Written by Steve Bishop
Union City-area residents wondering how they might get involved in the community are being
invited to an informational meet-and-greet by community development nonprofit Union City Pride.
Union City Pride is an all-volunteer organization that has been involved since its inception in the
early 2000s in a wide variety of community initiatives, from assisting with the significant downtown
redevelopment efforts of recent years to coordinating such events as the French Creek Festival and
Festival of Trees, installing downtown flower planters, and more.
The organization has a board of directors, as well as “members” who participate in board
meetings and help carry out their initiatives.
Looking to engage more area residents and merchants in those efforts, Union City Pride is
hosting an informational meet-and-greet Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the French Creek Settlement
Services office, located at 132 N. Main St., in the building behind the former Union City Memorial
“The intent of the meet-and-greet is to inform community members who may have an interest
in serving with Union City Pride, about the mission of the group,” said Samantha Clabbatz, a Union City
resident, realtor, co-founder of French Creek Settlement Services, and member of Union City Pride. “We
also seek to increase and diversity our membership. We will answer any questions interested parties
may have as well.”
Clabbatz, who has organized the event with Pride board member Morgan Migliaccio, noted
Union City Pride gets involved in a wide range of community enhancement activities that may fit any
particular resident’s interests or skill sets.
“Serving your community is a rewarding experience, and Union City Pride’s grassroots operation
is a great way to meet neighbors and community members who also take pride in Union City’s
progress,” she said.
Such volunteerism is critical to the community’s betterment, as “having Union City and
surrounding area residents as part of the organization allows us to have hyper-focus on the areas that
serve the community best,” Clabbatz added.
It’s not always easy for someone who wants to get involved to know how or where to do so, she
“I don’t think it’s expressed nearly enough what a need there is for volunteerism within
communities such as Union City,” she said. “This meet-and-greet is serving as our invitation to the
community that we want you. We want and value your input, expertise, and help.
“Inclusivity is the name of the game – you never know who may specialize in exactly what we
need to know for a project, and without this invitation we might never know,” Clabbatz continued.
Union City-area merchants and business owners in particular, who may have benefited from the
extensive downtown-related work of recent years and want to see such efforts continue, may see the
benefit of becoming involved with Union City Pride as well.
“The completion of the Union City Dinor project is on full display for the community to see one
of Union City Pride’s larger endeavors, with more to come this year,” Clabbatz said, adding, “I think it’s
important to keep the momentum up.
She said Union City Pride wants to be the “iron that sharpens other iron” in the community, and
that “collaboration is the best way to do that.”
Light refreshments will be served, and anyone who’s interested in Union City Pride but can’t
attend can contact Clabbatz at 814-964-0907 or 814-232-6554.