Kelly Proudfit has a million reasons to be ecstatic. A million and a half, actually.

“We reached our funding goal of $1.5 million. I can finally sleep a little better,” said the executive director of the Washington Area Humane Society, a nonprofit that is in the midst of building a new home – one that promises to be more humane for its four-legged residents.

A 10,000-square-foot facility is under construction on the society’s five-acre tract, off Route 136 in the Eighty Four section of North Strabane Township. It will be 25 percent larger than the current center, located below; will accommodate up to 60 dogs and 60 cats, about 10 more of each than now; and will provide amenities --creature features – that either don’t currently exist or are available on a lesser scale. A late fall opening is anticipated.

Raising money has been paramount, and Proudfit said the $1.5 million target of the society’s New Home, New Hope Campaign was hit in less than a year. Funding, she said, has been equal parts “grant-driven and private donor-driven,” and has been boosted by an outlay from the Washington County Local Share Account, derived from gambling revenues from the Meadows Casino.

One anonymous individual matched other donations, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000.

As of early last week, Proudfit said pledges and gifts actually totaled $1,567,602. That has helped pay for a project that will end up costing an estimated $5 million, a total covered mostly by a building fund bolstered by donor bequests.

Construction began last fall and will finish about a year later, after which the existing building will be razed. A ceremonial grand opening, with ribbon cutting, will follow at a date to be determined.

Ami Andy Hillebrand likewise is gratified by the support. Hillebrand, co-chair of the fundraising campaign and a humane society board member, said in a statement: “We are so incredibly thankful for the generous support ... In the next few months, as construction wraps up, we will finally have the kind of space we have dreamed about for years.”

CF fundraiser

James Bendel, owner and founder of Crazy Horse Coffee in Park Place at the Meadow Lands, has brewed up an interesting fundraiser.

It’s called Blow Away Cystic Fibrosis, a shooting event that is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Washington County Machine Gun Range in West Alexander. As of Wednesday morning, organizers had raised $27,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 90% toward their goal.

The event will benefit those afflicted with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems. There is no cure.

The Western Pennsylvania chapter of CFF chose Bendel as one of its 50 Finest, men and women selected by each chapter to raise funds. Candidates are screened, then selected based on their leadership qualities, community activities and professional success.

Bendel also owns a second company in North Strabane Township, Integrity Slickline Services, an oil and gas-related firm. Oh, and he is a decorated Army veteran who survived two grazing shots to the head in Iraq.

The event has attracted 13 sponsors. Tickets are $175 and some should be available this week.

In addition to funds he is raising, Bendel said range owner Tredd Barton has pledged to donate 25% of the money he collects Friday.

Friday’s itinerary: registration and first aid instruction until noon at the MS Energy yard; travel by convoy to the range at 25 Greaves Road and a safety briefing on range etiquette; shoot fully automatic firearms and lunch; shoot other firearms available at the range, or use the other two ranges to fire your own AR-15 or pistol 30-caliber and below.

To sign up, go to just under the video, or For more information, call Becky Wilson, 724-986-7314.

On fast track

Allison Corbett is making career strides with a nonprofit that promotes many of the region’s top running races.

Corbett, a 2004 West Greene graduate, is the new senior vice president of marketing and communications at P3R, a Pittsburgh-based organization that worked with the DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, held May 5, and is involved in five upcoming races.

About a year ago, she was named marketing and communications director of P3R. Known as Allison Houser in high school, Corbett grew up in the Pine Bank section of Gilmore Township.

She is part of the senior management team that supports the new chief executive officer, Troy Schooley, who succeeds Patrice Matamoros, the P3R founder.

P3R also is involved with the Fleet Feet Liberty Mile (Aug. 9); FlyBy 5K and 2-Mile Fun (Sept. 21); Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race (Sept. 28); GAP Relay (Oct. 12-13); and EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler (Nov. 2).

Two scholarships

The Southpointe CEO Association has awarded $5,000 scholarships to two Washington County high school graduates, to be used for the 2019-2020 college year.

Cameron Hyde, of Canonsburg and Canon-McMillan, and Colin Walters, of South Franklin Township and McGuffey, received the awards, which, according to the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, go to “ individuals who have demonstrated excellence in leadership.”

The scholarships honor Jack B. Piatt, founder and chairman of Millcraft Investments and founder of the Southpointe CEO Association.

GACO grants

The Government Agency Coordination Office at California University of Pennsylvania has received two grants to assist local businesses that are interested in government contracting.

GACO got a $233,330 grant from Defense Logistics Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, through a cooperative agreement with Cal U. The office also received a $135,000 grant from the Allegheny Foundation of Pittsburgh.

GACO is a Procurement Technical Assistance Center that assists companies in Greene, Washington, Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties. It has locations at Cal U., Slippery Rock University and in Pittsburgh.

For more information, contact GACO director Kate Lacey Glodek at or visit

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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