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Mr. Canevin's winning talent: A charitable heart

L/R - Mr. Canevin Winner Zach Cortese (center with sign) with fellow students

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By Chasity Capasso
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Bishop Canevin High School has crowned its second Mr. Canevin for his generous commitment to charity.

Zach Cortese, who raised $1,244.50 for the Ronald McDonald House Foundation, is this year's winner of the Catholic high school's Mr. Canevin competition, in which six senior boys compete to raise money and awareness for a charity of their choice.

“We chose the charities up for selection in the 2012 school year,” said Marianne Reinhart, vice principal. “Six of our senior guys volunteer to make a commitment to the charity of his choice. They commit to fundraising in school through various activities and outside school, by soliciting organizations, friends and family.”

Choices for fundraising were the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Pittsburgh Pirates charities, Muscular Sclerosis Society and the Ronald McDonald House Foundation.

In total, the contest raised $5,842 this year. Last year, Reinhart said, Mr. Canevin contestants raised $7,029.

Other 2014 Mr. Canevin nominees were Patrick Bernauer, who came in second place, raising $1,000 for the American Heart Association; and seniors Brennan Cahill, Eric Shorthouse, Jordan Spadafora and Mark DeSchon.

Cortese said he raised money by going around his neighborhood asking for donations, as well as participating in the East Carnegie school's fundraising activities.

“We set up a table and put a can out so students could donate money,” he said. “We also sponsored dress down days for students (who normally wear uniforms), and sold CommuniTEES — T-shirts representing each individual cause.”

Reinhart said the competition is “a lot of fun. We have a big assembly where the winner gets crowned and caped. We make a big event out of it.”

In year three, Reinhart said, a school-wide fundraiser will focus on the Ronald McDonald House and the American Heart Association, in honor of Cortese's and Bernauer's efforts.

Chasity Capasso is a freelance writer.

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