Winner of Helping Hand Award gives gift to Aspinwall Riverfront Park project
Clay Sauereisen, winner of the Elijah Straw Helping Hand Award has chosen to use the donation to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park Fund in honor of Elijah's love for playing outside.
Photo by Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Clay Sauereisen is doing his part to help Aspinwall Riverfront Park.
Clay, 9, of O'Hara directed his $40 charitable donation from the Elijah Straw Helping Hand Award to the park project. That likely would have brought a smile to Elijah's face. Elijah had donated his piggy bank money when organizers were trying to buy the property.
“I saw that Elijah really liked parks, so I thought it'd be nice to give the money to the park,” Clay said.
Elijah died in a car crash on Route 28 last year. He was 6.
His family presents the award in his name to students at O'Hara Elementary School who have shown exceptional friendship and citizenship.
Six students in the Fox Chapel Area School District have won the award so far. Other winners are Kelly Kowalewski, Griffin Kerstetter, Annie Yonas, Brendan Kelly and Mikie Rice. Other organizations that have benefited include Animal Friends, Community Human Services and the American Red Cross.
Winners also receive a $40 gift card to Barnes & Noble, a certificate and a pizza party.
Jen Straw, Elijah's mother, said the award shows students that, even as a child, they can help others.
“We think it's a great way to teach that philanthropy at a young age,” Straw said.
Clay said he's especially excited about the prospect of playing on a playground made from earth mounds when the park opens to the public.
Laura Sauereisen, Clay's mother, said the park was a great place to donate the prize money and gave credit to the Straw family for its work. “We're so touched by the Straw family,” she said.
Development of the park is ongoing. It is not currently open to the public. For information, see www.aspinwallriverfrontpark.org.
For information on The Elijah Straw Memorial Fund, see www.elijahsfund.org. Donations can be made through the website.
Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 â 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.