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Cranberry Community Days kicks off

Mike Manipole, of the Cranberry Township board of supervisors, delivers the opening remarks at the Cranberry Township Community Chest’s Four Pillars Reception Wednesday. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle

CRANBERRY TWP — CTCC Community Days kicked off with the Four Pillars Reception at the township’s municipal center on Wednesday evening, July 10.

The three-day free event begins on Thursday and runs through Saturday, and is sponsored by the Cranberry Township Community Chest, a nonprofit organization that raises money for nonprofit and civic groups that benefit the community.

The reception takes its name from the four pillars of the community: businesses, nonprofits, faith communities and civic groups.

More than 150 people attended the private event Wednesday.

“Community is not about the bricks and mortar of a place; it’s about the relationships and belonging to a place,” said Cranberry Township manager Dan Santoro. “We’re very intentional in Cranberry with the CTCC in creating events like this that strengthen and build the bonds that make a great community.”

As one of the largest annual fundraisers for the community chest, Community Days has expanded each year. The event will include more than 255 food vendors, civic organizations and other various booths. There will also be live concerts, a beer and wine garden, a Battle of the Badges event and fireworks, according to the CTCC website.

The fellowship of it all is truly what makes the event special in the eyes of the group’s president, Jerry Andree.

“It’s huge, and it’s truly about relationships,” said Andree. “It just brings people together. Everyone goes there to see each other. Our Lions Club puts on a big breakfast on Saturday morning and hundreds, if not thousands, of people will come to that alone. Our Community Days have gone on for 55 plus years. It just builds community and public spaces, which CTCC is committed to. It’s the social infrastructure that brings people together.”

In addition to the beginning of Community Days, the reception is also the prelude to the opening of the art exhibit that runs through Aug. 22 at the township’s municipal center.

The Cranberry Artists Network sets the backdrop for the event with more than 140 pieces from roughly 60 local artists.

“Any thriving community also has a strong arts vein,” Noele Reynolds, the art group’s president, said of the importance of supporting the event and being the lead-in to Community Days. “They recognize that we have a lot of value and we’re one of those pillars as well. You think about your religious, creative and financial communities. You need all of those to have a thriving community. (Art) is the one piece they were missing before we banded together. We filled a void that helped them create that well-rounded community.”

Guests mingle at the CTCC Four Pillars Reception at the Cranberry Township Municipal Building on Wednesday, July 10. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle
Michael Palombo, of Campbell Durrant, speaks to attendees at Cranberry Township's CTCC Four Pillars Reception on Wednesday, July 10. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle
UPMC Passavant vice president of operations Keith Lorenz was one of the speakers at the CTCC Four Pillars Reception in Cranberry Township on Wednesday, July 10. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle
Amy Smith from Cranberry Township hosted the CTCC Four Pillars Reception on Wednesday, July 10. The event serves as a kickoff to CTCC Community Days and brings together the pillars of the community: businesses, nonprofits, faith communities and civic groups. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle
Noele Reynolds, president of the Cranberry Artists Network, thanks attendees at the CTCC Four Pillars Reception in Cranberry Township on Wednesday, July 10. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle
The CTCC Four Pillars Reception speakers included Jim Feath, assistant vice president of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic on Wednesday, July 10. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle

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