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Marshall resident honored during pregame presentation

| Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
North Journal
Liz Dwyer of Marshall Township, a 12-year breast cancer survivor, at right, was honored on field during pregame ceremonies at the Oct. 7 Steelers Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Dwyer is the Ford regional sales manager for Pittsburgh and represented the company, along with Kathy Wagler, owner of Crivelli Ford and a nine-year breast cancer survivor, on the other side of the quilt. Submitted

Some of the loudest cheers at a recent Pittsburgh Steelers football game weren't necessarily for Ben Roethlisberger or Troy Polamalu but rather for Marshall Township resident Liz Dwyer.

That's because fans were proud to celebrate the 12-year breast cancer survivor, who stepped out onto Heinz Field, along with nine-year breast cancer survivor Kathy Wagler, on Oct. 7 to present a $10,000 check to the Pittsburgh affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, courtesy of the Neighborhood Ford Store and UPMC Cancer Centers.

Dwyer, regional sales manager for Ford, said she and Wagler, owner of Crivelli Ford in Aliquippa, thought it was great to receive so much support and gratitude for the donation.

“The energy at that stadium is just fantastic,” said Dwyer, 46. “People would come out and look me in the eye and thank me.”

The Neighborhood Ford Store is made up of 82 dealers across southwest Pennsylvania, southeast Ohio, and the panhandles of Maryland and West Virginia, said Joe Thurby of Uniontown, owner of Thurby's Riverside Ford in Confluence. He is the chairman of the Neighborhood Ford Store.

This is the second year that the Neighborhood Ford Store has been a sponsor of the Steelers' “Breast Cancer Awareness Game,” Thurby said. The group already is a longtime sponsor of the annual Pittsburgh Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Schenley Park.

“We all got together and decided this is a cause we want to get behind,” Thurby said.

The check presentation was held prior to the start of the afternoon game of the Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Dwyer said.

Thurby, who also walked out on the field, said more than 50 volunteers handed out pink Terrible Towels to game attendees.

“It was pretty awesome to see all those people waving those pink towels,” he said.

As they walked onto the field, the announcer told the fans about the survivors and why they were there, and Dwyer said that was followed by a “huge cheer.”

“It was deafening,” Dwyer said.

And, she said, it was pretty neat to see themselves on the giant screen overlooking the field before the game, which the Steelers later won, 16-14.

Dwyer and Wagler, who also serves on the Neighborhood Ford Store board, also presented a quilt from the 2012 Neighborhood Ford Store Warrior Quilt Project, which will be given to a local clinic or hospital.

This quilt was the result of the last year's Race for the Cure “patchwork station” where people could write inspirational messages or notes honoring or remembering someone, and the pieces later were sewn together, Dwyer said.

Thurby said volunteers at the game also handed out 4-inch-by-4-inch pieces of cloth at the game for a future quilt.

He said the Neighborhood Ford Store's next big event is raffling off a new 2012 Ford Escape as part of its Caring for Kids partnership with Eat'n Park restaurants. He said a model of the new design will be on display at each Eat'n Park restaurant throughout the Pittsburgh region, where people can buy $2 tickets to win the car beginning Friday. All the money will go to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, he said.

One lucky winner's name will be drawn by a Children's Hospital patient in mid-December, said Stephanie Webb, a representative of the Neighborhood Ford Store.

Last year, people bought 70,000 tickets, which raised $140,000, Webb said.

Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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