Conservancy has raised $115,000 for Glade Run Lake aid

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Members of the Glade Run Lake Conservancy hope that adults in the region embrace saving the 50-year-old lake as much as students at the Mars Area Centennial School have.

Students at the school, which holds fifth and sixth grades, recently presented the conservancy with $2,000 raised through donations and a walking challenge, said Sigmund "Siggy" Pehel, president of the conservancy.

"To me, that is a pretty solid commitment from a bunch of kids who just picked this up a few months ago," he said.

The Glade Run Lake Conservancy was founded in 2011 after the state drained the 52-acre lake in Middlesex because of seepage at the bottom of the earthen dam that formed the lake. Repairs are estimated at $4 million.

The conservancy held a town hall meeting last Thursday to update members and other interested parties about their progress in raising funds to help rebuild the dam.

Mr. Pehel said more than 150 people attended the meeting. In addition to the donation from the Mars Area students, the conservancy also received a $4,000 check from Butler County during the meeting, he added.

The conservancy has 1,750 members and has raised $115,000 thus far, he said.

The Pennsylvania Fish Commission, which owns the lake, is nearly finished designing the new dam, Mr. Pehel said.

"Everybody is talking about funding and the lack of it," he said. "There's no money."

Mr. Pehel said the conservancy is working closely with state Sen. Randy Vulakovich, R-Shaler, on securing funding, and is seeking a meeting with Gov. Tom Corbett.

"A lot of these politicians and people around have to wake up and realize we can only do so much as a conservancy," he said.

Mr. Pehel contrasted Glade Run's efforts with those of the Friends of Possum Lake. That lake, near Carlisle, was restored after being drained for five years.

The Friends of Possum Lake raised $75,000 toward the cost of rebuilding that dam, Mr. Pehel said.

He said the Glade Run Lake Conservancy has received "some minor grants," but have to seek more. That is difficult, he said, because a lot of the state grant money that was available in the late 2000s is no longer available.

"I'm going to keep pitching and pitching," he said. "If you give up, you are doomed for failure."


Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer:


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