NATIONAL NEWSPAPER WEEK: Giving back is a Gazette tradition
You may not always realize it, but there are a multitude of ways the Gazette supports the community, both financially and through volunteer efforts. Here are a few of the more visible efforts that the newspaper is involved in.
CARE & SHARE DAY
For 26 years, The Indiana Gazette has partnered with the Indiana County Community Action Program for Care & Share Day, the primary fundraiser and food collection program for ICCAP’s food bank.
Relying on the kindness of readers, a brown paper bag is inserted into the Gazette, to be filled with canned goods and nonperishable items.
Monetary donations are also collected.
Food donations go directly to the people in need of some help in Indiana County. And cash helps ensure that ICCAP is able to continue to provide it.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY
Part of a national effort, Make a Difference Day, sponsored by USA Weekend and locally by the Gazette, also aids the county’s hungry through support for the Indiana County Community Action Program.
Volunteers from various groups, such as schools and churches, collect donations at county grocery stores.
A staple event in the community for 37 years, the Gazette’s annual Indiana’s Cookin’ show is a night of food and fun to benefit ICCAP through the Gazette and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The annual show offers cooking demonstrations, samples and recipes through IUP’s Academy of Culinary Arts and IUP’s Department of Food & Nutrition.
TREASURES FOR CHILDREN
Sponsored by the Gazette and administered through The Salvation Army, Treasures for Children is now in its 29th year.
The program ensures that children in Indiana County in need have presents to open on Christmas morning and matches children whose families face financial hardships during the holiday season with gift-givers through trees set up at area businesses. One of the chief volunteers over the years has been Linda Donnelly, wife of president and publisher Michael Donnelly.
LIGHT UP NIGHT
The “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival and Parade” is the official kickoff to the holiday season in downtown Indiana and offers the community an evening of family fun.
Events include a parade, tree-lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa at the courthouse.
The festival, parade and events are sponsored by Downtown Indiana Inc. and the Lucy Donnelly Memorial Fund, which also supports the white holiday lights that line the exterior of more than 50 downtown buildings. The late Lucy Donnelly was co-owner and co-publisher of the newspaper for 23 years.
PHOTOS: Joe O'Dell, a volunteer with the Treasures for Children program, checked that donated presents were labeled properly during last year’s collection and distribution. (Tom Peel/Gazette photo)
Amanda Slupski served up a pasta dessert made with chocolate and peanut butter for attendees of the Indiana’s Cookin’ show, from left, Annette Patterson, of Export, and Heather Flowers and Candy Streams, of Indiana. (Jamie Empfield/Gazette photo)
Members of the St. Thomas More Parish Youth Group — from left, Zach Palko, Maddie Jones and Bethany Balencic — collected a donation from Jonathan Love, of Indiana, during Make A Difference Day last year. (Mike Walker/Gazette photo)
Santa Claus waved to the crowd at the “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival and Parade” from atop a fire engine during the holiday season. (James J. Nestor/Gazette photo)
JoAnn Rager, a volunteer for Care & Share Day from AARP Chapter 552, sorted food and other items as donations poured into the ICCAP warehouse. (James J. Nestor/Gazette photo)