St. Marys 4th of July fireworks back on thanks to donation from GrafTech International

Local News

ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – After canceling their annual 4th of July fireworks earlier this month, a massive donation from a global company located in St. Marys saved the show.

Thanks to an $11,000 donation from GrafTech International. The extreme generosity of the company shocked everyone, especially the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce’s managing director, Ann Gabler.

“They’re making a substantial investment in our community. So, we were very happy to be the recipient of their enormous generosity,” Gabler said.

The chamber had shifted its focus to 2022, after only raising $500, of its $15,000 goal. It took over the concession stand at the local Benzinger Park, and started scheduling concerts throughout the summer, as a way to raise money.

Which is why, when Gabler found out Tuesday night that GrafTech stepped up and donated the money, she was shocked.

The $11,000, along with the money the chamber had previously raised, with its recent fundraising efforts added on, put them over the top. The community came together to save this community favorite, which Gabler said defines the culture of the town.

“There’s no place like St. Marys. It’s the best place to live and work. Having events like this just emphasize that,” Gabler said.

Members of the St. Marys Chamber of Commerce and GrafTech pose for a picture with the $11,000 check outside of GrafTech’s St. Marys office

GrafTech is heavily involved in the community and offers scholarships to area high schoolers each year. With many employees living in the area Erica Hayes, GrafTech’s HR manager, said the decision to help out was an easy one.

“We were trying to look for ways to show our community involvement,” Hayes said. “We’re investing a lot of money into GrafTech right now, creating jobs for the community. And we saw this as a way to really give back and let people know, that we’re still here, we’re excited.”

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