Family supports Eat'n Park's Tips for Tots
As Eat'n Park collects funds for youth hospitals across its market region, waitress Taurniece Cromerdie and her daughter are helping McKeesporters understand how Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh touches the lives of everyday people.
Through Dec. 13, Eat'n Park is running its 26th annual Caring for Kids campaign. In McKeesport on Wednesday, servers took part in the Tips for Tots initiative that has helped to raise more than $5 million for children's hospitals over the past quarter century.
Cromerdie, an Eat'n Park waitress for the past 18 years, introduced customers to her daughter Naudia Mya Cromerdie-Grigsby, 11, who was treated at Pittsburgh's UPMC facility when she was diagnosed with a parvo virus infection at age 3.
“I didn't even know that people could get parvo,” Cromerdie said of the virus that, in most forms, is deadly to canines.
Naudia was lethargic and simply wasn't acting like herself, her mother recalled. Already familiar with Children's Hospital because of a sickle-cell disease diagnosis at birth, Cromerdie took her daughter straight to the hospital, assuming she soon would have a medical crisis related to her condition.
“Within 20 minutes, Naudia went from the sickle-cell floor to the ICU,” Cromerdie said. “The virus attacked her major organs almost instantly.”
Naudia was on life support and had undergone a month of treatment when her family was prepared for the worst.
“She was gone,” Cromerdie said. “But she's here now, and she's a blessing. When we visit Children's Hospital today, they say it's a miracle that she made it through.”
During her recovery, Naudia was on transplant waiting lists for several vital organs; and over time her body has healed. She's now off the transplant lists, and her care consists of regular checkups with UPMC physicians.
“Children's Hospital is a part of my life,” Cromerdie said. “Being a waitress at Eat'n Park, I'm proud to be helping out. Tips for Tots is the least we can do to help a hospital that helps so many people.”
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko visited the restaurant twice on Wednesday to check in with the Eat'n Park staff and guest servers including Councilman Keith Soles, police Chief Bryan J. Washowich and officer Justin Toth.
“It's an exciting opportunity for community leaders to take part in this program, which donates 100 percent of collected tips to children's hospitals,” Cherepko said.
Cherepko served as Naudia's fifth-grade teacher for the first half of the 2011-12 academic year, before taking over the mayor's office.
“She's a wonderful young lady,” he said. “She's a good student who is very kind-hearted. She's the type of kid who gets along with everyone.”
Cherepko said it's amazing what Children's Hospital was able to do for Naudia's family. He said support from programs such as Tips for Tots helps youth hospitals make a difference in kids' lives on a daily basis.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
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.
- Special events planned as part of Kennywood’s 2015 season
- Mon-Yough authorities investigate heroin, Fentanyl overdoses
- Old New England Elementary School sale approved by West Mifflin Area board
- Political signs line Mon-Yough streets at election time
- Some ONE Homestead housing units almost ready for occupancy
- Biz students chart strategy for stemming McKeesport’s population decline
- Elizabeth Forward honors 6 for state Special Olympics medals
- No apology coming for Steel Valley teachers