woods, the project designer. Contributors of amounts above $1,000 will be included in a special section of the mural. Contributions are tax deductible.

"Our goal is to raise $125,000 from the sale of ceramic tiles that can be purchased and inscribed with the names of families, businesses, teams or friends of Bethel Park," Lorigan said.

Order forms will be available in local publications and in local businesses.

The money raised will go for a variety of items, including basketball backboards, volleyball equipment, a scoreboard, bleachers, divider curtains and lockers.

The foundation is planning a festival fundraiser. The South Park Summer Rev Up and Roll Car Cruise and Craft Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 24.

"I like having fun, so planning the car cruise and craft fair is exciting. There will be lots of fun things to do that day," said Andy Amrhein, the chairman for the event. "The response we're getting has been so good that we've doubled the size of this year's event already. We're talking about doing this again in 2008."

The event will feature antique and classic cars, motorcycles and pickups on display at the South Park Oval, as well as a juried craft show.

"We wanted quality crafters for this show," said Kristin Normile, craft show chairwoman and a foundation trustee.

The festival will feature food from several vendors and music by local bands, such as "American Pie," "Mad Hatter" and "The Drive-By Fix," Normile said.

The Bethel Park Police Pals annual Fun Day for children is being incorporated into the June 24 event and will feature a bicycle safety program, a display of police and emergency vehicles and games.

The event will raise money through things such as crafter's fees, raffles and food sales.

"We expect to raise $40,000 to $50,000 for amenities like furniture and snack bar equipment," Amrhein said.

He is looking forward to a big turnout.

"This will be the biggest event held in South Park in several years, second only to the rib cookoff," he said. "It should be fun for everyone."

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