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No rest for Blehart

| Friday, Sept. 9, 2005

Kathryn Blehart's dedication to her community didn't end with retirement.

At 85, she is still working on projects to promote and enhance Rostraver Township.

"I have always felt Rostraver had so much potential," said the charter member of the Rostraver Business Association.

Still active in that organization, among others, Blehart said she likes to work on projects she "can sink my teeth into."

One such project is the planned Rostraver Public Library.

As a founding member and president of the Friends of the Rostraver Library, Blehart is focusing much of her energy on the funding drive for the new building.

"Many people don't realize that the state money available is as matching funds," she said.

"Only by getting contributions at the local level can we get the money from the state."

Blehart said a library fund-raiser is scheduled each month.

"We plan to break ground soon, and this new building will be important to the community," she said.

She said the new facility will allow library officials to expand programs and increase the size of the collection.

"We have a large Storytime Program and we want to make sure that ample sessions are available and convenient for the children as well as the parents," she said.

The library currently is housed in the Fellsburg Church building.

Blehart said the new library will be quite different from the original Rostraver book depository, which was located in the basement of the old Lebanon School.

"At that time, the only books that we had were donated by the local Womens' Club," she said. "It was all volunteers; no paid staff."

The library is just one of Blehart's many community projects.

She is vice president of the local Concerned Citizens group, which sponsors meet the candidate nights.

"This is a growing community and there are important issues that need to be discussed," she said.

As a former business owner in Rostraver Township, Blehart said she is hopeful the township will continue to grow commercially.

"What I would like to see are more entrepreneurs setting up shop here," she said. "The small business owner is important to any community."

Blehart is active in the annual Fun Fest at Cedar Creek Park and is a member of the Concord Methodist Church.

The civic minded Rostraver resident summed up her reasons for maintaining a leadership role in many community organizations and initiatives: "I believe that if you don't use it, you lose it."

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