Community, school rally around Pleasant Hills boy
The Pleasant Hills Hooligans Football Club, an adult soccer league, will host a fundraiser for a 7-year-old boy recovering from brain tumor surgery on Monday, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Monkey Bar, located at 703 Clairton Boulevard.
The event will feature a dart tournament, guest bartenders and a 50/50 raffle. Those interested in participating in the dart tournament are asked to make a $5 donation.
All of the proceeds generated from the tournament, 50/50 and tips will go to Gideon Ruch's family.
“He's the sweetest thing,” said Jaime Shimko, a neighbor of the Ruches and one of the event coordinators, whose son is a close friends of Gideon.
“He's getting better every day, which is great ... Hopefully we'll have him come back even stronger.”
Gideon Ruch, 7, a first-grader at McClellan Elementary School in Pleasant Hills, is recovering from tumor extraction surgery conducted earlier this month.
Gideon complained of constant headaches and nausea, so his parents, Jul Bibro-Ruch and Jeff Ruch, took him to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where a computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a tumor on his cerebellum. The tumor was removed on March 6.
Every day Gideon shows progress, working on his fine motor skills and coordination, and he is expected to make a full recovery, Shimko said.
“They've been by him the whole time,” she said. “That's going to take a toll ... I think they'll appreciate it but never expect it.”
Gideon is a soccer and baseball player, so when members of the Hooligans club heard about his surgery, they thought it would be appropriate that the club show support for the Ruches, said Sean Richter, who also is helping to coordinate the event.
“It's just the right group of people to get together to do something,” Richter said.
Jim Maksin, another of the event's coordinators, said he agrees.
“I kind of felt the need to help the family,” Maksin said. “We all have kids that could be going through this ... It's great that people are willing to do something to help out.”
Gideon's teacher, Moira Kaczmarek, organized several activities for her class to show support for the first-grader, Principal Justin Liberatore said. Students decorated cards with personal messages and cut out paper animals with words of encouragement for the youngster.
The students also took pictures of themselves making funny faces in hallways, classrooms and various hideouts throughout the school to send to Gideon to boost his spirits, Liberatore said.
Teachers are cautious, though, when explaining Gideon's surgery to the elementary students, Liberatore said.
“All they need to know is one of our students is sick and he's just trying to get better right now and we need to do what we can to support him,” Liberatore said.
Staffers at McClellan were excited to hear about the fundraiser at the Monkey Bar because they sought ways to show support for Gideon and his family, he said.
“They wanted to do more, they just didn't know what,” Liberatore said.
Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at email@example.com. Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or at 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.
- Police chief settlement, legal fees to cost Brentwood more than $400K
- Grant will help pay for school resource officer at Pleasant Hills schools
- Talks continue for new Brentwood EMS contract