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Citizen advocacy organization raises money for disabled

Dawn Law
| Monday, July 28, 2008

The people who volunteer for East Suburban Citizen Advocacy know how special the organization is. That's why they commit their time and money to forming relationships with individuals with developmental disabilities: to help them solve problems and enjoy life. Sunday's fundraiser for the Murrysville group was every bit as special and enjoyable as ESCA itself.

Coordinator Kate Cala and her assistant, Rose House , organized a benefit at Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont that brought in more than $2,500. Cala said all of it will go toward forging bonds between volunteers and people who need a friend and ally.

A guest list of about one hundred fifty people enjoyed wine and appetizers under a white tent before being escorted inside the theater to see a production of "Footloose."

In the crowd were volunteers like Donna Baughman , whose inclusive creative-arts program earned her the "Shining Star" award at the event.

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Alyssa Francken, 17, is starting a cooking class for all age groups, where she plans to teach them basic recipes they can use themselves. She is looking for a local kitchen who will donate the food and space.

Kati Baughman enlisted the help of teenage volunteers Megan Cala, Alaina Tiani and Leandra Buchin to start a book club that meets once a month. Right now, they're reading "The Secret Garden."

Seen at the event were: Thomas and Pati Loughran, Orrie and Annette Barbarino, Janette Nelson, Dick and Eileen Baloh, Joyce Clohessy, Bill and Jacquie Smith, Greg Cala, Vince, Pam, Shari and Jill DeGeorge, Nancy Daller and Linda Madden.

-- Jennifer Miele, WTAE


Splash of Art in Jeannette

For the second year in a row, a juried art exhibit held by the Community Arts and Activities Center of Jeannette brought together outstanding works from local artists, and added flare to Jeannette Community Days.

Organizers rented space just across from the Carnival on South 5th Street to display more than 30 entries they received after an early summer call. All weekend, fair goers took a few steps across the street to enjoy the art work.

This year's juror was Kathleen Cochran Zimbicki , artist and founder of Studio Z Gallery in Pittsburgh.

She chose Gary Hartung 's encaustic moonscape "Lunar Heights" as the best in show. The Jeannette artist will receive a $150 prize.

Best in Show in the Young Adult category went to a charcoal sketch of wolves by Kailey Miller of Greensburg, who will receive a $75 prize.

Honorable Mention went to Susanna Ray of Greensburg for her watercolor "A Hot Summer Day."

Artist Rick Rodebaugh , who displayed mixed-media combination of sleek black metal adorned with nuts and bolts called "Compression," had his entire family there to support him in the show, including his wife Colleen , daughter Lily Martz , granddaughter Cecelia Martz and mother-in-law Gloria Williams .

CAAC President Sue Defassio said she likes the way the show has grown, and she hopes it will continue to grow. Event co-chairs Chris Mozley and Sheila Defibaugh said they received entries from Jeannette, Ligonier and Greensburg, and even as far away as Ohio.

The group held cash bashes, sold monthly raffle tickets and even organized a bus trip to raise money for the show and prizes.

-- Jennifer Miele, WTAE


Ready to Ramble

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Western Pennsylvania Chapter will host its area Walk to Cure Diabetes events on Sept. 20 in Greensburg and Pittsburgh.

During a team captain kick-off luncheon Wednesday at the Lamplighter in Delmont, it looked like everyone was already primed to go.

Some of the young diabetes patients who benefit from funds raised ran among the ballon-festooned tables or bounced in their chairs. The adults greeted each other with hugs and laughter.

Though the atmosphere was much like a friendly family reunion, there was serious business at hand, namely a discussion of fundraising and walk participation goals and personal perspectives from those involved.

Handouts provided a reminder that registration for either walk is easily accomplished online at www.jdrf.org .

Seen during the luncheon: David Donahue , chapter executive director; Jimmy Williams Jr ., chapter board president; walk committee chair Terry Daughenbaugh with granddaughter Mandy ; walk corporate committee chair Terry Jacobs ; Sandie Spear ; Julie and Cal McCutcheon ; Kerry Christie ; Paige and Jean Watson ; Madison and Beth Pollick ; Dalton , Scott and Tyler Merichko ; Frances and Joell Olson ; Lacey Newhouse ; Jessica and Tiffany Fanelli ; Abby , Cameron , Ethan , Brad and Mary Cox ; Scotty and Diane Marker ; Ashley and Lisa Orischak ; Ashley Spadaro ; Shari Bandemer ; and Hilary Gilmore .

-- Shirley McMarlin

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