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Port Vue's mayor makes elderly feel right at home

| Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 5:41 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Mayor Brien Hranics brings a piece of Port Vue to Catherine DeFelice, 100, and granddaughter Mary Kay Matlos and great-granddaughter Rebecca Matlos.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Port Vue Councilman Russell Wooster makes a special delivery of Port Vue soil to his mother Kathleen L. Wooster at John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport on Christmas Eve as part the borough's Mayor-ry Christmas program.

Brien Hranics is wishing Port Vue's elderly a “Mayor-ry Christmas.”

On Christmas Eve, the mayor and other Port Vue officials visited Port Vue residents who have moved to area nursing and personal care homes such as Senior Care Plaza, Riverside Care Center and John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport.

The visits will continue into the New Year.

“I felt like, over the last few years, I had forgotten the true meaning of Christmas,” Hranics said. “I was going through a rough time in my life, and I needed to do something to turn that around. I decided it was time to give back to my community.”

The mayor is delivering potted poinsettias, holiday cards and small vials of Port Vue soil to the borough's former residents.

“No matter where you go, you'll always have a piece of Port Vue with you,” he told 100-year-old Catherine DeFelice.

DeFelice, who moved to Senior Care Plaza almost a year ago, spent the holiday with her granddaughter Mary Kay Matlos and great-granddaughter Rebecca Matlos.

“This is really nice,” Catherine said. “I've got a wonderful family, and the mayor's visit is a nice surprise.”

Mary Kay Matlos said the mayor's gesture was thoughtful and kind.

“It's touching to know that Port Vue (officials) don't forget about their neighbors,” she said.

Councilmen Russell Wooster and Marshall Black joined Hranics on Christmas Eve.

“When the mayor presented this idea to council, I immediately jumped on board,” Wooster said. “It's a lovely idea, and I'm happy to be a part of it. The more people we've told about it, the more people think it's a great idea.”

His mother, Kathleen L. Wooster, was on Tuesday's list of folks to visit.

“Knowing that they're being recognized at Christmas is something dear to my heart,” Wooster said during his visit with his mother at Kane. “I was born and raised in Port Vue, and my mother spent most of her life there. Taking time to recognize a person from Port Vue is a great thing to do for Christmas.”

Hranics said he plans to continue the “Mayor-ry Christmas” program. He said it's the least he can do for folks who have been part of a close-knit community for so long.

“I believe in Port Vue,” Hranics said. “You have to have pride in your community, and I think people are proud to be from Port Vue.”

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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