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Harvest of Hope benefit supports UPMC McKeesport cancer center

Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - The late Jodie Matta-Dillinger's parents George and Florence Matta pose with her brothers and their wives. At left are Gary and Rona Matta, and at right are George and Cathy Matta.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>The late Jodie Matta-Dillinger's parents George and Florence Matta pose with her brothers and their wives. At left are Gary and Rona Matta, and at right are George and Cathy Matta.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - During the Harvest of Hope event honoring their late mother Jodie Matta-Dillinger, Tyler and Logan Dillinger pose with their dad George Dillinger and Cindy Pazehoski.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>During the Harvest of Hope event honoring their late mother Jodie Matta-Dillinger, Tyler and Logan Dillinger pose with their dad George Dillinger and Cindy Pazehoski.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Cancer Care Champion awardee Nora Evans, second from right, is joned by family for Saturday's event. From left are Barb Weimer, Gordon Weimer, Rich Evans, Ian Filson and Jeff Krajacic.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Cancer Care Champion awardee Nora Evans, second from right, is joned by family for Saturday's event. From left are Barb Weimer, Gordon Weimer, Rich Evans, Ian Filson and Jeff Krajacic.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - From right, Wayne Werkmeister of Photoscape encourages Aric Wendorff, Tabatha Dorman, Michelle Roka, Emma Love and Chaz Roka to get silly for souvenir photographs.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>From right, Wayne Werkmeister of Photoscape encourages Aric Wendorff, Tabatha Dorman, Michelle Roka, Emma Love and Chaz Roka to get silly for souvenir photographs.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Dom and Sheila Farina browse baskets that were auctioned on Saturday night.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Dom and Sheila Farina browse baskets that were auctioned on Saturday night.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, poses with Barb Dorney, Tina Renacci and Jim Dorney.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, poses with Barb Dorney, Tina Renacci and Jim Dorney.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Working a specialty raffle table, from left, are Dave Pasternak, Vikki Harper, Kathy Davis and Patty Monoyoudis.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Working a specialty raffle table, from left, are Dave Pasternak, Vikki Harper, Kathy Davis and Patty Monoyoudis.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Anthony Stratigos, Helen Stratigos, Tom Miller, Patti Miller, Jim Dodaro, Carol Dodaro, Rula Skezas and Jay Skezas gather at the Rivers Casino for the Harvest of Hope event.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Anthony Stratigos, Helen Stratigos, Tom Miller, Patti Miller, Jim Dodaro, Carol Dodaro, Rula Skezas and Jay Skezas gather at the Rivers Casino for the Harvest of Hope event.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Julie Pazehoski and Joel Rippel check in with Mary Jane Keller and Jane Marie Heatherington at the registration table.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Julie Pazehoski and Joel Rippel check in with Mary Jane Keller and Jane Marie Heatherington at the registration table.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Enjoying cocktails and conversation during the social hour of Saturday's Harvest of Hope event, from left, are Larry Carra, Nancy Carra, Maggie Pholar, Steve Pholar, Kathy Tachoir and Roger Tachoir.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Enjoying cocktails and conversation during the social hour of Saturday's Harvest of Hope event, from left, are Larry Carra, Nancy Carra, Maggie Pholar, Steve Pholar, Kathy Tachoir and Roger Tachoir.

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, 4:21 a.m.
 

Family and friends of the late Jodie Matta-Dillinger gathered at Rivers Casino on Saturday night for the fifth annual Harvest of Hope to support the cancer resource center that bears her name.

The Jodie Matta-Dillinger Cancer Resource Center at UPMC McKeesport provides wigs, dignity robes and dietary counseling to cancer patients.

Matta-Dillinger was diagnosed with an inoperable Stage 4 glioblastoma brain tumor in 2000. She died on Aug. 22, 2001.

Her vision was to repay the generosity of those who supported her.

Her family partnered with the hospital and continues to raise funds.

“This has been so successful for the last five years,” said Logan Dillinger, Matta-Dillinger's daughter. “Every person here, their contributions are helping others who need cancer support services within the McKeesport hospital system.”

Each year, the Jodie Matta-Dillinger Cancer Resource Center names Cancer Care Champions, who receive awards during the Harvest of Hope. This year's awardees are Nora Evans, unit director of UPMC McKeesport's Med/Surg Oncology department; and Michael McAndrew, director of the Black Box Corp. communication firm.

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

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