PUNXSUTAWNEY — Some may know her as “the girl behind all of the groundhog stuff.”
Punxsutawney native Katie Donald is probably one of the busiest people around, but she takes “pride” in being a part of so many organizations.
Donald can recall wanting to be a librarian when she was younger, she says. Throughout high school and college, though, her dream was to be a lawyer.
A Punxsutawney Area High School graduate of 2005, Donald moved to Florida for a while, but soon found herself wanting to return to her hometown. When she did return in 2010, she wanted to “lend a helping hand” in the community.
She’s the board president for PRIDE — Punxsutawney Revitalization: Investing, Developing, Enhancing — and executive director of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
Aside from those things, she’s a member of the Punxsutawney Rotary Club, development committee chair of the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce, president of the Punxsutawney Area Community Foundation and president of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), which focuses on advancing women through scholarships, grants, awards and loans.
Donald has had her fair share of event planning and marketing experiences, including many that are known around the world — the Groundhog Day Celebration, Inner Circle’s Groundhog Ball, the annual Groundhog Picnic and Phil Phest and many others.
“I can’t give money, but I can give my time and energy,” she said. “I’m capable of being involved and trying to help the community.”
Volunteering in a town she’s passionate about is rewarding, Donald said.
“If someone is able to help support the many nonprofit organizations, it makes a big difference,” she said. “It’s a great way to make friends, connections and memories.”
One of her favorite things about her hometown, Donald says, is the tourism aspect, and the enthusiasm and activities surrounding Punxsutawney Phil. Feb. 2 is still one of the “purest” celebrations around, she said. Groundhog Day and all it offers is a great way to expose people to a small town with many hidden treasures, she adds.
In her “spare time,” Donald jokes, she has a photography business called “Capture & Create.” She’s also a runner, reader, dog mom, wife and “family person.”
Another “fun part” of her efforts, Donald said, is awarding grants through the PACF, and helping raise funds for women in education through the PEO. By both applying for and rewarding grants, she visits “both sides of the spectrum,” she said.
Donald aims to welcome everyone into the town she calls home.
“I’m always excited when I see a new business in town,” she said. “There is a lot of growth here.”
Her ultimate goal, Donald says, is to give 100 percent to all she does and to make an impact.
“There are a lot of great people in town with great ideas who are looking to revitalize and re-energize Punxsutawney,” she said.