Rotary Club of Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park gives $48,000 to causes - SHIM

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Rotary Club of Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park gives $48,000 to causes

The Almanac – South Hills residents must love a good barbecue.

In the 30 years since the founding of the Rotary Club of Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park, the organization’s annual chicken barbecue has raised more than $700,000.

“It takes the entire club to mobilize support for the event,” said Dennis Gilfoyle, 2018-19 club president.

Gilfoyle acknowledged members Jessica Docherty for chairing the barbecue last year and Sally Morrison for leading the efforts toward the next event, scheduled for Oct. 5 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair.

The 2018 event raised $48,000, all of it earmarked for nonprofit organizations, and representatives of more than two dozen of the groups gathered with club members recently at Bella Sera in Cecil Township for a celebratory night of giving. Member Susan Hicks organized the proceedings, and Scott Churchill coordinated the club’s philanthropy effort.

Grant recipients include:

  • Adopt a Family South Hills, based in Bethel Park, provides gifts and gift cards to families in need during the holidays. The Rotary grant will support three families of five members each.;
  • Bethel Park Historical Society owns and continues to renovate the former Bethel High School, built in 1905. Last year, the Rotary club assisted with kitchen renovations, and this year’s grant will go toward fixing up a break room.;
  • Bethel Park Public Library continues efforts to create large meeting spaces, and the Rotary money goes toward the purchase of two ceiling-mounted projectors and two 10-foot screens for use in public meetings and presentations.;
  • Bethel Park Police Department’s Traffic Division received a Rotary grant in 2018 for three traffic monitors with data-reporting capabilities. This year’s support is for software subscriptions for the equipment.;
  • Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company has been responding to an increasing number of flood-related emergencies, most notably last June 20. Rotary funding will provide for 32 personal flotation devices and helmets for firefighters, plus rescue devices for vehicles.;
  • Bethel-St. Clair Meals on Wheels, which strives to ensure older and disabled residents eat nutritiously, has received a grant to subsidize four clients who do not pay the $6-a-day donation and eight who pay reduced rate.;
  • Boy Scout Troop 366, based at Westminster Presbyterian Church, is led by Colleen Pikras, one of three women who are Scoutmasters in the Pittsburgh area. Scouts from the troop help at each year’s barbecue, and in turn the Rotary club is providing support for new tents, supplies and the funding for some of the troop members to attend leadership camp;
  • The Early Learning Institute provides intervention services for children in Allegheny and Washington counties, serving more than 1,500 people last year. The Rotary grant goes toward therapeutic devices for children who have difficulty eating and/or speaking.;
  • Familylinks serves more than 11,000 people with services related to behavioral health, mental health and other issues. The Rotary is assisting with addiction-prevention presentations and associated costs such as audio-visual rental, printed materials and promotional giveaways.;
  • George Washington Elementary School in Bethel Park is establishing a Friendship Corner, an area where students can socialize, play games and work on problem-solving skills during recess. The Rotary grant for a picnic table and bench.;
  • Global Links is a medical surplus recovery organization that directs materials that otherwise would end up in landfills to health-care facilities in poor communities. The organization is partnering with South Hills Interfaith Movement to set up drop-off points for appropriate supplies, with the effort supported by the Rotary.,
  • Hair Peace Charities – founded by Pittsburgh radio personality Bonny Diver, who served as Night of Giving emcee – helps female cancer patients purchase wigs in the aftermath of hair loss caused by chemotherapy treatment. The Rotary grant will furnish six wigs.,
  • Hello Neighbor has the mission of improving the lives of recently resettled immigrants families by matching them with Pittsburgh mentors for guide and support. The Rotary club provides financial support for Hello Neighbor-organized family events.,
  • Horses With Hope offers equine therapy to children and adults with special needs and mental disorders. Two saddles and mouthpieces to fit two of the three horses purchased recently will be Rotary-financed.,
  • Military Connections, based in Pittsburgh for 16 years, ships care packages to troops serving overseas. The Rotary club is providing money for 30 packages of essential supplies.,
  • Nyadire Connection offers a hospital, primary and secondary schools, an orphanage and other services in the African nation of Zimbabwe. The Rotary grant helps pay for 45 students at the Home of Hope Orphanage.,

Read the full list and see more pictures here.

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