Plum 11-year-old makes birthday money count for others
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, 2:56 p.m.
Eddie Miller wanted a swim party for his 11th birthday.
Ed and Christine Miller of Plum eagerly began preparing to host the event for their son's classmates and hockey teammates at the Olympic Swim & Health Club in Penn Hills.
"He just wanted to have a large birthday party with his friends," Ed Miller said.
The Millers discussed with their son what he would do with the cash and gift cards his friends would give him.
"We talked with him about doing something nice instead of going out and buying more toys because there are a lot of people out there worse than he is," Ed Miller said.
Eddie Miller, who enters sixth grade this fall at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Plum, enthusiastically embraced the idea of using the birthday money and gift cards to help others.
He had one stipulation.
"He wanted to pick the organization he gave to," Ed Miller said.
Ed Miller immediately thought of the Mario Lemieux Foundation after reading about it on a website - "That's Church."
Eddie Miller who is a defenseman for the Pittsburgh Vipers, in the Pennsylvania Amateur Hockey League and the Central Catholic High School freshman hockey team for sixth- through eighth-graders, embraced the idea of helping the foundation.
The youngster plans to attend Central Catholic.
Also, hockey runs deep in the Miller family. Eddie Miller's cousins played for amateur and high school hockey. Ed Miller is a referee.
The Millers also have season tickets to Pittsburgh Penguins games.
"He has been around it (hockey)," Ed Miller said.
Eddie Miller didn't hesitate when asked to name his favorite Pittsburgh Penguins player.
"It's Sidney Crosby," he said.
The boy was quick to point out that Lemieux is his all-time favorite player.
The youngster aspires to be a professional hockey player or a veterinarian, his father said.
Eddie Miller's enthusiasm prompted his dad to contact the Lemieux foundation and find out about the Make Room 4 Kids program, an initiative of the Austin's Playroom Project and the Mario Lemieux Foundation and supported by Microsoft employees.
The foundation arranged for the donation to be made to the pediatric in-patient unit at Allegheny General Hospital.
After the party in March, Eddie Miller went on a shopping spree to three stores and spent $320 on 11 X-box games.
"The first one he wanted to buy was ‘Call of Duty,'" Ed Miller said.
The Millers pointed out to their son that the games were required to be rated for all ages of players.
"I got them (baseball) and football games," Eddie Miller said.
Eddie Miller and his family traveled July 17 to Allegheny General Hospital to donate the games.
Eddie Miller immediately asked to see the patients.
"The most striking part of the experience for me was that the day he came, Eddie engaged with the pediatric patients and talked with them while the games were being installed," said Drew Keys, assistant vice president of development for the West Penn Allegheny Health System.
"I got a genuine sense that it was Eddie's idea."
"It was good seeing the kids' happy faces when they realized they would get to do something and not lay in bed all day," Eddie Miller said.
He said he hopes to donate more items to the hospital at Christmas.
Keys said playing the games helps to occupy the patients.
"They are a great babysitter when pain seems to be the only thing on their minds," Keys said.
Lemieux foundation officials appreciate the youngster's gesture.
"He is a super nice kid," said Nancy Angus, executive director of the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
"It was so generous of him to want to do this."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Philanthropist helps waitress become nurse
- Drug crime reclassification to help ex-cons get vote rights
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Pitt QB Savage turns down NYC invite to NFL Draft
- Pirates notebook: Catcher Stewart activated; Sanchez demoted
- ‘Roosevelt’s Beast’ provides diverting expedition
- Outdoor notices: April 19
- Youngster falls over hillside in Churchill
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool