No snow needed for Saturday's Snowball Dash in Sewickley
The timing was right, as was the cause and the goal.
Melissa and Jason Richey both were looking for a way to get younger children involved with community service.
Pressley Ridge was looking for new ways to raise awareness and money for its programs focusing on keeping children and families together so youths with challenging behaviors can remain in their homes, schools and communities.
The two came together when Melissa became a member of the Pressley Ridge board of directors after speaking about community service for children with a friend, who also is a board member.
Because her husband, who is coach of the Quaker Valley wrestling teams for ages 12 and under, also was looking for a way for his students to give back to the community, Melissa came up with some ideas.
She wanted to bring the wrestling students and Pressley Ridge students together to carry a Pressley Ridge banner, march and lead the borough's Dec. 1 Santa parade in Sewickley.
Before the parade, both groups also will participate in the Snowball Dash for Kids, a one-mile fun run and walk at 9 a.m. at Chestnut and Chadwick streets.
At the end of the race, bagels and hot chocolate will be available. The community is invited to participate.
Each $25 registration, which can be paid the day of the event, will buy a child in need a warm winter hat, scarf and a pair of mittens, said Loretta Coffin, Pressley Ridge director of corporate and community relations.
Those who don't want to participate in the run can choose to contribute winter coats, hats and mittens to Pressley Ridge students.
Coffin said several Sewickley businesses already have donated these items.
Donations also will be accepted the day of the event.
Jason and Melissa, who is a pediatric nurse practitioner, have three boys: Justin, 9; Logan, 7; and Marcus, 6, all who will participate in the fun run and parade.
Melissa said it's often difficult to find community service activities for younger children.
“It's all about kids giving back to kids,” she said.
“Many times, kids in Sewickley don't realize how lucky they are. You can talk about it, but until they see it for themselves, they don't really understand there are kids out there who don't have a lot like they do.
“It's Christmastime, and there are families who are struggling to put food on the table. It's important for our kids to understand that other kids don't have things as easy as they do.”
Jason said he wanted to get his students involved because the sport of wrestling is all about teaching life lessons.
“Our youth wrestling program is committed to doing that for the kids of Pressley Ridge and the Sewickley community. This race hopefully will teach the kids about the importance of giving back to the community and giving to others in need,” he said.
Melissa got the idea for the fun run after her oldest son enjoyed participating in a one-mile run held at the Pittsburgh Marathon last year and realized there weren't many one-mile events, especially during this time of the year.
She also said beginning in first grade, children are required to run a mile for gym class, so this event is something younger kids can get excited about and succeed in. It also promotes activity and exercise.
“The kids will see how other kids in the community are supporting them in such a positive way,” she said. Coffin said she is expecting about 75 wrestling and Pressley Ridge students, family members and friends to participate.
Pressley Ridge provides an array of youth and family services in six states and also in Hungary and Portugal. In the Pittsburgh area, Pressley Ridge offers foster care, residential treatment services, community-based services in the family home and educational services.
Coffin said the mission of Pressley Ridge is to do “whatever it takes to create success for children and families.”
“For some kids, it's a last chance effort. Some have been to 25 different homes,” Coffin said.
“We try to give them the social and behavioral skills they need to be successful.”
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Plum students protest orders to keep mum about sex cases
- Injured Penguins optimistic about returning next season
- Coach Johnston trying to figure out why Penguins ‘fell off a cliff’
- McKees Rocks council president arrested after SWAT standoff
- Crosby, Malkin want to remain in Pittsburgh
- Counselors available at Hempfield after crash kills student
- Behind starter Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Diamondbacks
- Forbes Avenue jeweler’s embedded sidewalk sign safely slides out to make way for Pittsburgh Playhouse project
- Pirates notebook: Wainwright injury doesn’t sway Hurdle on DH
- Washington’s Shelton grows into big role, looks forward to draft
- Oak Ridge couple transforms 1820 house into quaint bed and breakfast