Valentine Sweetheart Brunch brings a community together

| Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

Emphasizing the success that comes with teamwork, members of the Mon River Fleet Lions Club and Kiwanis Club of McKeesport/White Oak are proud to have served more than 400 guests at their inaugural Valentine Sweetheart Brunch.

“It's about the community coming together,” Mon River Fleet Lions Club's king lion Jim Spindler said. “What's been especially gratifying is the outpouring of support from the community. It provides not only for the success of this event, but it also promotes continued support what local organizations and agencies are doing in the community.”

The Valentine Sweetheart Brunch took place Saturday at American Legion Post 701 in White Oak. It was sponsored by Mon River Fleet Lions Club and Kiwanis Club of McKeesport/White Oak and hosted by McKeesport Hospital Foundation, with additional support from Altrusa Club of McKeesport and McKeesport Lions Club.

With help from the Mon River Fleet Leos Club, a youth extension of the Lions, volunteer Lions and Kiwanians prepared an elegant brunch of crepes, pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice and champagne. The program included a basket auction, door prizes and vendor tables.

“This is a time of year when not many things are going on,” said McKeesport Hospital Foundation executive director Michele Matuch, who is an active member of Mon River Fleet Lions and the Kiwanis clubs. “This is going to become an annual event, a happy holiday.”

Kiwanis president Sean Barton, also a captain of the Salvation Army in McKeesport, said organizations should strive to host entertaining events for good causes.

“This is a way that we can actively give back to our community,” Barton said. “We know that a lot of people are going to be helped by this, and that's a good thing.”

Proceeds from Saturday's brunch will be distributed by the Kiwanis Club of McKeesport/White Oak to LaRosa Boys & Girls Club, Long Run Learning Center and the Salvation Army and by the Mon River Fleet Lions Club to AIU Family Centers and First Steps Parenting Programs in McKeesport, Duquesne, Clairton and Braddock.

“I'm so excited about this partnership with other agencies,” said Alice Jones, district governor of Lions Clubs in Allegheny County. “It shows the spirit of community service. That's what all of our agencies are about — serving the community in which we live.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

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