Bridgeville parking authority gives to veterans group
The Bridgeville Parking Authority donated $900 in proceeds from the borough's military banners program to the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors.
The program, which began in 2013, sells $50 banners that are displayed throughout the borough from Memorial Day to Veteran's Day each year.
The 24- by 18-inch banners include the name, rank, picture and war of those who served, are serving or were killed in action. As of Jan. 19, 268 banners had been sold.
“We respect that these guys and gals have put their life on hold to protect our future,” said Mike Connolly, chairman of the authority.
Connolly said he pitched the idea to the authority after seeing banners displayed in Castle Shannon.
Because both public works employees and borough volunteers assisted after the project began, the parking authority began saving a few dollars per banner, Connolly said.
Almost all members of the parking authority served in the military, and they chose Wounded Warriors as an appropriate organization to receive the funds.
“We're not in the business of making money, but won't pass on an opportunity to honor the military veterans of Bridgeville,” Connolly said.
Following Bridgeville's decision to sell banners, he said, leaders there contacted Scott and Heidelberg and those communities started their own programs.
“(The donation) means a lot, said Jeff Curtis, president of the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors. “Every penny goes toward the guys.”
The Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, founded in 2002, is based in Eighty Four, Washington County. The organization leases land in that area where members, including many with disabilities, hunt and take part in other outdoor activities.
This is the first time a municipality has donated to the organization, Curtis said, adding that the money could be used for everything from maintenance repairs to hunting programs and food for events.
The organization's next event will be a rabbit hunt in February.
Rich McElhoes, a parking authority member, said the banners are a chance to educate the community.
“It's a teaching opportunity as well as a way to honor veterans. A lot of kids walking down the street look at it and ask their parents about it,” he said.
For each banner purchased, the purchaser gets his or her own copy to hang as well.
Anyone looking to purchase a banner can obtain an application on the borough website or by stopping by the parking authority, 304 Hickman St., Suite 2, or the municipal office, 425 Bower Hill Road.
Alex Felser is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.