Sewickley mother honors daughter with scholarship fund, art camp
Nancy Raynovich of Sewickley said she wants what just about every parent wants when they lose a child — for that child to be remembered.
So in memory of her daughter, Tess Raynovich, who would have been 21 this year, she has initiated the Tess Senay Raynovich Art and Earth Fund.
Through the fund so far this year, two scholarships have been awarded and an Eco-Art Camp was held last week for about 10 students at Sewickley Valley YMCA's OASIS teen center.
Tess Raynovich was a 2010 Quaker Valley High School graduate who died in an automobile accident last year on her way to work at Ross Park Mall. She was finishing her final week of work, and planned to move to a Montana ranch to teach art to children.
She had taken art lessons from the time she was in second grade, and often helped to mentor students at an after-school Quaker Valley Middle School art program.
Tess, also the daughter of Andrew Raynovich, studied for about a year at Parsons, The New School of Design in New York City, at first aspiring to a career in fashion.
But when she visited her uncle Tony Newman in Alaska and saw the natural beauty there, it changed her perspective, her mother said. She decided to work more on her art.
Tess's dream was to incorporate her love of nature, artwork, fashionable clothes and organic food and her concern about the abuse of natural resources, her mother said.
The four-day Y art camp emphasized Tess's love of nature and gave children who otherwise might not be able to afford art lessons a chance to participate.
Anna Farnan, 14, of Leet, realized at the end of the camp that Tess had been her baby sitter years ago. She made her sculpture by piling rocks on a tree stump that had fallen over behind the YMCA.
Nancy Raynovich said her daughter used to go to the same spot to collect rocks to make sculptures.
A friend of the family created a rock sculpture and placed it in the Himalayan Mountains in Tess's memory.
Rocks also were given to people who attended Tess's funeral. Many of those rocks came from Erika Johnson, director of Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, who also ran a workshop at the camp.
Tess's mother said money to start the fund came from many Sewickley friends and family after so many flowers filled the funeral home that there was no room for more, and visitors began asking what else they could do.
She expected that donations would total $500, but much more came in.
A $750 art scholarship was awarded to Laura Stinson, a 2013 Quaker Valley graduate who will attend Penn State University to study agriculture.
Because Tess also was interested in poetry, a $300 poetry scholarship was given to Rachael Houser, also in the school's class of 2013, who will major in theater at Wagner College in New York.
A fundraiser was held at the Y community activity center on Memorial Day featuring artwork from Tess's teachers and artists from the Sewickley area.
Items are sold through www.tesssenayraynovichartandearthfund.org.
Her artwork also will be displayed as part of a Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 1 Downtown, through the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.
Raynovich, who has two other daughters, Anna, 25, and Mia, 23, said working on Tess's fund has helped her handle the grief tied to losing her youngest child.
“It makes me feel like I'm taking care of her,” she said.
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Pens get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- Pennsylvania shale gas producers received hundreds of environmental citations in 4 years, PennEnvironment says
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Blawnox couple jailed in woman’s alleged abuse of boyfriend’s child
- No cross-checking here: Penguins misspell ‘Sidney’
- Now a Patriot, RB Blount’s thrilled to have moved on from Steelers
- Ex-Steelers QB Batch creates sports medicine startup at Pitt
- Heyl: The Strange Case of Mayor Peduto and ‘Undercover’ Mr. Chadwick
- Letang produces 5 assists in return as Penguins defeat Jets, 5-3
- Penn Hills water main break creates car-swallowing sinkhole