PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Outstanding Contribution to the Community award was started five years ago to acknowledge the nonprofits around town, something Bob Cardamone says is just as important to the town.

“A lot of people don’t look at nonprofits as businesses, but they are,” said Bob Cardamone, the chamber of commerce president.

He said when someone is considering moving to a new area, it’s not the businesses they focus on, but what community organization and services are offered in the community. Nonprofit organizations typically offer something to the community; a service, club, or other social aspect.

Cardamone pointed to suburban areas, saying the appeal of these are often the theaters, recreations and clubs.

“The community is not just made up of businesses. It’s schools, and churches, and civic entities, and businesses,” Cardamone said.

Cardamone made it clear businesses are a major part of the community and drive the economy, but the chamber as a whole wanted to recognize the nonprofit side as well. Nonprofits are what drive the social aspects of the town and create the sense of community.

“It’s important to recognize what the nonprofit world offers to the community,” Cardamone said.

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