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Plum/Oakmont

More than $39K raised for Make-A-Wish at Plum telethon

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, 4:54 p.m.
Participating in a challenge during the Plum telethon are Julie Weyant, Matt Hartley, Maddie Sciullo and Sofia Chapkis.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
Participating in a challenge during the Plum telethon are Julie Weyant, Matt Hartley, Maddie Sciullo and Sofia Chapkis.
Plum High School senior Ryan Gallagher interviews a Make-A-Wish recipient's family members, Bill and Jackie Evans, at the Dec. 21 telethon. Pictured behind the family is former School Director Michele Gallagher.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
Plum High School senior Ryan Gallagher interviews a Make-A-Wish recipient's family members, Bill and Jackie Evans, at the Dec. 21 telethon. Pictured behind the family is former School Director Michele Gallagher.

Plum High School's 18th annual telethon netted more than $39,463 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation this year.

The event was the culmination of several fundraisers for the charity's chapter that serves Pittsburgh, West Virginia and all but 10 counties in Pennsylvania.

Each school in the Plum School District has separate fundraising events, such as a read-a-thon, students versus staff volleyball games and car washes leading up to the telethon. Since starting in 1999, the telethon has raised more than $873,000.

Recipients of Make-A-Wish grants are between 2 12 and 18 years old and diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.

“We raise so much money for these kids. It's so amazing to say I was a part of something so awesome,” student producer Brie Bialota said.

The senior led 60 other students who worked on the event, which was bolstered by a number of local media celebrities.

“We definitely had a lot of big-name people,” Bialota said.

The telethon was filmed and produced by high school students under the direction of teacher and National Honor Society cosponsor Rick Berrott. Plum's telethon started in 1999 as a suggestion by Berrott's wife, Jen, a second-grade teacher at Pivik Elementary.

“It's become a staple and trademark of the district,” Berrott said.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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