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Fundraiser planned to benefit Coal and Coke Trail maintenance

The Coal and Coke Trail committee in Scottdale is hosting its second annual comedy night and dinner show to be held 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Scottdale Firemen’s Club.

Proceeds benefit trail maintenance.

The fundraiser will feature standup comedians Mo Mozuch, Josh Copen and Aaron Kleiber and a dinner buffet is being prepared by Bell’s Banquets, Leo & Sons’ Grille 31, Nino’s and Carson’s Premiere Catering.

Each restaurant will prepare one menu item.

“We were looking for something to do that would need minimal help,” said Bob Keeler, chairman of the trail committee, explaining the chapter doesn’t have many volunteers. “We heard about a similar event like this and we thought it sounded like a good idea. Our first comedy night was last year, and it was a big success.”

Tickets are $25 per person and are available in advance at The Village Restaurant, Grille 31 and Standard Bank in Mt. Pleasant and Scottdale.

Along with the entertainment and food, there will be several themed baskets raffled with a minimum value of $200, including donations and gift certificates from local businesses, golf-themed baskets and Pittsburgh sports baskets.

“There wasn’t anyone who told me no,” Keeler said. “The support that we received was wonderful.”

The money raised will be used for upkeep and putting together new projects such as development of the trail heads at each end, Keeler said.

One of those projects will look at redirecting the bike route on the Scottdale end to alleviate the necessity of riding down Mt. Pleasant Road for a long stretch.

The trail, constructed on the old corridor of the Pennsylvania Railroad Scottdale Branch, opened in the summer 2007.

It heads southwest from Willows Park in Mt. Pleasant, following Jacob’s Creek as it makes its way to Scottdale.

But with the trail comes the responsibility of upkeep and repairs, Keeler said.

The trail is covered with crushed limestone that periodically needs replenishing due to normal wear and from storm damage such as in December 2008 when Shupe Run overran its banks, flooding a large part of the trail in Bridgeport.

“As the trail wears, we will need a lot of things,” Keeler said, adding that the operating budget for the trail is $10,000 to $12,000 annually.

The trail chapter receives money from its sustaining members but a fundraiser was needed to meet the budget requirements.

Keeler hopes the event will be a success.

“There has been a lot of interest and people are talking,” Keeler said, adding that about 150 tickets have been sold. “Based on last year’s attendance, we expect to sell out.”

Dinner tickets will not be available at the door. To purchase tickets, call 724-547-3121.


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