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snow much fun! WINTER 2013

Global Links Opens World Headquarters Page 28

Special Section: Health & Wellness Page 17


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features 16 O Christmas Tree Choosing a live evergreen in Keystone Oaks.

17 Special Section: Health & Wellness How to live a healthy, happier, longer life.

26 Here Come the Talkies Hollywood Theater’s silent film-era organ is the only one in the region.

28 Global Links Celebrates Opening of World Headquarters in Green Tree

New facilities will double capacity to collect, refurbish and redirect medical surplus equipment to resource-poor countries.

17 on the cover It’s the most wonderful stay fit. Winter sports abound in western Pennsylvania, but if you prefer indoor workouts, we’ve provided several local fitness centers and classes in our Health & Wellness section so you can stay fit, motivated and warm this season.

departments 4 8 12

From the Publisher IN the Loop

14 32

IN Events INCognito

IN Person

sponsored content Industry Insights 11 Southwest Communities FCU


In Community is a publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Keystone Oaks 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.

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 3


PUBLISHER PUBLISHER Wayne Dollard EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Julie Talerico REGIONAL EDITORS Mark Berton [South, West and Erie]

At Seven Springs with my wife Lisa and our three sons.

Top-notch health care, education, banking and technology are what make Pittsburgh known, but our communities are what make us home. Home – where you live, go to school, shop, work and play – is what IN Community Magazines is all about. Each quarter, we bring you the latest news and information about schools, businesses, nonprofits and the people who make them exceptional. We also bring you coverage of interesting events and articles about historical sites you may pass every day without even knowing. We like to surprise you with little-known facts about your community and profile intriguing people who’ve made their mark locally – and sometimes even globally. One thing that makes our communities in western Pennsylvania special is the beautiful seasons. As autumn comes to an end and the snow begins to fall, we hope you take some time to enjoy the many winter activities our area has to offer and hit the slopes, sled ride, cross-country ski or ice skate at one of our many beautiful parks. Or simply build a snowman in the backyard! The staff at IN Community Magazines wishes you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year!

Wayne Dollard Publisher

Send Us Your Story Ideas!

To Advertise

We’d love to hear from you if you know someone in your community who is making a difference or has done something extraordinary. We’re also looking for interesting story ideas (little-known facts, history or other news) within your community.

As the largest magazine publisher in western Pennsylvania, IN Community Magazines are direct mailed to more than 518,000 households, reaching 1.15 million readers. If you'd like to partner with us, please contact our general sales manager, Tamara Myers, at

If you have suggestions, email us at

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Pamela Palongue [North and East] OFFICE MANAGER Leo Vighetti ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Debbie Mountain DESIGN DIRECTOR Michael Miller DESIGNERS Cassie Brkich Jim Paladino Anna Buzzelli Melissa St. Giles Sharon Cobb Tamara Tylenda Jan McEvoy CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jonathan Barnes Leigh Lyons Jennifer Brozak Joanne Naser Earl Bugaile Melanie Paulick Tracy Fedkoe Melissa Rayworth Brenda Haines-Cosola Marilyn Wempa Elvira Hoff Mandie Zoller Heather Holtschlag CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ginni Klein Kathleen Rudolph Evan Sanders Jennifer Steenson Primetime Shots Gary Zak GENERAL SALES MANAGER Tamara Myers SALES MANAGER Brian McKee ADVERTISING SALES Sophia Alfaras Holly Hicks-Opperman Pamela Arder Aimee Nicolia Nikki Capezio-Watson Connie McDaniel Jennifer Dahlem Gabriel Negri Tina Dollard Vincent Sabatini Julie Graff Michael Silvert Robin Guest RJ Vighetti ICM PRINTING SALES MANAGER Tom Poljak ©2013 by IN Community Magazines. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of any part of this publication is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Direct all inquiries, letters to the editor and press releases to:

IN Community Magazines 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 724.942.0940; Fax: 724.942.0968 Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.


COMMUNITY AWARDS FOR SERVICE EXCELLENCE (C.A.S.E.) What makes communities great are the special people who volunteer their time, talent and effort in order to help others. At IN Community Magazines, we would like to honor these special people who have made a positive impact in their community and whose philanthropic leadership sets an inspiring example for us all.

2013 Master of Ceremony

Andrew Stockey

WTAE Channel 4

IN Community Magazines’ second annual C.A.S.E. Awards will recognize volunteers from each of ICM’s 35 magazines. Awardees will be selected in the following categories: Volunteer of the Year Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger) Small Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 10 people or less) Large Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 11 or more)


Awardees will be honored at an awards dinner in Spring 2014.


Name of Nominee_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________Email_________________________________________________________ Category (check one)

❍ Volunteer of the Year ❍ Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger) ❍ Small Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 10 people or less) ❍ Large Nonprofit of the year (staff of 11 or more) Which community is this nomination for?___________________________________________________________________________ Name of person submitting nomination_____________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________Email_________________________________________________________ Why are you nominating this person or nonprofit organization? Please submit a typewritten statement of no more than 600 words. Send nomination form and statement to: Wayne Dollard, IN Community Magazines, 603 E. McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317. If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Mountain at 724.942.0940. Deadline for nominations is February 1, 2014.

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 7

in the

LOOP What’s news in Keystone Oaks


The Fall Leaf Collection Program will begin Wednesday, October 30, and will end on Wednesday, December 4. Pick up will be on Wednesdays only. All leaves must be placed in biodegradable, brown paper bags. No plastic bags will be accepted. All leaf bags must be placed at the curb for pickup. There will be no alley leaf pickup. Thirty-gallon leaf bags are available at the Borough Office at $.50 each or a pack of five for $2.50. You can also purchase biodegradable bags at most hardware/ building supply stores. The leaf vac will also be available to pick up leaves in the street. The borough will try to follow the street sweeping schedule when possible. The Thanksgiving holiday will not affect the trash or recycling pickup schedule., and the Christmas holiday will not affect garbage pick up.

The Comics Journal to Wired, Wizzywig demonstrated Piskor’s talent for distilling often obtuse facts into a compulsively readable (and relatable) narrative. Piskor has since set his sights on the world of hip-hop. In Hip-Hop Family Tree, he collects the comic strips of the same name from his weekly column at He tells the story of the lesser known – but no less influential – players of hip-hop’s formative years. Coupling his down-to-the-smallest detail knack for research with a unique coloring and printing process, designed to give the book that old-school feel, Piskor has delivered something truly special with HipHop Family Tree. On their own, these strips are both interesting and entertaining, but, collected in book form, Hip-Hop Family Tree amounts to a sacred text for hip-hop fans and fans of underground culture in general. Piskor discussed the experience of bringing Hip-Hop Family Tree to fruition. He also discussed and screened “Wild Style,” the 1983 film that played a major role in bringing hiphop culture to the mainstream. As a special bonus for attendees, Piskor created a print inspired by Hip-Hop Family Tree.



The historic Hollywood Theater in Dormont was proud to welcome cartoonist Ed Piskor to a special event celebrating his new book, Hip-Hop Family Tree. Piskor, a native of Pittsburgh, is perhaps best known for Wizzywig, his meticulously researched history of phone phreaking and computer hacking. Lauded by a very diverse set of critics, from 8 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

A Keystone Oaks High School senior has been named a 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist. Chandra Muthiah is one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual scholarship program. Nearly 1.5 million high school juniors entered the program by completing the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. Scholarship winners will be announced in the spring of 2014. National Merit Scholars are selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The organization’s mission is to recognize and honor academically talented students of the United States. Chandra’s older brother, Arun, was named a 2011 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Muthiah, who plans to major in pre-medicine with an emphasis in biology, was humbled by the honor. “When you consider how many

Chandra Muthiah is one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual scholarship program.

amazing students there are out there vying for this honor, you can't help but feel fortunate that all of your hard work paid off,” he said.


Keystone Oaks ninth graders Michael Kvederis and Haley Ribeau have been awarded the American Legion School Medal by Post 490 in Castle Shannon. In 1921, the Department of Pennsylvania created the School Award Medal Program for

the purpose of instilling character and helping perpetuate the ideals of Americanism among youth. At Keystone Oaks, which has participated in the program for more than a decade, the award goes annually to eighth graders who best exemplify six qualities that define character: courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. Candidates for the award are voted upon by a school’s faculty and members of the candidates’ class through a secret balloting process with the school’s principal making the final selection upon receiving

recommendations from students and faculty. Each awardee receives a certificate and a medal with the six qualities listed on the face of the medal, as the back bears the Marine Corps motto, “Semper Fidelis” (“always faithful”). Keystone Oaks Middle School principal Keith Konyk coordinated the process and believes that the uniqueness of the award lies in the fact that students are chosen by both their teachers and their peers. “Many students are well regarded among their teachers and many more are popular among their classmates,” said Konyk. “However, this award is a true reflection of a student’s leadership qualities as well as his/her commitment to academic success,” he said. The program’s success for the past 90 years has been remarkable. In its first year, 145 students received medals and this year, more than 32,000 boys and girls have been so recognized nationally.


The Keystone Oaks Golden Eagle Marching Band and the Keystone Oaks Parent Society (KOPS) hosted their annual band festival this fall at Dormont Memorial Stadium. In addition to the Golden Eagle Marching Band, there were several great bands joining in for the show including Brashear, Brentwood, Perry, Carrick, and Peters Township high schools, as well as college bands from Duquesne University, Robert Morris University and Thiel College.


Pennsylvania American Water wants to reminded motorists to exercise caution as the company continues replacing an aging water main along Greentree Road, between Carnahan and Cochran roads in Green Tree Borough. The approximately $6 million project is replacing pipe that was originally installed in the early 1930s. Pennsylvania American Water and its contractor, Casper Colosimo & Sons, Inc., have closed lanes in both directions along Greentree Road between Carnahan Road and Cochran Road. Crews continue to install new ductile iron pipe weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The company expects to complete the project in late December, weather permitting. Continued on next page

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 9

in the


Crews also will be replacing customer service lines between Cochran Road and McMonagle Road in Scott Township during the same project hours, requiring intermittent lane closures. Installation of the new service lines is expected to be completed in November, weather permitting. Pipe improvements began in the summer of 2012, when the company replaced approximately 5,500 feet of aging pipe along Greentree Road between Cochran Road and McMonagle Road. Motorists are asked to find alternative routes and to avoid the project area. During construction, the company does not expect any disruptions to customers’ water service. For more information, contact Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center at 800.565.7292. n

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Your Finances


Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 11



Legacy ■

After 38 years, beloved Keystone Oaks secretary Sandi Danner retires. By Melanie O. Paulick


hen she moved back to Castle Shannon in the mid-1970s, Sandi Danner knew that she couldn’t continue to make the daily trek into the city for work and be far away from her twin boys. In 1975, she found a job as a secretary at the former Highland Elementary School in Castle Shannon and worked for the Keystone Oaks School District for 38 years. Danner was employed at Highland Elementary from 1975 to 1984. She then moved to (the former) Kelton Elementary in Dormont, where she worked until 1996. In 1996, Sandi began working at Dormont Elementary on Annapolis Avenue, and was a secretary there until her retirement this past 12 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

June. During her years of employment as a secretary for the district, Ms. Danner worked for six principals, many of whom she keeps in contact with to this day. One of the highlights of her career was helping with the big shift over to the newlyconstructed Dormont Elementary building. Sandi sighs and chuckles a little bit when she thinks about that transition, remembering that she was the person in charge of consolidating all of the student data into the computer system. It took her one whole summer to do and she admits, “I thought I was going to lose my mind.” But perhaps the most overwhelming change for Ms. Danner at that time was that she became responsible for over 600

children, as opposed to 300. For a person who values and cares for each individual child, such a difference would be intimidating. Nevertheless, Danner and the first principal at Dormont Elementary, Mr. Shevchik, worked together to make the inaugural elementary school year at the new building a smooth and successful transition. When asked what has changed the most in schools in the past several decades, Ms. Danner responds that she has seen the most dramatic changes with technology. She laughs as she remembers using a Flexowriter when she worked for U.S. Steel and how large the computers were at that time. “Now, everything is so different,” she muses, “...and

Ms. Danner personally knew or recognized everyone she buzzed in through the front doors of the building. children can do things with technology that we can’t even [figure out how to] do!” Everyone seems to have wonderful things to say about Dormont Elementary, and Sandi thinks that it’s because it’s just a really great community school. She explains that “...[the area] is not spread out, so people really know each other.” Ms. Danner personally knew or recognized everyone that she buzzed in through the front doors of the building. She says that many people walk to school together. Sandi also mentions that there have been and continue to be wonderful “extras” at Dormont Elementary, such as the field trips and other special programs and events. She thinks such things are fantastic, and necessary even, because many parents aren’t able to take their children to the zoo or to the museums due to work or for other reasons. “It’s good,” she says, “to get children exposed to all sorts of things.” Ms. Danner also appreciates that all of the children participate in these events, including those with learning or other disabilities. Everyone is an integral part of the same tightly knit community at the school. “Everyone just works well together,” she remarks. During her 38 years of working for the Keystone Oaks School District, Ms. Danner never lost her enthusiasm for her job or her genuine care and compassion for each child who walked through the doors of the school. When asked what she loved best about her work, Sandi immediately replies, “the children. They are our future.” Even difficult situations with a child or parents could be transformative. Sandi explains, “...really, we’re all the same. Everyone has moments. I have those moments, too! But if you can make children smile for a second – even just a second – then maybe later they’ll make someone else smile. If parents are upset when they come in – maybe by the time they leave they’re not. And that’s what life is all about.” ■ Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 13



Dormont Borough celebrated its 7th Annual Street Fair with crowds of happy, smiling residents who came out for the vast selection of food, music and activities. The event, which took place on Oct. 12, included a children’s play area, crafting area, a visit from the Carnegie Science Center and the Pittsburgh Zoomobile. Demonstrations by public safety officials also were on the agenda for the day, and several bands kept the mood upbeat and rockin’ until the event’s conclusion. PHOTOS BY: PRIMETIME SHOTS

14 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 15

O Christmas Tree

Choosing a live evergreen tree in Keystone Oaks By Matthew J. Fascetti


t’s the most wonderful time of the year, and choosing a real Christmas tree is a season highlight for many families. Whether you make the trek to a tree farm to cut down your own, or head to your neighborhood tree lot, the smell of fresh pine in your home signals the beginning of the holiday season. Your tree selection is often the result of personal preference and budget, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Perhaps the most popular type of tree is the Fraser Fir. It has one-inch needles that are silvery-green and soft to the touch. Because there is space between the branches, the Fraser is easier to decorate and the firm branches hold heavier ornaments. Also very popular is the Noble Fir, with a deep green color, soft needles and well-shaped, sturdy branches. Other varieties include the Colorado Blue Spruce, known for its blue foliage and pyramidal shape with strong limbs that can hold heavy ornaments. The Grand Fir has glossy dark-green foliage and is soft to the touch, however it may not hold heavier ornaments. The Balsam Fir is a wonderful dark-green color with airy, flexible branches and a pleasant fragrance. The branches are not as sturdy so it’s not the best choice for heavy decorating.

Find it here...

16 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

The White Fir has a pleasing natural shape and aroma and good needle retention. The Eastern White Pine is known for making garlands, wreaths and centerpieces due to its long, feathery-soft needles. Though it’s a beautiful tree, the branches can be a bit too flexible to use as a Christmas tree. Finally, the Douglas Fir makes a visually appealing tree with soft, shiny green needles and wonderful aroma. If you purchase your tree at a lot, keep in mind some pre-cut Christmas trees may have been cut weeks earlier. Try to buy your tree early to extend its freshness. Check the tree for brown needles and perform a “drop test.” Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and then firmly place the tree trunk on the ground. If green needles drop, it could indicate the tree may have been cut some time ago. Once you take your tree home, make a straight cut at the bottom of the trunk, removing about one inch. This will improve the tree’s ability to absorb water. Place the tree in a container that holds at least one gallon of water and add more as needed. The base of the trunk should always be in water which will help sustain the beauty of the tree for as long as possible. ■

e Keystone Oaks High School Marching Band Dormont Park e Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse 2100 Washington Pike

e The Home Depot 1025 Washington Pike

Great Ways to Live a Healthier, Happier, Longer Life in Keystone Oaks


Though finding the fountain of youth (or miracle product) is unlikely, you can embrace the following ways to feel and look younger. Gleaned from age-defying experts this list is a must-keep for your desk or refrigerator.

So turn the page — hack into the havoc that aging can wreak on your body! ››

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 17

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Keystone Oaks

HEALTH & FITNESS EXERCISE TO LIVE LONGER. Keystone Oaks has many walking and biking trails to help you stay fit. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), regular exercise helps control blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol levels, and reduces the risks of hardening of the arteries, heart attack and stroke. Not to mention you will look and feel better! WARM UP AND COOL DOWN. Regardless of the types of exercises you do, warming your muscles as well as cooling down with slow rhythmic stretches is key to avoiding injury, reducing soreness, and speeding up your recovery. COMMIT TO DAILY FITNESS. Getting out there and staying active translates into better health and well-being — both physically and mentally. FOCUS ON TOTAL FITNESS. ACE recommends aerobics and muscular conditioning along with exercises to stretch your body and promote good posture. YEAR-ROUND EXERCISE. Don’t ditch your fitness routine because of inclement weather. Try new activities, such as snowshoeing, swimming at an indoor pool, or fitness classes at your local fitness or senior housing facility. JOIN A HEALTH CLUB. Be social and get fit. This one’s worth its weight in sheer motivation points.

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS. Don’t mega-dose, just take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. GET AEROBIC. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting moderate aerobic activity 30 minutes per day, five days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity, three days per week. BREAK IT UP. Instead of 20 or 30 minutes of exercise, break up your cardio into 10-minute segments throughout the day. MAKE WORKING OUT FUN. Getting out of the house and traveling to interesting places where you can walk around is one of the best ways to get exercise without even trying, and you get to enjoy the sightseeing, too. PUT A SET OF DUMBBELLS BY YOUR TELEVISION SET — and use them!

STOP SMOKING. Nuff said.

PUMP IT UP. Margaret Richardson, author of Body Electric, says one pound of fat burns three calories a day while one pound of muscle burns 30 plus.

GO GREEN. Eat organic, use eco-friendly products and practice green living to protect your health as well as the environment.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF. To counteract age-related muscle loss, do exercises with progressively challenging resistance.

“There are a variety of Zumba classes out there, but I choreograph my class to be a total body workout that combines dance and toning,” said Janet Miller, certified Zumba instructor and owner of Dance Pittsburgh, LLC.

18 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

COGNITIVE BOOSTERS MUSIC THERAPY. Music can regulate mood, decrease aggression and depression, improve sleep, and, because old songs are stored in memory, even create new brain cells. BRAIN FOOD. Keep your mind sharp by eating salmon, nuts, olive oil, soy, meat, eggs, dairy, leafy greens, beans, oatmeal and dark skinned fruits.


TRAIN YOUR BRAIN Working a daily crossword, Sudoku puzzle or another brain teasing game can help improve your mental fitness.

ORAL HEALTH & HEARING BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH. According to research, chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. TURN IT DOWN. According to the House Ear Institute, noiseinduced hearing loss is a leading cause of permanent hearing loss that can be prevented by turning down the volume on your TV, radio, or headsets to a level that you can comfortably hear.


POSTURE AVOID SITTING CROSS-LEGGED. Pain management specialists at New York Chiropractic warn that crossing your legs puts excessive stress on your knees, hips and lower back. SIT UP STRAIGHT. When you slouch or strain to look at the screen, these patterns stick and posture learns these positions. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. See a chiropractor, physical therapist or post-rehabilitation specialist for postural exercises to reduce pain and risk of injury. STRETCH. Stretching your neck and chest can prevent short and tightened muscles that can lead to injury. A simple stretch involves bending your head to your shoulder, holding it there and slowly bringing it back to the mid line and then switch sides.


BELLY BUTTON TO SPINE. Not only will this exercise help you stand taller, it will take five pounds off your waistline!

Not getting enough nightly rest puts you at risk for accidents, depression and other illnesses, and it decreases your quality of life.

HEAD UP. Instead of scrunching your head to your shoulder to hold the phone, get a headset and avoid injury to your neck and shoulders.

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 19

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Keystone Oaks


EAT AND DRINK COCONUT. The type of saturated fat in

guru Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal processed foods to reduce inflammation in your body.

coconuts does not contribute to heart disease and it is rich in lauric acid, which boosts your immune system.

EAT ALL NATURAL. Avoid high-calorie foods full of sugar, fat and artificial ingredients and concentrate on eating high-nutrient, high-flavor foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

primarily derived from animal products, and trans fats, which are used in commercial fried foods, margarines, and baked goods like cookies and crackers.

EAT MANY SMALL MEALS. Eat something every three hours

SPICE IT UP. Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of The SuperFoodsRx

to keep your metabolism high and your blood sugar and insulin levels steady.

Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients, recommends high-antioxidant spices and herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, curry, rosemary, thyme, oregano and red pepper.

DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST. The easiest meal to skip but the most important. Eat something small, even if you aren’t hungry.

READ LABELS. Opt for products with at least three grams of fiber, low sugars and no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

EAT LESS AND LIVE LONGER. Maoshing Ni, author of Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to be 100, suggests the “three-quarters rule,” essentially not eating any more after you feel three-quarters full.

DRINK TEA. Ni recommends daily tea because tea is a proven preventive and treatment for hardening of the arteries and has potent antioxidant powers.

SLIM DOWN WITH SOUP. People who eat soup before a meal reduce the total number of calories they consume.

SINK YOUR TEETH INTO SUPERFOODS. Experts say superfoods can help ward off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, bad moods, and high blood pressure, and improve digestion, skin, hair, nails, bones and teeth. Superfoods recommended by are beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, green and black tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt.

EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS. According to University of Michigan Integrative Medicine, healthy fats to include in your diet are monounsaturated fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and some plant foods as well as polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3s found in fatty fish and omega-6s found in nuts.

P EAT A VARIETY Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, and omega-3 fats better ensures you get all the nutrients your body needs. 20 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

AVOID BAD FATS. Bad fats include saturated fats, which are

DRINK UP. Drinking water throughout the day can decrease your urges for sweets, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, minimize pain associated with arthritis, migraines, and colitis, hydrate your skin, and help with your digestion.

LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE TO ONE OR TWO DRINKS PER DAY. According to the Centers for Disease Control, too much alcohol can increase your risk for developing various diseases and physiological and social problems.

SIDELINE THE SODA. The phosphoric acid in carbonated beverages, particularly colas, can put you at risk for osteoporosis.

DRINK RED WINE. Red wine is renowned for its many health benefits, primarily for the heart. However, new research from the Institute of Food suggests that wine may also protect you from potentially fatal food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and H. pylori.

MARINATE YOUR MEAT. Research from the Food Safety Consortium recommends marinades with rosemary, thyme, peppers, allspice, oregano, basil, garlic and onion to cut down on carcinogens.

STRESS CONTROL SMILE. Smiling lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol.

AROMATHERAPY. Essential oils improve your mood, reduce stress and even improve your memory. Try lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon or cedarwood. Being outdoors with green plants, fresh air and the sounds of nature is a proven stress buster.

YOGA. The Mayo Clinic recommends practicing yoga to reduce stress and anxiety.

GET KNEADED. Research from the Touch Research Institute indicates that regular massage lowers heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety levels, depression, hostility, and the stress hormone cortisol.

SEE A THERAPIST. Mental health professionals can help you deal with stress.

BEGIN WITH BREATHING. The first thing you ever did for yourself was breathe. And consciously focusing on your breath remains the epitome of self-care throughout your entire life.

P HUMOR YOUR STRESS Laughing improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, releases tension, and improves your immune system.

Reprinted with the permission from


GET FIT IN KEYSTONE OAKS Here are just some of the fitness classes available:

Zumba Classes by Dance Pittsburgh at Dormont Municipal Gym 1444 Hillsdale Ave., Dormont; 412.563.4196

Mt. Lebanon Ice Center

900 Cedar Blvd., Mt. Lebanon, 412.561.4363

Dance the winter pounds away at a Zumba class with Janet Miller, certified Zumba instructor, on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. A walk-in fee of just $10 for adults is offered and is even less if you register for a series of classes! Arrive early to register, if it is your first class. Call or visit the website for more information.

Enjoy an ice skating workout at a public skating session while the kids are at school! Admission is $7 for adults with skate rental costing $3. To check for available days and times of the sessions, visit the website, or call.

Dormont Public Library

Keystone Oaks School District Recreational Swim Program

2950 West Liberty Ave., Dormont; 412.531.8754 Move and Meditation classes at the library for just $5 per class! For adults of all fitness and yoga levels, a power-style yoga class is offered at the Dormont Public Library every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please bring a mat and water.

1000 Kelton Ave., Pgh; 412.571.6045, Hotline;

Indoor swimming is easy on the joints and easy on the wallet with affordable recreational swimming sessions, water aerobics and other water fitness classes offered to Keystone Oaks High School district residents at specific dates and times during the school year. Call the hotline or contact Amy Torcaso, aquatics director, by the above email for more information.

Body Effort Class at the Green Tree Municipal Center Gym

10 West Manilla Ave., Green Tree; PA 412.341.0911; Get fit and ready for spring with Pilates-type exercises, upper body strengthening, lower body toning and yoga-type stretches with a Body Effort instructor on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Bring hand-held weights and a mat. New Student Offer includes one free class anytime and if you register for a full session (two months) you save $20. For registration, fees and other information, visit the website or call Patti at Body Effort.

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 21

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Keystone Oaks


Childhood Obesity One Child at a Time By Heather Holtschlag

Imagine – for the first time in four generations, a

child’s life expectancy may not match his/her parents. One in 10 American children is obese, and between 16 to 25 percent of children are overweight. Children average a weight of about nine pounds heavier today when compared to the 1960s, and the average teenager’s weight has increased by 12 to 16 pounds, according to government statistics. Beyond the issue of just being overweight is the risk factors associated with obesity, including heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Fit-Trix Fit-Kidz, located in Bethel Park, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is devoted to the prevention of childhood obesity in the western Pennsylvania region. The purpose of FitTrix Fit-Kidz is to educate children and parents on the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by adopting increased physical activity and healthy eating. “We promote fitness, proper nutritional habits and self-esteem in a fun, positive and safe environment,” said Lynn Ross, owner of FitTrix Fit-Kidz. “Our 45-minute program provides a full body workout regardless of fitness ability. We focus on cardio, hydraulic and resistance training with kid-friendly equipment, including BOSU balls, punching bags and agility ladders.” Fit-Trix Fit-Kidz also encourages small lifestyle changes that may provide immediate health benefits for children, such as lower blood cholesterol levels, increased independence and productivity and reduced demands for health care services. And, staff members are committed to disseminating these healthy lifestyle messages to children of all ages, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status. 22 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

Ross said that the main purpose of Fit-Trix Fit-Kidz is to teach kids that fitness can be fun, so that they can develop a healthy lifestyle to maintain throughout their entire lives. The staff members do this by providing a fun and safe environment where they teach healthy behaviors to children at young ages, hoping that by doing so, the children will carry their good habits well into adulthood. “At Fit-Trix Fit-Kidz, we believe that exercise and proper nutrition are the pinnacles of preventing obesity in children and adolescents,” Ross explained. “We differ from other gyms in that we work by appointment, which helps make the children we see to remain accountable to their fitness goals and gives the staff the opportunity to work with and get to know each child on an individual basis.” According to Ross, there are a number of benefits that can have an impact on children as they begin an exercise program. These include an improved body mass index (BMI), an increase in selfesteem, a boost in athletic performance, increased flexibility and endurance, and an increase in lung capacity and fat burning through cardio exercise. “Strength conditioning also will increase a child’s bone density and improve tendon and ligament strength,” Ross noted. For more information about Fit-Trix Fit-Kidz, call 412.831.1200, stop by the facility located at 4941 Library Road in Bethel Park, or visit the website at

SAY WHAT? Your mother was right when she warned you that loud music could damage your hearing, but now scientists have discovered exactly what gets damaged and how. In a research report published in the September 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists describe exactly what type of damage noise does to the inner ear, and provide insights into a compound that may prevent noise-related damage. “Noise-induced hearing loss with accompanying tinnitus and sound hypersensitivity is a common condition which leads to communication problems and social isolation,” said Xiaorui Shi, M.D., Ph.D., study author from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Oregon Hearing Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University. “The goal of our study is to understand the molecular mechanisms well enough to mitigate damage from exposure to loud sound.” To make this discovery, Shi and colleagues used three groups of six- to eight-week-old mice, which consisted of a control group, a group exposed to broadband noise at 120 decibels for three hours a day for two days, and a third group given single-dose injections of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) prior to noise exposure. PEDF is a protein found in vertebrates that is currently being researched for the treatment of diseases like heart disease and cancer. The cells that secrete PEDF in control animals showed a characteristic branched morphology, with the cells arranging in a self-avoidance pattern which provided good coverage of the capillary wall. The morphology of the same cells in the animals exposed to wide-band noise, however, showed clear differences - noise exposure caused changes in melanocytes located in the inner ear. “Hearing loss over time robs people of their quality of life,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. “It’s easy to say that we should avoid loud noises, but in reality, this is not always possible. Frontline soldiers or first responders do not have time to worry about the long-term effects of loud noise when they are giving their all. If, however, a drug could be developed to minimize the negative effects of loud noises, it would benefit one and all.” SOURCE: MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

Protect YOUNG ATHLETES The risks of sports-related traumatic brain injuries among professional athletes are making national headlines. However, prevention should begin at childhood, especially among those involved in contact sports. Each year, approximately 300,000 people in the United States experience sports-related concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury most often caused by a sudden bump or blow to the head or other parts of the body. It also can be caused by a fall. As a result of the sudden impact, the brain moves around in the skull causing chemical changes. These changes make the brain more sensitive to stress and other injuries until it fully recovers. In addition, the immature brain of a young athlete is known to take longer to recover. Most people who have experienced a concussion realize that something is wrong, however the symptoms can be tricky, so those around the injured person must pay close attention for the warning signs. This is especially apparent among football players who are conditioned to being knocked down and getting back up again, only to realize later that they’ve been hurt. Many athletic directors for public schools require that athletes who participate in “high-risk” sports must have a baseline

symptoms of a concussion Difficulty concentrating Difficulty completing tasks Changes in behavior Worsening headache Persistent double vision Excessive drowsiness Stroke-like symptoms

neurocognitive test before their first contact football practice, within the first week of cheerleading or before the first game for other sports. Although treatment for concussions is individualized, almost all physicians recommend physical and mental rest immediately after the injury. This includes no texting, video games, TV, reading or physical activity. It’s also important to understand that medications will mask the pain and do not heal the brain. In fact, anti-inflammatory medications can be dangerous because they increase the risk of bleeding. However, there are situations where medications are warranted. It is paramount to have an evaluation and obtain clearance by a physician experienced in diagnosing and treating concussions before returning to sports activities. SOURCE: UCF PEGASUS HEALTH/UCF COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 23

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HEALTH &WELLNESS DIRECTORY Your Hometown Pharmacy 2897 W. Liberty Ave. 412.306.9950

Palmer Family Dentistry 412.531.7770

THE WAY PHARMACY USED TO BE... As Dormont’s only locally owned and independently operated pharmacy, Your Hometown Pharmacy staff cares for you like no other, combining the personal service and décor of an old-time pharmacy with modern-day conveniences. We offer twice daily deliveries, medicine flavoring, blister packing, a large selection of over-the-counter products and the best prices in town. Visit us and see how 24 years of local service makes Mike Hrip, R.Ph., your hometown choice for care.

At Palmer Family Dentistry, we’re completely dedicated to our patients, and we want you to be satisfied with your smile when you leave our office! Call us today to ask about our dental services or to schedule your dental appointment today. Cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers, dental bridges, dental crowns, tooth extraction, root canal therapy and teeth whitening are Dr. Palmer’s areas of expertise.

SURGERY OF THE FUTURE IS NOW A relatively new approach to gynecological surgery is revolutionizing the standard of care in obstetrics and gynecology. daVinci is a technology that enhances a surgeon’s capabilities while offering patients the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, such as less surgical trauma, smaller incisions and a faster recovery time. “daVinci is like an extension of the surgeon’s hands,” said Shannon McGranahan, MD, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist at St. Clair. “It can mimic the natural movements of my hand while causing less bleeding,

less pain and fewer complications than traditional surgery.” Gynecological procedures being performed with daVinci include hysterectomies, which is the most common utilization of daVinci; complicated hysterectomies; pelvic pain present with endometriosis; and myomectomies, or removal of fibroids. daVinci also is being used across many other disciplines, as well, including urology, colorectal surgery and thoracic surgery. “In the past, surgery such as hysterectomy would require an extended recovery period of several weeks or more, which is a large reason

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why many women procrastinated with their care. The long recovery interfered with their daily responsibilities,” Dr. McGranahan said. “Surgery performed with daVinci, however, usually requires only one overnight stay in the hospital, and the woman can return to work in about one to two weeks.” A common patient misconception, however, is that daVinci is a programmed robot that will be performing the surgery. “That’s simply not true,” Dr. McGranahan noted. “Board certified surgeons are still managing and performing the operation. daVinci is there to enhance their capabilities.”

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Corporate Brochures • Flyers • Direct Mail • Postcards • Magazines • Catalogs Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 25

Here Come the Talkies ’

Hollywood Theater s silent film-era organ is the only one in the region. By Mark Berton


hen Nosferatu’s elongated shadow grew on the wall before he slinked into frame, there was silence. When Chaplin went prospecting for gold in the Klondike in “The Gold Rush,” there were no howling winds to be heard. For modern audiences, the allure of silent films can be perplexing, as online clips just show hushed action. But in their heyday, silent films received a full accompaniment by theater organists who were charged with elevating the action on the screen with a knowledge of their instruments and the dynamics of theater. Today, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont is proud to put the “theater” back in “theater organ” for Pittsburgh. Through a partnership with the Pittsburgh Area Theater Organ Society and installation of its Rodgers 34E organ at the Hollywood Theater, the historic Dormont cinema is now the only theater in the Pittsburgh area with a theater organ. Opened in the mid-1920s during the silent picture era, the Hollywood Theater ran feature films starring A-list actors of the day, including Gloria Swanson, Tom Mix and Lon Chaney. The technology of the time did not yet allow for soundtracks on film, so theaters like the Hollywood hired organists or small orchestras to perform along with the movies. After the advent of sound on film in 1929, many theaters continued to include organ music before cartoons and other film programs. With the return of this musical tradition to the Hollywood, the theater plans to use the organ regularly for short performances before films, at special events such as its Members’ Party, and also to accompany movies in an upcoming silent film series. “The theater organ cuts to the core of the roots of cinema,” said Chad Hunter, executive director of the Hollywood Theater. “Silent films were never silent. They were brought to life through live music, with an organ, a piano player or small orchestra. The difference between live and recorded music in cinema is like listening to a CD versus hearing and watching

26 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

a live performance. The quality of music and the performance bring an energy to a film that you otherwise might not get.” The Pittsburgh Area Theater Organ Society (PATOS), started by a handful of organ players and enthusiasts in 1970, is a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of theater organs and the music they create. Since then, the society has “rescued" a genuine 1926 Wurlitzer pipe organ from a storage location in New York, and following a complete restoration and expansion effort, it now resides in the Keystone Oaks High School auditorium where it’s used several times each year for programs offered to the public. To start up the Rodgers organ at the Hollywood for the first time, the Hollywood Theater and PATOS brought renowned organist Clark Wilson to Dormont to perform. Wilson is considered one of the finest practitioners of the art of silent picture scoring and has performed with silent films around the country, including the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He was named Organist of the Year by the American Theater Organ Society, and has recorded seven albums. Ken Double, president of the American Theater Organ Society, said the Rodgers organs were top-of-the-line in their day, and that theater organ accompaniment is a unique experience largely unknown to today’s audiences. “It is difficult to compare a theater organ accompaniment of a silent film to a soundtrack of today. The more proper comparison would be a live theater organ accompaniment versus an accompaniment that was recorded and is on the DVD or Blu-Ray. The difference is stunning,” Double said. “A well-prepared theater organist with any degree of sensitivity whatsoever will enhance the experience with his or her live accompaniment versus anything recorded.” Double said one of the highest compliments that can be paid to a successful theater organist of the day was “I never heard the music,” which may seem counterintuitive, but accentuates the fact that the film on the screen was the main component of the performance, not the music. “Silent film demanded that the music fit, and a good player working live will enhance the mood and at the same time, do it to the point where the audience is so entranced with the movie, they forget the organ is even there,” Double said. “There is much to be said for a live, empathetic musician who understands his or her role and enhances the film with music that underscores, not overplays, the action.” Hunter said the organ brings the Hollywood back to what it once was when it was built in the 1920s. “The majority of cinemas across the U.S. in the silent period had organs. While we have no documentation on what music was performed in the 1920s at the Hollywood, we do see that there

are huge chambers above our back exits that were likely intended or used for pipes from an organ,” Hunter said. “We'll have a range of programs with the organ, some will use historical scores created specifically for a film title, and others will stitch together a tapestry of period pieces that complement the action on the screen. It depends on the film and the musician and what his/her preference is.” One of the problems with the theater organ is that finding period film scores can be difficult. “There are very few actual scores written for silent film that exist today,” Double said. “Generally, an organist first does research to see if a score exists. Since most do not, then the search is for ‘suggested themes.’ Often, as the silent films were delivered to the theaters, suggested theme lines were sent along to assist the organist, who then did a bit of improvisation around those themes, or others, to play the film.” A typical silent feature might have a love theme, a hero’s theme, a villain’s theme, a comedy theme or an action theme, Double said. At times, organists would compose as many as a dozen different major themes to weave into the score. Because of their versatility, theater organists didn’t quite rise to “Rock Star” fame, but they were recognized, admired and compensated for their gifts. Some even went on to work for emerging film companies like Disney. “Jesse Crawford was famous,” Double said. “He grew his fame first in Chicago. Chicago had many other well-known theater organists. In little Lafayette, Indiana, a guy named Ding Kendall was reportedly very well received at the Mars Theatre as the best organist in that town. Oliver Wallace, who worked in Seattle, later worked for Disney, and is credited for scoring the music for ‘Fantasia.’ But how much ‘ink’ these people received I am sure varied.” For more information about the Hollywood, visit or call 412.563.0368. n

Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 27

Global Links

Celebrates Opening of World Headquarters in Green Tree New facilities will double capacity to collect, refurbish and redirect medical surplus equipment to resource-poor countries.


lobal Links, an international medical relief agency based in Pittsburgh, opened its new world headquarters on October 4, in a move that will enable the 24-year-old nonprofit to more than double its capacity to collect, refurbish, and provide surplus medical supplies and equipment to resource-poor countries and to local organizations seeking assistance. Nearly all of the more than 250 tons of medical surplus and supplies gathered by Global Links from hospitals, nursing homes, health centers and community collections each year would otherwise be destined for landfills. The new, two-story, 58,000square-foot, natural light-filled facility is situated on 2.7 acres in Green Tree. Selected after many years of searching, the site will house all Global Links operations, and will include space for processing, repair and packing of materials, a dedicated area for educational activities and training, an expansive warehouse for storage and distribution, multiple loading docks and administrative offices, all in one location. For years, Global Links has been operating at physical maximum capacity, and has regularly had to turn away donations due to lack of space, even as urgent requests for medical supplies continue to pour in from the countries it serves. Its previous facilities required splitting operations between

overflowing, rented warehouses and separate office/sorting spaces. Lack of space to accommodate large or multiple groups has meant a three-month waiting list of volunteers looking to join the thousands of volunteers who already donate more than 10,000 hours each year to sort, repair and prepare materials for shipment. The new space will double Global Links’ capacity to recover and process medical surplus from health care facilities—both in the Pittsburgh region and beyond—double the amount of materials provided to local

medical supplies enter the waste stream each year, mainly into landfills. These range from small items such as gloves, sutures, scissors, gauze, and bandages, to equipment including beds, wheelchairs, exam tables and patient monitors. The booming health care industry in western Pennsylvania makes our region particularly vulnerable to this kind of environmental burden. Global Links was founded to improve outcomes for people living in abject poverty and to protect our local environment so that no one dies for lack of what we throw away.” Founded in 1989, Global Links was the first organization in the country with a mission to recover and strategically reuse surplus hospital supplies, and it is still a leader in the field. For the last four years, Global Links has won the “Champion for Change Environmental Excellence Award” from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading membership organization for health care leaders committed to environmentally responsible practices. Over the past 24 years, Global Links has prepared more than 480 tractor-trailer loads of supplies—valued at nearly $180 million— primarily from hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities in western Pennsylvania. Thirty-six hospitals in the region now participate in the program and,

“In many countries, patients often share beds or sleep on mattresses on the floor, while family members must hold I.V. bags for want of I.V. poles.”

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and international partners and respond more quickly and efficiently to changing conditions and situations, such as natural disasters, locally and internationally. “The United States is among the world’s leading health care providers, yet our medical innovation comes at a cost,” said Global Links co-founder and CEO Kathleen Hower. “In the quest for continual improvement—in treatment, technology, cost, regulation and infection control—tons of serviceable

in 2012, more than 260 tons of surplus were collected, most of which was diverted from the region’s waste stream. “The bulk of Global Links’ donations improve health care conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the six poorest nations in our hemisphere: Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Guyana, and Bolivia,” said Mimi Falbo, Global Links board chair. “In these countries, basic medical supplies are often unavailable or not affordable. Doctors and nurses must make do—washing and reusing ‘disposable’ gloves, for example, or substituting fishing line or sewing thread for sutures, which increases the risk of infection and possible death. In many countries, patients often share beds or sleep on mattresses on the floor, while family members must hold I.V. bags for want of I.V. poles.” Global Links also works with regional organizations. In 2012, 18 tons of donated medical surplus were distributed free of charge to organizations in western Pennsylvania, including Operation Safety Net, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, MERP (a home medical device lending library in Mercer County), and Cancer Caring Center, as well as several women’s support and recovery agencies, among others. n Keystone Oaks | Winter 2013 | 29

SHARING THE HARVEST If you’re a hunter but your freezer’s full, please consider donating your deer to Hunters Sharing the Harvest Hunters Sharing the Harvest is a program that’s been helping to feed Pennsylvania’s hungry for more than 22 years. The program is simple and rewarding – you go hunting, you arrange with your nearest participating processor to donate the deer (or elk, moose and caribou where applicable), and you make a tax-deductible $15 donation to help cover the cost of processing. All donations, whether monetary or deer meat, are recognized by a letter for your taxes and a window decal to let people know that your hunt helped feed the hungry. From the processing plant, your deer meat will be butchered and distributed to area food banks and charities throughout the state. Your average-sized deer can provide up to 200 meals to help those in need. The program is a dedicated, 501(c)(3) charity supported through public and private entities. As a hunter, you probably already know that deer meat is an extremely healthy food source that’s low in cholesterol and saturated fat. It has more protein and fewer calories than other processed meats, and is on par with other meats for nutritional content such as vitamins and minerals. For more information, call 866.474.2141 or email

The meat processors serving the region for 2013 are: Allegheny County

Kip’s Deer Processing Paula Padgelek 3 Saint John’s Drive Carnegie, PA 15106 412.279.6527

Butler County

Bims Boloney Bim Slater 145 Morris Road Petrolia, PA 16050 724.894.2569 McKruit’s Custom Meat Cutting Tracy McKruit 1011 Bear Creek Road Cabot, PA 16023 724.352.2988

30 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

Washington County

Bobeck’s Deer Processing Mary Bobeck 139 Craig Road Monongahela, PA 15063 724.258.2298 Lenik Deer Processing Ron Lenik 204 Railroad Street Finleyville, PA 15332 724.348.7019

Romes Meat & Deli Ronald Rome Sr. 312 Bonniebrook Road Butler, PA 16002 724.285.1236 TA Giger Deer Processing Tim Giger 121 Kyle Road Valencia, PA 16059 724.898.2244

Erie County

Shuba’s Processing Steve Shuba 1116 Allison Hollow Rd-Shop Washington, PA 15301 724.255.4861

Westmoreland County

Custom Deer Processing Samuel J. Monteparte 131 Flowers Road New Alexandria, PA 15670 724.668.8950

McDonald Meats, Inc. Neeli McDonald 10445 Ridge Road Girard, PA 16417 814.774.3507

Espey’s Meat Market Joe Espey Jr. 319 Espey Meat Market Lane Scottdale, PA 15683 724.887.3226

Pacileo’s Great Lakes Deer Processing John Pacileo 8890 Wattsburg Road Erie, PA 16509 814.825.3759

G. Karas Packing Sharon Karas 606 Story Road Export, PA 15632 724.468.5811

Scott’s Custom Deer Processing Scott Mills 212 S. Main Street Albion, PA 16401 814.449.5335

Hoffer’s Ligonier Valley Packing Denise Zimmerman 582 Darlington Road Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.7112

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A Dormont Athlete was a Hero of the Kenyon College Fire of 1949

Copyright by Kenyon College Special Collections

By Mark Berton


n the middle of a cold February night in 1949, three hours from home, Dormont’s Edwin Thomas Collins became a hero. Sometime around 4 a.m., a fire was discovered in Old Kenyon by a night watchman. Forensics concluded that the fire began as a spark, carried via warm updrafts into an old flue in a new fireplace and into the 32 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Keystone Oaks

cracks between the second and third floors. There, it smoldered until the conditions were right for it to burst into flames. The dormitory firewalls prevented the fire from spreading horizontally, giving some students a fighting chance to escape. Students living above the fire weren’t as lucky, at least the ones who didn’t come into contact with Edwin Thomas Collins.

Will Pilcher and Lee Peris were survivors because of Collins’ bravery. Pilcher recounted for Kenyon’s alumni bulletin that Collins woke him to notify him of the fire. The only way out of the room was through a window. Collins leapt to the fire escape, guided Pilcher along the ledge and had him jump. Holding the ladder with one hand, Collins caught Pilcher with the other and delivered him to the ladder for his escape. Peris was crying for help from a nearby room when Collins repeated the jump instructions, only this time the fire was gaining on them. While Peris escaped as well, Collins suffered traumatic burns to his hands and face. In all, nine students died that night, and the following year Collins was awarded the Carnegie Fund Hero’s Medal. Collins went on to work as a computer scientist for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California for 35 years until his retirement. He died in 1997 at the age of 68. n

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