Archive for the ‘Clarion County’ Category


First Photograph, left to right: Jamie Lafever, Trenton Moulin, and Mike Vereb. Mike and Sally Vereb hosted the September 17th meeting of the Clarion County Community Foundation Board of Directors at Lincoln Hall, a historic performance space above the Foxburg Free Library. Sally made pizzas and chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen of the Button House and brought them across the street to our delight. The Board has never been treated so well or met in so charming a space.

Second Photograph, left to right: Barry McCauliff, Bill Kaufman, Janice Horn, and Hal Wassink. Following our meeting we toured the Button House, a Depression Era home of double plank construction Mike and Sally have restored and decorated in period furnishings to display some of Sally’s vast collection of buttons.

Third Photograph, left to right: Jamie Lafever, Clara Belloit, Jerry Belloit, and Sally Vereb. Sally gave us a brief introduction and then we wandered throughout the house. The buttons decorate every room and are organized by time, fashion, material, and subject matter.

Fourth Photograph, altogether: Charles Marlin and Sally Vereb. We asked lots of questions and had an aw-shucks time. It would be difficult not to enjoy a tour of the Button House which Sally offers during the summer months. Call her at (724) 659-0180 or do the email thing at buttons@thebuttonhouse.com

Fifth Photograph: Depression Era aprons at the Button House. The tours are free; but there is a “Donations Appreciated” bowl in the living room. You can skip the bowl if you bring Sally a bag of buttons; or as I discovered, Sally has a second weakness for Depression-Style aprons. Find her a good one, and bring it along.

Please don’t expect Sally to make pizzas for you as she only does that for very “special” occasions. Around the corner from the Button House is the Foxburg Pizza Place, the Allegheny Grille, Foxburg Wine Cellars, and Divani Chocolatier (and ice cream parlor). You will not leave Foxburg hungry. Charles Marlin

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Funds started by former superintendents

PHOTO L-R: Former Clarion Superintendents Dr. George White, Dr. Joseph Fotos, and Dr. William Kaufman created the Bobcat Funds to receive and disburse monies to benefit students of the Clarion Area School District.

The Clarion County Community Foundation and Bridge Builders Community Foundations have partnered to establish a family of funds designed to receive and disburse monies to benefit students of the Clarion Area School District.

The Clarion Area Bobcat Funds are two specific funds established to provide a framework for the creation of additional funds.  The initial funds are: the Bobcat General Scholarship Fund and the Bobcat Undesignated Fund.

The General Scholarship Fund is an endowed fund restricted to fund income in excess of a minimum market value principal of $100,000.

The Undesignated Fund is a non-endowed fund with no distribution restrictions from principal or income sources.  Initiatives this fund will support include arts programs, student activities, school-community partnerships, and innovative instructional practices.

Dr. Bill Kaufman, a former Clarion Area school District superintendent and board president of the Clarion County Community Foundation and member of the Bridge Builders board of trustees is pleased to have these two funds available for students in the Clarion community.

It’s important to have a long-range plan for supporting students in our community.  We need to make sure we have the resources needed to ensure students have opportunities to benefit from an enhanced educational experience.”

The funds were created by former Clarion superintendents including Kaufman, Dr. George White, and Dr. Joseph Fotos.  Kaufman adds, “George had the idea for a foundation-type group and I approached the Clarion County Community Foundation and Bridge Builders since I serve on their boards.  George and I asked Joe Fotos to work with us, and the result of our discussions was the establishment of the Bobcat Funds.  Moving forward, Dr. White will lead efforts to promote public awareness and develop a plan for raising funds.”

A steering committee will provide oversight for all the Bobcat Funds’ operations and activities.  This committee will consist of Clarion Area School District alumni, faculty, board members, administrators, and retired educators, plus a representative of the foundation.  Initial steering committee members will be selected by the fund creators.  “We all received a lot from our service as superintendents, and this is a great way for us to collectively give back.”

Bridge Builders Executive Director, Trenton Moulin, says, “We are seeing more student-focused funds being established regionally, and the Bobcat Funds will be a nice addition to the Clarion community overall by providing the type of funding that can support educational, cultural, and community programs for students outside of the school’s programs.”

Duties of the Steering Committee will be: oversight for activities within the family of Bobcat Funds, fundraising and asset development, creation of additional funds, recommendations for expenditures within the family of Bobcat Funds, promotion of Bobcat Funds’ purposes and programs, input for growth and expansion of Bobcat Funds, and coordination of its activities with the Clarion County Community Foundation.

The Steering Committee will meet as needed but not less than once per year to review Bobcat Funds’ activities.  The funds will be used to benefit students, and not to supplement the funding of programs by the Clarion Area School District.

Students and organizations that support programs and activities designed to directly benefit students may apply to be recipients of the Bobcat Funds’ grants.  Disbursement of funds will be to non-profit organizations solely.  Educational entities, political subdivisions and 501(c)3 non-profit groups may receive funds that support student activities, programs or educational opportunities.

Additional funds that may be created under Bobcat Funds are: scholarship funds, field of interest funds, and donor advised funds.  Additional funds may be endowed or non-endowed as determined by the fund creators.  Every type of fund, either endowed or non-endowed, may be created as a memorial fund.

                        Contributions of any amount can be mailed to:       

                              Bridge Builders Community Foundations
                              206 Seneca Street
                              National Transit Building, Suite 10
                              Oil City, PA 16301

Please include  a memo for Bobcat Fund, and which fund you are contributing to: endowed or non-endowed.  Contributions may be made in honor of an individual or organization.  Donations received to support any of the Bobcat Funds are fully tax deductible donations under applicable federal and state laws.

More information is online at http://www.BridgeBuildersCommunityFoundations.org.


If you have any questions contact:

                   Mr. Trenton E. Moulin, Executive Director

                    Bridge Builders Community Foundations

                               206 Seneca Street

                    Transit Building Annex – Suite 10

                              Oil City, PA    16301

                         Telephone: (814) 677-8687

                     E-mail: execdirbbcf@gmail.com

     Foundations’ Website:   http://bridgebuilderscommunityfoundations.org/

                       Trenton E. Moulin, Executive Director

                 Bridge Builders Community Foundations Inc.
                          Clarion County Community Foundation
                           Forest County Community Foundation
                           Venango Area Community Foundation
                                               206 Seneca Street
                               National Transit Building Annex, Suite 10
                                               Oil City, PA 16301
                    “Your VisionYour PassionYour Legacy


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3 members  2

Clarion County Community Foundation, at the July 17th meeting of the Board of Directors, elected Hal Wassink to the Board to serve in the 13 March 2016 Class.  Pictured at the meeting, from left to right, are William Kaufman, President of the Board; Trenton Moulin, Executive Director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations; and Hal Wassink.  Hal and his wife Brenda live in Knox PA.  Welcome to the Board, Hal.

We are in our seventh year of service to Clarion County; and are always happy to welcome new community volunteers to our Board and other activities.  Contact any Board member for details and a personal invitation to our meetings.  Charles Marlin

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The Board of Directors of the Clarion County Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting on March 20th, our sixth since or founding 13 March 2007.  As part of our anniversary we placed a flower on the graves of those who are honored by memorial funds and those who have established a fund.

We elected to second terms of two years the officers of the Board: President Bill Kaufman, Vice President Charles Marlin, Treasurer Jerry Belloit, and Secretary Clara Belloit.  Our current Trustees on the Board of Bridge Builders Community Foundations are serving terms that expire 13 March 2015.  We elected the 13 March 2016 class of directors: Janice Horn, Jamie Lefever, Andy Montana, and Sally Vereb.

We hope to recruit three additional members to the Board; and extend an invitation to anyone interested in the work of the community foundation to contact our president, Bill Kaufman at (814) 229-8622.  Two members, Nancy Ambrose and Bill Rupert, retired at the end of their terms, and shall be missed.  Nancy Ambrose was a Founding Director of CCCF.

Following the election, the Board took three actions which must now be given final approval by the BBCF Trustees.  First, we changed the CCCF Bylaws to eliminate the restriction on the number of terms a Director may serve if elected; and to allow officers of the Board to serve two consecutive terms of two years.

Second, we approved the Adam Weeter Memorial Scholarship Fund for Keystone High School Seniors.  It will be a $2,000. scholarship, beginning this year.

Third, we approved a joint grant to the Clarion Y, a satellite of the Oil City Y, of $250 from CCCF, to be added to $750 from the Venango Area Community Foundation.  Charles Marlin

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Clarion County Community Foundation has two new members on the Board of Diirectors.  They are, on the left, Greg Faller, Clarion County Democratic Commissioner and Fryburg community leader; and Andy Montana, owner of Ace Montana Realty in Clarion.  We welcome them to the Board and thank them for their dedicated interest in providing trusteeship for scholarships and endowed trusts in Clarion County.

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As World War II was coming to a close, twenty-four U.S. soldiers crashed into the New Guinea mountains while on a sightseeing excursion.  Curiously enough, the plane was on its way to fly over a recently discovered hidden valley untouched by the modern world.  The twenty-one men and women who were killed included nine Women’s Army Corps (WAC) members.  One of those, Laura Earline Besley, was a local Pennsylvania woman from Shippenville.

On May 13, 1945, Ms Besley was one of only four not to perish in the actual crash, but sadly she died the next day from what were probably internal injuries.  Lost in Shangri-La, by Mitchell Zuckoff, details that experience and the ongoing story of the three survivors, who faced severe burns, the harsh conditions of a mountain jungle, and indigenous people thought to be violent and dangerous.  The book goes on to recount one of the most interesting and unusual rescue missions of World War II.

I was inspired to read Lost in Shangri-La because of the local connection to Laura Besley.  If one is looking to learn about her and her demise this book is a good place to start.  The Clarion County Historical Society has an informative display for anyone interested in the particulars of this story as they pertain to Ms Besley.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the way the author depicted the cultural clash and misunderstandings among the soldiers, the rescuers, and the natives.  The book informs and entertains with rich anthropological details about the Dani, a supposedly war mongering people who were completely isolated from the rest of the world.

At first, the author emphasized the potential brutality of Stone Age cannibals who smear their bodies in pig grease and wear genital gourds.  As I am sensitive to the stereotypes towards native people, I found this depiction to be jarring, but over the course of the story I came to believe the author portrays the Dani in a fair and interesting way.

The author’s language can be stark, but it is meant to represent the attitudes and ideals of the times, capturing a period of transition in how we in the modern West imagine the exotic cultures in the hidden corners of the world.  On the other hand, the author’s sympathetic portrayal of the Phillipino-American soldiers who volunteered for the rescue mission is somewhat less telling about the attitudes of the times.

One should not underestimate the research behind these kinds of historical accounts, and I applaud the author for his devotion to historical accuracy.  On occasion, however, I wished for a more literary interpretation of the events.  There were times when the writing felt too much like a no-nonsense account from a field reporter.

No matter if one is a lover of history, or simply enjoys a good adventure story, Lost in Shangri-La does not disappoint.  This kind of creative non-fiction writing is an enjoyable way to access the richness of history.  Joe Occhipinti

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The Tri-County Animal Rescue Center Inc. has established a fund contract with the Clarion County Community Foundation, an affiliate of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, for the creation of the Tri-County Animal Rescue Center Legacy Fund.  This means friends of the Center who wish to make a bequest to the Center in their will, or to make another type of planned giving, or to support the fund now, have a legal document in place to protect their gift in perpetuity.

The Community Foundation will be the nonprofit, community directed, public trustee for the fund, charged with prudently investing donations, protecting and growing the principal , and returning to the Center income from the fund.  If anyone would like a copy of the fund contract to study, stop in at the Center and they will be happy to give you a copy.

The Center opened December 3, 2011, in the freshly painted and refurbished building of the former animal shelter at 9562 Rt 322, Shippenville PA, between the junctions of Rt 208 to the West and Rt 66 to the East.  It is a dedicated no-kill rescue and placement center.  The officers and volunteers are careful to not take in animals if space is not available.

It is a sad truth there are more companion animals than there are responsible pet owners; but it is an article of faith at the Center that there are many potentially wonderful pet owners in every community for whom the Center has the perfect animal waiting to be adopted.

The Center needs volunteers to help care for the animals at the Center and to keep the place clean and healthy.  The Center needs donors to help cover the expenses of running an active center.  The Center needs potential owners to come in and fall in love with their future pet.

Currently the Center is licensed to care for cats only, but has renovations planned so they can be licensed for dogs and to run a foster care program.  The renovations await future donations to cover the costs.  The Center also has a low cost spay and neuter program for cats.  For information about this program, please call the Center.

If a pet owner is having a hard time paying for their pet’s food, the Center has a pet food bank that works just like people food banks.  When in stock, the Center has dog food and cat food.  Stop in to take advantage of this program.

To visit, donate, or volunteer, call (814) 918-2032 for their hours, or contact them at contactus@tricounty-arc.org  If visiting, look for their sign with the cat & dog logo.



Our pictures include all of the Center tee shirt colors available; Bill Kaufman, President of CCCF, and Patty Laswick, President of Tri-County signing the fund contract; the officers of Tri-County, from left to right, Carol Lanzoni, Secretary and Treasurer, Debbie Stephens, Vice-President and Medical/Foster Manager, and Patty Laswick with Bill Kaufman standing behind the officers.

Then to touch your heart, Carol Lanzoni is holding up a kitten who is looking for you.  Other kittens in the fight for your heart are also shown.  Charles Marlin

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Hail to the chef, The Cricket Inn on Rt 322 between the Marianne Estates and Shippenville PA is a great soup-and-sandwich shop.  For the old timers, it’s where Judy’s Motel once stood, that later became The Keg & Crate, and then burned down.  The Cricket is in a section of the old motel, with bright yellow doors.

Dave Woolslayer, graduate of Clarion University and Community College of Allegheny County, opened last June, and keeps hours 7 to 7, Tuesday through Saturday.  You can order takeout at 782-3355, but you will miss the fun of eating in.  The decor has a little bit of everything for a friendly, funny atmosphere.  Just when have you dined under Picasso’s Guernica?  Never, I bet.  If you plan ahead, he does cakes and pies to order.

I can personally attest to the tasty Crabby Club that could hold its own on the East coast.  I also enjoyed the Grilled Meatloaf sandwich on dark, marble bread with spicy Dijon mustard.  I have had three of his own soups: Potato, Ham & Pea, and Mulligatawny, each excellent.

If you really plan ahead you can order the Cricket Special.  The organic, cage free crickets are shipped live, dipped in a very light batter, then lowered into hot oil with an Asian strainer for less than a minute.  I am not allowed to say how he lifts the fragile cluster out of the strainer on to paper towels and then to an arranged bed of fancy lettuce on a presentation plate, dressed with drizzled pomegranate sauce.  If there are crickets separate from the cluster, they are arranged as though guarding the cluster.



If you like to eat in local spots where you know who does the cooking and serving, you can talk to the big one who brings your minus because the big one is Dave.  Charles Marlin

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The Mary E. Shaner Scholarships for 2011 were recently awarded; and they went to Katie Kohlenberg who plans to attend Clarion University, Bryan Botts who plans to attend Clarion University, and James Gillen who plans to attend Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

In the photograph, from left to right, are Katie Kohlenberg, KHS Principal Vicky Walters, Bryan Botts, and James Gillen.

Mary E. Shaner was a life time resident of the Knox area.  Her career was spent first in local classrooms, and then as librarian at Keystone High School, Knox PA.  A bequest in her will established the scholarship fund at Keystone that bears her name, entrusted to the Clarion County Community Foundation, an affiliate of Bridge Builders Community Foundations.  Charles Marlin

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If you love using native plants in your garden and landscaping, mark your calendar June 14th and 15th, 9am-7pm at C & A Trees, 2.5 miles south of Clarion on Rt 68, a great place year round and host for this fund-raiser for the Seneca Rocks Audubon Society.  With 30 perennials, 3 vines, and 25 shrubs/small trees to choose from you will not go home empty-handed.

This our second post of plant images, so please back up and check out Clarion County Native Plant Sale.  Charles Marlin

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