The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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June 11, 2013

Groups touting projects

Nonprofits setting up booths at free concert

JOHNSTOWN — There will be both rocking good times and educational opportunities available for music fans attending the 10,000 Maniacs concert at Peoples Natural Gas Park on Friday.

Accompanying the show, more than a dozen nonprofit organizations, including the event’s sponsors – Lift Johnstown, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and Johnstown Area Heritage Association – plan to set up booths and teach concertgoers about ways they work to improve the region.

“They’re going to be explaining what they’re doing and encouraging people to get engaged in the community and make a difference,” said Brad Clemenson, coordinator of Lift Johnstown, an umbrella organization that assists other nonprofits in their endeavors.

Mike Kane, president and executive director of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, added, “(We’ll) be able to talk about these projects, to celebrate them and to celebrate communities. It’s kind of a kickoff to the summer, as projects move forward. ... It’s a great opportunity to talk about them and get more people involved.”

The free concert, which is scheduled to begin with an opening-act performance by Johnstown-based Smooth Sound at 6:15 p.m., was one of many subjects discussed during a Lift Johnstown stakeholder meeting and green drinks social at Jake’s Pub & Grill inside The Galleria on Tuesday.

Representatives of several local nonprofits, including Kane and Clemenson, talked about subjects as broad-ranging as the arts, education, economic development, community gardens, the Greater Prospect Store Co-Op, volunteerism, parks, trails, robotics and the Route 56 downtown gateway. Kane complimented the organizations for working to “lift Johnstown with this big goal of recreating or reinventing Johnstown as a small vibrant city.”

Clemenson provided an update about Lift’s new Volunteer Spotlight Award.

Nominations for the initial award will be accepted at lift-johns- through the end of August.

“We think we’re going to get a lot of interesting nominations,” Clemenson said.

The goal of the award is to honor dedicated volunteers. The first recipient is scheduled to be announced in September.

Lift plans to name multiple honorees per year going forward.

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