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Lebanon United Lutheran Church Welcomes New Pastor

Patricia Arnold 412-496-7683

Karen Auffenberg 412-303-0046

Darlene Kruth 412-874-0415

Kris Freund Price 412-559-5661

Janet Caputo 412-980-6025

Dorina Manolache 412-254-3674

Mary Decort-Rhodes 412-759-9642

Jeff Earley 412-225-4553

Bill Matyger 412-951-1005

Judi Scheidler 412-654-8195

Dan Gillette 412-403-7071

Marlene McNaughton 412-537-7333 Bonnie Detwiler 412-298-6646

Emily Schwartz 412-512-3161

Eric Graziano 412-523-9234

Marilyn Mielnicki 412-377-3422

Patricia Sharpe 412-576-1251

Mimi Hobbs 412-983-8865

Diane Miller 412-759-0137

Darlene Turkall 412-308-6345

Therese Hoetzlein 412-606-4702

Dennis Moorcroft 412-302-7022

Lyn Wood 412-498-0223

Deborah Yu 412-606-8824

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on t. Leban




IN Mt. Lebanon is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Mt. Lebanon area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


IN Mt. Lebanon | SUMMER 2012 |



Julian E. Gray & Frank A. Petrich Veterans Benefits May Help Take Care of Mom and Dad ........................................... | 73

Dr. Anna Wooten The Eyes Have It ....................................... | 74 ON THE COVER


Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church welcomes newly-installed pastor Reverend Douglas M. Heagy. Photo by Gary Yon

Michael Rutkowski Disciplined Investing Amid Market Volatility . | 76


Jeff Morris

Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Summer 2012

Outdoor Kitchens ....................................... | 78

Here Comes the Sun

Joy Capozzi,

It’s definitely summer, and you’re ready to enjoy every minute of it. Before you grab your sunglasses and head outdoors, check out our skin protection tips on page 4.

What’s Inside 2 3 4

Bringing Mother and Child Together Exhausted and Sleepy? Pamper the Skin You’re In

Terrance R. Krysinski,

Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins

5 6 7


Survey: Couples Rarely Talk About Life Insurance ............................................ | 81

Your Health Care Goes Mobile Talent + Imagination + Learning = Events You Won’t Want to Miss When Wounds Won’t Heal





You Don’t Have to Live with Painful Varicose & Spider Veins .............................. | 83


New Pastor Installed at Lebanon United Lutheran Church ....................................................................



Local Cubmaster Affirms Character-building in Pack 230 ...................................................................................



Mt. Lebanon Teen Center ...................................................



Golden Apple Awarded to Longtime Teacher ................



Mt. Lebanon Band Performs as Ambassadors ............



Real Estate in Mt. Lebanon ................................................



Flock Leaders: “The New Religious Virtue of Tolerance” ...........................................................................



UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use ...........



Mt. Lebanon Public Library Summer Events ...............



Houses of Worship ...............................................................



Special Value Coupons .......................................................




DragonFire ........................................... | 59

t. Lebanon Welcome to the summer issue of Mt. Lebanon magazine. This year, it seems summer started in early March. However, the warm days have given people a reason to get outside early and often. Bulbs are blooming earlier and joggers are out in force. So I hope you’ve had a chance to get out there and take advantage of the early summer, and while you’re at it, let us know what you’re up to. We try to feature a s much local content as we can in each issue and hope that you enjoy that content. Now, we want to get even more local and ask you directly for your stories in each issue. These features don’t have to be about you or someone you know doing something extraordinary like climbing Mt. Everest or swimming the English Channel. We want to know what makes our readers tick. It could be that you’ve always wante d a classic Thunderbird and have been restoring one for the past few years. We’d like to see it, and I’m sure others would too. So let’s start off with that, since we’re coming into car cruise season: If you or someone you know has a pretty interesting restoration project going on in their garage, let us know! Email our editor, Mark Berton, at or call us at 724.942.0940. W e’ll be happy to hear your story and may even send one of our photographers out to capture your work for the next issue. Keep in mind, the project doesn’t necessarily need to be current – if you’ve been cruising in your restoration project for some time now, that’s okay, too. But we’d like to know what you did at the nuts and bolts level to get your baby roadworthy. If you’re just not sure one way or t he other if you think you have a good story, call Mark and he’ll be happy to help you out! Looking forward to seeing some whitewalls and chrome in the fall issue! Have a great summer! Wayne Dollard, Publisher

Do you have a classic car that you’ve restored? If so, we’d like to hear about it. Email your name and contact information to

Fall content deadline: 7/20/2012

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Mt. Lebanon

Letter to the editor          

k of the er, didn’t thinself but rath lity and His g him municipa as honorin atest sacrifice. rial gre ors in the g it neighb veterans memo o made the ion to makin ject d rial is those wh his dedicat h the pro the planne ent wit and ns Memo inder of le on n Vetera the name Da as a rem community of his involvem n to serving ano his Sports rt itio Day, Mt. Leb will the love for e at the hea work. In add nd the Youth nt. hen the on Memorial in stone, as ed ed phrase better wer er volunteer , he helped fouunity Endowme dedicat n’t be inscrib . But in the oth wo vice and his commissioners anon Comm ers who on the ser Colby the tten mb d in be wri embered. board of and the Mt. Leb mittee me ject, on which who die ich will e, of those e served,” wh ers will be rem served as a of the commemorial pro Allianc names ns was one ghter y. rs of t Colby who hav many oth He also ed the vetera Memorial Da Jody and dau of “for all , Colby and ect the fact tha served two tou ead acy last wife e his leg memorial so, it won’t refl Air Force and r. He was a t flies spearh was broken ’s passing, his to continuns memorial Even ground Dale Colby raft tha tnam Wa ant in the ted a t wanted era lieuten during the Vie a refueling airc m his new After Sembra pherd the vet women comple second is lby nd fro e Co ich aila e felt Th a tim , wh g to she so, the , raising Brienn family nths at duty in on a KC135 by helpin ction. To do the memorial local few mo Colby and his of those in tor a vice iga ser ne at for stru f nav s n, staf paign to con do. feet. Go childre many familie project within a cam m students and y Colby to a at 35,000y, and young as h gn for Jod , much rt fro . He was campai eside wit wife, Jod of separation always have. the effo natural thing l committee back stat . “It was a a n ney for ina d and was mo orig me do, he the pai It see on the , Maine e when vice now schools. husband was the ser best times wer base in Loring . , “My The s, at the Jody Colby said r Dale Colby the kid one e,” Jody and e him hom anon Commissi many of his hav relief to mer Mt. Leb 0, was a lot like But for January 201 d in who die

         


n Barne


By Jo

2012 Spring anon | Mt. Leb

.com gazines unityma | incomm


Dear Editor, My daughter, Brienne Sembrat, and I want to thank you, particularly Jonathan Barnes, for the recent article you wrote in IN Mt. Lebanon about “Family Tradition.” Many people who spoke to us, as well as ourselves, were pleased with the focus on the devotion to family and community that you expressed so well. Mr. Colby was an avid Mt. Lebanon supporter as well as a proud veteran. He would be pleased as well with the attention the Memorial has brought to the veterans and community alike. Thank you. Sincerely, Jody Colby and Brienne Sembrat

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Mt. Lebanon

         

Photos by Gary Yon 8 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Mt. Lebanon


he Reverend Douglas M. Heagy was installed as the Senior Pastor at Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 29, 2012. He succeeds the Reverend Bruce J. Pedersen who retired. Pastor Heagy most recently served as the Senior Pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greensburg. A native of Pennsylvania, Pastor Heagy was raised in Delmont and ordained in June of 1991. His educational background includes a B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Pastor Heagy and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of three children: Hannah, Jonathan, and Thomas. The Reverend Sarah Lee-Faulkner, Assistant to the Bishop of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, installed Pastor Heagy. The Reverend Kirk W. Bish was the guest preacher. A festive luncheon followed the installation. Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church was founded in 1925 as a "mission" church in the South Hills under the guidance of Pastor H. E. Harman. On April 29, the congregation welcomed his grandson, the Reverend John P. Harman. Pastor Harman spoke at a special session of the Adult Education class to share memories and photos of his grandfather. Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church is a congregation of the 4.5 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Additional information is available at

Vacation Bible School at Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran [age 4 and up] will be Monday July 11th through Friday July 15th, 9 a.m. until noon. Theme: Big Jungle Adventure - A Faith Journey with Jesus Call the Church Office at 412.563.0300 for a registration form.

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 9

2012 Mt. Lebanon Baseball Update By Leigh Lyons


he Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils Baseball Team is off to another solid start for the Varsity program in the 2012 season. While their record may not reflect perfection, the team has experienced some highly contested games that will prepare them for the second half of their season and beyond. The Blue Devils have compiled a 4-2 conference record, and have gone 7-6 overall so far this season. Most recently, they lost a heartbreaker against rival Upper St. Clair on April 20th, succumbing to the Panthers 6-5. They also narrowly lost to Hopewell on April 5th, but the team and coaches have hardly hung their heads and forfeited the rest of the season. The team’s work ethic and dedication are reflected on their website with the saying, “Success and greatness never happen by accident.” The team, led by Head Coach Pat McCloskey, employs a never say die attitude and will continue to hone their skills throughout the season in order to compete day in and day out to the best of their abilities. The Mt. Lebanon Baseball program is a storied program in the South Hills area and in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, and if a notorious program knows how to do one thing it is compete. Compete they will, as the Blue Devils Baseball Team will look to key match ups in the

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near future against rivals Bethel Park, Peters Township, and Upper St. Clair. Those three match ups will be the last three regularly scheduled games for Mt. Lebanon, as they will hopefully head into their W.P.I.A.L. playoff run. The outcomes of those last three games will be key not only in determining their finishing place in section play, but will have a huge role in gaining any type of momentum and confidence heading into the playoffs for the team. If the team can play their cards right, they can head into the W.P.I.A.L. playoffs with at least a six game winning streak and confidence from defeating three of their biggest rivals. However, any outcome in the final three games will aid in Mt. Lebanon’s game plan for the remainder of the 2012 season. Oftentimes, a team can learn more from a loss, especially a tough one, than a win. If this is the case, Coach Pat McCloskey will look to use the tough losses that the Blue Devils have suffered this season in order to prepare his team for their baseball future. The defense will have to stifle the opponents’ bats, and the

Mt. Lebanon

offense will have to produce hits by the bunches if the team hopes to get on any sort of run before the playoffs begin. With the coaching staffs’ experience, the team’s senior leadership, and the players’ solid work ethic, the 2012 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils Baseball Team is primed and ready to take on the second half of their season where they hope to start a run that will lead them far into the W.P.I.A.L. Playoffs this year, and so that the program can continue to achieve the level of success that is known to accompany Mt. Lebanon Baseball.

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 11

a s m t b e u r C A ffirms Cha l a c o L r a c t e r“Well, if I am a man, a man I must become.” -Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book, Tiger! Tiger!


any of us are familiar with the animated Disney movie, The Jungle Book. Less of us are familiar with Rudyard Kipling’s original work. Unless, that is, you are a Cub Scout. Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who founded the Scouting movement in the early 1900s, asked Kipling for use of the themes and characters from his story to provide an inspirational and symbolic framework for the Scouts. Kipling agreed and, thus, the Cub Scouts – the wolf cubs – were “born.” Here in Mt. Lebanon, the Cub Scouts remain an active, vital part of the community. While not affiliated with the Scouts directly, each elementary school within the district has its own Pack and is hosted by the school. Mr. Todd Kniola, a resident of Mt. Lebanon, has been Cubmaster for Scout Pack 230 for 4 years. A former Cub and Boy Scout, Mr. Kniola was inspired to lead the next group of young boys. He remembers always feeling at home as a member of the Scouts, even though he traveled a lot because his father was in the Air Force. Cub Scouting is a holistic program and does not have one exclusive focus. Scouting is about everything from developing character to learning about good citizenship, friendly service, family understanding and, of course, fun and adventure. To these ends, members of Pack 230 (from Markham Elementary) have done some woodworking, engineering, and learned how to properly maintain a bicycle. Mr. Kniola’s Pack typically does 3-4 community service projects a year. Recently, they did some invasive vine control in Bird Park. They participate in the Scouting for Food program. For “fun and adventure,” the Pack enjoys cabin camping and fishing on Heritage Reservation in the Laurel Highlands, which is always an exciting getaway, according to Mr. Kniola. Each Pack is organized into Dens, and each Den is an individual grade (1st – 5th). The Dens meet roughly every two weeks, and once a month all of the Scouts get together. The programs that the Scouts participate in are age-specific. This organization is the kind of place where lasting friendships are born. Working, learning and growing together provides the right kind of atmosphere for this growth. Todd Kniola’s oldest son, now in 5th grade, is beginning to attend some crossover events with the local Boy Scouts, and Mr. Kniola has noticed that his son has been warmly welcomed by kids that he hasn’t seen in a while. There is a definite camaraderie among these boys. When asked why he believes Scouting is so important for today’s youth, Mr. Kniola replied that the Scouting organization is really all about building character. “We are very blessed here in Mt. Lebanon [to have such extensive opportunity for growth and involvement for our youth]. What’s unique about the Scouts, however, is that it provides a piece of the puzzle that’s difficult to find in any other outlet. With the Scouts, it’s a holistic approach. It’s focused on fostering and developing the Golden Rule in our kids.” Parents’ involvement is key. Mr. Kniola reflected that what the parents do affects their children more than they may realize. If a child observes his parent being supportive and willing to participate in group activities, then he’ll more readily understand that what he’s doing is important and worthwhile. “[Scouting] works best when the parents come and be a part 12 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Mt. Lebanon

by Melanie O. Paulick

building in Pack 230 of the learning and demonstration. Children are very much molded by what they see their parents doing.” In today’s hectic world where our youth are often overburdened and over-scheduled, the Scouting program is more than a breath of fresh air. It is a return to the call to live deeply, live conscientiously, and live generously. “Academic and athletic achievements are one thing,” noted Mr. Kniola, “but it is just as important to do goodwill.” In The Jungle Book, Kipling’s wolfcharacter, Akela, is Mowgli’s teacher. He molds and shapes Mowgli into an honorable man. In Scouting, Akela symbolizes responsible and wise leadership. The Akela can be the Cubmaster, the Den Leader or each parent. Each is responsible for the upbringing of the young man. Each is responsible for his character. For more information on how to become involved in Scouting, please visit:

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 13

    

The 17th annual A Taste of Italy spaghetti dinner was held from 4 to 8 p.m. on March 3 at the Mt. Lebanon High School cafeteria. Proceeds from the benefit went to help defray the cost of the band's appearance at the Kentucky Derby parade. The band marched in the Derby’s Pegasus Parade on May 3. It was the band’s first appearance in the parade.

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Mt. Lebanon

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 15

 

hen it comes to matters of art, there’s no accounting for taste. But Mount Lebanon resident Edward Kocher must gauge tastes in music, while also dealing with other standards in his post as a member of the National Association of Schools of Music’s Commission on Accreditation. Kocher, 62, is the dean of the Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music, and a Mount Lebanon resident since 2000. He recently was re-elected to serve his second and final three-year term on the Commission on Accreditation. The national accrediting agency is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with more than 640 members, which establishes standards for music degrees. Getting re-elected to serve in the post says a lot about how well Duquesne is perceived by others, Kocher said. “It’s a service rol e that I’m happy to do. I really enjoy the work,” Kocher said. “It takes me away from campus a couple weeks a year, but I think the Commission has a lot of insight… The standards continue to change because the fields [of music] are evolving continually.” Kocher, a trombonist, earned degrees at Northwestern University, the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He served for two de cades at DePaul University in Chicago, working as a professor, department chairman, and associate dean of the music school. He has toured or recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Contemporary Chamber Players. In 2007, he made a Grammy-winning recording with Nancy Wilson, on the MCG Jazz label. He also performed on a Christmas album with Manheim Steamroller. Kocher a nd his wife, Kamie, have two Bichon Frise pups. The couple is also parents of two adult children, and two grandchildren. In addition to his administrative and teaching duties at Duquesne University, Kocher always is giving trombone lessons on the side, teaching a couple of school-age students. It could be that in these young students he sees a vague image of his teenage self, when his high school band

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director asked him to be his assistant in working with the school’s freshman orchestra, inadvertently sparking his teaching career. “Teaching is a calling for me,” Kocher said. “I love to teach. My administrative work is a form of teaching—it’s helping individuals become their best, and helping to find the resources so everyone in the school can get the highest success.” That success means different things for variou s students. Some want to follow a career as a music therapist, or a church musician, or working in production in a recording studio. Whatever the reason for attending a school of music, a prospective student should find a place where he or she thinks they can achieve their dreams, Kocher said. And he should know—through his work and in the admissions process, he meets with the families of more than 300 mu sic students each year. Because of his work, both performance and teaching, Kocher has very specific advice for high school students who are considering studying music in college and making it a career. “In your high school, are you at a level that people are noticing? Are you at a leadership level? Are you enjoying performing? Could you see yourself competing with others who have the same dreams? Do you h ave the stamina, drive, passion,

Mt. Lebanon

By Jonathan Barnes

commitment and the ability to forego other opportunities?” Kocher said. “Many individuals are simply drawn to music.” Even among those music students who commit to the course of study but then feel on the fence about it, studying music has its own way of helping people to fine-tune their abilities, the music dean explained. Part of that is achieved through the performance th at is required for a student who is a music major. “There’s a process of awareness that occurs with these performances. Through this process, students sometimes realize that they don’t want to continue in music,” Kocher said. Despite his involvement in so many activities, Kocher still finds time for other hobbies, such as running. He is an amateur 5K runner, and competes in about one race per month. He also regularly plays trombone in front of live audiences, taking advantage of Pittsburgh’s varied music scene to jam with other seasoned performers. He calls Pittsburgh a very creative place, with lots of chances to hear live music that appeals to music lovers of all tastes. “I’m playing more and more jazz and I love it. I’m playing for the love of music, and finding good opportunities here in Pittsburgh. Overa ll, the performance scene is extraordinarily rich. On any given night, there are diverse opportunities to hear music,” Kocher said. “ One of the beautiful things about the jazz community here in Pittsburgh is that you see a lot of very experienced jazz musicians perform with a lot of skill and passion.”

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 17

        By Heather Holtschlag Photos by Sally Bozzuto

he majority of Pittsburgh’s only community handbell ensemble in the Pittsburgh area call Mt. Lebanon home. And they want the world to know just how good they really are. “Three Rivers Ringers (TRR) formed in April 2010 with a mission of advancing the art of handbell ringing through educational programming and performance at the highest artistic level, and while there are many handbell choirs in Pittsbu rgh, these choirs are extensions of each church’s music and worship programs,” said Andy Seay, TRR’s managing director. “Many cities or regions have a community handbell ensemble, and up until our group formed, Pittsburgh lacked such a group. TRR fills a niche within the Pittsburgh arts scene, exposing our community to the unique sounds of handbells.” The group, which was formed by five handbell musici ans hailing from Pittsburgh, consists of members not just from Mt. Lebanon, but from all across the region, including Slippery Rock, Canonsburg, Penn Hills,

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Mt. Lebanon

Swissvale, Friendship, Mt. Washington and Allison Park. There are 14 full-time musicians and two part-time musicians in the group, with a combined experience of ringing handbells equal to 300 years. Seay said that the hope is to one day have 15 ful l-time musicians, with part-time or substitute musicians as needed for specific concerts or repertoire. The musicians range in age from 25 to 70. The 2010-2011 concert season proved to be a busy one for this unique group of musicians. They hosted performances in Mt. Lebanon, Crafton Heights, Butler and the North Hills and in the winter season alone, they also performed in Sewickley, Evans City, Alliso n Park, and even at Heinz Hall, prior to Yo-Yo Ma’s sold-out performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. And, they are just getting started, as 2012 looks to be just as full. The group is preparing to perform seven spring concerts in Evans City, Oakmont, Mt. Lebanon, Hickory, North Hills, Penn Hills and Crafton Heights. In June, the ensemble will participate in the opening worship service for t he Presbyterian Church (USA)’s 220th General Assembly at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Other scheduled concerts will take place throughout the year in locations such as Cabot, PA, Green Tree, and Washington, PA. “TRR gives two sets of concerts annually, one in winter, around November and December, that has a holiday theme, and another in spring, which takes place around April and May,” Sea y explained. “This year’s spring concert, An American Adventure, celebrates the wide variety of musical styles that our country has to offer. During the summer months of July to mid-August, TRR typically takes a break and will resume rehearsals at the end of the summer.” Previous concert attendees and newcomers will want to mark their calendars for the ensemble’s winter 2012 lineup of performances, whi ch will include a special world premiere of Seay’s The Gift of Magi, a new

work for handbells and narrator that tells O. Henry’s memorable short story in an unforgettable way. With all of the time that the members spend traveling and performing, there would seem to be little left for rehearsal. But members know that practice makes perfect. The group rehearses for three hours on Sunday evenings, Seay explained, but can run longer if necessary. Rehearsals take place at Mt. Leba non United Methodist Church, where the group makes use of the handbell room, handbells and equipment. The entire ensemble uses more than 200 individual handbells and handchimes. “I think what we all enjoy the most about TRR is performing for our audiences and working with each other in rehearsal,” Seay commented. “We have a blast playing together, and we love sharing that joy with our audiences.” While there is no cost to become involved in the ensemble and people do not need to be handbell musicians, the group schedules bi-annual auditions, and even requires that current ensemble members re-audition every other year. “We are always looking for volunteers or advocates for our art form, and are always interested in speaking to people interested in TRR,” Seay said. “However, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organiza tion, we do ask our members to consider donating to the

organization. About 95 percent of our musicians contribute to the organization’s Annual Fund, and many of them serve on our board of directors and are involved in the management of the group, in addition to their musical responsibilities.” The ensemble’s concerts are open to the public and are free of charge, though since many of the concert venues are churches , donations are often are collected to support the church, and in some cases, TRR solicits donations to support the organization. Though the ensemble is a relatively new Pittsburgh addition, it has some lofty goals. “Our primary goal is to become one of the premier handbell ensembles in the world,” Seay noted. “We hope to record our first CD in January 2013, and will explore state and national touring as soon as possible. The ensemble also plans on raising funds to purchase its own handbell set and equipment and expanding its educational efforts, including managing the Western Pennsylvania Handbell Festival, and annual handbell festival for beginner-level handbell choirs. We also would like to offer reading sessions and workshops to local handbell directors and ringers.” For more information about Three Rivers Ringers or for concert information, visit, call 412.508.8405 or email Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 19


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Mt. Lebanon

                                                Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 21

n Friday, March 23, Jefferson Middle School hosted a Teen Center event for Mt. Lebanon middle school students.

Now in its 23rd year, the Mt. Lebanon Teen Center has organized hundreds of quality events for its students with one purpose in mind: to provide a safe place for youth to get together and have fun. Sponsored by the municipality, the school district, and the PTA, the Teen Center organizes monthly events held at different locations throughout the district, including the ice rink and swimming pool. So what makes these events so much fun for the kids?

Jefferson Middle School

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Story and photos by Melanie Paulick

The students love that they are with their friends and that there are activities to suit all interests and moods. Friday’s event at Jefferson Middle School had everything from a dance floor with DJ to pickup basketball games. Students lined up to get age-appropriate spray-on tattoos from artist Ray Masters. In one of the classrooms, kids played various video games, including the popular “Guitar Hero.” Ping-pong tables lined the hallway, and a huge inflatable obstacle course occupied a third of the gymnasium. Budding artists painted a graffiti wall while others lined up for a chance at mini-golf. The Bingo room provided a quiet, calm respite from the hustle and bustle, and students were able to purchase candy, soda or bottled water throughout the evening. All of this was provided to the students for only a $3 entry fee. High school students earning community service hours for the National Honors Society set up and help out during the event. Parent volunteers chaperone the evening, keeping a watchful, but not encroaching, eye on the youth. One of the main safety features during the duration of the Teen Center event is that all doors are guarded

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Mt. Lebanon

and there is a “lock-in” policy. From the time they enter the school building until the end of the event at 10 p.m., no one is permitted outside the event grounds. Mt. Lebanon parents eagerly accept such restrictions, and, judging from the excited, energetic atmosphere of the evening, the students don’t seem to mind one bit. They are having a great time. Karen Saulsbery, coordinator for the Teen Center for the past nine years, believes that this organization positively impacts the community of Mt. Lebanon. “It’s a safe environment. [The kids] know they’re supervised but they’re doing what they want. It’s the place we want our kids to be.” Board member Debbie Molinari agrees.“This is a group of kids who don’t have a whole lot of places to keep busy. Here they can hang out and socialize with friends. The parents drop off their kids and pick them up in two hours, knowing that they’re being chaperoned.” While the group has a lot of support from the community, it is not easy to make ends meet or plan too far into the future. Insurance coverage for the event and other costs such as the inflatable obstacle course are not cheap. Mrs. Saulsbery always finds ways to be frugal and cut costs, all while keeping the entry fee affordable. Each December parents must go before the Mt. Lebanon commission to request funds for the upcoming year. So far, they’ve been supported by the municipality at a time when costs of everything are necessarily being scrutinized. In this way, Mt. Lebanon continues to say “yes” in a critical way to its middle school students. For more information, or to find out how you can volunteer, visit:

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n Denise Kumer’s line of work, fancy footwork is what it’s all about. She co-owns the Mt. Lebanon Blvd. dance studio Ballroom Central by Bill and Denise, along with her husband Bill Kumer, and she enjoys putting her students through their steps. And when her former student Louanne O’Brien asked her to put those nimble feet to work for charity, Kumer was glad to help. Five years ago, she first answered that call to be in the local Dancing with the Celebrities event, agreeing to be one of the professional dance instructors to be paired with a local celebrity. The charity event is organized by O’Brien, who owns Integral Ballroom dance studio in Murrysville. This year the event will include 16 local celebrities, and will be held on May 5 at the Westin Convention Center, Downtown. Proceeds from this year’s Dancing with the Celebrities charity dance-off will benefit the Kiwanis Club Foundation, and also the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center. The experienced dance instructor is 45, and at 5’3” she is petite, especially compared to her celebrity partner, Louis Guarino III. He is a member and employee of the Louis Anthony Jewelers family, is 27, and is 6’4” tall. He has had no dance training, and became involved in the event following the lead of his parents, both of whom were in the event in the past. Kumer has been ballroom dancing for twenty years and has instructed for many years. Having been involved with Dancing with the Celebrities since its start, she knows what to expect in the competition. She also

has had some past success in the competition—last year, she and her partner, John Vella, took third place in the charity event. Guarino is aiming for first place this year, Kumer said. Working with students like Guarino, who have little or no dance training, might be challenging for a born dancer like Kumer, who has been dancing nearly all of her life, if she weren’t such an experienced instructor. But she came to ballroom dancing a bit later in life, after finding herself enjoying watching ballroom dancing on television one day twenty-some years ago. “I thought, ‘I’d just love to try it,’” she said.

Practicing for an hour-long session weekly since the beginning of February, Guarino said he and Kumer should be well-prepared for the dance competition by May. It helps a lot that Kumer has a lot of experience teaching, he said. “Denise is a really great instructor, she’s been really great to work with,” Guarino said. “The main challenge is our height difference. I think we’re actually going to use it to our advantage… You’ll have to watch the event and find out.” Despite the height difference, working with Guarino has been interesting, Kumer said, adding that he’s doing well. Anyone can

Kumer Takes Lead

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Before Dancing with the Celebrities Event 

“I did try it, and got hooked.” She and her husband used to compete in ballroom dancing events together, but quit competition in 2001. Bill Kumer occasionally competes some with students, but Denise saves her performances for the “Celebrities” event. For this year’s competition, she and Guarino have a special routine planned. “I will be doing a Cha-Cha with a twist with my partner,” Kumer said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be crowd-pleasing, and the public in attendance votes.”

Mt. Lebanon

learn to dance if they have the desire, though some learn quicker than others, she said, adding that it’s fun to see people learning. “I do like teaching… It seems like my students learn, and I like seeing their progression. I make the work hard, but it’s worth it,” Kumer said. In teaching her new celebrity student, Kumer is faced with a task that’s genderspecific, and also ironic. Though she of course knows much more about Cha-Cha than Guarino, she needs to teach him to be in charge of them on the dance floor. She must help him to become versed in one particular dance, and one particular routine. And despite all of the weeks of practice/lessons that precede the competition, the time flies by and there is a lot of material to cover. “It’s definitely a crash course in Cha-Cha. And part of what [Guarino] has to learn is how to lead the lady. It’s definitely harder for the male celebrity,” Kumer said. To find out more about Denise and Bill Kumer and Ballroom Central, go to For more information on the Dancing with the Celebrities event, visit

                   

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South Hills Chorale Closes out Season, Welcomes New Director F or 52 years, the Mt. Lebanonbased, 75-voice South Hills Chorale has been entertaining thousands of people and hundreds of organizations in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Each concert season the Chorale performs two major shows in December and May and 10-20 community shows for meetings, conventions, senior citizens, and social groups. Notable recent performances include a Memorial Day concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with soloist Irish tenor Anthony Kearns, two major works by Beethoven and Hanson with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, and Rutter's Magnificat with the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The Chorale has also performed with other great groups such as the Mt. Lebanon High School Percussion Ensemble and the Keystone Oaks Steel Drum Band. The Chorale's broad-based programming includes American classics, Broadway, pops, spirituals, old favorites, classical, sacred, and holiday works. There is a music style for everyone at a Chorale show.

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Mt. Lebanon

Henry D. Monsch Jr., Music Director for 49 years, will direct his final concerts on May 11 & May 12, 2012 at the Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. Under his leadership the Chorale has become one of the most successful choral groups in western Pennsylvania. Assistant Music Director, Rick Minnotte, will accept the baton next year to continue the success. Barbara McCauley will remain as assistant director and Patricia Reavel will accompany the group. Tickets are $15 and available at the door or from Chorale Members and online at Auditions for new members can be arranged by contacting Elaine Moore at 412.655.8633 or e-mail Auditions are held in January and again in September.

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Years ago, longtime St. Bernard’s teacher Diane Veri was able to combine her profession and faith with her love for her old school. Veri, the instructional technology teacher for the elementary school, attended the k-8 Catholic school in the 1960s, and graduated from it in 1969. She later attended Keystone Oaks High School and St. Francis University, and then had her own computer company for many years. She was working as a consultant to the parish


Golden Apple awarded to longtime teacher By Jonathan Barnes

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Mt. Lebanon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

when she helped build the first computer lab for St. Bernard School in 1998. Shortly after, Veri filled in for the school’s computer teacher, who was out sick. That stint went well, and later she had a chance to fill in more, and discovered a new calling. “I found out I really enjoyed teaching,” Veri said. In her dual role as the instructional technology teacher at the school and as technology coordinator of St. Bernard’s Parish, Veri oversees the 144 computers at the school and parish. “I’m just thrilled to be here—to give back to my school and parish,” she said. The tech teacher recently was chosen to receive a Golden Apple Award for her teaching from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. It is the 25th year for the award. Veri and six other educators have been chosen for the distinction, and will be recognized at an awards banquet on May 29 at the Westin Convention Center, Downtown. Awardees are chosen after being nominated by faculty of staff or students for the honor. Veri gives back in her own unique way partly through her innovative teaching style. Her “STAR” (Student Technology Assistance Resource) TEAM is a group of Junior High student volunteers that she trained to solve routine computer, DVD/VCR, and software problems. They serve as a resource on each floor for teachers, staff, and students who need immediate technology help. Veri also encourages students to also apply their Microsoft Office skills as a way to volunteer to promote school and parish events. Recently, the students used their business letter writing skills to write to area businesses requesting donations to the school’s annual Fall Auction, one its largest fundraisers. The students wrote about their Catholic school experience and how the auction proceeds would provide for things that would enhance their education. They also created Thank You cards for the donations received and created publicity flyers, a program booklet, and decorations for the event. Various factors are considered before each Golden Apple winner is selected, not simply the teacher’s professional excellence, but also his or her community involvement, and an essay he or she writes and submits as part of the process. “I think one of the reasons I was chosen is I am not just someone who is active in the parish, but also in the community,” Veri said. The teacher has other high-flying pursuits that occupy her time, including her volunteer work as coordinator of the Dormont Day Committee. She and a handful of volunteers raise, from contributions of residents and business owners, the approximately $40,000 needed each year for the borough to have a Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Veri is a lifelong volunteer to her parish and her community, because she believes in serving both. “I know that God has called me to not only bring my technology skills to help the children, faculty, and staff of St. Bernard Parish, but also that my actions will encourage my students and peers to focus on service to others as our Lord has shown us,” Veri wrote in her Golden Apple essay.



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                 

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Prudential Preferred Realty sales associates Terry Abbott, Kristen Davoren, Liz Hoyson, Florine Kelly and Angela Mize with office manager Mona Colicchie

Mt. Lebanon

             Do you have an event coming up that you’d like to publicize? Do you have an event that you want us to cover? Let us know! Go to and fill out the form. Events will be announced in the upcoming issue. If our deadlines don’t match yours, we may decide to send our photographers to cover the event for an upcoming issue. We’re looking for fundraisers, charity drives, social functions, class reunions, church festivals, awards presentations and more! If you’re not sure you have an event worth featuring, give us a call at 724.942.0940 and we’ll help you out!

 Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 31

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More Alike than Different I

magine being different from everyone else in the room: your eyes or mouth look different; your stature is shorter, thinner, slumped or stockier than others; your behavior, while normal and comfortable to you, seems odd or off-putting to others. You might have developmental delays, physical deformities or need assistance from canes, crutches or wheelchairs to get around. Then on top of the visible differences, you do not have the ability to speak or hear or communicate to take the negative attention away from you. People with physical and developmental disabilities have often been shunned by society because people fear or view them as if something is “wrong” with them. In the past, they would be taken to remote locations, locked away and hopefully forgotten in an institution or asylum. In those cold, enormous and lonely facilities, individuals with Down syndrome, mental retardation, cerebral palsy or the like would be mistreated, rejected or used for scientific experiments to “correct” their differences. Fortunately for the good of society, these practices are no longer in play. “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965); Philosopher, Nobel Peace Prize Winner. The thing

about those with disabilities is that if you get to know them, you’ll discover they are much more like you than they are different. They are “abled” differently, not disabled. Mainstay Life Services (MLS) is a nonprofit organization providing lifelong high quality residential services to individuals with disabilities. They are committed to helping people reach their fullest potential within their communities. MLS wants to ensure that those with disabilities are permitted the chance to lead fulfilling lives and realize their own vision of a desirable future. “Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed, or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We can treat one another with dignity and respect… and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others.” - Author Unknown The agency began in the late 1960s as two agencies, Horizon Homes and Idlewood Center, with the same mission: to provide individuals with mental retardation the opportunity to live a more self determined lifestyle through community-based living arrangements. On January 1, 1999, Idlewood and Horizon Homes merged into Mainstay Life Services. The organization now serves 275

By Judith Schardt Photos by Christopher Bail

Jim Kirk, CEO individuals in 55 homes in Allegheny County. Their summer camp serves an additional 100 adults who reside with their families during the remainder of the year. MLS’s many services include 24-hour full-care homes, semiindependent living, supported living (less than 30 hours per week of assistance), life sharing, host-home, and in-home care. They also provide a range of community support options including outings and group events, rehabilitation, and special therapies like physical and occupational. The staff wants those they serve to

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 33

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton, Olympic Gold Medalist, Cancer Survivor

Staff member, Leesa Halapin and Andre

"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." – Princess Diana

Keith and staff member, Carl Black Sandy and staff member, Helen Bartimac

Staff member, Linda Murphy and Lamont

"Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed, or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We can treat one another with dignity and respect… and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others."

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” – Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965); Philosopher, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Veronica and staff member, Marsha Boyce 34 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

– Author Unknown Mt. Lebanon

live in a community that sustains them and also benefits from their participation. Everything the staff does, they do with sensitivity, respect, and responsiveness to the individual’s needs. They also value and encourage the interaction of friends and families. Quality care is assured through compassion, sound administrative principles, attractive living environments, a well trained staff, and community support. MLS also remains flexible and open to new ideas. It is important that society remains educated about disabilities so ignorance doesn’t breed fear, unkindness or stereotypes. “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” - Scott Hamilton, Olympic Gold Medalist, Cancer Survivor James R. Kirk, CEO of Mainstay Life Services is proud of his organization and staff, yet he’s also frustrated by recent budget cuts. “A reduction in funding is always difficult… The improvement in the quality of life for thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities, and their families, is due to the commitment… of the direct care staff that provides such personal and valuable services. The provider community deserves this acknowledgement, not reductions in funding.” He knows his employees are caring and dedicated people who positively influence others. In addition to Mainstay Life Services’ distinct programs, the following ancillary services are also provided to increase the effectiveness of the agency: transportation, medical and nutrition services; sexuality counseling; crisis support teams; advocacy services; and diabetes support. MLS operates in compliance with the Chapter 6400 and 6500 Regulations of the Office of Mental Retardation, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, which govern community homes for individuals with mental retardation. They comply with the regulations of the Allegheny County Mental Health/Mental Retardation program. Mainstay is managed by a five-person executive team comprised of the Chief Executive Officer, and the Directors of Program Operations, Finance & Administrative Operations, Development, and Human Resources. If you feel the need to reach out to those with impairments, there are many opportunities at Mainstay Life Services for you to make a difference. Because government funds cannot keep pace with inflation and are restricted in use, it is private funding that helps improve the quality of life for the children, adults, and families at MLS. There are several ways yo u can make a monetary donation; one way is through the United Way. Arts and crafts supplies are always needed. Tickets to sporting, cultural and entertainment events provide fun and necessary outings for the residents. You can check for employment opportunities or can volunteer in any capacity you can. According to Alyssa O’Toole, Director of Development, “The volunteers are a vital link to the success o f Mainstay Life Services since they unselfishly share their time and talents and always do more than is expected of them. That helps the agency thrive.” When you reach out to those with differences and treat them with basic human decency, you will receive more than you give. Those at Mainstay Life Services know that to be true. “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Princess Diana For more information on Mainstay Life Services, you can visit their website: Or you may contact Alyssa O’Toole at 412.344.3640 or email her at: Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 35

412.221.2248 724.745.7422







$1,100 ON SELECTED CARRIER SYSTEMS March 1 to June 30, 2012


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      

eton-La Salle Catholic High School announced on April 4th that a complete overhaul to the school’s technology environment will be launched in June. The high-tech launch includes a Google Chromebook 1:1 initiative, a completely new wireless network and an expansive upgraded server infrastructure. Each student will receive the Google Chromebook prior to the start of the 2012/2013 school year. The new Google Chromebooks are on the cutting edge of computing technology. These laptops are “cloud” computers–essentially full screen Web browsers designed to do everything via the internet. Instead of using traditional programs, users rely on Web apps accessed through the browser such as email programs, word processors or photo editors. Some advantages to the Chromebook are: cloud computing is the way of the future; Chromebooks startup instantly, much quicker than traditional laptops; extremely long battery life; Chromebooks are more secure than traditional computers; all apps, settings and files are stored in a cloud so if you lose your Chromebook or wish to use someone else’s you can log into your Google account and all your files will be there. As Google says on the Chromebook website, “Skip the waiting. Forget the set-up. Leave the manuals behind. Go straight online to creating, sharing and enjoying. Because everything is faster and easier on a Chromebook.” The school believes the extensive technological transformation will best prepare students for the future. The initiative will vastly improve the classroom and independent learning experiences. Parents were notified of the changes shortly before the information was released to the public. DIRECT

Mt. Lebanon

Technology Solutions will begin installing the new wireless network and rebuilding the server infrastructure this summer while introducing it to faculty and staff. “Our teachers are very excited about the program,” explained Principal Lauren Martin. “They are already looking into ways to transform their classroom environments and curricula. Numerous faculty members have even volunteered to participate in a technology committee. They will become the experts on integrating 1:1 technology into the classrooms and share their expertise with their colleagues.” Principal Martin is not the only person excited about the initiative. Technology Coordinator Joe Karmer can hardly wait for the launch. “Through this technology initiative, we hope to be able to provide our students with additional opportunities to increase their digital literacy skills, competencies and proficiencies through enhanced learning experiences made possible by the integration of new technologies and traditional instructional processes,” he said. School President Gary Rodgers added, “The extensive change and the positive enhancement to the technology environment at Seton-La Salle will better prepare our students for the future.” President Rodgers and Principal Martin led the charge with this initiative because they are committed to providing an educational advantage to the student body. The search for a suitable solution to exceed the already high standards the school had set led them to the decision to make the technological upgrade. There is no doubt that this impressive technology upgrade will make what has always been an outstanding school achieve even greater academic excellence.

     By Matthew J. Fascetti

ood things usually come to those who work hard. You won’t find two harder working high school students than Connor Hayes and Jake Grefenstette of Seton-La Salle High School, who recently became two of twenty-five students chosen to become Hesburgh-Yusko scholars at the University of Notre Dame. Consideration for the prestigious scholar program is a grueling one. Potential scholars must compose 16 essays, submit two recommendation letters, complete a phone interview and three personal interviews at the university. Although that is quite a bit to endure, the end result is $25,000 a year for four years and four fully funded summer enrichment programs for self-discovery leadership development. This summer, after their high school graduation, Hayes and Grefenstette will go on a three week backpacking excursion through the Sierra Nevada as part of this program. The HesburghYusko scholarship program was established in 2009 by Notre Dame Alumni Mark and Stacey Yusko and hopes to cultivate leaders in the image of the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, a former Notre Dame President, educator and renowned social justice advocate. Grefenstette, the son of Edward and Megan Grefenstette of Mt. Lebanon, is no stranger to awards and honors. Last summer he spent a month in a study program in Pembroke College, Oxford University, where he studied Neuropsychology and Creative Writing. In this Creative Writing class Grefensette won the Book Award. He has also been the recipient of the Saint Timothy Award for service with Saint Bernard Parish and the 2012 South Hills Christian Athlete of the Year Award for Varsity Volleyball, where he is a three-year letterman. He is President of four school clubs: National Honor Society, Rebels for Life, Students Against Drunk Driving and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; he is also self-taught on six musical instruments. Being a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar is

something he is very proud of. “I’m extremely excited by the opportunities presented by the program,” he said. “Notre Dame offers personalized focus on research for all students. To be able to have the resources of this program on top of that makes my education limitless. Above all, I feel immensely blessed to have been chosen as a scholar.” When Grefenstette matriculates to Notre Dame this fall he hopes to combine two diverse fields of study at Notre Dame and pursue bioethics after studying theology and neuroscience. Hayes, the son of Kevin Hayes and Maureen P. Kelly of Mt. Lebanon, is a well-decorated scholar as well. He is Valedictorian of the class of 2012, and he founded the Model United Nations team as well as the Academic Games team. He was the National Champion in the World Events Competition at last year’s Academic Team games. Hayes is a four-year letterman on the Varsity Swim team and was team captain this past season. Outside of school, Hayes interned in Senator Bob Casey’s Pittsburgh office last summer and served as the Junior Commissioner for the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Commission for the fall of 2011. This scholar program helped Hayes make his college decision. “This scholarship means so much to me, and I still can’t believe I received it,” he said. “The summer experiences the program provides for are all experiences I had hoped to have, as I feel they would help me learn more about the field I want to study, international relations. Prior to receiving the scholarship I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the funding for those experiences. Also prior to the scholarship I was struggling with my college choice. Being offered such an incredible scholarship made the choice easy.” Seton-La Salle High School, as well as the family and friends of these young men, should be quite proud of their accomplishments. The University of Notre Dame will be getting two hard working, dedicated young men who want to make a difference in the world. Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 37

   

In a game of ups and downs at the AJ Palumbo Center, the Mt. Lebanon Girls Basketball team hoisted high the WPIAL championship trophy. Beating rivals Oakland Catholic, 52-49, after a game that was tied up with less than four minutes left, the team was able to dig deep for the extra strength needed to push them over the top.

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Mt. Lebanon

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Mt. Lebanon

UPMC TODAY Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Summer 2012

Here Comes the Sun It’s definitely summer, and you’re ready to enjoy every minute of it. Before you grab your sunglasses and head outdoors, check out our skin protection tips on page 4.

What’s Inside 2

Bringing Mother and Child Together

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Exhausted and Sleepy? Pamper the Skin You’re In Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins

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Your Health Care Goes Mobile Talent + Imagination + Learning = Events You Won’t Want to Miss When Wounds Won’t Heal

Bringing Mother and Child Together UPMC Mercy’s newborn nursery programs foster bonding between mothers and their infants.

The bond between a mother and child is a wonder to behold. At UPMC Mercy, new mothers — and dads, too — can depend on a team of health care professionals to guide them through the process of bonding with and caring for their newborns.

The benefits of breastfeeding UPMC Mercy has three certified lactation specialists on staff, including a neonatal nurse practitioner, who provide in-hospital and outpatient support to mothers. “We see every woman who plans to nurse immediately after delivery, since breastfeeding begins within the first hour after birth,” explains UPMC Mercy lactation specialist Sarah Krivonik, RN. “Whether you’re a firsttime mother or have breastfed before, every baby is different. We help mothers identify the best solutions for their circumstances — whether it’s how to handle triplets or care for a pre-term baby who can’t breastfeed right away.” More and more women are discovering the health benefits of breastfeeding. Often described as “liquid gold,” a mother’s milk is filled with rich nutrients and vitamins. “Newborns who breastfeed have a greater resistance to infection and allergies, fewer ear infections, and are less likely to experience childhood obesity,” says UPMC Mercy’s Cheryl DiNardo, CRNP, a neonatal nurse practitioner and certified lactation specialist. “For mothers, breastfeeding promotes faster weight loss, less bleeding, and reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer.”

Promoting snuggling with a purpose “Every year, we welcome more than 1,700 babies into the world,” says Chris D’Amico, CRNP, UPMC Mercy’s obstetrics/ gynecology administrator. “A big part of our mission is to bring families together during those critical early days through one-on-one support.”

Practicing togetherness After giving birth, mothers can have their newborns at their bedside in one of UPMC Mercy’s private postpartum rooms. “With our in-room option, a mother can learn her baby’s responses and cues for feeding,” says Lora Mastracci, MSN, interim unit director for UPMC Mercy’s Family Maternity Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “This experience allows fathers to be involved from the beginning, from helping with baths and diaper changes, to comforting and holding the baby.” In-room care also gives nursing staff the opportunity to get to know mothers and their needs in greater detail, and connect them to important community resources on their return home.


“Physical contact is an essential part of the bonding process,” says Diane Bear, RN, a lactation consultant with UPMC Mercy’s Women’s Health Services. “We work closely with mothers and fathers to encourage early and ongoing skin-to-skin contact with their babies.” Using a technique called “kangaroo care,” babies are held in an upright position on their parent’s bare chest (much like a kangaroo carries its young). It is especially beneficial for premature babies, and it’s also believed to help stimulate milk production for mothers who are breastfeeding. To learn more about these and other programs offered by UPMC Mercy’s Family Maternity Services, visit

Exhausted and Sleepy? At UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center, doctors can diagnose and treat sleep apnea, often with surprisingly fast results.

Overweight and diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, and an irregular heartbeat, Robert Guthrie underwent a sleep study at UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center to evaluate his pulmonary function and suitability for gastric bypass surgery. He was shocked to discover he had sleep apnea so severe he actually stopped breathing 147 times per hour. Affecting 12 million Americans, sleep apnea doesn’t just disrupt sleep. Untreated, it can cause serious health problems and lead to deadly accidents due to exhaustion. “I was totally clueless. It was serendipity that took me to a sleep expert, and it probably saved my life,” says Robert, 65, who immediately began using a nighttime breathing apparatus known as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Within a week, he was sleeping soundly for the first time in six years. “It was life changing,” says the Hopwood, Pa., resident. “I feel 20 years younger.” Most people don’t know they have obstructive sleep apnea, usually caused when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly. With each interruption, the drop in oxygen levels prompts the brain to send a surge of adrenaline to kick-start breathing, which also leads to a spike in blood pressure. “This can happen 600 times a night. It’s a burden on the cardiovascular system and affects the quality of sleep,” says Patrick J. Strollo Jr., MD, medical director of the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center. According to Dr. Strollo, if you snore loudly, wake up exhausted despite a “good night’s sleep,” or feel tired or sleepy during the day, you should talk to your primary care physician. Since sleep apnea cannot be detected while you’re awake, your doctor may ask you to participate in an overnight sleep study.

At UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center, patients stay in a private bedroom where a sleep technician applies sensors that measure breathing, heart rate, brain activity, and other body functions during sleep. A team of specialists diagnose sleep apnea by looking at the test results and reviewing medical history. Treatment options may include a CPAP machine like Robert uses, which blows air through a special mask worn over the nose. “I wasn’t wild about wearing the mask. But staying on it was a no-brainer — it’s worth it for a good night’s sleep,” says Robert. For information about the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center, visit and click Our Services for an alphabetical listing of departments and services.

Other health consequences of sleep apnea According to Ryan Soose, MD, an otolaryngologist and sleep medicine specialist at UPMC Mercy, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, weight gain, memory problems, and daytime sleepiness. “Loud snoring is a very common feature of sleep apnea and often the most bothersome symptom for patients and other family members,” notes Dr. Soose. “Successful treatment of snoring and sleep apnea can improve quality of life as well as reduce health risks. A variety of medical and surgical treatment options are available, and the treatment plan can be customized to each individual patient.” For more information about UPMC Mercy’s sleep services or to schedule a sleep study, call UPMC Mercy Sleep Center at 412-232-7409.



Pamper the Skin You’re In Your skin is a multitasking marvel. Soft, pliable, and strong, it protects your organs, regulates body temperature, detects and fights off infection, and even repairs itself. But most of us take our hard-working skin for granted. A little TLC will help keep it healthy and looking good from the inside out.

Keep it clean Daily cleansing can take a toll on your skin, so be gentle. Take shorter baths or showers using warm water, choose a mild cleanser, pat or blot skin dry, and apply a moisturizer that’s appropriate for your skin type.

Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins They’re more common — and easier to treat — than you think. They can be tiny or bulging, painless or throbbing. But nearly half of us can expect to get spider or varicose veins, especially after age 50. “The good news is that many techniques now make vein treatments more safe, comfortable, and effective,” says Ellen D. Dillavou, MD, a vascular surgeon at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Eat, drink, and be healthy Feed your skin from the inside for a healthy glow on the outside. Experts recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Drinking plenty of water keeps skin hydrated.

Get moving Regular exercise promotes circulation that energizes skin cells and carries away waste products. It also promotes the restful sleep that’s needed to rejuvenate skin.

Be sun smart Small amounts of daily sun exposure add up, so protect skin from the sun’s rays whenever you’re outdoors — even in wintertime. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and apply it liberally and often. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants provide even more protection.

Check it out Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 90 percent of all skin cancers occur on parts of the body exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, and hands. Mohs micrographic surgery has proven to be an effective treatment for most skin cancers. This type of surgery removes as little normal tissue as possible and is often used to remove skin cancer on the face. Regularly checking your own skin can help find cancers early, when they are easier to treat. You’ll find the American Cancer Society’s skin self-examination guide and other sun safety tips at

Sources: American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


What new treatments are available? Among the newest is the injection of polidocanol for the treatment of spider veins. “It’s a cosmetic procedure that works much better than saline to collapse surface veins,” says Dr. Dillavou. “Spider veins do reoccur, though, so expect to do ‘touch ups’ periodically.” Injections also are used for larger veins and may replace older procedures like a “vein stripping.” For treating varicose veins, radiofrequency ablation (a minimally invasive procedure in which radiofrequency energy seals the vein closed) is a popular treatment among her patients, says Dr. Dillavou, “because it’s comfortable and effective.”

Are varicose veins dangerous? “Varicose and spider veins typically don’t pose a health risk, but they can point to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI),” says Gus Abu-Hamad, MD, a vascular surgeon at UPMC Mercy. “It’s a visual cue that blood may not be optimally flowing to and from the feet and legs to the heart, which can lead to more serious problems.” Other CVI symptoms include painful, tired, restless, achy, itchy, or swollen legs or ankles. In more advanced cases, skin changes and ulcers can develop. “The problem becomes more difficult to treat as it advances, so it’s important to always share your symptoms with your doctor,” says Dr. Abu-Hamad. To learn more about all the vascular services at UPMC Mercy, visit

You ourr Health Car Care e Goes Mobile It’s It’s no now w eas easy y tto o manage y your our medical rrecords ecords or get aut automatic omatic ac access cess tto o select ttest est results results — because HealthT HealthTrak rak has an app for for that. that.

Need to keep track of your elderly parents’ appointments and test results? Want instant access to your children’s immunization records? Run out of medicine while traveling and need a refill? Have a follow-up question for your doctor after office hours? All are available with a click of your mouse — and most with a tap on your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ — via UPMC HealthTrak, an Internet-based service that allows patients, and approved family members, to receive and manage information about their health. Recent upgrades include a new mobile HealthTrak application that provides patients with secure access anytime and anywhere.

HealthTrak also provides patients with automatic access to HealthTr certain test results, including x-rays, lab, and pathology tests, with links they can use to help interpret information. This makes it easier for patients to keep track of their cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels, and other important health numbers. UPMC hopes to add cardiology test results in the near future. Also on the horizon are plans to use photos to identify some skin conditions or diseases.

“We’re giving people what they want — even when they’re on the go. It’s a convenient, safe, and free way to manage their own health,” says G. Daniel Martich, MD, UPMC chief medical information officer.

Going mobile is ffast ast and eas easyy To access HealthTr HealthTrak data using a mobile device, you must first secure a HealthTr HealthTrak account through UPMCHealthT You should then download the free “MyChart app” from the App Store, iTunes Store, or Google Play (formerly Android Market). The mobile app provides access to everything except eVisits, or online doctor visits. According to Dr. Martich, more than 100,000 patients have signed up for HealthTr HealthTrak — and nearly 6,000 are mobile app users. Online medical care is seen as the wave of the future. The number of HealthTrak users is expected to increase dramatically once word spreads about its overall convenience and newest features — including access for authorized family members.

More More patient patient-centered -centered solutions HealthTrak gives users immediate access to a wide range of personal medical information, which allows them to take a more active role in managing their health.

Sign up ttoday! oday!

Adults juggling the health care of their children and aging parents can use the “proxy access” feature to keep track of health records and appointments, refill prescriptions, communicate with doctors, and ask billing questions.

Easy, dir Easy, direct ect signup for for HealthTrak HealthTrak is available HealthTr available online byy g b going oing to to UP and clicking MCHealthT now” New User.. FFollow steps eps to to “Sign up no w” under Ne w User ollow the st ccomplete answer personal omplete an online application and ans wer personal ensuree that yyou, questions designed tto o ensur ou, and not person, creating account. another per son, are are cr eating the ac count.

Parents will especially appreciate having instant access to a child’s immunization record when they need it. Approved caregivers find eVisit, the online doctor visit service, very useful for the diagnosis of common, non-urgent ailments in their elderly relatives.

you have If you have difficulties, email UPMC Support Line at or call the UP MC HealthTrak HealthTrak Support HealthTr 1-866-884-8579. 1-866-884-85 79.



Talent + Imagination + Learning =

Events You Won’t Want to Miss UPMC Senior Communities’ year-long calendar of entertainment, movies, and educational seminars aims to enrich the lives of seniors — and delight the public, too.

What do Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, a Meryl Streep movie, and acupuncture have in common? All are among UPMC Senior Communities’ upcoming 2012 Legacy Lineup. “We’re committed to providing residents at all our senior communities with activities that will capture their interests, generate conversation, and stimulate their minds,” says Nanci Case, vice president for sales, marketing, and activities for UPMC Senior Communities. “Through The Legacy Lineup and other programs, we’re bringing seniors — and people of all ages — together to relax, laugh, and learn together.” Open to the public, The Legacy Lineup programs are offered at UPMC Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Woods Village, UPMC Senior Communities’ independent living facility located on the UPMC Passavant campus. “You can attend a Legacy Lineup event every week of the month, with many events offered at no charge,” says Greta Ceranic, marketing director for Cumberland Woods Village. The Legacy Theatre is part of a state-of-the-art conference center and 247-seat amphitheatre funded through a generous $16.5 million grant by the Passavant Hospital Foundation. One of the Foundation’s primary goals is public education and outreach. UPMC physicians, nurses, and other medical staff members also use the facility for professional development training. “And funds raised through The Legacy Lineup support UPMC Senior Communities Benevolent Care Fund,” adds Ms. Case, “providing financial assistance and other support services to residents in need at all 17 UPMC retirement communities.”


Productions showcase local and national talent “Each month, The Legacy Lineup features at least one major production featuring a band, soloist, or performance troupe,” says Ms. Ceranic. “Earlier this year, the Tamburitzans appeared to a sell-out crowd. Later this year, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand impersonators will perform with a full orchestra.” The 2012 lineup also includes the Jaggerz and the Fabulous Hubcaps, as well as a major holiday production in December. Because seating is limited, advance tickets are recommended. Group discounts and ticket packages are available.

Spend Mondays at the movies From cinematic classics like Citizen Kane to recent blockbusters like Iron Lady with Meryl Streep, seniors can enjoy free matinee movies every Monday at 2 p.m. at the Legacy Theatre.

Explore your interests at learning seminars On alternating Tuesdays at 11 a.m., The Legacy Lineup offers educational programming that covers a wide range of subjects, from tips on aging, caregiver support, health and nutrition, history, and local topics of interest. The seminars are free and open to the public, but advance reservations are requested. For the full 2012 calendar of activities, or to make reservations, call 412-635-8080 or visit

To learn about the independent living, personal care, assisted living, and skilled nursing options offered by UPMC Senior Communities, call 1-800-324-5523 to schedule a tour. Locations include Allison Park, Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Greensburg, Lawrenceville, McCandless, Monroeville, Penn Hills, Scott Township, and Washington, Pa.

When Wounds Won’t Heal If you’re at risk, a simple cut or blister can quickly escalate into a major health problem.

Simple blisters, calluses, cuts, and scrapes usually heal quickly. But some wounds can take months to heal — posing a major health threat requiring special treatment to avoid serious infection, amputation, and even death. Dane Wukich, MD, an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon, and medical director of UPMC Wound Healing Services at UPMC Mercy, says chronic wounds are often ignored. “We see 3,000 new cases each year of serious, non-healing wounds that can become life-threatening and possibly lead to amputations,” says Dr. Wukich. “Within 24 hours, a simple callous can turn deadly.”

“Individuals with neuropathy are at risk. They get a callous or blister and walk on it all day, not realizing they have a wound until they see blood on their sock,” says Dr. Wukich. “Once a wound occurs, their risk of infection goes up significantly. And once they have an infection, the risk of amputation increases astronomically.” Poor circulation due to diabetes or vascular disease also slows healing, he explains. Patients who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair are at risk of developing pressure wounds from lying or sitting in one position too long.

Prevention and treatment Preventing wounds and complications is key, says Dr. Wukich. “Patients with non-healing wounds have a worse survival rate than patients with breast cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer. That’s how serious it is,” he says bluntly. Lowering and controlling sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol can improve circulation and reduce complications. Checking daily for wounds and acting quickly to treat and heal ulcers can reduce the risk of severe infection and amputation. For a wound to heal properly, it must be kept clean. Dead tissue must be removed through a weekly cleaning to prevent the spread of infection. In addition, skin around a wound must be kept moist, and doctors may prescribe walking boots and casts to reduce direct weight on the wound.

Are you at risk? People with diabetes and vascular disease are especially vulnerable to slow healing and chronic wounds. Diabetic patients often have neuropathy, which causes them to lose sensation in their feet. Because they don’t feel pain, sores go unnoticed and can become ulcerated.

At UPMC Mercy, a multidisciplinary team of infectious disease physicians and orthopaedic, vascular, and plastic surgeons work together to treat wounds and help prevent amputations. Advanced wound therapy may include the use of regenerative skin products, vascular, plastic, or reconstructive foot surgery. Amputation is used as a last resort to save a life, says Dr. Wukich. For more information about UPMC Mercy’s Wound Healing Services, visit

Foot Care Tips If you have diabetes or vascular disease, inspect your feet daily for cuts, sores, redness, swelling, or foul odor. If you can’t bend over, use a plastic mirror to check the bottoms of your feet, or ask a family member to help. Make sure your doctor inspects your feet at every visit.



UPMC Mercy 1400 Locust St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219

UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

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The name you trust in women’s health is right here at Mercy. UPMC Mercy ob-gyn services are growing to provide comprehensive women’s services by bringing you the same experts who practice at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. In addition to community-based physicians and midwifery, these expanding services for women are consistent with Mercy’s rich tradition of care. UPMC’s complete range of specialty services for women covers obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine, midlife health, women’s cancer, and much more. From checkups and preventive care to testing, diagnosis, and advanced treatments, the superb doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Mercy and Magee are with you every step of the way on the path to good health. We work closely with your primary care physician to provide seamless care. And every service is backed by UPMC’s world-class care, providing peace of mind when you need it most. To learn more about UPMC Mercy ob-gyn services or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762), or visit

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 49

What Happens In Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas ook no further than a quick Google search to find interesting facts about Upper St. Clair. The township is 9.8 square miles in size, houses more than 19,000 residents and was ranked one of the 10 best places to live in the United States for 2009, according to U.S. News & World Report. Upper St. Clair also boasts an array of former and current residents with some impressive resume highlights, like former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chuck Noll, United State Congressman Tim Murphy and senior engineer of the observation wheel, Dan Schwarz. Never heard of Dan? Wondering what an observation wheel is? Keep reading.


The “High Roller” Dan Schwarz grew up in Mt. Lebanon and has lived in the area with his wife, Heather, and

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their daughter, Claire, for the past five years. While they had not outgrown their home, they decided a move was in order after doing a little online house hunting and finding their dream home in Brookside Farms. No sooner had they signed the papers when Dan got a new work assignment from his boss at American Bridge. On the heels of completing his former tunnel and transit project in downtown Pittsburgh - the one that transports commuters from the Golden Triangle, under the Allegheny River and drops them off on the North Shore - Dan wasn’t sure what sure what to expect. “That tunnel project was a huge undertaking,” said Dan. “I spent a lot of time in the dark, under the streets of Pittsburgh. But my new assignment could not be more of a contrast. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re really excited.” To say Dan’s new project is in contrast to his former one is no joke. This summer, after only spending about six months in Upper St. Clair, Dan, Heather and their daughter, will move to Las Vegas while he leads the engineering and building of a new observation wheel called the “High Roller.” Much like the Ferris Wheels of old, this attraction will be the tallest and largest in the world. Once completed, the “High Roller” will be located behind the famed Flamingo Hotel, have 28 enclosed cabins around its circumference, hold 40 people per cabin and take 30 minutes to make a complete rotation. It will be 500 feet in diameter and stand 550 feet high, about 40 stories tall. “It was commissioned by Caesar’s Entertainment and American Bridge was their company of choice to bring it to fruition,” said Dan. “We have the expertise to build something of this magnitude and uniqueness and it’s sure to be a highlight in my career.”

Mt. Lebanon

East Meets West Meets East…Again Heather and Dan are looking forward to Las Vegas but they are in love with their new neighborhood and home. “What’s so great about Brookside Farms is very few people leave,” said Heather. “It has such a familial feel because parents have raised their children here and now the children live just two and three houses away. There’s something comforting about that.” And as Dan and Heather describe their new house, it speaks volumes about how they relish in its old soul. “Our house was built in 1935,” said Dan. “It’s lived in and we love everything about it, from the covered back porch to the arched doorways and tiny nooks that come with houses of this era.” “I always knew I wanted to live in Pittsburgh even though I grew up in Spokane, Washington,” said Heather. “My parents are from here and we visited my grandparents during the summers. Once I started college, and met Dan, I knew this would be our home.” But the west beckons them

By W.B. Fresa

soon and house hunting will begin again. “It is true, we don’t have a place to live yet in Vegas;” chimes Heather with a laugh. “I think it’s safe to say we won’t be finding anything with the charm of our new house.” However, she is quick to point out the pluses of a move to an arid region: no grass to mow, weeds to pull or mosquitoes to swat. They are also ready to take full advantage of all the opportunities that come with living in the Northwest. “I’m very excited to see Hoover Dam and all of the natural sites surrounding Las Vegas. We also can’t wait to learn about new cultures, try the local cuisine and introduce Claire to some fun things she wouldn’t get to see otherwise.” But they will be back, with stories to tell of the places they visited, sites they saw and people they met. And the re’s also that little thing called the “High Roller” to add to the resume. But the Schwartzes are quick to scoff at the unique situation they find themselves in today. “We don’t consider ourselves special in any way,” said Dan. “And, no one’s life follows a typical trajectory anymore,” added Heather. “We certainly don’t expect ours to, either. But it’s nice to try new things, and then steer back to what you know.”

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 51

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he crowd was packed in the stadium on Senior Night, an annual Mount Lebanon High School football season tradition that occurs in October. Brita Thompson, a member of the Rockettes dancing squad arm of the high school band, handed her mother, Kathy Thompson, a bouquet of flowers. Thompson was crying, thinking of how she’d soon never get to see her daughter perf orm again with the band. A member of the core group of parent volunteers of Mt. Lebanon High School Marching Band, Thompson has had three children involved with the band—Anna, who graduated in 2003, Graham, who graduated in 2007, and now Brita, who is a senior this year. Even though her daughter will be moving on to college, Thompson plans to stay involved with the band, and will help out with the Betsy Ross Club—a group of mothers of band members who sew the flags for the marching band’s color guard. The group must look snappy, because it is representing the community far and wide. The marching band members are the community’s ambassadors— representatives of Mount Lebanon, carrying on a legacy created generations ago. The tradition began about fifty years ago, when Mount Lebanon High School Marching Band went to th e Rose Bowl to perform. It was 1954, and the group was the first high school band from east of the Mississippi to perform at the classic college football matchup. Since that first time it took the national stage, Mt. Lebanon High School Marching Band has performed at the Gator Bowl and other college football bowl games. The group has participated in the San Diego Big Bay Parade, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and other nationally prominent parades. The band gets a lot of practice performing in front of audiences locally through playing for the high school’s football games, and also in such annual appearances as its Band Festival and the South Hills Memorial Day Parade. This year, the band performed on 52 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Mt. Lebanon

By Jonathan Barnes

May 3 in the Kentucky Derby Parade. The trip was optional, but 130 members of the band made it, along with 10 adult chaperones and four school staff members. “It’s a prominent parade,” Mt. Lebanon High School Marching Band director Louise Marino said. To be part of the parade, in August the band submitted an application and a video of the group performing, including parade footage and footage of the band doing its field show. In late September, the band got word that it had been chosen to be in the parade. The 2-mile -long parade, which was viewed by 300,000 people, was the kickoff of Derby Weekend. Those involved with the band say the trips out of state are educational, a fact that is hard to argue against. But that extra learning gained from the trip came at a cost to each member of the band–$450, which included transportation, meals and hotel. People in the community were generous in donating to this year’s big trip, and contributed to various band

Photos by Tyler Anderson

fundraisers including band sales of candy, pumpkins and watermelons, as well as at the annual Spaghetti Dinner in March and the school’s Band Festival in September. Mt. Lebanon’s Band Festival brings eight local high school bands to the community to perform in a noncompetitive exhibition at this high school. A college marching band also performs at the event. Operation of the band is helped greatly by many parents volunteering with the group. The Band Builders help to raise the funds needed to keep the band performing. The school district and administration officials’ participation also is crucial. “We are fortunate to have the full support of the Mt. Lebanon School Board and administration,” Marino said. “We have a wonderful support system in the community— they have always supported the band through our pe rformances. Football is very big in Western Pennsylvania, and the marching band is a part of that atmosphere.” Mt. Lebanon High School Marching Band has 147 members this year. Most of those members are musicians, but the band also includes the Color Guard, and the Rockettes dance squad. The band travels to perform and compete, Marino said. “It’s a bonus for us to give our students a chance on the national s tage,” she said. During their recent weekend trip, the band visited King’s Island of Adventure Amusement Park. They stayed overnight at the Great Wolf Resort Waterpark. While it might seem like all practice, fundraisers and fun for the band members, a lot more is involved in fielding an impressive, competitive band like Mt. Lebanon. Take the uniforms, for example, which require a lot of care. Thompson helps with uniform fittings for the band, a process which involves measuring each member and fitting him or her for a uniform. If the uniform later is found uncomfortable for the band member, they are re-fitted with a new uniform. Shoes are another aspect of the uniform that requires the right fit, and which is crucial to a high-performing marching band.

In addition to getting the best-fitting uniform for each band member, parent volunteers must collect the uniforms at the end of the season, partly disassemble them and hand clean them, and have the uniforms professionally cleaned. Then they must store the uniforms. The past decade, during which Thompson has been a happy parent member of the band, has flown by. Brita’s initial involvement with the Rockettes had reminded her mother of her own participation as a majorette when she was in high school. In those early days with Mt.

Lebanon High School Marching Band, Thompson had no idea how interested she would become in the activity. “I didn’t know how involved I would be, but I found out it’s a lot of fun,” Thompson said. Mt. Lebanon High School Marching Band’s annual Band Festival will be at the high school on Sept. 15. For more information on the band or to donate to it, contact Band Builder copresident MaryPat DiPippa at, or co-president Kathy Thompson at

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 53

t p e K t s e B t e s r ’ c o Leb ssive Se Percu

ne of the Pittsburgh area’s best kept secrets may not be such a big secret, after all. In fact, you may have seen the group, which is based in Mt. Lebanon, perform at Heinz Hall, prior to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concert, or you may have heard their music playing in the background during the KDKA-TV/Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund Telethon. The Mt. Lebanon High School Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Richard Minnotte and comprised of 175 students in grades 4 to 12, is recognized as one of the premier public school percussion programs in the nation. Minnotte started the ensemble program in 1985 at the request of the percussion students. “The students were all taking private lessons and were not being challenged by the music they were playing in the band,” explained M innotte, who has taught in the Mt. Lebanon School District for 38 years, the first 10 of which were spent as assistant marching band director and elementary school band director. “They wanted the opportunity to use the skills they were being taught in their lessons. The first performance consisted of about 15 students, who played at the winter band concert in 1985.” The ensemble plays two concert seri es a year. The Holiday Bells, Mallets & Drums runs in December and features music of the holiday season played on a variety of percussion instruments. The group plays six to nine concerts during this series in places throughout the Pittsburgh

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Mt. Lebanon


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area, including nursing homes, churches and Mt. Lebanon High School. The Evening of Percussion concert series in May features six performances in three days at Mt. Lebanon High School. The series showcases a variety of percussion music and performing ensembles including drumline, concert ensembles, keyboard ensemble, African ensemble and Brazilian ensemble. Prior to each performance, however, each member of the entire group puts in tireless hours of hard work and practice to play perfection. “Each ensemble practices for a minimum of one hour each week, and most students perform in at least four to six ensembles,” Minnotte said. “In addition, each student has a one hour private lessons each week and must practice several hours per week on their own to learn their music. Our average student spends about 650 hours a year in individual practice, private lessons, rehearsals and performances.” But those long hours and tremendous dedication pay off big, as t he group has been invited to play at several large, well-recognized events, such as the 2011 NHL Winter Classic and the 2010 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, for which the Mt. Lebanon High School Percussion Ensemble performed the “keynote concert” for their annual conference at the University of Oklahoma. And perhaps even bigger than these events is the number of prestigious awards that have r ecognized the group’s talents. The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association has often selected the Mt. Lebanon High School Percussion Ensemble as the best high school percussion ensemble in Pennsylvania and has invited the group to perform at their annual conference. Music for All and Bands of America also selected the group as one of the finest high school percussion ensembles in the nation and invited them t o perform for the National Percussion Festival. And, in 2008, the Mt. Lebanon High School Percussion Ensemble was named a “Malletech Artist Ensemble.” Most recently, the

  Studio Pantera is celebrating its one-year anniversary offering yoga, dance and fitness classes in a boutique studio in downtown Carnegie.

By Heather Holtschlag group traveled to Indianapolis to perform at the 2010 Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival, which is presented by Music for All and Bands of America and is the premier national event for high school percussion ensembles. “This was our third appearance at the festival, with previous appearances in 2007 and 2009,” Minnotte said. “Ensembles from around the nation audition via CD for the opportunity to perform. The audition is judged by a team of professional percussion educators and only six to eight percussion ensembles are invited to present a concert. This year, we took about 28 students from grades 10 to 12.” “This group is one of the top high school percussion ensemble groups in the United States. They are taking percussion ensemble to a completely different level,” said Cort McClaren, Ph.D., retired professor of percussion studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and board chairman of the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy. “There are a number of high schools in the country who have percussion ensembles, but nothing to this extent. The Mt. Lebanon High School Percussion Ensemble is a model for what should be happening at all high schools.” Currently, the group is pr eparing to perform the 28th annual Evening of Percussion Concert Series, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18, and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. All performances will take place in the Fine Arts Theatre at Mt. Lebanon High School. Tickets for the evening performances are $10 for adults and $7 for students. Tickets for the afternoon performance are $5 for everyone. They can be purchased by calling the Mt. Lebanon Percussion Ticket Line at 412.343.5944. For more information about the group or the performances, visit

Anya Lasko, a former professional dancer from Belarus in Eastern Europe, founded the studio on the principles of holistic well-being, healthy exercise and performing arts education. Studio Pantera offers children and adults a variety of classes such as Hatha Yoga, Zumba, Ballet Barre Fitness, Pilates, Pre-Dance, Senior Fitness and more. Certified professionals teach classes at convenient times on a weekly schedule, with packages available at very reasonable rates. The name “Pantera” comes from Anya’s native language of Russian and means “Panther”—a gracefully moving cat representing beauty, elegance and health. Studio Pantera encourages everyone to “Move Gracefully,” not only in the body but also through life itself. For more information, contact Studio Pantera, 21 E. Main St. in Carnegie, at 412.722.2054 or visit

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 55

he Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsman’s Club defeated Frazier-Simplex Rifle Club in a shoot off on Wednesday, April 11th, to win its second consecutive Pittsburgh and Suburban Rifle League championship. According to Dean Trew, Captain of the Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsman’s Club rifle team, Treasurer of the Pittsburgh and Suburban Rifle League and unofficial league historian, it was quite an honor to win the championship. “The Pittsburgh and Suburban Rifle League is among the oldest and strongest rifle teams in the nation,” said Trew. “Our league is made up of seven teams: Frazier-Simplex (Washington); Allegheny Country Rifles (Millvale); Murrysville Rifle Club; Irwin Sportsman Club (Explorer Junior Scout Club); Green Valley Sportsman Club (Beaver County) and Clymer Rifle Club (Indiana).”

       By Matthew J. Fawcett

The two teams both finished the season with a 16-2 record, which led to the shoot off. Dormont-Mt. Lebanon put up a score of 1,486, the highest score in the league this year, and Frazier-Simplex was just behind at 1,480. Jason Piatt led the way for the winners, firing a 299 while Dominique Thomas and Matt Piatt shot 298s, Amy Smith 296 and Nicholle Benedict 295. Tom Gerner, who had the highest average during the season, was on reserve duty and unable to compete. Other team members for Dormont-Mt. Lebanon this season included Chuck Augenstein, Tom Benedict, Miles Ford, Dan Francis, Fritz Hempelmann, Rick Janoski and Dave Willard. Tom Santelli led Frazier-Simplex with a 299. John Husk had a 298, Dave Cramer followed with a 296, Brent Morgan a 294 and Tom Morley a 293. Rifle shooting competition is on a scoring scale, with 300 being a perfect score. They shoot 22 caliber rifles from a distance of 50 feet, and compete in four different positions: prone, sitting, kneeling and standing. The league competes from October to March in 18 home and away matches. Most shooters use Anschutz, Remington or Winchester revolvers. Nationally, Frazier-Simplex and Dormont-Mt. Lebanon are top ranked rifle teams. For years the Army Reserves dominated nationally, winning every championship from 1980 to 2003. In 2004, Dormont-Mt. Lebanon won the national championship, becoming the first team other than the Army Reserves to win the national title since 1979. What does it take to become a great rifle shooter? Trew said it is a combination of things. “Ninety percent of shooting is mental discipline,” he explained. “It takes tremendous focus. Unlike other sports where you need to get amped up to compete, in shooting you have to remain as calm as possible. You must slow your heart rate and squeeze the trigger between heartbeats.” Trew should know because he has been shooting since he was a boy and really enjoys the competition and the camaraderie. “It is fun, but it also teaches you tremendous concentration and self-discipline,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine being around a greater group of people. Rifle shooting is so unique because, while it is competitive, everyone still tries to help each other get better. That is rare in sports.” 56 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Mt. Lebanon

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Mt. Lebanon


Domo Arigato, Dragon Fire Robata!

ragon Fire Japanese Steakhouse, Sushi Bar and Robatayaki is the next generation of Japanese cuisine in the South Hills with the region’s first ever Robatayaki grill. So what is a Robatayaki and what makes it such a dining experience? The Robatayaki’s origins date back to 1600 in Japan and is a traditional form of informal dining based around the Robata grill. Diners sit around the Robata with fresh ingredients in front of them. Chefs skewer meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables and grill them in front of your eyes before plating them for an amazing presentation. At Dragon Fire, patrons can position themselves around a horseshoe-shaped table, with the Robata on one side and the sushi bar on the other. Sushi Chef Jing Fu Wu has more than 35 years of experience running a successful Sushi house in Philadelphia. His mix of traditional sushi and innovative, new rolls, such as the Green Dragon Roll – tuna, salmon, yellowtail, cucumber, shiso and jalapeno with an avocado exterior - is second to none. Behind the sushi bar and Robata, several traditional hibachi grill tables are positioned in Dragon Fire for patrons who want the total hibachi experience featuring everything from spatula juggling, culinary acrobatics, dancing flames and smoking onion volcanoes. Regardless of where your taste buds take you in Dragon Fire, you will not be disappointed. The hibachi presentations and skilled chefs serve full-course, quality dishes en masse, perfect for large families and groups of friends. On the sushi side, Dragon Fire’s two sushi chefs created some of the most beautiful rolls and presentations that we’ve seen to date, all of it catch of the day fresh, with each piece melting in your mouth with hints of ginger and the sting of wasabi. But since we’ve never encountered the Robata grill before, we spent the majority of our time there to see what makes these meals extra special. It turns out that the Robata grill requires the ever-watchful eye of its chefs. Japanese binchotan charcoal maintains an even, hot flame, but this grill is not a set-it-and-forget-it cooking appliance. In addition to skewering up fresh, choice cuts of meat, the chefs have to monitor temperatures, stoke the coals, and add more coals The Galleria Mall as the night goes on. 1500 Washington Road The charcoal Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228 412.892.8815 burns at

a very high temperature and quickly sears in the juices and flavors of the steaks, seafood or vegetables being cooked on it. Executive Chef Joe Scalise creates a variety of handmade sauces to complement the items from the Robata. Patrons can expect their order to take a few minutes longer coming from the Robata, but the brief wait is definitely worth it. Starting off with the Robata chicken lettuce wraps, we discovered that watching the chef prepare our meal in front of us is mesmerizing. The chicken is skewered up and placed on the grill. The chef turns the skewer for even cooking, all the while basting it with a ginger infused soy Thai chili sauce. It’s then plated with the chicken cut into bite-sized pieces nestled into crisp lettuce beds, covered with toasted almonds, green onion garnish and served with additional sauce for dipping. More succulent chicken cannot be found than this. From the caramelized sauce on the chicken to its moist center, each bite was a divine combination of sweetness, with a hint of heat. Moving on to the main course, the Salmon Yakatori is something not to be missed. Cross-skewered and kissed by Robata flames, the chef cooks a hefty-sized salmon fillet and finishes it off with a ponzu glaze. “What’s a ponzu glaze?” you might ask. The question has a mouthwatering answer. A ponzu glaze is a spicy, citrusy concoction of soy sauce, Thai chilies, lemon, lime, orange, ginger, garlic and rice wine vinegar, and made for a heavenly dish, bursting with flavors. Dragon Fire uses sustainably-raised salmon, and is constantly trying to source as many seafood choices as possible from the Marine Stewardship Council certified suppliers, which means they are an eco-conscious establishment. But perhaps the best thing about Dragon Fire is that the items from the Robata are available a la carte and can be mixed and matched to put together a filling meal, or shared as small plates by a group. Dragon Fire is one of the best new restaurants to hit the South Hills in a long time. Be sure not to miss it! For full menus and information, go to

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday 12-8 p.m. Inquire about catering and special events at DragonFire via

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Mt. Lebanon Public Library 16 Castle Shannon Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15228 412.531.1912 Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m. (Jan - May)


         Summer Reading Clubs for All Ages Begins June 1 with program registration.

This year’s themes are: Children – “Dream Big: Read!” Helps young children build reading and language skills and helps older children develop skills necessary for school success. Teens – “Own the Night” Motivates teens to read and discuss literature. Adults – “Between the Covers” Encourages adults to experience the joy of reading. 12th Annual Concerts in the Courtyard 7 p.m., Thursdays, August 2, 9, 16 & 23 Join us for our popular (and free of charge) series of four Concerts in the Courtyard. Here is the line-up. Save the dates to enjoy some al fresco entertainment brought to you by Mt. Lebanon Public Library! August 2 – Boilermaker Jazz Band August 9 – Nan Hoffman, American folk musician August 16 – Matt Otis, indie/acoustic musician August 23 – Mt. Lebanon High School String Quartet (Classical) Transit of the Planet Venus 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 5 Join the Friends of the Zeiss for this once-in-a-lifetime stargazing event! Venus passing in front of the sun (the Transit of the Planet of Venus) is a rare occurrence; the next such transit is not expected again until 2117! Meet in the large upper lot from 6 p.m. to view this phenomenon from telescopes and as projected images.

Creative Connections 2 p.m., Wednesdays, June 6 & August 1 Join us on the 1st Wednesday of the month for Creative Connections, programs especially suited for adults ages 50 and over. All programs are free and open to the public. Come early and socialize! June – “A Tea” program with Betty Karleski and Kathie Oberst. They will talk about the history and properties of the various teas. August – TBA The Garden Tour Committee Presents a Rose Exposition 9 a.m., Saturday, June 9 The Pittsburgh Rose Society presents an all-day Rose Exposition with table clinics and lectures on garden design topics integrated with about 100+ different roses exhibited in individual containers. Greening Your Cleaning Products 7 a.m., Tuesday, June 12 Learn from Marianne M. Garrity RN, MNEd how and why to make your own green cleaning products. Ingredients will be brought to the presentation and the making of simple, natural cleaning products will be demonstrated. If participants bring their own empty spray bottle and small jars with lids, they may take samples home. Ask a Professional: Topics of Special Interest to Seniors 11 a.m., Tuesdays, June 12 & 26; July 10 & 24; August 14 & 28 This series meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and highlights a topic of specific interest to seniors with an expert in the field leading the discussion. Topics TBA. Everyone is welcome to this free program. No reservations are required. International Women’s Conversation Circles 10 a.m. Wednesdays, June 13, July 11 & August 8 Have you recently moved to Mt. Lebanon from another country? Please join us for tea, refreshments, and conversation at Mt. Lebanon Public Library. Learn about your community while you make new friends! New women residents are welcome to practice their English while they learn about local activities and services available for themselves and their children. All women are welcome to meet their

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Mt. Lebanon

new neighbors from around the world, share information about our community, and learn more about the diverse cultures that enrich Mt. Lebanon. Ideas that Shaped Mt. Lebanon 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 27 BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: John Conti will speak on “Ideas that Shaped Mt. Lebanon.” The program will focus on how the works of English landscape designers in the 17th century impacted the development of Mt. Lebanon. John is the architecture columnist for the Tribune Review, a Mt. Lebanon magazine contributor, a member of the Mt. Lebanon Historic Preservation Board and a real estate agent. 8th Annual Garden Party in the Courtyard 6 p.m., Saturday, July 7 You are invited to a pre-tour Garden Party hosted by the Library Board of Trustees in the Library Garden Courtyard. Tickets are $30 per person in advance or at the door. Your support is greatly appreciated! 22nd Annual Garden Tour 12 p.m., Sunday, July 8 Tickets for the Garden Tour will be available in advance for $15 per person or $20 on the day of the tour at the library. At the library, tour activities will include the annual plant sale, free consultations with Penn State Master Gardeners and a Pittsburgh Rose Society Consulting Rosarian, and special promotional offers at The Book Cellar. All proceeds from this event benefit Mt. Lebanon Public Library.


Take Me Out to the Ballgame Date: TBA in August A look at 125 years of baseball history from the site of the first World Series for all ages presented by the Senator John Heinz History Center

Tail Wagging Tutors 7 p.m., Thursdays, June 7, July 5 & August 2 Children can read aloud to a furry friend! Dog listeners are trained by Therapy Dogs International. Registration required.

Cooperative Householding: A New Model for Sharing Resources and Community Thursday, 7 p.m., July 19 Mt. Lebanon residents Karen Bush, Louise Machinist, and Jean McQuillin are more than just housemates. They have formed an intentional community that they call a cooperative household, an arrangement in which unrelated people co-own and share a residence to gain financial, social, lifestyle and environmental benefits. Join them as they share practical strategies from their book, My House, Our House: Living Far Better for Far Less in a Cooperative Household, that make a shared household work. This presentation will cover topics such as drafting General Partnership Agreements, prudent financial pointers, tips for daily household management, and a “thought quiz”: Is cooperative householding right for you or yours? Biergarten Bash III 6 p.m., Saturday, August 25 Welcome beer aficionados and fans of the library! Taste and enjoy fine brews in our exclusive Biergarten at this library fundraiser. Tickets sales start after the Garden Tour in early July for this adults-only event. Admission includes an evening of excellent beers, big soft pretzels and munchies, music and great company! $20 in advance of event. South Hills Scrabble Club 1 p.m., every Saturday South Hills Scrabble Club welcomes adults and kids ages 10 and up for an afternoon of friendly competition!

Preschool French Club 10 a.m., Tuesdays, June 5, 12, 19, & 26 Join native speaker and French tutor Valerie Rose for stories and fun in French! For children ages 2 - 5 and their parents. Please pre-register for this 4-week session. DREAM BIG - SING YOUR HEART OUT BE A STAR! 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 26 Popular Musician Bill Pate brings his music for children & their families to the library. Art Program with Michael Albert 10 a.m., Saturday, June 30 Program with Collage Artist Michael Albert. Make your own collage! Spanish Fiestas 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 11,18 & 25 Kids in grades 1—3 are invited to share stories and make an activity with Spanish teachers from the Mt. Lebanon School District. Battle of the Books 5 p.m., Wednesdays, August 1 & 8 Battle of the Books is a contest of reading and retention skills for kids going into 4th, 5th and 6th grades. (i.e. Any student finishing 3rd, 4th or 5th grade this spring.) Teams read books and quiz each other about what they read in a “Battle of the Books.” Registration will open on June 1 and close on July 2nd with the battles taking place on August 1 and August 8. Star Wars Extravaganza 10 a.m., Saturday, August 11 All Star Wars, all day… Join the 501st Legion’s Garrison Carida and meet costumed villains from the Star Wars universe! Participate in Star Wars themed snacks, games and activities. Star Wars Themed crafts, too! More details to follow.

MONTHLY BOOK CLUBS:  Be advised that non-library events are also included on the calendar. Some are simply organization meetings, but others may be of interest to the community. These are just some of the many events and programs that the Mt. Lebanon Public Library offers.

At Mt. Lebanon Public Library, we have a wide array of monthly book groups for all ages and interests. Visit Book Discussion Groups at to find one that suits you. Once you have, just come to the library to pick up your copy of the book, read it, and then come to meeting at the library to discuss. You’ll be glad you did! Welcome!! Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 61

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t’s no secret that this is the time of year when more and more “for sale” signs start to dot neighborhood streets. Whether you are planning to buy or sell a home, build a new one orrenovate a century-old one, upsize or downsize, chances are you will be looking for a real estate agent to help guide you through the process. Choosing the right professional to represent you is an important decision, one that could end up saving you money or adding to your bottom line. You need a seasoned professional to best represent your interests. But, when it comes to selecting an agent, one should realize that not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) website explains that: “The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of NAR and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.” The organization is the nation’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members-including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils-involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. This is an important consideration when choosing an agent, whether you are a buyer or a seller. No matter which side of the real

estate transaction you find yourself on, an agent can ensure that your interests are best represented. “I believe when a consumer hires any type of professional, it is always prudent to review his resume and check references. The same holds true for a real estate agent,” said Karen Berberick, GRI, Associate Broker-Manager for Northwood Realty Services. “How many homes did that agent sell in the past year? Do they have references from their past customers? What type of written marketing plan will they follow to help sell the property? Does the marketing plan encompass different types of media to include the internet, print media, television, etc.? What is a business relationship agreement and when should it be signed? There are many facets to a successful relationship between a real estate professional and the consumer.” If you are planning to sell a property, a seller’s agent is obliged to get the best deal for the seller. He/she is permitted to give potential buyers only material facts about the listing. Loyalty is to the seller, not the potential buyer. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the market for a new home, a buyer’s agent is obligated to secure the best deal possible for the buyer. He/she is permitted to pass on any information obtained about the property or seller to his/her buying client. According to the website, the following are some

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                         questions you should ask during your selection process when interviewing potential agents: Are you a REALTOR®? Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency. Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region. Is real estate the person’s full-time career? What real estate designations does the agent hold? Which party is he or she representing: you or the seller? This discussion is supposed to occur early on, at “first serious contact” with you. The agent should discuss your state’s particular definitions of agency, so you’ll know where you stand. In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you?

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“When choosing a real estate professional, compatibility is often the key to a successful relationship,” said Mona Colicchie of Prudential Preferred Realty. “Some typical questions you might want to ask them could be: What is your availability? How successful have you been in this price range or geographic area? How do you integrate technology into your marketing plan? Will I be communicating with you directly or do you have a staff? How often can I expect communication and feedback from you? Tell me of an instance where your skill in negotiating resulted in top price for your client?” Colicchie also said that some Realtors specialize in some areas. “ Often, Realtors will discover that they enjoy or have been more successful with a particular niche,” she said. “That specialty could be working with investors, builders, seniors, the luxury home market, foreclosures, or first time home buyers. In most instances, an agent who specializes has developed a high level of proficiency in that area and loves what they do.

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he front porch may rank near the bottom on the list of favorite rooms that people mention when talking about their homes, but it ranks near the top in terms of importance. Considered a home’s “welcome mat,” the front porch offers a home’s first – and oftentimes only – impression to family, friends, and passersby. The friendlier it looks, the more appealing the home. So how can you dress up your front porch so that it contributes to the charm of your neighborhood, or, if a front porch is still just a dream, how can you add to your house but stay within budget? If your goal is to add a front porch onto your home, you may first want to take a good look at the front of your home and plan a porch that matches your home’s style. Think about whether you want the porch area to be a simple transition into your home, or whether you want to create an entirely new living space. Also, determine how much space you will have to dedicate to a front porch area. If it’s a small, transitional area, you may not be able to give the area a complete overhaul, but rather enhance the space that is already there with charming accents. When it comes time to decorate the front porch, consider what room the porch leads to within the house. If it leads to a traditional living or dining room, for example, you likely will not want to decorate the porch in a tropical theme. Also, choose a type of paint for the front door that contains a high gloss and a color that will be noticeable. Consider changing the hardware as well. Go for house numbers that appear strong and bold, which could give your entire exterior a new look, and add a door knocker for a touch of elegance. Before adding furniture to a roomier porch, make sure to attend to the paint on the sides and floor. Repair any paint that is peeling and add a fresh coat to the sides and floor first. And when adding the furniture, look for a piece such as a

Mt. Lebanon

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loveseat that can hold two people, and an ottoman that can double as storage space. The largest piece of furniture should face outward, with smaller pieces surrounding it. Artwork that is made to handle the elements of the outdoors can add attention and attractiveness if hung above the sitting area, and look for rugs and pillows that can finish off the space. Blinds or curtains can help prevent sun damage to the furniture and artwork, and can be of aid when people are sitting there. One final note to keep in mind when designing and decorating your porch is to decorate for the seasons. Add pumpkin décor during Halloween or floral accents during the spring and summer. A harvest wreath in the fall and an evergreen wreath in the winter also can add to the beauty of the season. Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 65

412.670.5496 412.782.3300

Dare to Dream...


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a Great Neighborhood

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412.751.3388 / 724.938.6102


osta Homebuilders is a fourth generation, family-owned construction company based in Pittsburgh, PA. At Costa Homebuilders, our goal is simple: Provide our customers with the most positive experience possible throughout the building process. We are one of the area’s leading building companies, and our clients receive the finest product at the greatest value possible.

Elegance Mastered 412.670.3471 / 412.760.9131 Adam Joe

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Legendary Quality

Positive feedback and customer referrals have helped Costa Homebuilders achieve its solid reputation. We have built our reputation by making the process as worry-free as possible, and by using only the finest quality materials and craftsmanship.

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Finding the Right Mortgage for You W By Dana Black McGrath

hether you are buying your first home, refinancing your current home, or looking to finally buy your dream vacation property, chances are you are going to be shopping for a mortgage. A mortgage is a product, and if you are going to be committed to it for 15 or 30 years, you want to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Price and terms are often negotiable. To hel p with the legwork of comparison shopping for a mortgage product, many consumers turn to the services of a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers do not lend money; instead they have access to several lenders and arrange deals for their clients. There are several types of loans that a consumer may consider – fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans, a balloon mortgage, interest-on ly loans and reverse mortgages. The product that is right for you depends on your financial circumstances and goals. Fixed-rate mortgages have an interest rate that stays the same throughout the term of the loan, typically 15, 20 or 30 years, which helps protect against any rate increases over that time. But, if interest rates go down, you are still obligated to pay the higher rate. While adjustable-rate mortgages offer an initial lower rate, after that

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initial period rates will fluctuate over the life of the loan, so if interest rates rise, so will your monthly payment. FHA loans, available through the Federal Housing Administration, enable borrowers who may not otherwise qualify for a home loan to secure a mortgage with a low down payment, but the amount of money you may borrow is limited. Similarly, VA loans, guaranteed for eligible veterans, offer low rates with a small or no down payment, but again the amount of the loan may be limited. Balloon mortgages offer a fixed rate with low payment for a certain period, but after that period the entire balance of the loan becomes due. Interestonly loans allow the borrower to pay only the interest on the loan for a fixed term, but after that period the entire balan ce of the loan becomes due. Reverse mortgages, a popular option for seniors, enable the homeowner to cash out equity. The borrower does not have to pay back the loan or interest as long as they live in the house. There are a variety of factors that can influence the type of loan for which you may qualify. One of the most significant is your credit score. Typically, the lower your score, the higher the in terest rate you will pay. Conversely, the stronger your score is, the more competitive the rate you may secure. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s publication Looking for the Best Mortgage offers the following advice concerning mortgage interest rates: • Ask each lender or broker for a list of its current mortgage interest rates and whether the rates being quoted are the lowest for that day or week. • Ask whether the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when interest rates for adjustable-rate loans go up, generally so does the monthly payment. • If the rate quoted is for an adjustable-rate loan, ask how your rate and loan payment will vary, including whether your loan payment will be reduced when rates go down. • Ask about the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate.

    he Diet of Torda (now in Romania) on January 6-13, 1568, approved the first edict of religious toleration in Western Europe. Interestingly, this proclamation granted equality to the country’s majority Unitarians and to Lutherans, Calvinists, and Catholics—for the first time in Europe all four Christian movements were granted freedom of worship. The Edict went further however, granting civil rights to both Jews and Ottoman Turks (Muslims). For the first time, tolerance became a religious virtue. In our modern world, technology connects every continent and ocean, and we see the faces of people around the world and talk to them in real time. We no longer have the desire to further prejudice and bigotry in the name of religion. Historically, for Unitarian Christians this was a major distinction separating us from orthodox Christians. For two centuries, especially in America and England, Unitarians have broadened their outlook to include insights from all the world’s faith traditions. For us, tolerance is an active respect for the insights and cultural values of the world’s religious movements. Tolerance is the virtue of living in peace with all the world’s peoples. It includes a respect for the worth and dignity of each person, most obviously in the spiritual freedom to worship as each wishes. For tolerance to be a virtue, however, it must also apply to race, culture, and sexual orientation. Unitarian Universalists were the first religious body in America to sanction the ordination of women and GLBTQ folks. Many religious people and many religious movements now recognize tolerance as a religious virtue. The Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills has been in Mt Lebanon’s old Sunnyhill House since 1961. We were active in civil rights issues at that time, joining in interfaith work, including the establishment of the South Hills Interfaith Ministry (SHIM). We continue to support SHIM, and we regret the absence of a currently active interfaith group in the South Hills. There are two services on Sunday mornings with a program of religious education for all ages. Unitarian educator Sophia Lyons Fahs wrote that there are two kinds of beliefs: some are like walled gardens and some are like open gateways. Our programs encourage children to think creatively and explore rather than to memorize catechisms. Programs emphasize moral responsibility and introductions to world faiths. A “Coming of Age” program for sixth graders presents their personal views during Sunday worship. The congregation includes people of many backgrounds. There are monthly Sunday programs for choir and discussions of science and religion, current affairs, mediation, pagan spirituality, Emerson (a Unitarian minister), and other groups. There is a wide diversity of views of God, spirituality, and religious duty. We can admit this diversity because of our tolerance and respect for the worth and dignity of each person.


Flock Leaders                                   

Rev. Dr. Jay E. Abernathy, Jr., minister

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 

By Pamela Palongue

ravel and pop culture writer Dan Eldridge has lived and traveled all over, but recently he’s turned his attention toward a project a little closer to home. The former Mt. Lebanon resident and Peters Township High School graduate has authored a book called Moon Pittsburgh, a part of the Moon Handbook series launched in 1973. Moon Pittsburgh is not your basic tourist guide that leads individuals down the well-worn path of standard local attractions. “The book is meant to be a bit quirky, younger, hipper… and it’s not just for tourists,” says Eldridge. The noted author has a talent for ferreting out unique little areas that are sometimes right under one’s nose and yet still a mystery to most Pittsburghers. One place that Eldridge explores in his book is the St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale which is reputed to have a priest no longer on the payroll. The ghostly religious figure is said to have appeared to several people around midnight and even blew out the light of the eternal flame on one occasion. Haunted or not, St. Nicholas is an unusual house of worship in a category all by itself. The murals which overpower the walls of the church are

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poignant depictions of war, poverty and the human struggle. They were created by famous artist Maxo Vanka in the 1930s and yes, Vanka often saw the priestly ghost while painting the murals late at night. Another church featured in Moon Pittsburgh is St. Anthony’s Chapel in Troy Hill. The home of the largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican, many miracles of healing are said to have taken place there, although Eldridge focuses his attention on the history and importance of the relics themselves. Among some of the more notable are pieces of the cross of Jesus and bits of the veil of Mary, the Blessed Virgin. Any fan of Andy Warhol will enjoy retracing the steps of the artist as Eldridge details significant places of Warhol’s life, such as his high school, residence and his burial place. It’s a unique twist on exploring the life of Pittsburgh’s most famous artist. One of the most unusual places in Moon Pittsburgh is the Conflict Kitchen. Located in East Liberty, this extremely unique eatery changes its menu and décor every three months to offer dishes from a country with which the U.S. is in conflict. For example, Afghanistan was

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© Young Pioneers Media

A Travel Writer Comes Home once the theme country and shish kabobs were served in keeping with the ethnic theme. In addition to points of interest that lie off the beaten path, Moon Pittsburgh also offers Themed Tours, which cater to special situations or specific tastes. For example, there are tours created specifically for business travelers who will be in Pittsburgh only a couple of days, travelers on a budget or tourists who want to visit establishments frequented by locals. The first edition of Moon Pittsburgh was nominated for a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award and greatly exceeded sales expectations. Eldridge has managed to have a highly successful career as an author in many different genres. His advice to young aspiring authors is to “get as many internships as possible. Be willing to work for free. Be ambitious and learn from the smartest people there.” Eldridge makes another important point, “Reading is at least as important as writing.” He encourages young writers to read as much as possible since reading presents a good picture of how professionals write. In addition to being nominated for a Lowell Thomas Travel Award, Eldridge is also the founder of Young Pioneers, a Journal of Independent Travel Culture, which was nominated for an Independent Press Award by Utne Reader. Moon Pittsburgh is available at Barnes and Noble bookstores, Powell’s and also online at If you would like more information on Dan Eldridge or are interested in reading more of his books, you may visit his website at or you can follow him on Twitter @YoungPioneers.


rs. Williams is an elderly widow living in her home. After the death of her husband three years ago, she continues to get by on her own, but now faces daily challenges with performing routine tasks around the house. Her primary concern is to remain in the home and neighborhood that she knows for as long as possible. However, a recent visit by her daughter Judy reveals that she truly needs the ongoing assistance of another person to maintain a safe living environment. Like many baby boomers, Mrs. Williams’ daughter struggles with the decision to seek in home care from a health care agency or placement in an assisted living facility. So, Judy decides to move in with her mother and provide daily care to her so that she can maintain her independence in her home and avoid accidents that could lead to more serious medical conditions. While Mrs. Williams appreciates her daughter’s sacrifice to assist her, she feels guilty about Judy’s decision to put her life on hold. She would like to pay Judy for her services, but her Social Security check and small pension from her late husband’s employer are just enough to pay her bills. In addition, she has limited savi ngs that she needs for emergencies. Mrs. Williams’ husband served in the Army in World War II. While he was never injured in combat, he served his country proudly and was honorably discharged. Now, she could use some financial assistance to pay for the care she needs to stay in her home. Fortunately, there is a program through the The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for surviving spouses of war time veterans called Aid and Attendance. VA Aid and Attendance is available to Mrs. Williams because she requires the daily assistance of another person to perform her activities of daily living. While there are several qualification factors to consider, in this case, Mrs. Williams could be reimbursed by the VA up to $1,094 per month to pay her daughter for taking care of her. This income is not taxable to Mrs. Williams. However, she is required to pay her daughter for these services and Judy will report the payment as income to her. In order to qualify for this benefit, there are complicated income and asset calculations to

consider. While a veteran or his/her spouse may inquire with the VA office or a veteran service organization such as the VFW or American Legion, such organizations will only give a summary opinion on whether a person is eligible for benefits by reviewing the situation on its face (at first glance). Since these organizations are not permitted to give legal advice, unfortunately, many veterans and their spouses never receive their benefits when some simple legal planning could have changed the situation. While the surviving spouse of a war time veteran may receive up to $1,094 per month under the current reimbursement rates, a single or married veteran can receive considerably more. These benefits can provide a substantial income stream that makes the difference between barely making ends meet and a comfortable transition for the senior who needs increasing levels of care. When planning for VA benefits eligibility, it is important to recognize the care needs of the senior now and in the future. Therefore, a properly constructed plan will take into consideration the medical and financial needs of the senior as these needs change. This Industry Insight was written by Julian E. Gray and Frank A. Petrich, Certified Elder Law Attorneys and VA Accredited Attorneys with over 50 years of combined elder law experience. Julian Gray Associates is the only law firm in the United States with six Certified Elder Law Attorneys.

Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 73



ave you ever seen someone and said those are the most beautiful, hypnotic eyes I have ever seen? A person’s eyes are the focal point of their facial features and are often focused on by others during conversations or first meetings. For that reason, patients are very concerned about how their eyes appear to others. In this day and age with everyone wanting to look as lovely as they can, aesthetic eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can be beneficial to men and women at any age. How do I know if I need eyelid surgery? This is a common question that men and women alike ask me as well as themselves. Here is a good checklist reference for you. 1. Bags and dark circles under the eyes 2. Lower eyelid droopiness 3. Excessive and loose skin hanging down from the upper eyelids, sometimes even obstructing vision

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4. A puffiness to the upper eyelids, making the eyes appear tired 5. Excess skin and fine crepe paper type wrinkles of the lower eyelids Eyelid surgery can usually correct these problems, but sometimes other treatments may also need to be considered. What we commonly refer to as “crow’s feet” lines may be smoothed out with Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Chemical Peels or Laser Resurfacing. Dark circles under the eyes that are caused by dark pigmentation may be treated with Hyaluonic Acid fillers, fat injections or sometimes chemical peeling. Often, if drooping upper eyelids is combined with sagging of the brows, an endoscopic brow lift may be the answer. When patients come in for a consultation for this type of surgery, I usually have them look in the mirror and tell me EXACTLY what they want to see improved. This will allow me to understand

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their expectations and determine whether they can be realistically achieved. Patients should always come to their appointment ready to discuss their medical history. Especially important conditions with eye surgery are high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid problems. Allergies are also something I need to know before performing this surgery. Eyelid surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, which means the patient can go home after their operation and time in the recovery room. With upper eyelid surgery, or Upper Blepharoplasty, the incision is generally hidden in the natural fold of the eyelid. With lower eyelid surgery, or Lower Blepharoplasty, the incision is usually hidden just below the lower lash line. As with other surgeries, I will advise you to stop smoking. The amount of recovery time varies among individuals. The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. Remember not to take aspirin or any anti inflammatory medications. These products tend to thin your blood, which can increase bruising and swelling with surgery. Bruising usually disappears within 7-10 days. Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early post- operative period. But, in most cases, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within 10 days or less. After you have aesthetic eyelid surgery, people may remark about how rested you look or think you have recently returned from a vacation. When you have eyelid surgery, the healing is a gradual process. Because of this, you will need to wait at least a few weeks to get an accurate picture of your results. Incisions will fade over several months, usually becoming barely visible. The results of this type of surgery are ordinarily long lasting. Removing fat from your eyelids, which is what typically causes the bags and puffiness, is permanent. Patients are normally delighted with their results and feel that they look much younger and refreshed. In today’s world, patients want to look the very best that they can, not only for themselves, but for the workplace. People are working later into their lives and want to have an edge in the competitive marketplace. In summary, eye surgery is not just for reasons of vanity, but can also aid in securing new jobs or advancing to that promotion.

 


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       

hether you get your news from the daily papers, television or the Internet, you know how quickly the financial markets can change. And while news reports can fluctuate by the minute, disciplined investing strategies focus on the long term. History tells us that over time the stock market can be quite resilient. From wars to natural disasters to changes in political leaders to economic downturns, the market has seen it all – and over time has shown a remarkable capacity to bounce back. Focusing on sound investing principles helps investors to stay level headed during times of volatility and to make the best possible decisions while helping to lessen long-term financial risk. My advice to prudent investors is to remove the emotional decision-making based on daily news reports and focus instead on three reliable investment strategies: asset allocation, diversification and periodic re-balancing. The basis of asset allocation is to spread funds across different asset categories, such as stocks, bonds, international investments and cash. By spreading out your investments, you also spread out – and possibly reduce – your overall risk. Diversification is just as important as asset allocation. This investment philosophy involves strategically spreading funds across different investments within each asset category. An example would be spreading stock investments across a variety of industry sectors. You want to make sure that you have proper weighting in different industries, such as technology, financial and industrials as an example. Periodic re-balancing helps keep your investment plan on track. By re-balancing, you can make sure that your portfolio does not become too aggressive or too conservative due to market changes. Rather, it is a mechanism designed to keep your portfolio more consistent over time. Combining asset allocation, diversification and periodic re-balancing may improve your longer-term returns as well. Over time, you will be giving your portfolio the opportunity to ride out the market’s ups and downs. The best place to start is to schedule an appointment with your financial advisor. Review your whole financial picture and discuss how you might better implement asset allocation and diversification. Make a point to review and re-balance your whole portfolio at least once a year. Even with market volatility, these methods will help to make your wealth work harder for you.

This Industry Insight was written by Michael J. Rutkowski, First Vice President, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, South Hills Branch, 412.854.8466, Mr. Rutkowski has more than two decades of experience in the financial services industry serving both individuals and companies. His goal is to provide the highest level of service and experience to enable his clients to meet their wealth management and financial goals. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and is licensed with a FINRA Series 7, General Securities Representative; FINRA Series 63, Uniform State Exam; and Pennsylvania Life, Accident, Health, Variable Annuities & Long Term Care Insurance license. Michael J. Rutkowski is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in the Upper St. Clair branch. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is not implying an affiliation, sponsorship, endorsement with/of the third parties referenced in this article or that any monitoring is being done by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney of any information contained within the web site. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is not responsible for the information contained on the third party web site or your use of or inability to use such site. Nor do we guarantee their accuracy and completeness. The views expressed herein are those of the Financial Advisor and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates. 76 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

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    Investors are least likely to be permanently affected by market volatility if they stay level headed and adhere to a long-term investment strategy. Here are some quick tips:

Meet with your financial advisor and set a long-term plan based on your goals and risk tolerance. Knowing you have a sound plan in place makes it easier to weather day-to-day news headlines and changes in the market.

Discuss asset allocation, diversification and periodic rebalancing as three key components to help long-term results and provide less financial risk during volatility.

Review your portfolio annually and adjust as needed to make your wealth work harder for you day in and day out.

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  What to Think About when Considering an Outdoor Addition:

 We would like to create an outdoor

kitchen area behind our house. What is the first step in creating an outdoor kitchen? Are these worth the money in our cold weather climate?


Americans are spending more than ever on outdoor living spaces. This trend is certainly true here locally. As is the case indoors, the outdoor kitchen is usually the central hub of your outdoor living space. An “outdoor kitchen” is usually defined as containing at least one good quality cooking appliance like a grill, some countertop space and a sink. Planning and design are critical. Consider the following:

 Start with a master plan:

I recommend hiring a professional landscape designer to develop an overall

“master plan” of your backyard. While you may not construct all improvements at once, the master plan allows you to phase in projects as your budget allows. The designer will know how to orient the outdoor kitchen in relation to other outdoor features like decks, landscaping, firepits and water features.

 Location:

Many factors need to be considered. How much privacy do you want? How far do you want to walk from the main house to the outdoor kitchen? Consider the amount of sun and shade. You don’t want your family and guests blinded by the setting sun. Also, plan for how to deal with wind direction and the effect on ventilation and smoke from the grill. Remember that most local governmental agencies require you to secure a building permit for an outdoor kitchen.

 Cold temperature challenges:

An outdoor kitchen presents some challenges. Provisions for winterizing the kitchen must be thought of during the design phase. Plumbing drains can freeze during the winter and supply lines need to be drained. Most appliance manufacturers are now introducing appliances that are UL-rated for outdoor use. Propane powered patio heaters or electric infrared heaters can comfortably extend your time outside through the winter.

This Industry Insight was written by Jeff Morris, owner and CEO of Case Handyman & Remodeling, located at 2335 Washington Rd. in Canonsburg, PA. Case offers a variety of home repair services, from full-house remodeling to simple handyman jobs. For more information, visit or call 724.745.9888.

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   By Judith Schardt

he mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma; while improving the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is one of the world’s largest voluntary health agencies dedicated to hematologic cancers. LLS raises funds and awareness for lifesaving research and provides free information and support services to ensure that blood cancer patients live better, longer lives. The LLS defines hematologic cancers as cancers of the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes which include leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The statistics are staggering and frightening: Approximately every four minutes, one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. It is estimated that a combined total of 140,310 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2012. New cases of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are expected to account for 9% of the estimated 1,596,670 new cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. Among children and teens less than 20 years old, leukemia is the most common cancer. The LLS wants patients to focus on the disease for the sole purpose of how to survive it. The LLS and its many volunteers, health experts and endless research have given individuals hope, support and education which equals more people beating cancer. The alarming statistics are one of the reasons that Stephanie Bortoluzzi joined the LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year 2012 Fundraising Competition. That and most importantly, she joined following her sister, Maria’s diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011. Stephanie needed to find a way to honor her sister’s strength and courage, while also raising much needed funds for cancer research and mounting medical bills. Everything Stephanie did for the Leukemia Society was because of her sister. And together they pushed the cancer back and she could not express her joy more: “Thanks to Maria’s amazing medical team and her endurance, Maria is now in remission from cancer.” Stephanie fought right alongside Maria. “Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.” ~Norman B. Rice (former Mayor of Seattle) The Man & Woman of the Year fundraising campaign was an opportunity for each candidate to raise as much money as possible in a ten-week period, with all

        ~Mother Teresa Mt. Lebanon | Summer 2012 | 79

    ~ Norman B. Rice (former Mayor of Seattle) proceeds being donated to blood cancer research. The individual in each category who raised the most money by the end of the fundraising period was awarded the title of Man, Woman, or Teen of the Year. And Ms. Bortoluzzi didn’t stop with just that. Stephanie set a personal fundraising goal of $20,000. She felt inspired to create and design the “Eat to Beat Cancer” Cookbook, which includes 150 recipes for healthy eating, all donated by friends and family. It sells for $12.50 plus shipping and handling. She has organized car raffles where 500 tickets were sold and the winner got to choose one of the following options from Bobby Rahal Jaguar/Land Rover in Wexford: A 2012 Land Rover LR2 SUV (MSRP $38,100) OR a three year lease on a 2012 Jaguar XF Luxury Sedan (MSRP $53,875). Finally, Stephanie helped organize the “Kick Cancer Bash” (this is the second year) held at Mullen’s Bar on East Carson Street. During the first year in 2011, they raised an amazing $8,000 during this one night of friends, family, and giveaways! Figures aren’t in yet for the 2012 Bash. She hopes to continue to use her creativity and love of her sister to invent more fundraising events. “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” ~Mother Teresa Stephanie said of her work with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: “This has been one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life. It has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people who have been affected by cancer while raising money for such a great cause. Their courage and fight runs deep.” Stephanie Bortoluzzi can be reached at 724.858.8105 or if you’d like to purchase her cookbook. She lives in Dormont but said the local chapter in Pittsburgh accepts volunteers from anywhere. If you’d like more information or would like to volunteer or help, please contact: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, River Walk Corporate Centre, 333 East Carson Street, Suite 441, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. 412.395.2873 80 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

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recent State Farm survey shows many people understand the need for life insurance is important but acknowledge the conversation with their spouse might be uncomfortable. Seventy-four percent of couples say they rarely or never discuss the topic. This is particularly true in households with one wage earner. With women increasingly filling the role of primary breadwinner, financial and emotional stressors weigh heavily on their decision to discuss life insurance at home, and research finds that among couples unlikely to discuss the topic, women are even more likely to remain silent. The state of the economy influenced the responders. The survey found that more than half of Americans are now focused solely on protecting what they have versus working to achieve their financial goals. Having the income to cover basic household needs (mortgage, rent, utilities and food) must come first. An earlier study from the research firm LIMRA found that nearly one third of U.S. households currently have no life insurance, the highest level in more than 40 years. For couples who struggle with discussing finances and life insurance, here are a few suggestions:

This Industry Insight was written by JOY CAPOZZI, CPCU®, ChFC®, CLU®, Agent for State Farm Insurance. Joy has more than 25 years of industry experience in both insurance and financial services with State Farm. Her State Farm Agency is located in the Kuhn’s Plaza located on Banksville Road and serves the Mt. Lebanon, Dormont, Green Tree and surrounding Pittsburgh communities. Both she and her team are committed to continuously meet their clients’ ever-changing insurance and financial needs with hometown values and unparalleled service!!! For more information contact Joy directly at 412.344.3014 or

• Make A Plan. It can be empowering for couples to agree on goals and steps toward achieving a more secure future. For couples experiencing severe economic setbacks, it can be reassuring to have a strategy in place to get back on their feet financially and to prepare for the unexpected. • Start Small. Often couples may feel the gap is too great between what they have to work with financially today versus what they would like to have in the future. But starting with small steps - such as getting educated about life insurance basics - can set the stage for follow-up steps later. • Consult an expert. Bringing in a knowledgeable outside perspective can make the process of discussing life insurance easier and less stressful. These experts have experience guiding the conversation and answering questions. This can help avoid misunderstandings and unneeded stress.

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Dana L. Bacsi, Esquire, admitted to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Dana L. Bacsi, a resident of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. She is also admitted to practice within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where she has been practicing for the past 15 years. A Partner in Goehring, Rutter & Boehm’s Litigation Group, based in Pittsburgh, she has a broad civil litigation practice, focusing in the areas of commercial, product liability, personal injury, nursing home defense, and employment law. She is also experienced in insurance coverage disputes. Over the course of her career, Dana has represented various regional and national clients in mediations, arbitrations, non-jury and jury trials, as well as appellate court argument. She has also authored publications and presented on topics within her practice areas. Dana obtained her B.A., With Distinction, from The Pennsylvania State University. She received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law. Dana is a member of the American, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Allegheny County Bar Associations. She currently serves on the ACBA’s Civil Litigation Section Council and as President of the Mt. Lebanon Montessori School and Academy’s Board of Directors.

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We are interested in highlighting your church! If you are a member of the clergy from this area and would like to contribute an inspirational message that all of our readers might enjoy, please contact Megan Faloni, for more information.

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Mt. Lebanon



Beth-El Congregation of South Hills ..................... 412.561.1168 Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church .................. 412.561.5100 Bower Hill Community Church............................... 412.561.4114 First Church of Christ, Scientist ............................. 412.561.1125 Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church ...................... 412.833.3355 Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church .................................. 412.561.8113 Mt. Lebanon Christian Church ............................... 412.531.8554 Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran ................................ 412.563.0300 Mt. Lebanon United Methodist .............................. 412.531.7131 Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church ........... 412.531.3387 Our Lady of Grace .................................................... 412.279.7070 Our Savior Lutheran................................................. 412.561.1211 Southminster Presbyterian..................................... 412.343.8900 St. Anne’s Church..................................................... 412.531.5965 St. Bernard Church .................................................. 412.561.3300 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.................................... 412.531.7153 St. Thomas More...................................................... 412.833.0031 St. Winifred’s Church............................................... 412.344.5010 Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church............. 412.561.6261 Temple Emanuel of South Hills .............................. 412.279.7600 The Chabad of the South Hills................................ 412.344.2424 Unitarian Universalist Church of South Hills ....... 412.561.6277

Community Magazines

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The Prudential Advantage Ranked “Highest in Satisfaction for Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms” Barbara Baker

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    – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Contact an agent above or visit Discover how Prudential Preferred Realty’s exceptional knowledge, innovative marketing strategies, state-of-the-art technology and commitment to service can make buying a new home or selling your current home faster and easier.

412.833.7700 • Rt. 19 South Join our real estate team at Prudential Preferred Realty. Call Mona Colicchie at 412-833-7700.

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