They did it again: Community puts up another big number for Make-A-Wish

PUNXSUTAWNEY — In what has become a Christmas tradition for not only Punxsutawney but the surrounding area, The 2012 Make-A-Wish "Light up A Child's Life" Campaign concluded Friday in the lobby of the Pantall Hotel after another successful year.

Al Lockwood, Renda Radio Inc. program director, and Tiffany Bennett, a long time "Wish Kid" announced during the wrap-up on WPXZ 104.1 that this year's campaign raised $66,515.68.

Dr. Joe Kernich, who celebrated his 21st year working with the "Light Up a Child's Life” Campaign, said Punxsy is one generous town, especially around this time of year.

Pam Miller, regional director for the Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia chapter of the foundation, said, as always, there were so many people who worked behind the scenes to make the “Light Up a Child's Life Campaign” successful.

Miller said she was used to having a sidekick, Patti Lellock, who always had her handwritten thank you's ready to be read on the air.

"Patti was going to come down to the Pantall for the wrap up, but didn't feel well enough to attend," Miller said on WPXZ Radio, adding that there were so many people who made this possible.

Over the air, Miller thanked Laurie Lash for her cakes; The Punxsutawney Spirit for the articles; the Pantall Hotel and the Weaver family for allowing them to broadcast from the lobby of the hotel all week; True Value Hardware; Fox's Pizza Den; Caterina's Cafe; Punxsutawney Area Middle School; Punxsutawney Area High School; Fezell's County Market; Mulberry Square; the PAHS Choir; the SS.C.D. School Choir; the Punxsutawney Country Club, for donating skirting and tablecloths; S&T Bank for putting the stars on; Bill and Joyce Cooper; Frank Hetrick; Mayor James Wehrle; Linda Liscinsky and Joan Lowmaster, for spending hours taking care of the deposits and paperwork; Sue Keane, who decorates the lobby; the Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Company, which helps with the auction each year; Susan Lainey and the student government at PAHS; Josh Golembiowski for assisting every day; Barney Stockdale and all the volunteers who have helped with the phones; and — last, but not least — those who drop off donations.

Miller said she has been involved for 19 years and was going to step back some while mentoring Lindsey Herzing, who is now going to step into a leadership role with Make-A-Wish.