All posts tagged venango county

Toys for Tots Puts Some “Fun” in Fundraising

Fundraising can be a difficult task; whether you are on the side of asking, or you are dealing with many requests for donations.  Every campaign is important, in supporting an organization, cause, or often an individual in need, but no business can give to everyone.  So how do you inspire excitement around the fundraising you are involved in?

Just look to the current Toys for Tots campaign and you can’t help but smile at the success. Businesses throughout Venango County have found fun and successful ways to encourage giving.

The Toys for Tots program, hosted by VFW Post 464, has distributed collection boxes throughout the county, including many Venango Chamber members. Several are participating in the Franklin Retail Association’s Toy Battle, which challenges businesses to compete against each other.  The response has been incredible, not only in collecting donations, but also in showcasing local businesses.

Derek Bailey, owner of 257 Buy Sell Trade, is participating for the fourth year, donating a dollar for every point the Oil City Oilers football team made at home games, this year totaling over $1,000.  If interested in becoming involved or if you know of a family in need who could benefit from this program, contact Lisa Winger, with the Ladies Auxiliary, at (814) 758-6800 or visit

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s November 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Pathway to Manufacturing Free Training Event

Clarion University – Venango, Intermediate Unit 5, and PA CareerLink are collaborating on a new class that will provide potential employees the opportunity to improve their skills in applied math and workplace readiness, in an effort to prepare them for training and employment in manufacturing trades. The classes will be offered at no cost.

An Open House event will be held on November 12 at Venango Campus’ Frame Hall (Room 116) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students with or without a high school diploma are encouraged to participate.

For more information, contact IU5 Adult Education at 1-800-461-6711 or at

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s November 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

New Be Here “Youth Ambassadors”

Ashley Sheffer, Program Manager at the Venango Chamber, recently met with two local groups of students and trained them to be “Be Here Ambassadors.”

At Rocky Grove High School, Ashley talked to about 20 junior and senior high students of the gifted classes. These  students learned about Be Here and opportunities in the area, and participated in an activity to become official Ambassadors. The presentation was covered by The Derrick & The News-Herald and the story can also be found on the Be Here website at

Ashley then visited the eAcademy, a new program of the Venango County Economic Development Authority in collaboration with Clarion University – Venango focused on teaching high school students leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

The four students, all from different school districts—Cranberry, Oil City, Rocky Grove, and Titusville—along with teach Taylor Snyder, heard a similar presentation, then became Be Here Ambassadors.

Are you interested in your class, employees, or organization learning about the Be Here initiative? Ashley is happy to come in and speak to them! Contact her at (814) 676-8521 or, and learn more about the initiative by visiting

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s October 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Chamber Accepting Citizen of the Year Nominations


The Chamber is now accepting nominations for our Citizen of the Year award. We are looking for Venango County citizens who demonstrate a well-rounded and deep rooted commitment to family and community.

Nominees must be community volunteers with records of extensive and diverse participation in community service and civic involvement, aside from accomplishments directly related to the candidate’s employment.


How to Become More Attached to Your City

The following is an excerpt of an article by Steve MacDouell found on To read the complete article, visit

It’s easy to live in our cities and feel little connection to them. While it takes time and intentionality to pivot toward the places that we live in, we can trust that, when we do, a meaningful connection will be cultivated — the kind of connection that compels us toward our neighbors, that exposes us to the good things that are going on all around us, and that moves us to think creatively about how we might leverage our passions, skills, and resources for the common good of our cities.

Here are a few ways to experience a deeper connection to your city.

1. Experience it holistically: The more present we are in our cities — experiencing them with all of our senses — the less likely we are to dream of being somewhere else. Action Item: Wander your city and be intentional about utilizing all of your senses (touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste).

2. Walk instead of drive: If your city is anything like mine, it’s fixated on car-based transit. While opinions on car usage vary, there is one thing that is abundantly clear: driving in a car changes the way that we engage our surroundings. Action Item: Invest in a good pair of sneakers and hit the sidewalks.

3. Become a regular in a third place: In his important work, The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg defines “third places” as public places — outside of our workplaces and homes — where people can gather to enjoy conversation and the company of others. Practically speaking, third places are important because they provide a context where people can encounter their neighbors. Action Item: Pick a third place; commit to spending time in it on a weekly basis; and seek connection in and through it.

Visit the full article for two more tips on how to become more attached to your community, and let us know if you try out any of the action items.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s October 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.