Community Chest kicks off drive
Cranberry Eagle
Written by:
October 29, 2012
WHAT: The Connoquenessing Valley Community Chest is a nonprofi t organization that raises money for the Zelienople Community Park, the Southwestern Butler County Food Cupboard, Meals on Wheels and the Zelienople Public Library.
TO HELP: Donations can be mailed to: Connoquenessing Valley Community Chest, P.O. Box 343, Zelienople, PA 16063 or made through Paypal at the website:
INFORMATION: Call Pat Murray at 724-452-4513, email or visit the group's website at

ZELIENOPLE — The Connoquenessing Valley Community Chest has kicked off its annual fundraising effort this week with the goal of raising at least $35,000 to benefit several community organizations.

The effort last year exceeded its goal, raising $45,000, and has exceeded its goal for the past several years running.

In the past four years, because of the generosity of area residents and the business community, more than $175,000 has been raised to help the local charities, said board member Pat Murray.

Residents of the Zelienople and Harmony areas had received their initial Community Chest donation brochure in the mail this past week. The fund drive will run through mid-January.

It raises money for the Zelienople Community Park, the Southwestern Butler County Food Cupboard, Meals on Wheels and the Zelienople Public Library. These organizations provide services to Zelienople, Harmony and Lancaster and Jackson townships.

“There has been a great revitalization in the Community Chest and a large amount of energy and drive in the board,” said Mary Hess, a member of the Zelienople Park Board. “Without them, we would struggle to get a lot of projects done at the park.”

The funds raised have helped the park board renovate its snack bar and help fund the $92,000 resurfacing work at the basketball and tennis courts.

At the Zelienople Library, Murray said, the donations have helped the library keep some of the children's programming running despite state funding cuts in recent years.

Murray said at Meals on Wheels, the group has been able to avoid raising meal prices for its program participants for the past several years.

“All 100 percent of the money raised goes to those groups. We have an all-volunteer board,” said Murray. “And we're always looking for more volunteers.”

This year, Murray said he hopes some new people in the community come forward and support the organization and its recipients.

“We consistently have people that have supported the Community Chest, which is really great,” said Murray. “I would like to see some of the newer and younger people of the community to get involved and help out the community. They can help support these community organizations and ensure they can continue to provide their services to the community for years to come.”

In addition to individual donations, the Community Chest has a “club level” donating program, which has gold, silver and bronze levels, that has been popular and recognizes donation efforts of both individuals and businesses.

The Springfield Group of Restaurants, which includes the Log Cabin Inn, provides a $25 gift certificate for those joining the $250 to $499 club level and $50 gift certificate for more than $500.

“They've been a big supporter of the Community Chest and have given out a lot of gift certificates since the program started,” said Murray.