GOAL Magazine |Summer-Fall 2021

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MAGAZINE

TOWER OF VOICES:

Honoring a Legacy of Sacrifice Page 24

INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENT TO A GROUP EFFORT | Summer/Fall 2021


Magazine Proudly Presents the

6th ANNUAL

GOLF OUTING Please join us for the GOAL Magazine Golf Outing OR Paint and Sip to benefit the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation. Net proceeds will be granted to the Autistic Support, Learning Support and Life Skills Classrooms in the Greater Latrobe School District. Over the past five years, we have raised more than $97,500 for this cause.

WHEN:

Monday, August 16, 2021 ARNOLD PALMER'S LATROBE COUNTRY CLUB The format is a 2- person scramble and the $150 entry fee per person includes a gift, snack box and beverages on the course, awards reception and dinner following golf PLUS chances to win top of the line prizes! The winning twosome will be awarded customized wrestling belts by Wildcat Championship Belts with the opportunity to present the belts to next year’s winners.

Registration: 9:00 a.m. Tee Time Start: 10:00 a.m. Dinner: 3:30 p.m. $150 Per Golfer

Not a golfer? Join us for a Paint and Sip!

Starting at 11:00 a.m., follow a skilled instructor while you paint your own artwork. Wine, cheese and light hors d'oeuvres are included with Paint and Sip Event.

Paint and Sip Only...... $60 Paint and Sip + Dinner...$100

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For more information visit www.go2goalus.com/events Go2Goal is a Pennsylvania not for profit organization with a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. The official registration and financial information may be obtained from the PA Dept. of State by calling toll free within PA at 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. All donations are deductible in accordance with prevailing IRS rules. A portion of the registration proceeds will be tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor.


SUMMER/FALL 2021

MAGAZINE

24

On the morning of September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American commercial planes, flying two into New York City's World Trade Center's Twin Towers and one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia in the deadliest attack on American soil by a foreign entity. The fourth aircraft, United Airline's Flight 93, never landed at the terrorists' fourth intended location thanks to the quick and determined actions of the 33 courageous passengers and 7 crew members aboard who saved countless additional lives by selflessly diverting the plane to crash into an open field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In honor of the 20th anniversary of that fateful date in our American history, in this issue we proudly feature the Flight 93 National Memorial and it’s timeless song: 40 heroic voices ringing out across American history.

Cover Story:

Tower of Voices:

Honoring a Legacy of Sacrifice

by 1st Lt. Bradley D. Galbraith, Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment

Cover photo by Autumn Stankay, SkySight Photography

42

by Jason Rigone, Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC)

5 In Case You Missed It!

by the GOAL Magazine Team

6 What is the “Angel of Death” Tax Loophole? by Jessica Rafferty, QuatriniRafferty

7 Beware the RGGI Monster

by Pennsylvania State Representative Eric Nelson

8 The SECURE Act

by the SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management Team

10 Preserving Public Safety in the

Commonwealth by Pennsylvania State Senator Pat Stefano

12 YO...Your Health is a Bunch of T-Shirts by Dr. Reed Nelson, Westmoreland Chiropractic and Rehab Associates

15 Isaac Bigi

44

Flurry of Business Construction Paves Way for New Jobs

by Emma Stein, Greater Latrobe School District Student

Everything You Need to Know About Medicare

by Allison Clayton, Insurance Services LLC

17 Seniors are Never Alone

32 Photographing the Winnie Palmer Nature

18 A Strong Foundation: New CFWC Leader

35 The Future is Bright

by Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli Thrasher Reflects on Family and Philanthropy by Cameron Monteith, Intern with The Pittsburgh Foundation

20 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams to Watch For

by Bryan Kisiel, Kisiel and Associates

22 Make It a Date

by Ann Nemanic, GO Laurel Highlands

28 2021 GOAL Magazine Student

Athlete Honoree by the GOAL Magazine Team

31 Making the Most of Your Basement With Creative Floor Plans by Scott Ludwick, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty

Snow & Ice Removal Landscape Design Lawn & Garden Care

Reserve at St. Vincent College by Autumn Stankay, SkySight Photography by Briana Tomack, Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce President

36 BRIDGE2HOME is Creating Innovative

Solutions to Reduce Youth Homelessness in Western PA by Carol Dunlap, Bridge2Home Host Home Supervisor

41 Post Covid: Recapture Your Physical and

Mental Health by Dr. Kevin Bartolomucci, Bartolomucci Family Medicine

46 Out with Covid, In with Style

by Christina Imberlina, Style by Christina

Shafferslandscaping.com

724.454.7034


MAGAZINE

Production Team

William J. Urbanik Co-Founder

Anthony E. Slezak Co-Founder

Jessica M. Marazza Co-Founder

Jessica S. Urbanik Chief Relationship Manager

Tawnya Rockwell Chief Production Manager

Jaimee Greenawalt Chief Designer

Autumn Stankay Photographer

Bree Edgerly Writer

Kathleen Lloyd Editor

Amanda Mayger Relationship Manager

What is GO2GOAL? GO2GOAL

is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that is best known for publishing GOAL Magazine, which utilizes the talents of local business and community leaders to provide an authentic and informative resource to our community. However, we feel GOAL Magazine is more than a publication - it’s a movement! GO2GOAL is deeply committed to giving back to our community by supporting a variety of nonprofit organizations via GOAL Magazine events such as our Annual Golf Outing PLUS Paint-n-Sip. GOAL University offers a diverse curriculum that helps empower and inform many generations and demographics including

women, the LGBTQ community, young professionals, those approaching retirement and retirees. SHE (Sophisticated | Humble | Empowered) is a female networking group started by GO2GOAL as a way to provide a forum for women to empower one another without judgement. SHE organizes purposeful semiannual social events which always have a philanthropic component and highlight local female-led businesses. Participation in GOAL Magazine can be rewarding in many ways. Not only do you gain an opportunity to promote your business through sharing your expertise and knowledge, you also become a proclaimed member of a collaborative group of local

4 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals who are committed to bringing value to their community and giving back in meaningful ways. How can I get involved? To learn how you can contribute to this publication, please email us at info@go2goalus.com. How can I get my own copy of GOAL Magazine? The majority of GOAL Magazine recipients receive the magazine because one of the contributors within the magazine is sending the magazine as a gift, or currently subscribe. Magazine subscriptions are available at www.go2goalus.com/ subscribe.


Here's a recap of our last issue ...

ns Availab

#FerraroStrong

le At: GO2GO ALUS.COM

In case you missed it!

Subscriptio

MAGAZ

#FerraroStro ng

A beloved fam ily coach and me man, educator, nto on our commu r's lasting impact nity

A beloved family man, educator, coach and mentor’s lasting impact on our community

Jerry Ferrar o 1971-2020 Page 24

Jerry Ferraro 1971-2020

T

INE

INSIDE:

Local Busines ses Successfully Pivo Amid the Pan t demic Page 40

he Winter Issue of GOAL Magazine was released in January and featured History GOAL Magazine Contributor, Jerry Ferraro. Jerry passed away on October 20, 2020 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. It was during this struggle that his #FERRORSTRONG mantra came to life and served as a rallying cry for an entire community. At times, his illness weakened his body, but it never weakened his spirit or passion for life. His will to live and fight to do whatever was necessary to destroy this dreaded disease was inspirational beyond words and served as a stark reminder of how life, the mere privilege to breathe, should never be taken for granted. INDIVIDUA

L COMMITM

ENT TO A

GROUP EFF

ORT | Win ter 202

1

View the entire article by scanning this QR code

1. O pen your smartphone to the camera app. 2. Center the QR code in the frame. 3. View the entire magazine! Jerry’s story starts on page 24.

Jerry, Peyton and Pam Ferraro

A quote from Jerry Ferraro on November 15, 2018

I have two choices. Live or die? I choose life. Believe or don’t believe. I choose life. I know someday I will “transition” to Heaven, but I also know that I shall NEVER die. I will NEVER Rest in Peace. I will live. I Believe.

If you missed this issue and would like to read more, visit

www.go2goalus.com/past-issues

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WHAT IS THE “ANGEL OF DEATH” TAX LOOPHOLE? by Jessica Rafferty

T

Additional planning questions?

he “Angel of Death” tax loophole is also known as the “Step-Up in Basis at Death” loophole. The concept is in the news because President Biden wants to eliminate it. This isn’t the first time a president has tried to eliminate this loophole. President John F. Kennedy asked Congress to repeal the loophole over 50 years ago – but Congress did not. It remains one of the - if not the - largest capital gains loopholes in the U.S. Tax Code. Here is an example to explain how it works.

The impact of the Angel of Death loophole is, of course, only one of the many topics of estate planning. What if one of my children predeceases me? How do I protect my child with special needs? How does a power of attorney protect me and my spouse? What if I do not want extraordinary measures at the end of life? These are typical discussions I have with my clients at QuatriniRafferty.

Example I’ll use shares of stock, but it applies to other assets including real estate. Let’s say that your mom purchased $5,000 worth of Microsoft stock in 1986. Those shares of stock are now worth $2,000,000. If mom sells her shares today, she will pay capital gains tax on $1,995,000 (the difference between what she paid for it and what it is currently worth). If we multiply $1,995,000 by the capital gains rate of 20% - mom would be paying $399,000 in taxes.

But… What if instead of selling her stock, mom passes away and leaves those shares of stock to you? The Angel of Death loophole says that you inherit that stock with a stepped-up basis (normally the fair market value on the date of death). In our example, you would receive that stock as if you purchased it for $2 million rather than $5,000. And, if you sell it, you pay no capital gains tax!

So, it is pretty clear why the federal government would like to eliminate this tax loophole. It is estimated that by eliminating this loophole, it would raise more than $100 billion dollars over the next 10 years. In addition to eliminating the Step-Up in Basis at Death tax loophole, there is also discussion about increasing the capital gains tax – possibly as high as 43.4%, which would dramatically increase the government’s tax revenue. Is this proposed change a good idea or a bad idea? The answer to that question really depends on your particular philosophy. I want to point out that these proposed changes do not just impact the very wealthy. As I mentioned above, this loophole applies to capital gains on many assets including personal homes. We frequently see families benefit from this when their loved one’s home is sold after they pass away.

6 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

A well thought out plan prevents conflict or the need for court intervention. If you would like to talk with me about creating an estate plan that allows you to choose the person you trust to make medical decisions and financial decisions for you in the event of your incapacity and ultimately how to pass on your wealth and legacy, please give me a call (724-837-0080) or send me an e-mail (JLR@QRLegal.com).

J

essica concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning & administration, elder law and family law. She understands that everyone's family is different and everyone's needs are different and she takes the time to listen and learn what is important to you. Jessica's compassion and drive make her an incredible advocate for her clients.


Eric Nelson is a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 57th legislative district. He was appointed to five House committees for the 2021-2022 legislative session: Consumer Affairs, Insurance, Labor & Industry, Subcommittee Chair on Workers Compensation and Worker Protection, State Government and Policy, Deputy Chair. He is also the Chairman of the Gas and Oil Caucus.

Beware the RGGI Monster by Pennsylvania State Representative Eric Nelson

If China gets worse should RGGI still be an executive order? In Pennsylvania, we have exceeded the goals set in the Paris Agreement due to the growth of natural gas and a competitive energy market. Abundant, low cost, gas and a strong skilled-trades workforce has attracted billions of dollars in new investment to PA.

“Silent but deadly”often describes the beasts of our world like poisonous

snakes, killer sharks, and wild tigers lurking in the jungle. It is also the best way to illustrate an economically devastating environmental program Governor Wolf unleashed on Pennsylvania through executive order. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, better known as “RGGI”, has been creeping down from the New England states since the mid 2000’s when Governor Rendell refused to participate. Even back then it was recognized that RGGI is a middle-class job-killing scheme that drives up electricity prices and pushes heavy industry and manufacturing employers out of state. Just ask our friends at US Steel. What kind of program scares away investment and threatens the closure of existing plants? In short, RGGI is run by a non-profit environmental group based in New York City which imposes a carbon impact fee for power generators based on the amount they emit while making electricity. This increases electricity cost 18% -22%, a scary number for employers who could avoid the fee by going to Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Michigan or even Tennessee. RGGI states like New York, New Jersey and Delaware have seen 34% reduction in energy intensive businesses and electricity prices increased 64% faster. Resulting in higher prices and less jobs.

Is everyone reducing their emissions? On the surface less carbon doesn’t sound so bad, we all want clean air. Of the 197 countries to sign the Paris agreement to reduce emissions 40% by 2030, only 35 are on pace to achieve that goal. However, according to a 2019 report issued by Universal Ecological Fund, China will considerably increase their emissions. In March of 2020, China lifted restrictions on new coal plants to stimulate their economy after COVID. Global Energy Monitor’s February 2021 briefing stated China built the equivalent of one large coal plant per week and initiated 73 Gigawatts (GW) of new coal projects. To put in perspective, the Tenaska gas power plant generates about 1 GW of high tech, extremely clean, electricity.

Through free-market competition on our energy grid, PA produces more electricity AND has better air quality. Please review Figure1, Pennsylvania Versus China as reported in the Real-time Air Quality Index https://aqicn.org/map/world. We compete globally and against many states who DO NOT participate in RGGI. Governor Wolf’s order would force energy prices up and result in power being purchased from older generating stations along our Ohio and West Virginia border. These coal plants are higher pollution emitters and as wind blows from west to east, coal smoke brings higher emissions from Ohio. If PA exceeds the Paris agreement, why force more job loss by executive order? That is the heart of the fear, anger, and uncertainty for thousands of our energy workers. Governor Wolf should suspend his executive order and return this important policy decision into the hands of the legislature. Major policy decisions should not be made with the stroke of a pen for ideological purposes. PA’s RGGI mandate should be suspended until all competing states in our energy grid participate. A second possibility could suspend RGGI until the federal government determines a national policy. Lastly, my personal favorite is NO RGGI, the government sets long-term energy goals and free market innovation will advance to keep high quality, low-cost electricity.

Figure 1 - Pennsylvania Vs China: Air quality index

www.go2goalus.com 7


The SECURE Act Change in Strategy or New Opportunities? by The SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management Team

T

he Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is now a law. With it, comes some of the biggest changes to retirement savings law in recent years. While the new rules don’t appear to amount to a massive upheaval, the SECURE Act will require a change in strategy for many Americans. For others, it may reveal new opportunities.

Limits on Stretch IRAs.

The legislation “modifies” the required minimum distribution rules in regard to defined contribution plans and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) balances upon the death of the account owner. Under the new rules, distributions to non-spouse beneficiaries are generally required to be distributed by the end of the 10th calendar year following the year of the account owner’s death. It’s important to highlight that the new rule does not require the non-spouse beneficiary to take withdrawals during the 10-year period. But all the money must be withdrawn by the end of the 10th calendar year following the inheritance. A surviving spouse of the IRA owner, disabled or chronically ill individuals, individuals who are not more than 10 years younger than the IRA owner, and child of the IRA owner who has not reached the age of majority may have other minimum distribution requirements. Let’s say that a person has a hypothetical $1 million IRA. Under the new law, your non-spouse beneficiary may want to consider taking at least $100,000 a year for 10 years

regardless of their age. For example, say you are leaving your IRA to a 50-year-old child. They must take all the money from the IRA by the time they reach age 61. Prior to the rule change, a 50-year-old child could “stretch” the money over their expected lifetime, or roughly 30 more years.

IRA Contributions and Distributions.

Another major change is the removal of the age limit for traditional IRA contributions. Before the SECURE Act, you were required to stop making contributions at age 70½. Now, you can continue to make contributions as long as you meet the earned-income requirement. Also, as part of the Act, you are mandated to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from a traditional IRA at age 72, an increase from the prior 70½. Allowing money to remain in a tax-deferred account for an additional 18 months (before needing to take an RMD) may alter some previous projections of your retirement income. The SECURE Act’s rule change for RMDs only affects Americans turning 70½ in 2020 or later. For these taxpayers, RMDs will become mandatory at age 72. If you meet this criterion, your first RMD won’t be necessary until April 1 of the year after you reach 72.

8 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

Multiple Employer Retirement Plans for Small Business.

In terms of wide-ranging potential, the SECURE Act may offer its biggest change in the realm of multi-employer retirement plans. Previously, multiple employer plans were only open to employers within the same field or sharing some other “common characteristics.” Now, small businesses have the opportunity to buy into larger plans alongside other small businesses, without the prior limitations. This opens small businesses to a much wider field of options. Another big change for small business employer plans comes for part-time employees. Before the SECURE Act, these retirement plans were not offered to employees who worked fewer than 1,000 hours in a year. Now, the door is open for employees who have either worked 1,000 hours in the space of one full year or to those who have worked at least 500 hours per year for three consecutive years. While the SECURE Act represents some of the most significant changes we have seen to the laws governing financial saving for retirement, it’s important to remember that these changes have been anticipated for a while now. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to your trusted financial professional.


Lesser Known Provisions of the SECURE Act

The SECURE Act was passed into law in late 2019 and changed several aspects of retirement investing. These modifications included modifying the ability to stretch an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and changing the age when IRA holders must start taking requirement minimum distributions to 72-years-old.

While those provisions grabbed the headlines, several other smaller parts of the SECURE Act have caught the attention of individuals who are raising families and paying off student loan debt. Here’s a look at a few.

For College Students

For those who have graduate funding, the SECURE Act allows students to use a portion of their income to start investing in retirement savings. The SECURE Act also contains a clause to include “aid in the pursuit of graduate or postdoctoral study.” A grant or fellowship would be considered income that the student could invest in a retirement vehicle.

One other provision of The SECURE Act: you can use your 529 Savings Plan to pay for up to $10,000 of student debt. Money in a 529 Plan can also be used to pay for costs associated with an apprenticeship.

Funds For A Growing Family Are you having a baby or adopting? Under the SECURE Act, you can withdraw up to $5,000 per individual, tax free from your IRA, to help cover costs associated with a birth or adoption.

However, there are stipulations. The money must be withdrawn within the first year of this life change; otherwise, you may be open to the tax penalty.

Annuities

This might be the most complicated part of the SECURE Act. It’s now easier for your employer-sponsored retirement plans to have annuities added to their investment portfolio. This was accomplished by reducing the fiduciary responsibilities that a company may incur in the event the annuity provider goes bankrupt. The benefit is that annuities may provide retirees with guaranteed lifetime income. The downside, however, is that annuities are often the incorrect vehicle for investors just starting out or far from retirement age. The best course is to make sure that you review any investment decisions or potential early retirement withdrawals with your professional.

William J. Urbanik, MBA, Jessica M. Marazza and Anthony E. Slezak

2519 Ligonier St. P.O. Box 421 Latrobe, Pa 15650 724.537.2799 www.shcwealthmanagement.com info@shcwealthmanagement.com

SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management SecondHalfCoachWealthManagement SHCteam

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC

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PRESERVING PUBLIC SAFETY IN THE COMMONWEALTH

A

s the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I have been focused on preserving critical fire and emergency management services (EMS) for our Commonwealth’s residents. Both arms of emergency management are facing serious staffing and funding challenges. By working together at the state, county and local levels, we’re doing our best to mitigate the threat of any Pennsylvanian needing care but not receiving it in a timely fashion. Fire services are arguably the most challenged as the Commonwealth had 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the 1970s and is now down to just 38,000. Without addressing such a dramatic decrease, fire companies are being forced to hire parttime or full-time firefighters. If all of the municipalities in Pennsylvania went to full-time paid fire companies, the price tag to taxpayers would upwards of $10 billion. As such, one of my top goals is to keep Pennsylvania’s tradition of volunteer fire services as vibrant as possible while providing communities options. In 2017, the Senate and House unanimously voted to establish the Senate Resolution 6 Commission, comprised of the major fire and emergency medical service organizations and leaders. The Commission made 91 recommendations that were presented

by Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) to the General Assembly in 2018. From the report, my colleagues in the General Assembly have worked together to implement a number of the recommendations legislatively by passing several important measures – Act 20 of 2019 allocated $250,000 to the State Fire Commissioner for hiring Recruitment and Retention specialists – Act 16 of 2019 established a Mental Wellness & Stress Management Program for our first responders – Act 106 of 2019 provided for Online Training for firefighters – Act 17 of 2020 allowed the Department of Health to provide waivers for ambulance staffing requirements – Act 26 of 2020 allocated $50 million in federal CARES funding for Fire & EMS – and Act 91 of 2020 made a multitude of changes, including enhancing the Fire Commissioner’s Office, establishing a new Fire Advisory Board, revamping of the Loan Assistance Program, Fire Relief, and Fire & EMS Grant Programs, and permitting counties and school districts to offer property tax relief to volunteer first responders. Amongst the provisions in Act 91, the law authorized a question to be placed before the voters in the Spring 2021 primary. On May 18th, the voters overwhelmingly decided that the existing Emergency Services Loan Assistance Fund should be expanded to include municipal fire and ambulance departments with paid personnel. The fund makes 2% interest rate loans available to help fire and ambulance companies

10 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

upgrade or expand fire stations or purchase emergency vehicles or equipment without increasing the Commonwealth’s debt. Passing of the referendum resulted in 40 additional fire departments becoming eligible for loans from the fund. Act 91 also expands the use of relief funds through the Length of Service Award Program to include assistance to firefighters as well as the purchase of equipment and materials for recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. It also allows grant applicants to use funding for revenue loss due to COVID-19 for the 2021 and 2022 grant cycles. As so much has been impacted by the pandemic and Gov. Tom Wolf’s mitigation orders, emergency services were also barred from conducting many of their fundraisers, like pancake breakfasts, bingos, and other community events. While a lot was done in 2020, our Committee will be building on this work by first ensuring that the new laws are implemented properly -- looking at legislation creating countywide “Public Safety Authorities” -- as well as having Pennsylvania join over 20 states in the “EMS Compact,” to provide a smoother process for Pennsylvania and out-of-state EMS personnel to carry their credentials across borders.


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…Your Health is a Bunch of T-Shirts by Dr. Reed Nelson

W

e all know the people that wear the T-shirts. You know the shirts with the interesting sayings on them. Although I don’t often wear T-shirts, I have quite the collection. During the 27 year journey of helping others with their health, I have accumulated a collection of truths about us humans. These T-shirts contain wise words about the life and health of the human being. Now I should mention, I cannot take you through my whole wardrobe in this article. We can however certainly take a peek at a few shirts. Each of the shirts in this writing either does, should or will have books written about them. They are just interesting truths. So open your mind as I take you into my closet.

You’re unique but you’re not that special You’re Quite the shirt! We UNIQUE all are unique. We all but you’re have amazing potennot that tial. You can thank SPECIAL the world designer. Without our unique differences the world would be quite boring. Despite these differences, pretty much the same stuff happens to all of us. At some point in time, we all will have an unfortunate health injury. Pretty much everyone will turn an ankle, break a bone, or fall. We all will be hurt by some-

12 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

one or something physically and/or mentally. As well, all of us will be helped by someone kind. Bob is a good example of a guy that needs this shirt in his closet. I will say Bob is unique, I enjoy him. Bob also thought he was special. Bob thought he didn’t need sleep like the rest of us. Bob told me, “I only sleep 3-4 hours per night.” He was proud of it! “That’s all I need,” Bob said. I told Bob generally that is not good for your health. Bob replied, “No, it's fine for me, I’ve been doing it for years.” In short, Bob began to have problems with his body. He achieved many degenerative joints and


We all will be hurt by someone or something physically and/or mentally. As well, all of us will be helped by someone kind. had a plethora of knee surgeries. Bob had a disc problem, tissue tears, tearing in his shoulder and triceps, a broken hip, drug treatment for pain and inflammation problems and prostate cancer. Bob did all of this before the age of 55. Bob is loving. Bob is unique but, Bob is not that special. It’s safe to say that Bob requires rest and regeneration just like the rest of us. So you see, the truth is pretty much the same things happen to all of us. It’s safe to say we all will feel pain and sorrow. We all will experience pleasure. At times our brains will feel sadness; and we will all know how it feels to smile. This brings me to my next shirt… It’s never what happens; it’s what you do It ’s never what when it happens happens; it ’s As with all the what you do when truth T-shirts it happens this shirt deserves some pondering. Two men lose a limb in a war injury. The one man remains a victim. He is quick to anger, stuck in the past and negative. He turns to alcohol and abusive language to change his state of mind and to feel significant. The other man is thankful he did not lose both of his legs! The second man goes on helping other amputees and works with a team to develop better limbs. He lives life full of love and connection, is inspiring and respected. How does the same thing happen to both men and their health and happiness end up in such different places? Answer, because it’s never what happens, it’s what you do when it happens. Great shirt!

This next t-shirt is deep but essential to living a long life of health and wellness. You got to have faith I’m not talking You got to have religion here. You must have faith that the human body, for the most part, heals itself. I’m talking faith that the world designer did not make the human animal with a few needless organs or a lack of drugs. This shirt is quite direct and isn’t in any way meant to downplay the valuable benefits of drug treatments. It’s to say that he with the most drugs does not win. This faith I am talking about doesn’t stop here either. You must have faith that there is a universal intelligence, which is good. You have to believe that good is ultimately more powerful than evil. It is powerful to belief goodness triumphs over evil. As far as faith goes, whether you think you can do it or you think you can’t do it, most of the time you’re going to be right. It’s just how the brain body connection works.

FAITH

Your health is like a farm Any farmer knows there are winters, spring, summer and fall. The farm is cyclic. Life is cyclic and therefor so is your health. The farmer that has the best crops

Your health is like a farm

in the spring did not do the least work in the fall. A good book said it well, “We reap what we sow.” From cardiovascular disease to obesity we must take general responsibility for our health. You see, for the most part any disease that comes into our body is earned. We are at least in part the creator of the disease because we are in fact the creators of our health. What can lead to controversy and confusion on this topic is the exceptions. It is unwise to base position on exceptions. The truth is, sometimes we can do everything correct, and still have a health problem. Let me take it back to the farm to clear this up. The farmer can do all the hard work that is needed to have great crops, but sometimes a fire or a flood just ruins everything. In general however, a farmer is rewarded in the spring for the hard work he/she has done in the summer and fall. The farmer will reap what he/she sows and we do the same with our health. CNS rocks So what is the CNS? The human central nervous system is made up of brain matter, eyes, and spinal cord. I should point out that many educators don’t include the eyes in the CNS but they absolutely are. I saw it for myself; the eyes are a direct extension of the brain. In fact this extension of the brain is one of the unique features that gives the human being great advantages over other animals. This brain talk reminds me of another important T-shirt to own on this subject.

CNS ROCKS

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Seek and you

Seek and you into more or less than what they are. shall find shall find This too is just a brain-body thing, it’s What you direct your just how we are designed. Our mind’s brain to think about tendency is to error on making things is your focus. What into more than they are to keep us safe. we humans think, The world designer was thoughtful and we feel. The brains intelligent. Before we relax to drink thoughts are things. from the stream, we check for danger. Happiness, sorrow, Now of course present day humans and frustration, are have less chance of being preyed upon. feelings that don’t exist if it wasn’t for our Nowadays most lions, tigers and bears central nervous system. It’s good to know aren’t looming around your morning cofthis. One important thing about focus is fee. If you understand this brain tendency it helps establish our beliefs. Beliefs are however, you can absolutely benefit your powerful real things too. Our beliefs can health and your life. Speak to yourself! limit us or our beliefs can be the foundaAsk yourself questions, “Is my brain maktion to do something outstanding. There ing this into more than it is? What exactly is always both good and bad to see and does this really mean? What else could this our brains can find either in any situation. be?” The opposite can be true as well. Our It simply just depends on what we direct brains can make things into less than what our brains to look for. If you’re looking it is. I always say, you can’t continue the for the worst in something, you will find backyard barbecue when the house is on it. I will also remind you, this CNS I’m fire. Sometimes our minds won’t be looktalking about is not designed to make us ing at something correctly. The brain will happy. It’s designed to make us see it as less than it is. survive! Health and happiness is One might say, “Oh the a choice. We all have the power house is on fire, but SEE IT AS to choose, we can see the good, I’m enjoying this barIT IS we can see the bad, and the becue, did you try the choice is but our own. Seek and ribs?” In this example, you shall find, nice shirt. the person clearly is making the occurrence See it as it is of a house fire into The next T-shirt goes hand and less than it is. Do as hand with brain and body talk. the shirt says, “See it Don’t make life’s occurrences as it is.”

Baby steps BABY STEPS How do you eat a hippopotamus? Answer, one bite at a time. The process is no different when it comes to your health. When it comes to health challenges like losing weight or cardio vascular fitness, owning this T-shirt becomes valuable. When humans allow themselves to think about the entire project, they don’t even wish to start. Furthermore the whole process can be discouraging and overwhelming. On the contrary, when a person reminds themselves only of the things necessary to do tomorrow, it becomes a whole lot easier. Your health will be rewarded for the small things you do over a long period of time. A man walked into a gym with the goal of achieving big biceps. He curled and curled and gave it his all. On the way to car he said to himself, “I did everything I could but it just didn’t work for me.” He didn’t own the shirt. So what’s in your closet? Do you need to add a few interesting shirts to your health and wellness wardrobe? It’s been my pleasure to share a few of mine with you but it is time for me to go, I must do some laundry. Peace.

Reed Nelson, DC, BS is the founding partner of Westmoreland Chiropractic & Rehab Associates, a group of wellness providers including Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and a Nutritionist, helping people with their health in multiple locations in Westmoreland County. Dr. Nelson is passionate about community involvement and gives time and financial support to many charitable causes.

Greensburg Office 724.216.5004 Export Office 724.325.2112

...leaf is good

NLCigar.com

14 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021


ISAAC BIGI by Emma Stein, Senior Editor and Staff Writer at the High Post Newspaper at Greater Latrobe High School

T

he risks were in the back of his head, but Isaac Bigi regained hope as he received his Covid-19 vaccine with anticipation to return to his normal life as an immuno-compromised teenager amidst a global pandemic. Throughout this difficult year, Isaac has been fully present to a variety of learning styles to finetune his educational success, regardless of personal, local or global challenges. Isaac positively embraces a healthy life which aligns to his personal high level of learning.

Overcoming physical setbacks procures a strong-willed young man. Diagnosed with Graves’ Disease when he was just four years old, Isaac has grown into a young man with the essence of resiliency. His autoimmune disease caused an overactive thyroid that created imbalances and abnormalities in his body and world at large. His endocrinologist, rheumatologist and neurologist have been a lifeline as he has been assessed from all angles over all parts of the country searching for hope. Isaac feels lucky to have his “personal dream team” of doctors on his side. After visiting his “regular” doctors, he was told “it was a rare, unusual circumstance they’ve never seen before.” Treatments were trial and error for his condition that only seemed to become more challenging over time. Going into freshman year, serious complications made it difficult to walk and even function on his own; he was only able to lift his arms above his head. Through his physical journey in search of medical breakthroughs, he stayed committed to life from a different perspective: a wheelchair. He embraced the encouragement of family and friends. “Looking back to November of 2019, I began to lose hope while looking for answers, but I always knew I would get better. I had so much support from my family and friends. My parents would always tell me ‘You are who you are, and we love you for that.’ which always made me stay hopeful,” Isaac said. Isaac’s doctors found a “risky” surgery that could benefit his condition. Preparation

included a new drug given through an IV to ensure the strength of his immune system. “I couldn’t wait to have the surgery. I’ve been waiting for something to get me better and this was it. The only serious thing that could result would be damage to the vocal cords which is very rare,” said Isaac. The thyroidectomy removed a part of the thyroid which produces hormones which regulate metabolism. Isaac felt that he was on the road to recovery. “The surgery began to help so much. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I was adjusting and learning how to walk again using a walker which felt really good,” Isaac said. Going to routine therapy sessions daily for three to four months at Excela Square gave him a new sense of hope -- one step at a time. The daily intense physical and occupational therapy allowed his body to heal while gaining strength. “This antigravity treadmill was where I learned to walk on my own for the first time in eight months,” Isaac said. Immuno-compromised, Isaac realized being in a public school setting everyday during a pandemic created high risk. “I was honestly planning on going to school in the summer [of 2020], but my doctors thought that I should stay home and go online. I know how important education is. Education is key to the development of society, and I also really enjoy learning new things. I am always curious and always want to learn as much as possible,” Isaac said.

As a senior who needed to stay remote, Isaac maintained rigorous classes at the high school: anatomy, Advanced Placement classes in physics, calculus BC and US History to follow those his junior year in chemistry, human geography and language and composition. He also participated in Young Engineers, a partnership program through the high school with Kennametal. “Isaac is one of the best “online” students, for he consistently asked questions and engaged in dialogue,” said Mrs. Jen LeVan, anatomy teacher. A big vision created vigilance for Isaac, whether in the class or remote: “I just always try to stay on top of my work and get it done sooner rather than later. It is easy to forget about an assignment without everyone talking about it at school,” Isaac said. Shortly after being fully vaccinated, Isaac enthusiastically returned to brick and mortar to finish his senior year. “It feels so good to be back,” he said. With a positive mental attitude and keen intelligence, Isaac’s future is bright. Isaac will study chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University before attending medical school. “I want to help other people that were like me when I was sick,” Isaac said. Isaac will carry on with strength of character, an optimistic vision, and the ability to succeed. He plans to make a scientific breakthrough to improve the quality of life of another. Isaac is a pillar of hope as a graduate in 2021.

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WHY JOIN THE CHAMBER? The Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce brings you innovative member benefits and programs that can make the most of your marketing dollar and provide measurable returns. We’re here to help you engage, influence and make an impact using dynamic programs, services and initiatives designed with business success LEARNING NETWORKING in mind. Get a competitive Build and strengthen edge with exclusive your business network with education sessions, training roughly 900 members and opportunities and business over 100 events each year. resources.

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We’re in business for your business. JOIN TODAY!

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Courtney Guerrieri Director of Membership Services 724-834-2900 courtney@westmorelandchamber.com


Seniors are Never Alone

United Way partners and volunteers provide independence and basic needs by Westmoreland County Commissioner, Gina Cerilli Thrasher

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s county commissioner, I’ve been very passionate about non-profit organizations and the senior citizen population of Westmoreland County. During these tumultuous times, United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior program has expeditiously addressed both of these with competence and compassion. During a year unlike any other, we all faced struggles. For many seniors in Westmoreland County and across the region who were confined in their homes and quarantined, the pandemic brought on additional hardships. Some felt isolated, disconnected from families, friends and community. Some faced hunger, as traditional means for securing basic needs were upended. Some discovered that digital life – connecting with family, health care and even scheduling vaccine appointments online – was more than they could handle. While the pandemic exposed gaps in the safety net of support for our region’s most vulnerable people, the organization quickly evolved to find solutions to problems beyond food deliveries to addressing loneliness and digital literacy. This was all made possible through collective efforts by United Way programs, volunteers, and partners throughout the community. Prior to the pandemic, seniors received help with everyday tasks like getting food for the week or a ride to a medical appointment. The United Way-funded program called Open Your Heart to a Senior matches volunteers with seniors. Volunteers provide companionship for older adults in need of social interaction and neighborly services like grocery shopping, transportation, running errands, basic home safety inspections and more. The trained, compassionate volunteers provide free, non-medical services to help seniors maintain their quality of life and independence in their own home. During the pandemic, these caring volunteers also became helpful IT assistants, as these simple undertakings proved daunting.

With contactless procedures and safety regulations in place to protect our region from COVID-19, the community relied on online skills to order food and catch up with friends. Many seniors lack access to the internet or have the digital skills to navigate it. When digital literacy was identified as an issue, United Way’s partners ramped up training for volunteers and surveyed participants to learn more about their technology needs to safely improve cyber skills and accessibility. Securing COVID-19 vaccine appointments became particularly problematic for seniors, as many lack internet access or transportation. Seeing this hurdle, United Way partnered with Excela Health in Westmoreland County to help seniors without internet access get COVID-19 vaccines and leveraged partners for transportation to appointments. The new obstacles for seniors caused by COVID-19 rallied volunteers to respond and step up. In just the past year, United Way and 16 agency partners mobilized more than 2,000 volunteers to provide more than 70,000 hours of service to nearly 8,000 older adults region wide. They serve seniors not only through rides and food deliveries but work to improve their mental health and establish Deb, a volunteer with Open Your Heart to a Senior (OYHS), recently spent a morning delivering nutritious food boxes to local older adults.

friendships. Volunteers make weekly calls and provide socialization for many seniors who have been isolated the past year. During the pandemic, these relationships became a lifeline for seniors both physically and emotionally. When seniors were quarantined and didn’t know how they would get their next meal, many in the community turned to United Way’s PA 211 Southwest helpline, according to Alyssa Cholodofsky, Westmoreland Region Director, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. In the five-county region, 211 emergency basic needs requests were 36% higher from March 15 through August 31, 2020 than they were in the same period of 2019. To meet the demand of these needs and feed seniors, United Way’s PA 211 Southwest expanded its Resource Navigator staff which now answers 1,000 requests daily. United Way’s PA 211 volunteers and partners are helping seniors become more independent, connecting them to resources and enabling them to receive the care they need. Currently in the works is a web application called “Helping Hands” by a partner and tech company called Civic Champs that will allow seniors and their families to make requests for help and volunteers to track new opportunities. Even in isolation, no one in the community is truly alone. Programs and partnerships are there to comfort seniors with companionship, keep them safe, and enable them to support themselves. These resources improve seniors’ lives.

If you find yourself in need of help or know someone who is, contact PA 211 Southwest by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898-211, or visiting pa211sw.org. To volunteer, call 724-834-7170 and ask for Melaney.

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“I want to have an impact in the community where I live." McCrae Martino in The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County’s Greensburg offices.

by

A STRONG FOUNDATION:

New CFWC Leader Reflects On Family and Philanthropy by Cameron Monteith

McCrae Martino takes on the responsibilities of executive director of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

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cCrae Martino was born and raised in Pittsburgh, but never expected that her journey back home would take her across the country to Los Angeles, California, and Washington, DC. After thousands of miles traveled and countless people met, she reflects on her family values and the community that raised her. Now, as she leads the philanthropic hub of Westmoreland County, McCrae plans to bring to the job what she has learned from 20 years of experience in workforce development and human services, as well as her personal commitment to listen to county residents’ ideas on how community philanthropy can be most effective.

“I want to have an impact in the community where I live,” says McCrae, who in 2014 moved to Murrysville with husband, Jeff, and their three children. “For me, working in nonprofits has always been about helping people and giving back.” As a philanthropy under the umbrella of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County (CFWC) serves as a matchmaker for nonprofits serving the community and donors who want to help. CFWC tracks community needs and identifies where resources could be invested. “Whether it’s a donor or a nonprofit,” says McCrae, “their end goal is the same: to

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make the community a better place — through donating dollars or volunteering or organizing strategic responses to issues. CFWC sits in a unique position where we can engage with all of those who can help guide our investments.” To understand McCrae’s career as a nonprofit leader, it helps to learn more about her parents and the values they imparted to her. “My parents came from nothing — both of them,” says McCrae. ”And the fact that they were able to achieve what they achieved and give so much to my sister and me is really amazing. It was my mom and dad who encouraged me to volunteer, to go to college and help others whenever I am able. If they hadn’t done that, who knows if I’d be in the same place that I am now.” Her father, Jim “Doc” Holliday, grew up with 11 family members in a two-bedroom row house in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. He did not finish high school. Her mother, Dorothy, also came from a workingclass home. She was raised in Penn Hills with a father who didn’t believe women should go to college. Jim became a police officer and was active in the police union during his 37-year career. Dorothy was a hospital receptionist and later worked for the Pittsburgh city government in workforce development from the 1990s to 2010. Jim and Dorothy met at Forbes Hospital when Jim entered with a person who needed urgent medical attention. Jim struck up a conversation with Dorothy, who was working the front desk, and that led to a first date. They were married in 1967.


McCrae characterizes her parents as community servants and credits them with inspiring her early work experiences, including helping the elderly at a local nursing home, making phone calls to encourage people to vote, and shadowing district attorneys for a day. These opportunities exposed her to the joy of meeting the people directly impacted by grassroots efforts. As an undergraduate at Allegheny College, McCrae spent a summer interning at the White House and participated in spring break volunteer trips, which gave her the opportunity to see how government and nonprofits can work together to alleviate significant human-service challenges. These experiences motivated McCrae to enter graduate school at the University of Southern California where she focused on nonprofit management and spent a year in a Presidential Management Fellowship in Washington, DC. Taking what she learned, McCrae decided to return to southwestern Pennsylvania to continue her career in the nonprofit sector. “I realized that coming back to the nonprofit sector was an opportunity to have an actual impact on the ground. I wanted to see the people I would be influencing and to be a little more creative and flexible in developing solutions,” says McCrae. Upon her return, McCrae served in leadership positions at the Partner4Work, The Forbes Funds, and the Coro Center for Civic Leadership. McCrae’s most recent role was serving as the vice president of human services at Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania where she oversaw the human services division and more than 200 employees. Of her achievements while working at Goodwill, McCrae is most proud of a $1.3 million renovation of a homeless shelter run by the organization. “Because of the relationships I had and the knowledge I had gained throughout the years, I was able to put out a request for the shelter. Without that money, we would not have been able to keep it open during the COVID pandemic. I travel over there now and think, ‘Oh my God, I really did something.’ ” For McCrae, relationship-building was critical to the success of that project. She carries this approach to CFWC and looks

McCrae with her family: Back row, L to R: Jeff, Eva and McCrae Martino; McCrae’s parents, Jim and Dorothy Holliday; Chris, Gracie and Brye Rhodes. Front row, L to R: Jax Martino, Cian Dignam, Kellan Martino, Grainne Dignam and Tallulah Rhodes.

forward to furthering the Foundation’s commitment to vulnerable populations in Westmoreland County. The philanthropy’s new Comprehensive Community Investment Strategy redefines how CFWC invests in people and places, and focuses resources on communities with a disproportionate number of residents who have household incomes less than 200% of the poverty level.

“I’m happy that my career is in nonprofits,” says McCrae. “With having to raise three kids and both parents passing away last year, I’ve had to focus my attention on personal matters rather than being able to volunteer out here in Westmoreland County. And I miss that. I think I’m very lucky to be able to do this work.”

“A lot of people come into a position with a very specific vision of the things they want to do,” says McCrae. “While I have initiatives I want to explore, I am looking to build my vision by meeting with and talking to community leaders, organizations, and the people we serve." As McCrae charts out her leadership course at CFWC, she is dedicating her work to the memory of her parents who died within six months of one another last year as she was orienting to her position at Goodwill. She misses both parents dearly and intends to continue Jim and Dorothy Holliday’s legacy through the volunteer and nonprofit work that she now does in the Westmoreland community.

Cameron Monteith is a Communications intern with The Pittsburgh Foundation, where CFWC is an affiliate. He is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in creative writing and film studies at Carnegie Mellon University.

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E very year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of tax scams, spotlighting the myriad ways that people try to separate you from your money.

“Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams to Watch For by Bryan Kisiel

The “Dirty Dozen” Identity Theft Using your personal information, an identity thief can file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund. If you’ve been a victim of stolen personal information, you can contact the IRS so the agency can protect your tax account.

Phishing

Be wary of fake emails or websites looking to steal your personal information. If you receive a request for information that appears to be from the IRS, contact the IRS directly to verify the request.

Telephone Scams

Scammers will contact you pretending to be from the IRS. They may say that you are due a large refund or owe money (even threatening arrest or revocation of your driver’s license). If you receive such a call, call the IRS and contact the Federal Trade Commission using their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.

Inflated Refund Claims

Tax preparers promising inflated returns may ask clients to sign a blank return or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund. Beware of phony storefronts or preparers advertising through word-ofmouth to community groups where trust is high.

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Return Preparer Fraud

Dishonest preparers may use tax preparation as an excuse to steal your personal information, so only use a preparer who signs the return and has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number.

Hiding Income Offshore

The IRS has strengthened its ability to identify offshore holdings, and the failure to report them will be costly.

Impersonation of Charitable Organizations

Fraudulent charities raise money or obtain private information from individuals looking to help. Donate only to recognized charities and beware of charities whose names sound similar to the well-known ones.


False Income, Expenses or Exemptions

Falsifying your tax return is a high risk, low reward exercise, especially in this age of Big Data.

Frivolous Arguments

Ignore promoters of frivolous arguments that promise you tax relief. Not only are they expected to fail, but you may be subjected to penalties and possible jail time.

Falsely Padding Deductions or Returns

Dishonestly reporting deductions to reduce tax bills or inflate refunds may open you up to penalties and prosecution.

Abusive Tax Structures

If someone is proposing to eliminate or substantially reduce your taxes through complex tax structures, walk away—they may be offering nothing more than illegal tax evasion.

Excessive Claims for Business Tax Credits

This happens when taxpayers or their tax preparers improperly claim the research credit or the fuel tax credit, which is generally limited to off-highway uses, such as farming.

Bryan Kisiel, CPA CEO, Kisiel & Associates Director of Tax Planning, SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management

Please like us on facebook: Kisiel & Associates, PC

Success Is A Journey, Not a Destination Schedule a free consultation! 724-537-2799 The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.

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Mammoth Park courtesy of GO Laurel Highlands

MAKE IT A DATE by Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, GO Laurel Highlands

G

oals. We all set them for various reasons. Likely, a vacation, especially one for 2021, was at the top of many must-do lists. As we emerged from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was evident personal travel was returning at breakneck speed. A vacation, even a small getaway, provides such a welcome respite and an opportunity to hit the pause button and recharge. It’s an opportunity to collect those precious memories we need for our mental wellness. If you don’t have dates circled on your calendar, no worries. We still have weeks of summer remaining and the months of a Laurel Highlands fall are unsurpassed.

If getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible is a priority, Spirit Airlines offers departing flights to several destinations out of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. Have you seen the interior improvements? GO Laurel Highlands championed the cause of visual airport enhancements in May 2021. With an affirmative nod from the airport authority and the county commissioners, a once blank beige canvas was transformed into a captivating landscape of the region. Over 50 installations including massive wall murals, 10-foot banners, stunning photography mounts, three-dimensional pieces, a resource wall, and an expansive regional map serve as a source of ‘welcome’

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for visitors and, hopefully, create a sense of pride for those lucky enough to call the Laurel Highlands home. If a faraway destination is not on the horizon, enlist the help of the GO Laurel Highlands team to plan a stay-cation. Visit our new location at 113 East Main Street on The Diamond in Ligonier for inspiration. Regional brochures, outdoor recreational resources, our destination guide, and the new Westmoreland Heritage history and cultural map will help you discover treasures in your own backyard. Be sure to pick up a copy of our 2021 Coupon Book filled with over $350 of savings and the


LHPourTour passport designed to help you explore our extensive craft beverage industry. The Laurel Highlands’ footprint covers over 3,000 square miles….700 of those are trails. Hiking, biking, mountain biking, and easy walking trails can fill hours, even days with outdoor experiences. Our natural waterways, waterfalls, water slides and calm water will easily cool your senses on the hottest of summer days. Vacation rentals, campgrounds, and resorts allow you to pod-travel… yes, that’s a new word that emerged in our industry from the pandemic. Meaning: traveling within your comfort pod of close family members.

Photo from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

I’m one for new discoveries, and I’ll simply share a few new businesses (joining the mix of 3,500 in our region) who would appreciate your patronage when you are mapping out your next adventure. Visit GoLaurelHighlands.com and search for Tissue Farm, The Creamery at Pleasant Lane Farms, Brushes & Beans Café, White Carriage Acres, Gypsy Lane Café, Tylers Bakery & Café, Chapel Hill Wines, Beef Jerky Experience, Getaway Café, and Hemlock Lane Designs. Make It A Date - A date for making and collecting memories in the beautiful Laurel Highlands.

The Creamery at Pleasant Lane Farms Tyler’s Bakery & Café

Brushes & Beans Cafe

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TOWER OF VOICES:

Honoring a Legacy of Sacrifice

By 1st Lt. Bradley D. Galbraith, Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment

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c o v e r

s t o r y Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent, Stephen Clark and Volunteer Ambassador, Judy Petrusic.

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or most Americans, the annual reminder of the events that transpired on 9/11 is like digging up a nightmarish time capsule full of mixed emotions. News and social media outlets are flooded with the devastating images and audio that resurface every anniversary. While those images are powerful and necessary to show the general public, it can be easy to forget the individuals and the countless acts of heroism that occurred that September morning.

Now 20 years later, after the dust has settled, it is up to us to uphold the legacy of these brave men and women. The simplest way to do this is to read, research and pass the stories of these heroes on to the next generation. Fortunately for citizens of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County stands in permanent tribute to their memory, and the memorial Ambassadors serve as an important resource to learn about the horrific events of that day.

When the 33 ordinary passengers and 7 crew members of United Airlines Flight 93 boarded the Boeing 757-200 that morning, it was impossible for them to know that this would be the final day of their lives. After all, they were regular people like you and I. That day those ordinary people embodied the American spirit. When terrorist - hijackers took control of the aircraft somewhere over Ohio and reversed its course for an attack on Washington D.C., the crew members and passengers refused to allow the circumstances to dictate fate. The plane, which the 9/11 Commission confirms was most likely bound for the US Capitol Building, had the potential to kill countless more Americans. Instead, people just like you and I did not allow evil to triumph. They thought and prayed together, shared final phone calls with loved ones and attempted to take back control of the aircraft. Those 40 ordinary individuals became instant heroes, inspiring people around the world.

Per Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent, Stephen Clark, “Before the permanent memorial was completed, and a mere chain-link fence surrounded the crash site, there were Flight 93 Ambassadors.” Unpaid, they volunteer their time day in and day out to assist visitors in learning more about the stories and people surrounding 9/11. Ambassadors receive training to learn as much information as possible in order to educate the public. People from all over the world flock to the memorial to learn and honor the memory of the brave men and women aboard the flight that day, and the Ambassadors ensure it is precisely those stories that never die. Flight Path and Visitor Center.

The black walkway is the Flight Path stretching past the Visitor Center and ending with a glass panel providing a view of the Memorial Plaza at the crash site. Written on the panel is the quote “A common field one day, a field of honor forever.” The concrete walls of the Visitor Center were poured into molds made from old barn boards to give the walls a wood texture.

Tucked into the rolling green hills of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, the Flight 93 National Memorial, which was officially dedicated on September 10th, 2015, solemnly overlooks the very field where 40 heroes’ lives would come to a tragic end. Above the hill of the crash site, sits the flight walkway that leads to Visitor Center Complex, with a powerful permanent exhibition that allows guests to intimately familiarize themselves with the individual stories of the passengers and crew and to learn how their actions while aboard Flight 93 saved countless lives that day. Visitors can explore the unique stories and artifacts, as well as interact with the user-friendly media exhibits that help people of all ages to learn more about the significance of the sacrifices made by the Flight 93 heroes. At the heart of the memorial is the breathtaking Memorial Plaza which includes a seating area, the Plaza Walkway and the Wall of Names. The seating area

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c o v e r

s t o r y

The approximate location of the impact site is marked by a 17-ton native sandstone boulder that was placed in 2011.

... countless acts of heroism that occurred that September morning. accommodates programs given by the national park rangers who, like the Ambassadors, are also extremely knowledgeable about the events on 9/11. The Plaza is home to forty sweet gum trees, donated to the memorial by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site. Three of the trees, symbolizing the three 9/11 sites (World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville), are planted near the benches at Memorial Plaza where ranger talks occur, and the other 37 are planted between the Wall of Names and western overlook.

to immortalize each of the forty individuals lost in the crash. The sparkling white stones are perfectly and subtly complemented by black granite, marking the pathway Flight 93 took.

40 sweet gum trees were planted to represent the 40 heroes of Flight 93

The Memorial Plaza is a quarter mile stretch that runs along the area where Flight 93 crashed. According to Clark, “A common question of visitors is ‘Why does a boulder serve as the landmark?’ The answer is simple. A family member in 2010 suggested a boulder from the 2200 acres to mark the actual impact site and it caught momentum.” The Memorial Plaza allows all visitors to walk next to the field and view the crash site from a short distance. The main feature of the Memorial Plaza is The Wall of Names. Located under the original flight path and final descent of Flight 93 into the field, pieces of polished white marble containing names etched in black

The Wall of Names.

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The final piece of the memorial is the beautiful and sky-piercing Tower of Voices. The symbolic monument is ninety-three feet tall and houses forty wind chimes, forever serving as a reminder of the forty passengers and crew members on Flight 93. Superintendent Clark explained that the tower is actually a structure formed from eight columns each containing five chimes, for a total of forty chimes, the size and magnitude of which are not matched anywhere else in the world. The design of the tower is specific to the landscape in which it sits, “completely at the mercy of the beautiful Western Pennsylvania wind,” Clark said. Wind patterns were taken into account to maximize the amount of wind that would travel through the structure to reach the chimes. Additionally, tying music theory and mathematical calculations together, the desired end state of the monument is to harmonize forty different tones, representative of the voices


c o v e r

of the forty passengers and crew members. Clark went on to describe the structure by saying that when the wind interacts with the chimes at the perfect pitch, you can feel “somebody living right now.” Next to US Route 30/Lincoln Highway, the Tower of Voices provides a solemn auditory reminder of their voices and spirit that will carry on for generations to come. It is also worth noting that if you are unable to make it to the memorial in person, a video containing audio of the chimes can be heard at: https:// www.nps.gov/flni/planyourvisit/ tower-of-voices.htm or you can view a live feed of the tower from https:// www.earthcam.com/usa/pennsylvania/ shanksville/?cam=flight93_hd or open your smartphone to the camera app and center the QR code above.

s t o r y

at the memorial. Per Superintendent Clark, “On the evening of September 10, 40 luminaria candle lanterns will be lit and carried by family members, distinguished guests, National Park Service staff and friends to be placed below the names of each of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93, dramatically illuminating the Wall of Names. This is a respectful tribute and peaceful time to reflect and remember those who were lost on September 11, 2001.” In addition to the luminaria, a special memorial tribute concert will also take place on the evening of September 10th. For more information on these events and others, visit: https://www.nps.gov/flni/ planyourvisit/sept11observance.htm

The Flight 93 National Memorial is extremely peaceful, yet striking. Between learning at the museum of the stories and heroic acts of the Flight 93 individuals and walking the grounds, the memorial elicits an effective symDesigned by Paul phony of emotions. While Murdoch Architects, The it may be hard - and at Tower of Voices weighs some points heartbreakin at approximately ing - to process the hor548,000 lbs. or 274 ror and loss that occurred tons of concrete and that day, it is a necessary steel. It contains 141 practice: the reality of cubic yards of concrete the events of 9/11 are (14 mixers) and 49,000 both a part of who we are as a country and as lineal feet (9.25 miles) individual Americans. In of reinforcing steel. a time when politics and media pull us further apart, it becomes even more imperative that we remember the common threads that weave us together as Americans. While it would be ideal to make time to travel to the memorial and immerse yourself in everything it has to offer, at a minimum, take time to reflect on that day: learn one thing more about Flight 93 or 9/11 than you didn’t know, and pause to feel gratitude for everything you cherish and everyone you love. Through this practice, we can forever honor the legacy and sacrifice of those 40 brave souls.

This year, to memorialize the 20th anniversary of Flight 93, there will be several public events occurring

The Crew and Passengers of Flight 93 Crew Captain Jason M. Dahl First Officer LeRoy Homer Lorraine G. Bay Sandy Waugh Bradshaw Wanda Anita Green CeeCee Ross Lyles Deborah Jacobs Welsh

Passengers Christian Adams Todd M. Beamer Alan Anthony Beaven Mark Bingham Deora Frances Bodley Marion R. Britton Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. William Joseph Cashman Georgine Rose Corrigan Patricia Cushing Joseph DeLuca Patrick Joseph Driscoll

Edward Porter Felt Jane C. Folger Colleen L. Fraser Andrew (Sonny) Garcia Jeremy Logan Glick Kristin Osterholm White Gould Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Donald Freeman Greene Linda Gronlund Richard J. Guadagno Toshiya Kuge Hilda Marcin Waleska Martinez Nicole Carol Miller Louis J. Nacke II Donald Arthur Peterson Jean Hoadley Peterson Mark David Rothenberg Christine Ann Snyder John Talignani Honor Elizabeth Wainio

Learn more about the Flight 93 National Memorial at www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm

www.go2goalus.com 27


Congratulations Aidan Burkhardt 2021 GOAL Magazine Student Athlete Honoree

GOAL: How have you recently overcome adversity? Aidan: While my school was closed during the pandemic, I had to come up with a way to improve athletically during quarantine. After completing my schoolwork each day, I went outside and worked on my sprinting starts and my running form. I lifted weights, played basketball, and sprinted until the sun went down. Due to my hard work, during our second meet this year, I got 1st place in the 100-meter dash for the first time in my high school career. In addition, I won the 2021 Westmoreland County Coaches Association Championship. GOAL: In addition to excelling in the classroom and on the track, how do you give back to your community? Aidan: I help to deliver food to children in need through Food2Go, and I just started mentoring kids through Outdoor Odyssey to teach them what it means to be a leader. GOAL: Is there a professional athlete that you look up to that motivates you to succeed not only on the track but also in the classroom? Aidan: Kobe Bryant is my favorite athlete, and one of his quotes motivates me daily: “Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

Graduation Year: 2023 Sport: Track and Field Achievements: Made the Varsity Team in 8th Grade, 3-year letter winner, Average of 10+ points per track meet, top 10% of class in academics with a 4.0 overall GPA.

GOAL: What do you hope to accomplish both athletically and academically in the future? Aidan: Athletically, I want to become an Olympic champion to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest. Academically, I would like to go into the psychology field or sports medicine to help others deal with their problems and act like a guide to the correct solutions.

The GOAL Magazine Student Athlete is chosen by the GOAL Magazine team from a pool of nominated local student athletes that have shown significant athletic progress and overcome adversity due to hard work and dedication while maintaining an average or above average grade point average. If you would like to nominate an individua for the Winter Issue of GOAL Magazine Student Athlete, please visit www.go2goalus.com to learn how.

28 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021



Looking for a way to help but aren’t able to volunteer?

Donate!

Here are a few of our most needed items at the shelter. If you're able to help the dogs, cats and rabbits we would be so appreciative!! Dogs

• Advantix Flea Treatment for XL size dogs • Advantage Flea Treatment for XL size dogs • Grain free dog food • Soft dog treats • Ez-walk harness (size medium)

Cats

• Canned cat food • Grain free cat food • Cat litter

Rabbits

• Pine bedding • Rabbit pellet food

Other

• Paper towels • Simple green • Odo ban • Garbage Bags • Laundry Detergent

Spay. Neuter. Adopt. Save a Life. Be a Voice. www.animalfriendswestmoreland.org


Scott Ludwick

Associate Broker Ranked in Top 100 Agents Nationally Since 1998! Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty

Making the Most of Your Basement With Creative Floor Plans Many homeowners don’t fully utilize their basements; some even ignore their basement altogether. Rather than being wasted space, a basement can be great for storage, working areas and recreation. Here are four ideas for making the most of your basement by changing up the floor plan:

Make a Secluded Office Space

Thanks to their natural sound insulation, basements are often some of the best places for home offices. Even if you have other people home upstairs, you can retreat to your basement office and work without interruption. To create an office space, you’ll need to wall off part of your basement and install a door, because you’ll need privacy while you’re working. Make sure you leave enough space for your desk, a chair and any other furniture you want in your new office.

Make a Game Room

If you’re thinking of going for a more open floor plan, you might consider adding a game room to your basement. A pool table, dart board or foosball table will give you and your family everything you need to have fun evenings at home. If you plan on creating a game room, you’ll probably need to do some wall repositioning to give yourself space. This is especially true if a pool table is on your list, since you’ll need room for it, as well as plenty of space around it to play comfortably.

Create Your Dream Workshop

If you enjoy woodworking, crafting, metalwork or another hobby that requires room for specialized equipment, you can turn your basement into the perfect workshop. Opening up the floor plan a bit can give you lots of space for your tools and a large workbench area. Don’t forget to include storage space for materials so that you always have the things you need on hand for the items you love making.

Create a Home Movie Theater

In addition to extra office space, your basement can be the perfect place to put a home theater. With a basic projector and a large wall to mount the screen, you can enjoy the feel of a theater in the comfort of your home. Add a few chairs, a good sound system and a fridge for snacks to create the perfect space to watch your favorite movies with friends and family.

These are only a few of the hundreds of possible creative uses for your basement. If you’ve been ignoring your basement, you’ve been missing out. Consider changing the floor plan and renovating the space so that you can make full use of one of the largest spaces in your home!

If you have questions about this, or anything real estate related reach out to Scott Ludwick at 724-838-3660 or Scott@ScottLudwick.com

©2021 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Equal Housing Opportunity. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your home is currently listed with a Broker, this is not a solicitation.


Photographing the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at St. Vincent College

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’ve always enjoyed photographing people in more natural locations. I look forward to the changing seasons, photographing bright lime greens with pops of pink in April then switching to foliage with deep red and golds in the fall. I find that the seasons are a rainbow of possibilities. About ten years ago I discovered the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College. I quickly realized that this would be the most amazing location for my outdoor portraiture and decided to begin shooting some clients there. I hold a yearly photography pass to this day and shoot there about once a week from Spring until Fall with my clients. Since I’ve photographed sessions at the reserve on almost a weekly basis spring through fall, for about a decade - I’ve witnessed the amazing transformation it goes through monthly. And I’ve compared it year to year, documenting those changes with dated photographs. Although I’m not an expert by any means on plants, I do love to witness their growth and changes. It’s a beautiful dance of nature and quite amazing to watch the kaleidoscope of plant life that comes and goes. I plan my photo sessions according to the wildflowers blooming, color changes in the fields, and sunset times. It can sometimes feel like a racing game to catch certain blooms before they fade, especially when dodging stormy days and juggling availability of both myself and client schedules. But year after year, I continue to do so because I just have fallen deeply in love with this reserve.

by Autumn Stankay, Owner and Photographer of SkySight Photography

article. She is extremely knowledgeable on every plant that sprouts there from weeds to flowers. Here are some of the photographs I have taken there in different seasons. You wouldn’t know it, but some of these shots were actually taken in the same areas but look like completely different places when photographed several months apart.

In late spring

, Golden Alexanders come up all over the fields. They are a great backdrop that create a sea of bright yellow among the vibrant greens. One of my favorite parts of photographing in spring is that the green in the grass and trees has an almost lime tint to it. I usually suggest white, and any shades of blues, and pinks for clothing colors in photo sessions this time of year at the reserve. Weddings are also a popular client that we take here in spring, summer and fall!

I talked to Jennifer Eppolito, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve’s Education Horticulturist, to confirm wildflower names in the photographs of this 32 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

By July

, the fields shift a little more. Some more wildflowers begin to bloom. The Grey-headed Coneflower is a beautiful bright yellow that blooms all over during this month. Queen Anne’s Lace – a weed, non-native, and maybe some Joe-Pye Weed at that time as well. Who ever knew weeds could be so pretty? I suggest to clients that they wear blues and purples in the yellow fields, or neutral colors like white work great in July as well. I also like yellow if they want to do a monochromatic look.

The reserve also has some Pollinator Gardens full of natives. The flowers here are plentiful and have a lot of variety. The bees are in heaven here, feeding consistently and working hard in the apiary nearby. These gardens have Liatris, Sneezeweed, Joe-Pye Weed, Scarlett Bee-Balm, Brown Eyed Susans, Mountain Mint, Asters, Butterfly Weed, Turtlehead, Swamp Milkweed, Gallardia, Flowering Raspberry, Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus, and False Blue Indigo.


one more time before winter arrives. A lot of the plant life is still the same from September - goldenrod and more, but there are so many different species. I also find that the color of Goldenrod shifts a little in tone from Sept to October. You’ll also find Brown-Eyed Susans, and distant trees on the St Vincent College that are bursting with gold in the background. Fall colors work great for clothing in October to really match the scene. Mustard yellow, variations of brown, gold, deep reds, or even navy are my suggestions for fall clothing.

September tends to be one of my favorite months at the reserve, variety really blossoms in the fields. The sunsets are earlier so photographing small children during golden hour becomes more feasible. Sunsets in early summer are around 9pm so it’s often too late for a family with a toddler to be out for a photo session at 8pm to catch the glow of a sunset! Goldenrod of all sorts is in abundance during this month. Another beautiful yellow flower that is one of my favorites to see is the Maximillian Sunflower. You will also see Woodland Sunflowers, Liatris, Cup Plant, as well as pops of purple from NY Ironweed and New York Asters, as well as pretty white Calico Asters. You will also find thick PA native grasses including Indian Grass, Switchgrass and Big Bluestem fill the fields with lush color. It’s almost like a rainbow just ended there on the reserve and spilled itself out on to the land. In September, I suggest clients darker jewel tones, or colors that are the opposite on the color wheel as yellow! I also find that neutrals still work wonderful in the fields in September, as well as deeper reds like maroon. I always love a love of pink too, for those who want a brighter look.

Fall foliage arrives at the reserve

right on time like the rest of western Pennsylvania, about the 2nd through 3rd week of October. Although you will not

find a large forest of Oak and Maple trees like some forest areas around here, you will still find some trees around the reserve that are bursting with color. The fields will again change their colors

If you haven’t been to the reserve for a visit, make it part of your 2021 bucket list to do so. You can’t pick a wrong season to go. The website has so much information, and their staff are wonderfully helpful. There are many programs for all ages, a learning center and more (check website for changes to program and barn hours for 2021). Although I covered the plant life in this publication and how it affects my photography, I can’t end without mentioning the animal life at the reserve. You’ll find bunnies, groundhogs and many other native animals for sure - but you may also be surprised at some rare bird sightings or even a deer crossing your path. Whether you go there to walk the trails with your dog, take part in the educational programs, or just explore the peaceful nature leisurely - I hope you find it as magical as I do.

For a custom photography quote, feel free to reach out to me via my website at SkySightPhotography.com www.go2goalus.com 33


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by Briana R. Tomack Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce President PO Box 463, Latrobe, PA 15650 724-537-2671 • www.latrobelaurelvalley.org

I

The Future is Bright

t is approaching June as I write this piece. I am feeling somewhat melancholy, for this is the final year of high school for my youngest child, Alex, who will graduate in a few short weeks. As all parents have told me over the years, “Enjoy every moment, it goes so fast.” No truer words have been spoken! As I look back over the years, I am certain that perhaps I did not “enjoy” every moment, but I remember all of them. Of course, there are a variety of memories, but they certainly are not in short supply! As I perused photos to use in a collage, I got lost as my mind took me back to each place and time, every photo telling its own story. I spent hours enjoying the time sorting and thinking of the future that lies ahead for both of my boys.

1992

Briana Tomack on graduation day at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Fred Rogers was the guest speaker).

High school graduation is a rite of passage so long awaited by students everywhere. It is a marking of time, hard work, achievement and the building of relationships. But it also signifies a new beginning as our graduates move on to the next chapter in their lives. As a mom, I have contemplated this as my boys have had to decide on their future plans. As the president of the Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce, I have had the opportunity to meet and observe many of our local students as they have talked about their future plans at our year-end banquet each May. Everyone, students and parents alike, have wished and made plans for the future of

2019

Sam Tomack on graduation day at Derry Area High School.

these graduates. And while wishes and dreams are important, it’s also essential that we support them as they face unexpected challenges, twists and turns, and life choices. Our stories never end the way we expect and that’s OK. Living is all about how we handle each situation that comes our way — not about achieving a series of benchmarks defined by others. If our graduates can use courage to choose their own paths, adapt to circumstances, and enjoy the peace that comes with finding their purpose, then they will be truly successful. I want to take a moment to wish our graduates a bright future!

2021

Alex Tomack on graduation day at Derry Area High School.

www.go2goalus.com 35


is Creating Innovative Solutions to Reduce Youth Homelessness in Western PA by Carol Dunlap, Bridge2Home Host Home Supervisor

Youth in Your Community are Waiting for Host Homes

A

t Valley Youth House, we envision a world in which every young person belongs to a nurturing community. We are the catalyst for youth to achieve their desired future through genuine relationships that support families, ensure safe places, and build community connections.

Community human service agencies report that this number does not capture the extent of runaway youth, youth who are “couch surfing”, or unstably housed seen by their services. Therefore, the number of youth who are homeless is likely much higher.

In 2019, Valley Youth House expanded into Western PA to meet the increasing need of youth experiencing homelessness. We are currently serving Allegheny County with our Bridge2Home, Host Home Program.

Bridge2Home is a supportive, temporary housing program that works with young people ages 18-24 who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Valley Youth House matches a youth in need with a nurturing environment (a host home). The goal of the program is to assist youth with safe, short-term housing or make decisions about other housing options with the support of a caring case manager and the guidance of a community volunteer.

Our decision to expand services into Western PA was based on increased numbers of youth in need of stable housing. In 2018-2019, Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (ECYEH) identified 39,221 children and youth experiencing homelessness as being served by their program. This is the largest number ever reported from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and it continues to grow. Westmoreland County is no exception. In 2018-2019, the County identified 503 students experiencing homelessness.

What is Bridge2Home?

What is a Host Home?

A Host Home is a short-term (approximately 6-month) housing intervention for youth who are currently experiencing homelessness for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, abuse, family conflict, poverty, pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Host Homes provide a room to a youth after a matching process that utilizes

36 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

youth choice and voice. There are two paths to becoming a Host: 1. A Host may be recruited from the community 2. A Host may already know the youth and is currently providing housing and support without realizing that they qualify as a Host. This is the path of being “youth selected”. The Host would be formalized to provide support from Valley Youth House and financial assistance that will help the youth achieve their goals.

Why do we use a Host Home Model to address youth homelessness?

Host Homes is a flexible model that is effective in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Host Homes allow youth to remain in their community and build authentic relationships with caring adults. Host Homes guide a path for youth success in a homelike setting, promote youth choice and voice, and assist with transition for youth to more independent housing options.

Why do we focus on youth who are experiencing homelessness? Serving youth has been at the core of


Valley Youth House’s mission for nearly 50 years. We understand that youth homelessness is unique because young people are still developing while they are experiencing homelessness and typically become homeless through no fault of their own. Additionally, youth who experience homelessness are especially vulnerable to criminal victimization, sexual exploitation, labor and sex trafficking, or traumatic stress. Experiencing homelessness can be a devastating experience with significant negative impacts on human development and life trajectory.

How can you help?

• Are you ready for a powerful and unique experience? • Are you at least 25 years old and able to open your home to a young person who needs short term housing, resources, and support? • Can you commit to providing food and shelter to a youth for a minimum period of 6 months? (There will be financial assistance available.) • Do you have the generosity, spirit, and commitment to offer safe and affirming homes to youth? • Is your living space ready and safe for a young person? • Do you know a youth in need and are already providing some help, but would like extra structure and support?

What are the Eligibility and Expectations of Volunteer Hosts?

• Host Homes should have an extra bedroom to provide privacy for the youth • Host Home Families should be over the age of 25 • Have renters’/homeowners’ insurance • Be able to provide references • Authorize Valley Youth House to complete a background check • Complete application, interviews, and training

Questions to Consider:

Have you ever or are you willing to live with a youth who is transgender? Of the youth served by the Bridge2Home program since 2019, 33% identify as LGBTQ+. It may be a good idea to be acquainted with LGBTQ+ youth issues and explore your own feelings about

sexual orientation and gender identity. The University of Chicago reports that LGBTQ+ young adults have a 120% higher risk of reporting homelessness compared to youth who identified as heterosexual and cisgender. The 2017 report also found that 1 in 10 young adults ages 18-25 experienced homelessness.

Youth homelessness is a growing problem in our region, and we are looking for people who are willing to open their hearts and homes to help a youth in need.

What are your house rules? Are they supportive for youth and do they create a nurturing environment to help develop and improve daily life skills? Bridge2Home staff will develop a Host and Youth agreement with the Host family and youth that will outline the expectations of each person during the youth’s stay in the home. The Host and Youth agreement will include, but not be limited to: visitors, privacy, kitchen use, or plans for vacations or Host absences.

Do Host Homes Really Work?

Yes! Here is a recent success story – At age 17 and a senior in high school, Jane ran away from her family home after a physical altercation with a family member. She found herself in an unsafe situation sleeping on the floor of a friend’s bedroom, and was not able to return home. Jane continued her school attendance and confided in her guidance counselor that she experienced a difficult childhood, was the victim of a recent assault in her home, and was sleeping on a friend’s floor. Following this disclosure, the school contacted Bridge2Home, in which Jane was interviewed and expressed a willingness to voluntarily be “matched” with a Host and the perfect home was available to her just a few days later!

Have you explored (personally or otherwise) issues such as privilege and racism? Many of the youth in this program are youth of color. It is extremely important that you are aware of race, racism, privilege, and what that may mean for youth living with you. Talking about this will be a required part of our training process. Are you willing to put in time to create a nurturing relationship with a youth? Developing a trusting relationship with youth may take some time and hard work. This may require your active participation in the young person’s life (i.e., driving them places, helping with schoolwork, meeting with their case manager) and sometimes may feel like parenting. This may also necessitate you to know when to mentor and guide rather than “parent”. Training will be provided, as well as continued guidance and support to you from Valley Youth House staff throughout the experience.

Jane became a part of the family, turned 18 while living at the Host home, and graduated from high school with Honors. With guidance and mentoring from the Host family and her Case Manager, Jane was able to obtain employment, receive her driving permit, and reach the goal of securing her own apartment. Youth homelessness is a growing problem in our region, and we are looking for people who are willing to open their hearts and homes to help a youth in need. Will you consider becoming a Host Home?

For more information on how you can help, please visit

ValleyYouthHouse.org/Bridge2Home or contact Carol Dunlap at 412-742-7474 or cdunlap@valleyyouthhouse.org.

www.go2goalus.com 37



Lesco membership is open to all Westmoreland County! Proudly serving the community for 71 years! Visit our website www.lescofcu.com or call us at 724.539.9744 for information on becoming a member! www.go2goalus.com 39


Community means everything. That’s why I’m proud to be here to help life go right ™– and to support GOAL Magazine. If there’s anything you need, call me.

Chris Beddick, Agent 5854 Route 981 Latrobe, PA 15650 Bus: 724-532-2100 chris.beddick.jm4g@statefarm.com

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State Farm, Bloomington, IL


POST COVID:

Recapture

Your Physical and Mental Health

T

by Dr. Kevin Bartolomucci

he past year has been challenging for many reasons. Working in family medicine, we have seen people deal with stressors of the pandemic in many ways. Some people are able to harness stress toward health improvement. However, oftentimes, individual coping patterns can be harmful to one’s mental and physical health. During the lockdown, we have seen a significant decline in exercise and dietary adherence. Many individuals have struggled with time due to difficulties balancing working from home while simultaneously trying to guide their child’s online curriculum. This has made eating quick, calorie dense and nutrient poor foods the easy solution. Additionally, many people have found it easy to reach for an extra drink of alcohol to help cope with these significant stressors. As a result, weight gain has become an accepted normal consequence of the COVID pandemic. An American Psychological Association survey in February showed that 61% of US adults had undesired weight changes since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, these coping strategies and weight changes are the main contributors to the development of chronic health conditions, with type II diabetes being at the top of the list. The most recent information from the CDC reports 34.1 million adults aged 18 and older have diabetes. This comprises an astound-

ing 13% of all US adults. Furthermore, it is estimated that 26% of US adults over the age of 65 have diabetes. These numbers have steadily risen since the 1990s. Diabetes causes significant morbidity including end stage kidney disease, blindness, and permanent nerve damage. Additionally, diabetes is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of heart disease and stroke. Not only does this diagnosis significantly impact your physical health, but it also can damage your financial health. The total direct cost of diabetes in our country in 2017 was estimated at $237 billion per the CDC. More importantly, costs per individual were estimated at more than $9500 per year.

What can you do to reverse this trend? Control what you can! • I t is certainly frustrating that gyms are not open or require mask wearing. However, there are numerous online exercise programs that can be done from the comfort of your own home. Oftentimes, pricing for these programs will be less than what the average individual is paying for a gym membership. We are also lucky in our community to have numerous parks and walking trails. Embrace the outdoors. Don’t let the elements deter you. We live in Western Pennsylvania; put on a hat and gloves, wear a coat, grab an umbrella. This will do wonders for your mental and physical health. • M onitor your food intake. It can be very overwhelming to count calories

A family medicine practice founded by Dr. Kevin Bartolomucci and his wife, physician assistant Rebecca Bartolomucci. Kevin and Rebecca both grew up in Greensburg Pennsylvania and have been working in family medicine since 2012. In 2015, Kevin completed his residency from Excela Health Latrobe Family Medicine. Kevin and Rebecca credit their son, Armond, as a motivating factor to pursue family medicine.

bartolomuccifamilymedicine.com 724-420-5928 120 Village Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601

or journal everything that you put into your body. If you are motivated to do so, use one of the numerous apps, such as MyFitnessPal, to help you reach your goals. If you feel that this is not achievable, then just be mindful of your daily consumption. Give yourself the opportunity to succeed by shopping smart. Attempt to plan your meals for the week and grocery shop with a purpose. Keep in mind that it is hard to go wrong with healthier options when you stay to the outside aisles of the grocery store. If you know you cannot control your snack food intake, do not allow these items to get into your shopping cart. Design your meals with the goal of at least half of your plate consisting of fruit and vegetables, a protein the size of your fist, and a carb less than a ½ cup. We love pasta like everyone else, but it doesn’t need to be the entire plate. • B e mindful. Mindfulness is the concept of being present and aware of where we are, what we are doing, and how we are feeling. In the technological era, it is easy to not be present in the moment. Mindfulness attempts to bring you back to the reality around you. This concept has been shown to reduce stress, improve physical health, and interpersonal relationships. For example, pay closer attention to your surroundings. What sounds are you hearing? How are you feeling in that moment? What do you see around you? Although we have all faced adversity this past year, mindfulness will help you focus on the present instead of living in the past or worrying about the future. The next time you feel the urge to look at your phone to pass time, try to be mindful instead! As we transition to a new state of normal, we hope you can use some of these tips to focus on your health and well-being. Do not hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider if you need more assistance.

GRAND OPENING JULY 6TH Open to patients starting on July 6th, 2021. Schedule an appointment today! www.go2goalus.com 41


Flurry of Business Construction Paves Way for New Jobs

by Jason Rigone, WCIDC Executive Director

The frame of the new Fossil Industries Building rises at Technology Park II. In the background is the new Al. Neyer facility.

I

’ve got some exciting news to share about business expansions in Westmoreland County.

The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation had an exciting six-month period at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 that saw us sell 44 acres in our industrial parks. When construction is complete, these properties are expected to support 70 existing jobs and create an additional 370 jobs within five years. Although my comments are focused on just a few projects, the reality is this is the busiest our team has been for nearly a decade managing expansion and attraction projects! The first two sales that I’ll recap involved land at Westmoreland Technology Park II, which straddles the East Huntingdon and Hempfield border. In August, Red Fish, LLC bought 10.99 acres on behalf of start-up manufacturer Fossil Industries, which expects to employ as many as 38 workers within five years. Those skilled workers will use high-tech manufacturing techniques to build a variety of consumer products, such as barbecue grills, fireplace components and aftermarket automotive components. Construction of the 41,000 SF facility began this spring, and Fossil Industries expects work to be completed in October. The manufacturer plans two additional phases of development for the property in coming years. In September, Al. Neyer purchased 13.39 acres in the park. A commercial real

estate development company with a national client base, Al. Neyer initially constructed a 150,000 SF facility but needs to modify the facility to support a large international tenant. This modification includes the purchase of the surrounding parcels to construct parking and delivery improvements. Employment could eclipse 300! Construction began in November with overall development scheduled for early 2022. This February, Wyatt Inc. finalized the purchase of 19.92 acres at I-70 Industrial Park in South Huntingdon Township so it can build a 120,000 SF facility for its millwork and exterior curtain wall manufacturing operation. Wyatt will move its woodworking mill shop operation from leased space at Monessen Riverfront Industrial Park, so it has room for future growth. When scouting sites to build a new facility, Wyatt President Fred Episcopo emphasized that he wanted to be close to the existing site so as not to create a hardship for his workers. The WCIDC’s foresight in developing ready-tobuild sites enabled Wyatt to keep those 70 jobs in Westmoreland County. The news gets better: Wyatt expects its workforce to grow by about 10 percent annually during the first five years at I-70 Industrial Park.

In The Works

Those aren’t the only land sales that we’ve been working on. In April, we signed off on an agreement that gives New Jersey-based Weiss-Aug Group a six-month window to finalize the purchase of 6.23 acres at Westmoreland Business & Research Park in Washington Township. Weiss-Aug already

42 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

owns one business — JK Tool — in the park, and at the time of the announcement, President Dieter Weissenrieder said he was excited to be able to shift the project to Westmoreland County after plans to build in New Jersey stalled for more than a year because of regulation. “We also like the business climate (in Westmoreland), where business decisions can be made rather quickly without much red tape,” Weissenrieder said.

Our Newest Park

Let’s wrap things up by looking ahead to a celebration. We’re making ribboncutting plans for Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland, the newest addition to our robust industrial/business park system. Located along Waltz Mill Road in Sewickley Township, this 206-acre park features five sites — two of which already are under negotiation for development. Al. Neyer plans to construct two 250,000 SF facilities that, at full occupancy, will create more than 400 new jobs. Given its proximity to I-70, the Turnpike and Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, this park is ideally located for businesses that want to operate along a key transportation hub. You can bet we’re polishing the oversized, ceremonial scissors as we look forward to a late-summer grand-opening celebration.

For additional details, please visit

westmorelandcountyidc.org

and view our 2020 Annual Report!


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Everything You Need to Know About Medicare by Allison Clayton

What is Medicare and who is eligible?

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill that led to the formation of Medicare. The original Medicare program included Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance), also known as “Original Medicare.” Over the years, Congress has made changes to Medicare benefits and to include many groups of eligibles. Medicare is a national health insurance for people 65 or older, certain people under 65 with disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare has many moving parts, and it is important to understand how they fit together for you.

What are the Parts of Medicare?

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) Part A covers inpatient hospital stays,

skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.

Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage or standalone Medicare drug plan.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) Part B covers certain doctor services like a specialist visit, outpatient services, durable medical supplies, and preventive services. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and B). They include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Most plans offer benefits that Original Medicare does not cover like routine vision and dental. Because of their contract with Medicare, thus being allowed to call themselves “Part C”, the plans must minimally cover what Original Medicare covers and follow Medicare’s coverage rules.

WHAT is a MEDIGAP OR SUPPLEMENT PLAN?

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. You can receive these benefits through a

There are 10 standardized Medicare supplement insurance plans, labeled “A” through “N.” (These letters are not related to the

44 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021

Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) helps pay some of the out-of-pocket health care costs that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t pay. It isn’t a government benefit, like Parts A and B. Plans are offered through private insurance companies. It’s your decision whether to add a supplement with your Original Medicare. You cannot have both Medicare Advantage (or Part C) and a Medigap plan at the same time, thus this is an important decision that I help clients navigate especially when new to Medicare.


Medicare Part A, B, C and D) The main purpose of a Medicare supplement plan is to cover some of the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Medicare Parts A and B. This includes deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. Each of the standardized plans provides benefits for different outof-pocket costs. The most popular plans among clients in 2021 are Plan N and Plan G.

When to Enroll

When to enroll depends on your specific situation. If you are already retired (woohoo!), in most cases you want to enroll in Medicare within the 3 months before your 65th birthday, so that your Medicare coverage begins on the 1st of your birthday month. Your Initial Enrollment Period is the seven month window around your 65th birthday. During the entire seven months you can enroll in Medicare, however if you enroll in your birthday month or the three months after, there will be a delay to your Part B Medicare. If you are still working or covered through a spouse’s employer based coverage, you may want to delay your Medicare Part B depending on the type of coverage you have. Contact your benefits administrator or call me to learn more about how your plan may work with Medicare.

How to Enroll

Contact the social security office one of three ways: 1. Set up a phone appointment 2. Enroll on the Social Security website 3. Make an appointment with your local Social Security office After you apply, it will take usually 2 to 4 weeks for your card to arrive, so you should plan to apply several weeks before you need the coverage to begin. And remember, this will enroll you in Medicare Part A and B. If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Prescription Drug Plan, or Medicare Supplement, you can work with a licensed agent (like me!) to help navigate options in your area.

A

llison Clayton is a licensed independent insurance agent in Pennsylvania for ten years at Insurance Services LLC. Our home office and headquarters for Insurance Services LLC is located in Greensburg, PA. Our family-owned and operated independent insurance agency has specialized in serving Medicare-eligible since 1980 and is A+ rated at the Better Business Bureau. A few fun facts - While at school, she A little bit about Allison - Originally started a photography business that is from Altoona, PA, she moved to still an active photo studio today for Greensburg to pursue a degree in art other photographers to create in. and business at Seton Hill University. Along with photography, Allison After graduating with a Bachelor of pursued a unique fitness goal and Science in Marketing and a Bachelor competed in 5 bodybuilding competiof Arts in Studio Art, she moved tions, the last one being the Arnold to Florida for a year to work at an Amateur NPC Championships in advertising agency. After a year Columbus, OH placing 6th out of 20 in Fort Lauderdale, it was time to international physique competitors. move home and search for a lifelong She and her husband Dan just recentcareer... so she went back to evening ly opened a high performance marine classes at SHU to complete a Master’s and competition engine shop named in Business Administration in 2010. In CPD Engine Works in Jeannette and 2012, she decided to take the PA enjoy boating in the Pittsburgh rivers health and life insurance test and and traveling to different lakes in the become an agent and now specializes US. She and Dan have two rescued in the wide world of Medicare and pups named Zelda and Xena. helping beneficiaries navigate the scary waters known as retirement.

Upcoming FREE Virtual Seminars July 21st 5:30 August 18th 5:30

Allison's Contact Info

Visit www.insuranceallison.com for more info

YouTube Channel: Allison Clayton

www.insuranceallison.com 724.879.5030 Allisoneclayton1@gmail.com Facebook: @allisonclaytonIS

www.go2goalus.com 45


Out with Covid,

In with Style by Christina Imberlina

The first emotional block is Sentimental value. We all have a piece of clothing that reminds us of a person or place we hold dear. There are brain indicators that create physical pain for people when asked to decide between keeping or donating an item. This reaction is our brain trying to protect us from harm.

I

f you’re like me, last year you took on a closet-clean-out. However, if your initial clean out leaves you with a closet full of clothing but nothing to wear, you might ask where to go from there? There is more than one reason this occurs, and it's mostly rooted in psychology. I have developed Style by Christina’s four S’s for cleaning out your closet which dive into the psychology behind fashion and how to effectively shop better so you don’t create repetitive negative shopping habits that only perpetuate the cycle.

The next block is Shame. Do you have an item that you are keeping for “when you lose weight”? In actuality, these items are sitting in your closet, taking up space, and not being worn causing a shame loop. This shame loop can lead to anxiety and depression. The majority of retailers use vanity sizing to increase sales, the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that smaller size labels made customers spend more. So how do we combat this feeling of shame both self and societally generated? We get rid of the things that make us feel like we are not good enough.

Next, is the Scarcity mindset; a deep rooted belief that you don't have enough or that you won't have enough in the future. So, how does a scarcity mentality add to the mirage that you have nothing to wear? If you don't believe you have enough, then you will perceive that you don't have enough. This makes us think that buying a new garment every week is a good idea simply because the fast fashion stores bring in new stock! Letting go of the things that we no longer use or need allows us to find the confidence to believe that we are enough. Lastly, are Sunk costs. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. That designer item you spent a month’s salary on, yet it just hangs in your closet unworn. If you don't absolutely love it, or it doesn't fit right, then don't buy it. This will help you avoid sunk costs and major closet clean outs in the future! I always tell my clients to dress how you want to feel. It works, trust me! And let’s face it, shopping and decluttering our closets can be very overwhelming. But hopefully, by being mindful of these four S’s, and how you truly feel when you wear something, you may just find yourself shopping and dressing with more confidence, more space in your closet, and actual peace of mind.

...effectively shop better so you don’t create repetitive negative shopping habits...

46 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Summer/Fall 2021


Discover Your Confidence Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

5:30p.m. - 7:30p.m. • 41 N Main Street, Greensburg, Pa Join us for an evening of empowerment with Aubrey Worek, Exercise Specialist and Owner of FitnessEnvi as she instructs sample classes to encourage us all to Discover our Confidence. Enjoy beer samples, light bites and learn more about a local charity.

Event Sponsored By

RESERVATIONS ARE MANDATORY AS SPACE IS LIMITED. To reserve your spot, a $20 entry fee will be collected and donated to YWCA Westmoreland.

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MAGAZINE P.O. Box 304, Latrobe, Pa 15650 724-209-8219 go2goalus.com info@go2goalus.com

Content provided in GOAL Magazine is for educational, informational, and promotional purposes only. GOAL Magazine does not render professional advice. Recommendations expressed in articles have not been independently tested. Articles contained in GOAL Magazine reflect the perspective and advice of their authors, not necessarily the magazine's publisher. GO2GOAL is a Pennsylvania not-for-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status with the Internal Revenue Service. The official registration and financial information may be obtained from the PA Dept. of State by calling toll free within PA at 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. © 2021 Go2Goal

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Out with Covid, In with Style

3min
pages 46-48

Post Covid: Recapture Your Physical and Mental Health

12min
pages 41-45

Photographing the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at St. Vincent College

6min
pages 32-34

BRIDGE2HOME is Creating Innovative Solutions to Reduce Youth Homelessness in Western PA

7min
pages 36-40

Making the Most of Your Basement With Creative Floor Plans

2min
page 31

2021 GOAL Magazine Student Athlete Honoree

2min
pages 28-30

The Future is Bright

2min
page 35

“Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams to Watch For

3min
pages 20-21

Make It a Date

11min
pages 22-27

YO...Your Health is a Bunch of T-Shirts

9min
pages 12-14

A Strong Foundation: New CFWC Leader Reflects on Family and Philanthropy

6min
pages 18-19

Seniors are Never Alone

3min
page 17

Preserving Public Safety in the Commonwealth

3min
pages 10-11

The SECURE Act

5min
pages 8-9

What is the “Angel of Death” Tax Loophole?

3min
page 6

Isaac Bigi

5min
pages 15-16
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