Michael J. Crawshaw Memorial Fund expands its reach in Shaler

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

While Michael Crawshaw's name now is a permanent part of his hometown, friends and family are continuing to make a difference in his name

The Michael J. Crawshaw Memorial Fund was formed by a group of Crawshaw's friends not long after the Shaler Area High School graduate was shot and killed in December 2009 while answering a service call as a Penn Hills police officer.

Through the organization and its annual golf outing, the memorial fund board members have been able to rename the upper baseball field at Kiwanis Park in Shaler Township after Crawshaw, improve the safety at the field and place a memorial in his name at the field. Memorial fund board members have donated money to Little League programs in the township and provided scholarships to Shaler Area High School students who want to pursue a degree in law enforcement.

“It originally started (with) the goal to build a memorial at Crawshaw Field,” said Joe Derouin, chairman of the memorial fund board and one of Crawshaw's high school friends. “We've been able to do a lot of good things through (the memorial fund and golf outing), so we've continued.”

Now, Michael J. Crawshaw Memorial Fund board members are planning to help other law enforcement organizations in Crawshaw's name.

Proceeds from this year's golf outing on Sept. 13 will benefit Concerns of Police Survivors, which provides resources to families and co-workers of officers who are killed in the line of duty, and the Allegheny County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Pittsburgh's North Shore, which is working to build a memorial for police dogs at the same site.

Board members also are working to make a donation to Shaler Township to improve its outdoor recreation facilities for children, including the designated children's fishing area at Fawcett Field.

Derouin said Crawshaw grew up playing in the township's Little League baseball program on the Kiwanis Park field before moving on to become a linebacker in the Shaler Area football program. He also enjoyed the outdoors and went to a camp in Pleasantville, Venango County, most weekends with his family.

“We reached out to Shaler,” Derouin said. “We covered baseball and football … so we're definitely going to do something hunting or fishing related.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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