North Hills Foundation's inaugural gala to benefit district students
The inaugural North Hills Foundation Gala on Oct. 26 will serve as a new way to help support North Hills School District students in their academic endeavors.
The black-tie-optional event, which will honor recently retired North Hills head football coach Jack McCurry, will be held at the Rivers Club in One Oxford Centre on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh.
The program will consist of cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7, and an evening of lively tributes to and presentations about Jack McCurry, a former North Hills teacher and principal and the third-most-winning varsity football coach in WPIAL history.
Tickets are $75 per person.
“This is our first go-around with something like this,” said foundation President Ed Wielgus, 61, of Ross Township.
“We're trying to do one event annually to help the district financially and, at the same time, honor someone in the district who has done an exceptional amount of community service and helped the school district. This year, we're paying tribute to Jack. We're honoring him as a teacher and an administrator. We're honoring him as a football coach. He put North Hills football on the map.”
McCurry began his tenure at North Hills in 1974 as a high school math teacher and an assistant football coach. He was named assistant principal at the senior high school in 1987 and principal in 1989. He became head coach of the varsity football team in 1980 and led his teams to state, WPIAL and conference championships. In 1987, USA Today ranked the North Hills Indians No. 1 in the country. He amassed 281 wins.
But more than the wins and the trophies, his biggest reward is the lifelong friendships he has forged with many of his former students and players, said McCurry, 64, of Pine Township. He said that many still keep in touch.
“I'm going through withdrawal right now,” said McCurry, who retired in January. “I played football for nine years and coached for more than 40. This is the first time in five decades that I'm not on the football field for double sessions!”
He is trying to fill the void by helping 12- and 13-year-olds in a North Hills community football league. He is an assistant coach. The head coach is his son, Dan.
“Being recognized at the gala is a nice honor. I'm overwhelmed that North Hills would do something like this. I'm really looking forward to it,” McCurry said.
The foundation, established in 2001, serves as the gift-receiving organization for the North Hills School District.
“Most of our funds are restricted, which means donors earmark their contributions to benefit something specific, like a capital improvement or the marching band,” Wielgus explained.
The foundation has awarded more than $60,000 worth of scholarships, $50,000 in financial assistance to the arts and athletics, and $10,000 in technology grants to the district, among other things, Wielgus said.
Now, foundation officials are trying to broaden their funding base and raise money for unspecified needs that might be ongoing or arise unexpectedly.
To purchase tickets for the gala or to become a presenting sponsor of it — a donation of $750 that entitles a company, organization or family to eight event tickets, plus recognition at the event — call 412-318-1004 by Oct. 4.
First and foremost, the money raised through the gala will benefit academic programs, Wielgus said.
“We're trying to support technology in the classroom,” he said. “We're aiming to increase and improve our current hardware. Our goal is to have an iPad in every student's hands. While achieving that goal is likely a long, long way into the future, it's still our goal.”
Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Website ranks Hampton among nation’s top schools
- Wexford Elementary earns Blue Ribbon honor
- Housing plan, commercial complex get Pine’s OK
- CCAC North hockey fundraiser to benefit Operation Troop Appreciation
- North Hills Wind Ensemble musicians ‘respect the music’
- Ross residents take concerns about Seville building to township
- Fireworks to highlight La Roche-hosted Festival of Lights
- Book fair to benefit North Hills School District, Make-A-Wish
- North Hills senior to continue rowing career at West Virginia
- North Allegheny wrestlers help homeless at Light of Life
- Photo Gallery: McCandless McRib fan recognized by Pine McDonald’s