Citizen-of-Year has a big heart for less fortunate families

Staff Writer

Tonia Hartzell of Kane has a big heart for less fortunate families.
She spearheads two key organizations that help the needy.
In August 2018, Hartzell initiated the “Cleaning Out Your Closets Community Outreach” program in Kane to provide families with furnishings, bedding and clothes.
This activity led to the formation of “Mattresses Across McKean County” about eight months ago. Hartzell is the president of the volunteer 13-member board for this registered non-profit organization. The group will be furnishing new mattresses to families in need.
“I felt a calling to do it,” Hartzell said in explaining why a 36-year-old single working woman would devote so much of her free time to volunteer to help others. 
“I like inspiring people to understand the need in the community,” Hartzell said. “I’m motivated to make everything around us a little better. I like helping families who are set back to take a step forward.”
The Kane Area Chamber of Commerce has chosen Hartzell as its “Citizen-of-the-Year.” 
The Chamber will honor Hartzell at its annual banquet next Thursday, March 5 at Grandma Bair’s Event Center on North Fraley Street.
“I don’t enjoy the attention,” Hartzell said in commenting on the Chamber recognition. “I’m extremely honored. It’s humbling.”
A 2002 graduate of Kane Area High School, Hartzell is the daughter of Tammy and Leroy Hartzell of Kane. Her older brothers are Mark Hartzell of Kane and Tom Hartzell of Warren.