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Supermarket owner lends helping hand

| Monday, July 24, 2006

When Ron Olszewski started a charity golf outing a few years back, he had no idea the Muscular Dystrophy Association would eventually tap him as a national vice president.

"It's something I started eight years ago," he said of the golf outing. Olszewski, the owner of the Shop 'n Save at Franklin Village Mall, was recently re-elected to serve as a national vice president of MDA for the third straight year.

As a national vice president, Olszewski is one of the people responsible for coordinating fundraising events in Western Pennsylvania. His biggest is the Walter Knopp Golf Outing, the one he started, now named after an area Shop 'n Save owner who died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease.

He also helps with MDA's national telethon held each Labor Day and helps out with an MDA summer camp at Lutherlyn in Butler County.

"They need some help and I wish we could find a cure for it," Olszewski said.

His store also participates in the "Aisles of Smiles" and shamrocks fundraisers for MDA.

In addition to his work with MDA, Olszewski also serves as the president of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Greensburg.

"That's another one of those pet (projects) I love," Olszewski said.

Olszewski said he doesn't mind donating his time to worthy causes.

"It's my life anymore, it's charitable work," he said. "I'm getting too old to do anything else." He is just a week short of his 69th birthday.

He said he may someday decide to get out of the grocery business, but charitable work will probably always occupy his time.

"That's one thing I'll probably never retire from."

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