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Etna Center for Community completes fundraising for building acquisition

On January 28th, we were notified that the Etna Center for Community (ECC) was awarded $175,000 in building acquisition funding from the Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED) through the Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund (GETDF) grant program. These grants are highly competitive and we are extremely grateful that the project's application was strongly advocated for by Senator Lindsey Williams and Representative Sara Innamorato. The staff at both ACED and PA Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED) have been tremendous and patient "coaches" as we are first-time applicants to many of these complex grants.

Together with the match commitment of $100,000 from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, $25,000 from the DCED's Neighborhood Partnership Project, $10,000 from the Fugh Foundation, $5,000 from the Tippins Foundation, $4,000 from the Triboro Ecodistrict, and over $64,000 donations from local individuals and families, ECO now has the funds to purchase the building for the future Etna Center for Community. If it sounds like we are cobbling together funding from this place and that, its true; that's just how these big, ambitious community projects happen. The building acquisition step is one of the biggest milestones on the path to developing the ECC, and it could not have been accomplished without the hard work and determination of ECC's Capital Campaign Committee Chair, Mary Ellen Ramage. Not only does Mary Ellen serve as the Etna Borough Manager and ECO's Vice Board Chair, she has been on this ECC journey since its inception and has been a tireless advocate for returning library service and a community library space to Etna.

The fundraising for acquisition comes on the heels of another $100,000 grant we received last month from DCED's Keystone Communities Program (also secured through support from Rep. Innamorato and Sen. Williams). This grant is the first major step on our way to raising the funds for renovation - an estimated cost of $2.5 million. There is still a long way to go to raise the funds necessary for building design and renovation, but we're relieved and ecstatic to be through acquisition fundraising. In the interim time following acquisition but before renovation, we hope to be offering programming at the building through our collaboration with the Millvale Community Library, Millvale Borough, and Etna Borough.

We hope that every Etna resident can be as excited as we are to be one step further to achieving our dream of bringing a library and community center to Etna Borough.

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