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Ribbon-selling fundraiser back at Otto’s

Otto’s Pub and Brewery’s annual ribbon-tree fundraiser will raise money this year for the Veterans Assistance Fund.
Otto’s Pub and Brewery’s annual ribbon-tree fundraiser will raise money this year for the Veterans Assistance Fund. Centre Daily Times, file

‘Tis the season to give.

And State College eatery Otto’s Pub and Brewery, which put up its JB Tree Farm holiday tree last week in its lobby, launched its annual ribbon-selling fundraiser. In past years, the ribbon tree has raised money for wounded veteran Adam Hartswick and the Pink Zone.

Otto’s co-owner Roger Garthwaite set a goal of 1,600 ribbons sold at $5 each through Dec. 31. All proceeds, which he hopes will reach $8,000, will go to the Veterans Assistance Fund. The local nonprofit has provided financial assistance for eight years to Centre County veterans in need.

Garthwaite said people do not have to eat at the restaurant to support the fund. They also have the option of putting their ribbon on Otto’s tree or taking it home.

He is confident they will reach their goal, saying 83 ribbons have been sold as of Wednesday.

“Otto’s and Barrel 21 have over 145 full and part-time employees,” he said. “Our goal as a company is to educate our staff the importance of community involvement and community support. Giving is the right thing to do.”

Garthwaite also recently announced that Barrel 21 Distillery and Dining, which he also owns, has opened lunch hours from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Its dinner hours are from 5 to 10 p.m.

More banks merge

First National Bank and Metro Bancorp will bank on each other.

FNB announced the receipt of all required federal regulatory clearances for its proposed merger of Metro Bancorp.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved the proposal to merge Metro Bank, the bank subsidiary of Metro, into First National Bank of Pennsylvania, FNB’s bank subsidiary, which is subject to the standard waiting period under the federal banking laws.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland granted FNB an exemption from its merger application requirement for the merger of the banks’ parent companies.

The proposed merger will also be subject to the Jan. 14 vote of the FNB and Metro approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities and is expected to close in February.

The Metro and FNB board of directors approved the agreement. Shareholders of Metro will receive 2.373 shares of FNB common stock for each common share of Metro. The exchange ratio is fixed and the transaction is expected to qualify as a tax-free exchange.

A super job

The Super 8 Hotel housekeeping team, dubbed the Mighty Dusters, won the Wyndham International Housekeepers Week award.

The hotel, located on South Atherton Street, participated with in-house contests and recognitions followed by a competition among their local sister properties. The initiative was noted by Wyndham Hotel Group as the best of 2,600 Super 8 properties.

International Housekeepers Week is celebrated annually and honors the efforts and dedication of professionals who maintain a clean, safe and healthy environment for their employers and the public.

The Super 8 in State College features 141 guest rooms, 1,000 square feet of meeting space, fitness center and an expansive continental breakfast area. It is operated by Hospitality Asset Management Company.

Flu shots for free

MedExpress Urgent Care reported “typical late November levels of flu and influenza-like-illness in its central Pa. centers,” similar to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, according to a release.

Flu season has yet to ramp up in Pennsylvania, prompting MedExpress physician Joseph Betz to encourage patients to get their flu shot before holiday gatherings, which is peak flu season.

MedExpress noted that the flu can affect about 20 percent of the population, but less than 50 percent of adults receive a flu shot. The company recommended shots for adults and children over 6 months old and noted it would take about two weeks after vaccination for flu antibodies to develop in the body.

MedExpress will offer free flu shots at its Johnstown, Altoona and State College locations every Wednesday in December.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli