Lift awards Volunteer Spotlight Award at Tomahawks Game

Lift Johnstown, a nonprofit organization working to reinvent Johnstown as a vibrant, small city, awarded its sixth Volunteer Spotlight Award during the hockey game Friday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena. The organization also recognized former winners of the award.

Teresa Stoughton Marafino, the latest winner, was recognized for her efforts in savings three churches in Cambria City and helping the neighborhood to advance its plan to become the cultural district in the Johnstown area, said Brad Clemenson, Lift Johnstown coordinator.

Clemenson said Marafino founded 1901 Church Inc. in 2001 to save a 100-year-old Jennerstown church from demolition. Ten years later, she used 1901 Church to save the Cambria City churches by finding sustainable reuses for them.

“I’m surprised and humbled because so many people do wonderful jobs as volunteers in this area,” Marafino said about receiving the award. “It’s important to support the arts and culture in your region because the arts and culture nourish your soul.”

Marafino also is active on the Johns­town Symphony Orchestra board of directors and Somerset Rotary Club. She is producer at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown and a member of Mountain Laurel Players at Mountain Laurel United Church of Christ in Gray.

The previous five winners of the Volunteer Spotlight Award are Herb Sitton, Don Tedjeske, Rose Howarth, Renee George, and Rob McCombie and Steve Coy, who were honored jointly. Clemenson said Lift Johnstown is constantly trying to encourage people to become engaged and involved in improving the community.

“We present the Volunteer Spotlight Award once every quarter to recognize some of the people who do amazing things to really help our community,” he said.

Frank Sojak is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5058. Follow him on Twitter @FrankNews10. Tribune Democrat Article, February 14, 2015

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