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Fourth-grader to light Carnegie tree

By Jeff Widmer
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

There are several reasons Adam Haas loves Christmas.

But one reason stands out among them all.

“Santa,” he said, with his young voice taking control and bright eyes looking right at yours.

A Carnegie Elementary fourth-grader, Adam is like any young boy. He is excited about Christmas.

There is a special reason Adam will never forget this coming Christmas, however.

He has been given the honor to light the holiday tree at Carnegie's Annual Light Up Night. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the PNC Bank parking lot on West Main Street.

The honor has been bestowed upon Adam by Mayor Jack Kobistek. On that same day, Adam will receive a special proclamation at 8:30 a.m. at Carnegie Elementary School.

Adam, who attends the Life Skills program at Carnegie Elementary, will be made “Mayor of Carnegie” for the day. He also will wear a medal signifying this.

Kobistek said he could not have chosen a better candidate than Adam, who will be 10 in January.

“I don't think there are too many people in this community who are more deserving to light the tree than Adam,” said Kobistek, noting that the Life Skills student has made “tremendous strides at school and at home.”

Adam suffers from epilepsy and has petit mal seizures just about every day. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was an infant, said his mom, Kimberly.

Adam also has cerebral palsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This leads to major developmental delays for Adam.

All this, however, does not keep the young man from giving a firm handshake, playing video games and playing baseball with his friends.

“He's come a long way. He really has,” said his grandmother and Haas's mom, Debra Pope.

The fact that Mayor Kobistek chose Adam to light this year's tree could not have made the entire family more proud, Haas said.

“We are thrilled that Adam is going to be lighting the tree, because he has never been recognized like this. This is something that we are really excited about,” said Haas, whose husband, Michael, is now serving in the U.S. Army in Spokane, Wash.

Kimberly and Michael have been married for more than 10 years.

“I know Michael is looking forward to seeing (the video) of Adam lighting the tree. We want to get that to him,” Haas said.

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or



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