NHCO Neighborhood Block Party slated for The Chadwick in Wexford
Katie Zeak's family fell on hard times when she was a 10-year-old growing up in Ross. Her parents separated and finances became a struggle.
“You don't necessarily think of poverty in our area, but there's a segment of the population that struggles just to put food on the table,” said Zeak, who is now a full-time social worker at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Oakland, and often refers patients to North Hills Community Outreach.
“Back in the 1990s, my family received food from the North Hills Community Food Pantry. We relied on it for three years.” Zeak said. “For my younger sister and me, that assistance meant stability, security, and some kind of normalcy.”
Now 29, Zeak is giving back.
She and guitarist Chris Ehrenberger will perform oldies from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, as well as current Top 40 hits during the third annual North Hills Community Outreach Neighborhood Block Party being held at The Chadwick in Wexford on April 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The block party will include live entertainment, family-friendly games, a visit from some fairy princesses, face-painting, balloon art, and a variety of food, including pulled pork sliders, mini-pierogies, chicken fingers, salads, and an ice cream sundae bar.
Proceeds benefit the North Hills Community Outreach's (NHCO) general operations and programs to help local families in crisis, hardship, and poverty.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 3 to 10.
The trio, Acoustic Diversion, will perform an eclectic and diverse mix of original and cover music throughout the event.
North American yo-yo champion Ky Zizan will demonstrate some tricks, including the “double dragon,” a style he created using two strings attached to the yo-yo while tied to both hands.
The Ice Queen and Ice Princess from the movie “Frozen,” and the Galaxy Heroine and Galaxy Villain from “Star Wars,” will attend for a meet-and-greet and photo opportunities, courtesy of Fairytale Princess Visits, based in Upper St. Clair.
The Galaxy characters also will perform light sword jousts.
“These fights are true and accurate to the movie,” said Courtney Czarniak, owner of Fairytale Princess Visits.
Caricatures, balloon sculptures, face-painting, and games also are included in the ticket price.
A silent auction will offer tickets to cultural events, zoo passes, a week at summer camp, SkyZone passes, salon-type offerings and more.
“We hope the event nets at least $13,000,” said Jennifer Kissel, Director of Communications at NHCO.
NHCO serves low-income individuals and families in need throughout northern Allegheny County by offering a variety of services, including a food pantry; winter coat shop; school-supplies initiative; support groups; career workshops and training; assistance with utility payments and car care expenses; college education assistance; and a volunteer caregiving program for seniors.
Laurie Rees is a Tribune-Review contributor.