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Malone makes community service her life’s mission

Hollidaysburg woman named Citizen of the Year

Donna Malone of Hollidaysburg helps conduct GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club’s holiday food drive at Sams Club of Altoona recently. Malone was named Hollidaysburg Borough’s Citizen of the Year for her commitment to service in the community. Mirror photo by Russ O'Reilly

Local shoppers at Walmart and Sam’s Club recently may have seen members of the GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club conducting a holiday food drive for families. Among the women collecting donations was Donna Malone of Hollidaysburg.

Malone was recently named Hollidaysburg Borough’s Citizen of the Year for her commitment to community service.

She has been an active mem­ber of the Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club for 30 years and has held several officer positions, including president.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) is a nonprofit organization working locally and nationally to improve communities through volunteer service.

“We do community improvement programs, scholarships and grants all within Blair County,” Malone said. “We disperse about $5,000 in scholarships each year including an adult woman’s scholarship for a woman returning to school to further her education, and student scholarships for art, academics and community service as well as a new scholarship this year for vocational technical education.”

The club also conducts international outreach programs. Last year in Uganda, Hollidaysburg members bored a hole to provide a community water, she said.

During the annual naturalization ceremony at the Blair County Courthouse for immigrants becoming U.S. citizens in Blair County, the club hosts a reception and provides a small gift for the new citizens.

Providing for women’s and children’s shelters through projects like collecting hygiene items for them and helping pay court costs is another crucial part of the club’s mission.

And of course, Malone and other members of the club hosted an annual food drive over the course of three days to support 10 organizations in Blair County.

Malone is originally from Altoona and moved to Hollidaysburg when she married her husband, Tim Malone, 40 years ago. With the support of her husband, Malone launched herself into community service to set an example for their children.

“I wanted to get involved with the community. My children were young, so I wanted to meet people in the community and do something other than working. I wanted to set an example for my children,” she said.

Her dedication to community service means many hours away from family, which is why the support of her husband is crucial, she said.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for his support and encouragement,” she said.

Over the years, Malone has become more involved with the GFWC’s statewide organization as she is endorsed to be second vice president, which puts her on track to become the statewide GFWC’s president a few years after that.

Fellow member GFWC member Andrea Verobish of Hollidaysburg said Malone is a mentor to her.

“She is someone who is always willing to say ‘yes’ if you need help, someone to volunteer. And she brings new ideas to the club,” Verobish said. “Her experience helps steer us in the right direction into the future.”

Hollidaysburg Borough announced Malone as its 2019 Citizen of the Year on Nov. 13 at the American Legion Post 516 social hall.

“Her work with the club has marked her life with many service projects that have benefited our community,” a borough press release stated.

Malone also served on the board of directors for the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library for 14 years and was integral in their fundraising efforts for the new building.

“She has served this community and its residents and made a lasting impact on those around her,” the borough’s press release stated.

Hollidaysburg Mayor Joe Dodson started the recognition program for outstanding citizens in Hollidaysburg 13 years ago.

Past recipients and dignitaries all gathered in November to honor Malone.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

The Malone file

Name: Donna Malone

Occupation: Office manager for Spring Cove Container

Community service: GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club for 30 years; Hollidaysburg Area Public Library for 14 years

Family: Tim Malone, husband; Jason, Matthew and Eric Malone, sons; and three grandchildren.

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