Reaching out a way of life for Upper Burrell couple
For Betty and Bill Beestrice, giving back has taken many forms over the years.
The Upper Burrell couple may be familiar to those in the township as organizers of regular holiday parties for young and old.
Both retired from PPG, they have put together Easter and Halloween parties for the township's children and Christmas parties for its seniors for close to a decade.
And that wouldn't be the only reason they may be familiar to many.
For nearly 50 years, they were deeply involved as volunteers with the Shamrocks drum and baton corps.
They estimate that several thousand local kids were involved with the group, which not only performed in local parades, but traveled and competed across the nation.
“It was a very good organization,” Betty Beestrice said. “We even helped other corps.”
The couple's two daughters even were involved, starting from the time they were little. When they were older, they served as Shamrocks instructors.
The group disbanded about 10 years ago, but its members still remember their time with Shamrocks, as well as the Beestrices. Some of them, Bill Beetrice noted, even say it was among the best times of their lives.
Providing fun and camaraderie for those in the township is now the Beestrices' primary way of reaching out. They do so several times a year, to the delight of many in the rural community.
“Even before they are done preparing for their current event, they are working on planning the next one,” said township manager Amy Rockwell.
“They volunteer many hours of their time in planning and preparing.
While many organizations are losing volunteers, we are very lucky to have the Beestrices, who continue to do this for the township.”
Among their planning and preparations are efforts to come up with creative games for the children's events for Easter and Halloween and securing donations for prizes to give away at the seniors' Christmas luncheon.
Bill Beestrice estimates they put hundreds of miles on their car in search of donations like free oil changes and even trips from local travel agencies for the senior luncheon.
As with Shamrocks before, the Beestrices' daughters pitch in to help mom and dad.
The children's events attract well over 50 partygoers, while about 90 attend the seniors' Christmas event.
With activities like “Hippity Hop Hunt,” “Daffy Duck Pond” and “Jumpin' Jelly Beans,” the Easter party was the Beestrices' most recent Upper Burrell event.
Bill Beestrice credits his wife with being the creative mastermind.
She gives him props, too.
Motioning around their living room, she noted that when it's filled with items for a party, her husband is happy to load up the car and take everything to the township building where the events are held “whether he has to make five trips, or 10.”
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.
- PennDOT puts 14 Alle-Kiski Valley bridges on list to be replaced
- Flag holders stolen off veterans’ graves in Lower Burrell cemetery
- Freeport dock bid exceeds resources
- Cloverleaf bridge work to resume after change
- Harrison OKs antenna zoning change
- Apollo-Ridge middle school library project gains STEAM
- Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority communities near completion of sewer projects
- Former drug dealer, addict give away groceries as part of New Kensington church’s outreach
- Penn’s Colony Festival offers custom-made items, history of the region
- Beaver footprints found along Allegheny River bank, not gator
- Alligator spotted along the banks of the Allegheny River in Cheswick