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McCandless Crossing Continuing to Grow Classic Christmas Movies Trivia National Nods for Franklin Park & North Allegheny School District Holiday Events & Happenings

Northern Connection | December 2014


CONTENTS December 2014



Health & Wellness


Cover Story: McCandless Crossing Continues to Grow and Enhance the North

30 Fit Families: The Key to Being Healthy Even When Gluten-Free

Marianne Reid Anderson

31 My Journey to Wellness

10 Franklin Park Borough and the North Allegheny School District Receive High National Rankings Paula Green

Joella Baker Amy Soergel

34 Enhance Your Life: Ghosts Be Gone! Anita Sinecrope Maier, MSW

8 In Every Issue 4

From the Publisher


Movers & Shakers


Mover & Shaker of the Month: Colleen Anthony

Marion Piotrowski

Paula Green

38 Kids Plus Pediatrics and Staying Active in Winter

16 Holiday Happenings

26 Holiday Worship Guide

Kids & Education

23 Trivia Connection: Classic Christmas Movies Trivia

Real Estate

42 School Movers & Shakers

15 This is Our Season! Postmaster Mark Wahl

14 Tis the Season for Refinancing Colleen Anthony

45 Education Spotlight: The Robert M. Mill Labor Management Lecture Series Marianne Reid Anderson

Image & Style 28 5 Hot Holiday Hair & Makeup Quick Tips Kelly Smith

46 Innovations in the Classroom Marianne Reid Anderson

Senior Living 48 Merry Christmas!


Paula Green

24 Starting the Conversation: How Do You Put the FUN in Dysfunctional? Marianne Reid Anderson

52 Support Our Troops: CCAC’s Hockey Tournament Goal is to Assist Operation Troop Appreciation Paula Green

Barbara Killmeyer

50 Town Crier: December Enchantment Joe Bullick

51 Happenings for Seniors

Advertorials 33 5 Things Your Chiropractor Wishes You Knew... Dr. Shannon Thieroff

40 Catholic Schools of the Pittsburgh Diocese

52 2

Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014



Welcome to the December issue of Northern Connection magazine!


ow is the time for hustle and bustle, as we prepare for the holidays and as the familiar song goes, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” We certainly live in a city that knows how to celebrate. Be sure to check out Northern Connection’s Happenings & Events section and take advantage of all the rich traditions that Pittsburgh and the surrounding area offers. Take a trip down memory lane with this month’s Christmas Movie Trivia and see if any of these movies are one of your favorites that bring back some special holiday memories. In this issue, Northern Connection has the privilege to highlight why our communities are so special. The cover story on the new McCandless Crossing is very exciting. You can read firsthand all that is being planned for the North Hills from the developer, Kevin Dougherty, a North Hills native! Also, Franklin Park and North Allegheny High School were recently awarded one of the top communities and schools in the country! Read more about them in this issue. Thank you for all of your continued support. Together, we continue to make our communities an outstanding place to live and work. F

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Northern Connection | December 2014

@NCONNECTIONMAG Find us on Facebook under Northern Connection Magazine!

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724-940-9000 Northern Connection | December 2014


MOVERS & SHAKERS December 2014

Movers & Shakers VA Butler Healthcare has received a three-year accreditation in Ambulatory Care, Behavioral Health Care, Home Care and Nursing Center Care from The Joint Commission. On Oct. 24, the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center hosted its HOMEtown Hero Luncheon which honored Paralympic gold medalist, Dan McCoy. McCoy is a native of Pittsburgh and a Fox Chapel graduate. The National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCN) has named Nancy Jones of Marshall Township as its new state ambassador for Pennsylvania. Julie Smith, president/CEO and owner of RJW Media was named a winner of the St. Barnabas 2014 Leadership Award in the Small Company category during the 28th Annual St. Barnabas CEO Leadership Conference.


North Hills Newcomer’s held a fundraiser in November and raised $10,000 for Glade Run Lutheran Services. Brighton Heights resident, Erin Springer organized an annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Familylinks downtown Outreach Center and Shelter, which serves homeless youth, ages 18 to 21. The Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council (PPGC) announced that Thomas E. Boyle, Esquire, a shareholder at Buchanan Thomas Boyle Ingersoll and Rooney has been awarded the organization’s 2014 Allied Professional of the Year Award.

Readers Bill and Teresa Anderson went to China and took this amazing picture of Northern Connection magazine on The Great Wall. Thank you Bill and Teresa!

Northern Connection | December 2014


Colleen Anthony MABC Mortgage Broker/Owner BY PAULA GREEN


ABC Mortgage broker/owner, Colleen Anthony believes in giving of herself and supporting local charities. Anthony and her long-time friend and colleague Brian Stumpf co-founded North Pittsburgh Network, LLC (NPN). “We brought the vision to fruition by assembling a prominent group of seasoned business professionals who are renowned for their goodwill, compassion and integrity. We started volunteering at local charities like Pittsburgh Women and Children Shelter and collecting donations for the Food Bank. The first effort the group made for charity was a Holiday Fundraiser to benefit Emmaus in the North Hills last year that raised over $5,000. We had such a large turnout and the amount raised was more than we hoped for,” said Anthony. “I am on the Capital Campaign Committee for Emmaus Community. Emmaus provides permanent housing, respite and in-home care to older individuals with intellectual disability and autism. Because Emmaus is a non-profit, they require donations and capital contributions in order to sustain and grow their cause.” Anthony also sits on the board of some local organizations. She is a member of the board of directors for A Place to Grow Learning Center, located in Fox Chapel. This facility cares for over 100 children and offers early childhood programs from

infancy through preschool. Another place where Anthony is a member of the board is the Western Pennsylvania Montessori School. WPMS is a non-profit Montessori located in the North Hills and offers programs for toddlers through preschool. Her four-year old daughter, Claire attends school at this facility. Aside from her charitable involvement, Anthony is a member of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB). She believes in giving her clients’ personalized attention as she attends their closings. “I believe that everyone applying for a mortgage should be able to speak with and meet with the person handling their loan. They should be informed throughout the process and leave the closing table feeling a sense of certainty that they are in the mortgage product that fits their financial needs and goals. I find that my clients feel more at ease (as do the agents) when the person in charge of the money is sitting next to everyone on closing day. Our client base is 83% referral, which I think speaks for itself,” Anthony noted. Anthony graduated from Union Area High School in New Castle and went onto to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Slippery Rock University, and she has a minor in Information Technology. She resides in Allison Park with her husband Eric, Claire and their two dogs Meca and Sophie. F

Northern Connection | December 2014


COVER STORY December 2014



Continues to Grow and Enhance the North BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON

Bringing new retail, dining, entertainment, offices, housing and hotels, McCandless Crossing becomes a preferred destination while boosting the local economy


cCandless Crossing has been a vision of Perrysville native, Kevin Dougherty, since growing-up here in the North Hills. Located at the cross-roads of McKnight Road and Duncan Avenue, the new McCandless Crossing is a 1.2 million square feet “mixed-use” community that is designed to include shopping, entertainment and dining,


housing and hotels, office space and landscaped green space. Dougherty, an alumnus of St. Teresa’s Parish School, North Catholic High School and John Carroll University, began looking into acquiring the land as far back as 1992. In 2004, when the land became available, he had just moved to Raleigh, N.C. but that didn’t stop him. As

Northern Connection | December 2014

president of AdVenture Development, Dougherty began the AdVenture Champion Partnership and started to make his vision a reality. According to Dougherty, “Together with the Town of McCandless, we came up with a plan to compliment the pre-existing uses around, such as, Passavant Hospital, Vincentian, LaRoche College, the McCandless Corporate

Center, North Allegheny Schools, and neighborhoods, plus many others, to develop a community destination that will knit them all together.” And so began the creation of McCandless Crossing. “There have been over a hundred versions of the site plans,” continues Dougherty, “and when I look back and see the number of people involved, easily over a thousand people, including the McCandless Town Council, Planning Commission and local representatives from all walks of life, I am exceedingly grateful for their help, involvement and the fact that they all have been so incredibly great to work with.” McCandless Crossing has been developed in a set a phases. Lowe’s Home Improvement and WesBanco have been open for business since 2010 and LA Fitness opened its doors to members in August 2011, and establishments continued to open including an International House of Pancakes or IHOP®, Hilton Home 2®, Cinemark® 12 Screen Movie Theater, Dick’s Sporting Goods®, and HomeGoods®. “The Sunday that HomeGoods opened,” explained Dougerty, “the chain set a record for sales in a single day.”” Phase 4, known as Town Center, continues development with additional establishments slated to open their doors in 2015. These include, Bonefish Grill®, Longhorn Steakhouse®, Trader Joe’s®, GNC®, Chipotle®, UPS®, and the first Panera® Drive-Thru in the area, among many others still to come. Town Center will eventually be landscaped to include a Town Center Square with a clock, sidewalk, benches and flowers. McCandless Crossing also includes 53 townhomes by Ryan®. Homes and a second hotel and a medical/office building are also planned. “In addition to employment opportunities within the businesses located at McCandless Crossing, the other growth in the area, such as the new healthcare facilities and housing, will all be bringing commerce and economic growth to the North Hills community,” states Dougherty. If you are interested in employment opportunities at the businesses in McCandless Crossing, contact that business directly. If you are interested in leasing your own retail space, it is handled by Echo Retail at http:// The office space leasing will be handled by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) at To keep up-to-date on the development of McCandless Crossing, visit F



evin Dougherty formed AdVenture Development, LLC in 2005. AdVenture Development focuses on commercial real estate development projects and is actively involved in the development, leasing, and management and has also retained real estate consulting assignments in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. Prior to forming AdVenture Development, Kevin and a partner founded Michael Joseph Development Corp. (MJDC) in Pittsburgh, PA.  For fourteen years Kevin led MJDC as the company realized significant growth while engaging in over $200,000,000 of transactions totaling 2,000,000 +/- sf.  MJDC primarily focused on retail development and medical facilities such as the following:  • Townfair Center – Indiana, PA – 275,000 sf • The Commons – Dubois, PA – 330,000 sf • The Point at Carlisle Plaza – Carlisle, PA – 360,000 sf • Wal-Mart Shopping Center – Natrona Heights, PA – 275,000 sf • 200 St. Margaret Medical Office Building – 85,000 sf • Monroeville Medical Office Building/Surgery Center – 40,000 sf • Wexford Surgery Center and Medical Building – 45,000 sf Prior to MJDC, Kevin was director of Retail Development for Charter Properties, Inc. of Charlotte, NC.  Kevin spent almost four years at Charter developing in excess of 750,000 sf of retail space. Kevin began his real estate career in 1982 as a mortgage banker with Carey Kramer Crouse & Associates (now HFF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, developing many outstanding relationships with lenders on a national and local scale.   Kevin serves or has served as a consultant to several national retailers including Lowes Home Improvement, WalMart, Raven Rock Workwear, and Golden Corral.  Kevin is a graduate of John Carroll University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  Kevin currently is on the Board of the YMCA of Pittsburgh, Deer Valley YMCA Camp, Johnston County Community College Foundation Board, and Chairman of the Princeton Veterans’ Committee. Kevin is active in his church in various ministries. Kevin has coached basketball and soccer at many levels. Kevin is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and has served on numerous panels relevant to the real estate industry. Kevin is also a member of Vistage International and has been a Board Member for 5+/- years. F

Northern Connection | December 2014



Franklin Park Borough and the North Allegheny School District Receive High National Rankings BY PAULA GREEN


e all know that Pittsburgh is some place special, but how about the fact that the North Hills community has recently been bestowed with two high national rankings. Franklin Park, which has a population of approximately 13,470, has been named one of the best suburbs in the country, according to Business Insider. Franklin Park ranked 38 on the top 50 list. Real estate in this borough has been on a steady rise but there are numerous reasons why this North Hills community garnered national recognition. According to Ned Bruns, realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, “Franklin Park is a real gem of the North Hills due to its low crime rates and its ideal location. It is nestled within 25 minutes to the Pittsburgh Airport. The real estate values in Franklin Park have continued to appreciate over the past five years.   This is thanks to Franklin Park having one of the lowest Municipal tax millages in Allegheny County resulting in slightly lower taxes, and a good combination of new construction and existing home sales.  The lots and housing plans in Franklin Park are usually larger and more wooded than what is found in neighboring communities.  Franklin Park is also near North Park with tons of outdoor recreational activities and Blueberry Hill Park. Whenever I have a relocation buyer that is new to Pittsburgh, I am sure to specifically bring up the benefits and the features of Franklin Park.” Borough manager, Ambrose Rocca explains why he feels Franklin Park is flourishing. “The borough’s best assets are its employees.  Whether it’s the police responding to an emergency, the road crew to a snow storm or the administrative staff addressing a resident’s problem, our employees make the difference. Through our employees’ efforts, we are able to maintain excellent recreational facilities such as Clover Hill


Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014


Golf Course, and sports fields for youth leagues in football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, cricket, deck-hockey and numerous other non-league sports.   Franklin Park residents have easy access to downtown Pittsburgh and are close to shopping and entertainment centers.  The borough has outstanding parks and recreation programs. Having a growing tax base, the borough is able to maintain a very low tax rate.  Having just recently paid off our bonds, the borough will utilize those funds to improve both transportation and recreation facilities.   Our primary focus is to provide Franklin Park residents the best possible service at the lowest possible costs; we try to be a citizen focused community.” Some Franklin Park business owners feel that Franklin Park is an ideal location as well. The Franklin Inn is owned and managed by John and Wendy Cibula. “John and I love


owning and operating in Franklin Park. In fact, the Franklin Inn is celebrating 36 years this month. We’ve seen the neighborhood really grow during this time and become more diverse making it an even more enriching place to be. Not only do we own a business in Franklin Park, it is also where we live, worship, and are raising our children. The Franklin Park community is very generous. Whenever we’ve supported and promoted any cause through the Inn, whether it be promoting Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry’s book sale, hosting a fundraising night for a family in need, the library or a youth sports team, the neighborhood is generous. Recently we collected items for a local nonprofit to send to our troops for Christmas. We had three large boxes and two bags of donations. I was proud of our patrons when I dropped off large troop donations,” said Wendy.  Franklin Park also received high marks (a ten) under the school category in the Business Insider rankings. This borough lines within the North Allegheny School District which also earned its own special national recognition.

Northern Connection | December 2014

North Allegheny School District ranked 9th out of more than 120,000 school districts in America for Best Public High Schools, according to Niche Rankings. Additionally, NASD was also recognized as the #3 district in Pennsylvania and the #1 district in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area. The District was also ranked 5th best in the Nation for Best Public School Teachers. “We do have cause to celebrate,” said Dr. Raymond Gualtieri, superintendent of schools. “It is fair to say that regardless of the methodologies or standards - the various national rankings place NA in the top 10% of their lists. The state rankings are just as superb. We are very proud and thankful! We are also inspired and committed to continuing the work that has brought us to this point. It is now our goal to continue to be one of the Top 10 School Districts in the nation so that our students can have every advantage as we help to Northern Connection magazine congratulates Franklin Park Borough and the North Allegheny School District for their national honors and recognition. F

Why Franklin Park is Named Best Suburb! Realtors from Berkshire Hathaway explain why Franklin Park is named one of the best suburbs in the country by Business Insider: “We love selling Franklin Park because it’s a safe place to live and raise children in an outstanding school district. Nearby to stores, parks & golf courses!” – Gloria Carroll and Patty Pellegrini “Franklin Park is fantastic for families. There are great schools, and while it feels like country, away from the hustle and bustle, it is actually close to everything.” – Jennifer Rausch “Its location, convenience and accessibility is why buyers gravitate to Franklin Park and it has a great mix of affordable, old and new, pretty and unique pieces of property.” – Julie Wasileski “Franklin Park is still naturally beautiful, lots of woods, spaces between houses and yet within minutes of downtown, McKnight, Cranberry, the airport, and so much more.” – Linda Honeywell “Quiet, low-crime and a neighborhood that has enjoyed steadily climbing values in spite of recessions and economic downturns, make properties in Franklin Park ideal.” – Richard Bozzo If you are interested in moving or relocating to this nationally-acclaimed neighborhood, contact us at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at or call 412-367-8000.

Northern Connection | December 2014


REAL ESTATE December 2014

Tis the Season… For Refinancing BY COLLEEN ANTHONY, MABC MORTGAGE, LLC

It’s that time of year again. The cold weather is setting in, holiday songs are playing on the radio and the New Year is just around the corner.


or many homeowners, this is the time of year when the budgets are reviewed and set (especially for holiday shopping), college tuition schedules are released for 2015 and year end mortgage interest statements will be arriving in a few short months. Many homeowners consider refinancing this time of year. Most everyone who considers refinancing asks the following two questions: What are the costs; and What is the Rate/Term? From a Broker’s perspective, I ask the following questions: Why are you refinancing; and How long do you


Northern Connection | December 2014

plan to stay in the home? If you are refinancing to save money or solve a problem, then we proceed to the next question. For instance, consolidating high interest credit card debt, moving from a construction to permanent loan product or lowering your current rate/term are good reasons to investigate options. Also, lender paid mortgage insurance offers and rates have been discounted and lower than we have seen in quite some time. Removing borrowerpaid monthly mortgage MANY insurance for the same or slightly higher interest rate HOMEOWNERS CONSIDER can be very beneficial. All of the above are good reasons to review your options. We review the new THIS TIME OF payment as well as overall interest. Lowering your . monthly payment does not automatically imply savings. You must look at overall interest and cash flow. To address the client question regarding costs, the answer is straight forward. There will be costs involved. They should not be excessive and should include: Title Insurance and associated fees, Appraisal, Tax/ Flood Certificates, Government/Recording and Lender Underwriting fee. What is Title Insurance and why is it required for a refinance? There are two types of policies - owner and lender, meant to protect owner/lender financial interest in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters. Since there are two separate policies, the owner’s coverage purchased when you bought your home need not be re-purchased when you refinance. However, the lender policy only covers the period while your mortgage exists. When you refinance, you get a new mortgage. Therefore, a new lender title policy is required. In Pennsylvania, premiums are regulated therefore the insurance cost is the same across the board. Also, title insurance rates for refinancing are discounted from purchase rates. Lastly, homebuyers/borrowers can choose their own title company. Mortgage rates are at a 16 month low. Refinancing applications jumped 23 percent in October according to Mortgage Bankers Association. If you are considering a refinance for any reason, you should take the time to investigate options for rates/terms available to you. A mortgage review is free and takes about 30 minutes of your time to initiate. Start yours today at, Apply Now. F

refinancing year

Colleen Anthony provides financing tailored to your specific needs and goals. Located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, she has brokered loans in Pennsylvania for over 10 years. She holds a B.Sc In Business Administration from Slippery Rock University. She is the co-founder of North Pittsburgh Network and sits on the Capital campaign committee for Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh. Additionally, she is a Board member of A Place to Grow Learning Center and Western Pennsylvania Montessori School. A mother and wife who is committed to providing superior service and mortgage options for her clients as well as improving her local community.



n December 31, the Ingomar Post Office will be proudly celebrating 125 years commemorating our service to customers in this northern community with a Special Pictorial Cancellation. Since 1889 the Ingomar Post Office has been a staple and a “connection” for friends and family. For every veteran who fought overseas, wedding announcement, birthday, anniversary, and sympathy or simply to send a letter, we have been here serving you and it is no secret the Christmas holiday season is our time to shine! Our little office located at 736 West Ingomar Road, is not your typical post office. We have no carrier delivery service; however we provide service to over 200 families and businesses with box service. Our staff takes every opportunity to create that positive customer service experience with each stakeholder who walks through the door. How do we know we are providing great service? For one, our revenue tops 1 million dollars each year, which indicates returning customers, and the tell-tale proof customers return for that “something extra” is your response to the Postal Service 2014 initiative of asking for customer feedback on each Point of Sale (POS) receipt. At one point in 2014, Ingomar was ranked # 1 in the country and the eastern area. We ended the fiscal year ranked # 1 in the Western PA District for the highest number of responses (222) and a 99.81% Overall Customer Satisfaction rating on knowledge, efficiency, positive attitude and courtesy. When you enter our lobby, you are greeted with pictures of patrons, a corner aptly named “In and Around Ingomar” of newspaper clippings, photos and accomplishments of customer and community icons like Northern Connection’s Town Crier, Joe Bullick. Comments from the surveys are printed and posted, stretching from the floor near the retail counter continuing to the ceiling and above our box section, twelve consecutive “Mystery Shopper” scores of 100% Customer Satisfaction. All displayed to remind each customer…who actually is # 1…YOU! On behalf of Dave, Carol and I, we would like to thank you for allowing us to serve you during this busy season and throughout the year. We wish each and every one of you a blessed Christmas, a Happy New Year and our commitment for even better customer service…for the next 125 years! F

Northern Connection | December 2014


HAPPENINGS December 2014

Holiday Happenings North Happening

Community Auto is accepting applications for Too Big for the Stocking Giveaway, applications are available & must be received by Dec. 11. For details, www.communityauto. org. North Hills Community Outreach’s Community Auto Program serving the Greater Pittsburgh region needs donations of new or used car cleaning supplies. Call (724) 443-8300 or North Hills Community Outreach Sharing Winter Warmth is accepting donations of grocery store gift cards or financial contributions. For details, call (412) 487-6316, opt. 1 or North Hills Food Bank, 10 a.m.1:45 p.m. every Tues & Thurs, rear parking lot of Hiland Presbyterian Church, 845 Perry Highway. Call, (412) 366-7477 or www. Donations always welcome.


WorkAble Employment Workshop for low-income jobseekers, interviewing 10:30 a.m., Dec. 2; Job Search Strategies, 9:30 a.m., Dec. 11, NHCO, AGH-Suburban, Bellevue. Igniting your Job Search, 9:30 a.m.-noon, Dec. 11, NHCO Millvale. For info, visit

Mondays Chisel and Chips Carvers of North Pittsburgh meetings, meets 6:30-10 p.m., the 2nd Monday of every month, Parkwood United Presbyterian Church, 4289 Mt. Royal Blvd., Allison Park. For info, call (724) 940-0034. Greater Cranberry Barbershop Chorus, meets every Monday at 7 p.m., Mars Alliance Church, Rt. 228. Visit Greater Pittsburgh Civil War Round Table meets the 4th Monday of every month 7 p.m., Hampton Township Community Center, 3101 McCully Rd., Allison Park. Call, Bob or Margie (724) 625-2329.

Legacy Theatre Movies, 2 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 1, Noah; Dec. 8, From Here to Eternity; Dec. 15, Maleficent; Dec. 29, Million Dollar Arm; Jan. 5, And So it Goes; Jan. 12, Jersey Boys; Jan. 26, The Fault in Our Stars, 700 Cumberland Woods Dr., McCandless. For info, visit movies/

Tuesdays North Pittsburgh Mother of Multiples meeting, 7:30 p.m., 3rd Tues., of the month, North Hills Community Baptist Church, 7801 Thompson Run Rd. For info, visit

Wednesday Country Knight Line Dancers host a line dance 7-10:30 p.m. every Wed., in St. Athanasius Hall, cost $5 per person. Call, Janine (412) 931-6971 or janine.beley@

Thursdays Cranberry Women’s Club, meets 7 p.m. the 2nd Thurs of the month, Cranberry Library Meeting Room. Contact Sandy, (724) 779-1854.

Northern Connection | December 2014

Handicapable Square Dancing Lessons, Thurs., thru Oct., Dorseyville Alliance Church. Volunteers needed to assist. For details, call Marti or Gary (724) 443-2616.

Friday Christy House Tea Room Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Fridays, on Walnut & Frederick in Sewickley. Homemade soups, salads, breads & cookies. Needles Eye & Early Treasures gift shops. RSVP to (412) 741-5960.

Saturdays Saturday Singles Dance for ages 40+, 8 p.m.-midnight, Dec. 13, Holiday Party, Dec. 27, End-of-Year Dessertfest Dance, West View VFW, 386 Perry Hwy, West View. Call, (724) 316-5029 or www.

Arts & Entertainment Butler Symphony Orchestra concerts: Dec. 6, Holiday Traditions, special repeat performance, Dec. 7, Mars Area Senior High School. Call (724) 283-1402 or visit

Children’s Theatre: Click, Clack, Moo!, 2 p.m., Jan. 11, Byham Theatre; 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., Jan. 15, Marshall Middle School; 2 p.m., Jan. 18, Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. Visit Dancing with the Stars: Live Tour, 8 p.m., Jan. 8, Benedum Center. For info, visit, The Fresh Beat Band Tour, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 10, Benedum Center. For info, (412) 456-6666 or Gatherings art exhibit runs through Dec. 31, 707 Penn Gallery. For details, visit www. Hillman Performing Arts Series, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6, Author Robert D. Kaplan, Shady Side Academy Senior School campus, 423 Fox Chapel Rd., Fox Chapel. For info, visit My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy, Jan. 17-18, Byham Theatre. For details, call (412) 456-6666 or visit http://

Obsessions art exhibit runs thru Jan. 25, SPACE, 812 Liberty Ave. For info, visit PNC Broadway Across America, Dec. 30, Motown Across America; Pippin, Jan. 21. For info visit Second/Second Exhibition runs through Dec. 31, Trust’s Wood Street Galleries, 601 Wood St. For info, visit www. Steel City Con, Dec. 5-7, Monroeville Convention Center. For details, visit http://

Health & Wellness Lizzy’s Bikes, a Kiwanis Club of Mars community action program, provides free bikes to local needy children. Call (724) 779-4364 or email (Continued on page 19)

Northern Connection | December 2014



Northern Connection | December 2014

Support Groups Bereavement Support Group, Beyond Bridge to Hope, 7-8:30 p.m., 2nd Wed., of every month, Passavant Hospital Conference Center, McCandless Twp. Free of charge, no registration is necessary. For details, (412) 748-6640. Bridge to Hope, 7-8:30 p.m., every Wed., of the month, Passavant Hospital Conference Center, McCandless Twp. For drug & alcohol addiction. Phone, (412) 748-6640. Lupus Foundation meetings, 7-8:30 p.m., every 3rd Tues, UPMC Passavant Hospital, 9100 Babcock Blvd., Donor Hall. To register, call (412) 2615886 or

Counseling Berkley Hills Lutheran Church is offering it Stephen Ministry Program for people experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, illnesses, job loss, loss of home, military deployment & other life struggles. Free & confidential program for people of any faith. Call (412) 486-4010 or Group Services, Intensive Outpatient Program, 5:30-8:30 p.m., M,W, Th.,Therapy Group 6-8 p.m., Tues., Family Only Group 7:30-9:00 p.m., 2nd Tues, Psycho-educational Support Group 7-9 p.m., 4th Mon. Contact Anita at 412-2157967,, or Professional Counseling, need someone to talk with but can’t afford it or lack health coverage. Call Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry, (412) 366-1300.

Networking Butler Chamber of Commerce, Mon. & Fri. morning coffee clubs, 8-9 a.m., (Mon.) Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 100 Cranberry Woods Dr., Cranberry Twp. and Dec. 12 & 19 (Fri.), 101 E. Diamond

St., Suite 116, Butler. Chamber Holiday Celebration, 5 p.m., Dec. 5, The Atrium, 1031 N. Castle Rd., Prospect. For info, visit Cranberry Chapter of Professional Referral Exchange meets 7:15 a.m., networking meeting every Wed., North Park Deckhouse, Rt. 19, Cranberry Twp. Call Mary Ann, (724) 935-2221. North Allegheny Special Education Parent Networking meeting, 9:30 a.m., Jan. 9, Baierl Center at NA High School. For info, visit North Hills Newcomers & Friends Luncheon, Dec. 9, Hyeholde Restaurant. “Holiday Centerpieces & Wreaths.” Visit www. or email Professional Referral Exchange (PRE) meets 7:15 a.m., Weds, Deck House, Rt. 19, Cranberry Twp. Call Ken, at (610) 496-7600 or visit, www. Toastmasters Cranberry High Noon Club, meets noon-1 p.m., every Mon., at the Cranberry Library, 2525 Rochester Rd., Suite 400. Guest & new members are welcome. Call Mary Jo, (412) 367-7710 or http://3331281.

Volunteer Opportunities American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to drive cancer patients who are undergoing treatments to & from their appts. Interested volunteers should call (412) 919-1100 or Hope Hospice is looking for volunteer for their patients. Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, just have the heart! For details, call (412) 367-3685.

Oasis is a volunteer tutoring program which places mature adults, 50 yrs., & older in Pittsburgh & Woodland Hills School Districts, grades K-4. Training session, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Dec. 3 & 4. For details, call (412) 232-2021.

School Events & Courses & Symposiums Fox Chapel Area School District meeting with local & state legislators, 7 p.m., Dec. 4, Fox Chapel Area High School, 611 Field Club Rd., in O’Hara Twp. From Conflict to Collaboration, 2 p.m., Dec. 10, CCAC Allegheny campus. For info, call (412) 237-4412 or LaborManagement@ Saint Vincent College Department of Education will offer a live online graduate program leading to a teaching certificate in online instruction beginning in the fall of 2015. Call (724) 805-2933 or gradadmission@ Saint Vincent Planetarium Shows, 11 a.m., Dec. 6, Dec. 20, Saint Vincent campus in Latrobe. Visit www. for details.

Worship Christmas Eve at Orchard Hill, 7 p.m., Dec. 19, 20, 21; 5, 7 & 9 p.m., Dec. 23; 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m. & 9 p.m., Dec. 24. Kidsburgh is open for newborn-5 yrs. during all services except 9 p.m. For details, visit ChristmasEveService.asp. Heritage Presbyterian Church is celebrating 50 years at 2262 Rochester Rd., Franklin Park. Join us for Sunday worship, 10 a.m. or check out LOGOS after school program 4 p.m., (Continued on page 20)

Northern Connection | December 2014


HAPPENINGS December 2014

Weds. Upcoming events: free babysitting service Dec. 6, Christmas pageant Dec. 14, Chocolate & Art Extravaganza in Feb. For info, call (412) 366-1338. Saint Alexis Parish Christmas Masses, 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m., Dec. 24, 9 a.m., 11 a.m., Dec. 25, 10090 Old Perry Hwy., Wexford. For info, call (724) 935-4343 or

Veterans Harmony Museum presents “The Civil War in Pennsylvania,” Heinz History Center traveling exhibit. For info, (724) 452-7341 or

Supernatural Lore of Pennsylvania: Ghosts, Monsters and Miracles, 11 a.m., Dec. 2, Legacy Theatre. Open to the public, call 1-877-987-6487 or

Tax Preparation North Hills Community Outreach is seeking Tax Preparers to help low-wage families. Training is provided. For details, visit


North Pittsburgh Quilts of Valor meets 7-9 p.m., 2nd Mon., of the month, Quilt Company, Middle Rd., Allison Park. Call (412) 487-9532 or

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, Mar. 27-29, Westin Convention Center, downtown Pittsburgh. To learn more, visit

Pennsylvania Community-Based Programs Awarded VA Grants to Support Disabled Veterans in Adaptive Sports at Slippery Rock University. For info, visit www.

Steel City Con, Dec. 5-7, Monroeville Convention Center. For details, visit

Veterans Discover HOPE Here-Career, 3rd Wed., 6:30-8:45 p.m., Cranberry Twp., Municipal Building, 2525 Rochester Rd., Cranberry Twp. Free. Call (724) 779-8323, or Veterans Fitness Classes 5 Days a week, 4:30-5:30 p.m., VA Butler Healthcare Auditorium (bldg. 1), 325 New Castle Rd., Butler. For details, visit www.prevention. Active.asp. “Veteran X” mental health & substance abuse recovery program for vets meets 6 p.m., every Mon., at VA Butler Healthcare, Room 213, East South (ES), 325 N. Castle Rd., Butler. For info, visit

Gala Tickets for Kids® Un-Gala, 6-10 p.m., Dec. 6, Inventionland, 585 Alpha Drive. For details, call (412) 745-5510 or Pittsburgh Mercy Health System Reindeer Ball, 4-7 p.m., Dec. 7, at the Westin Convention Center, downtown. For info, visit



Be an Angel this holiday season. Live Well Chiropractic & Butler County YMCA are sponsoring an Angel tree, thru Dec. 5, at Dr. Kemp’s office in Wexford. Help children in need this holiday season. For details, call (724) 940-3900 or

Celebrating Pittsburgh: Its Character and Significance, 11 a.m., Jan. 27, Legacy Theatre. Open to the public, call 1-877-987-6487 or

Empty Bowls Fundraiser, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Dec. 6, PineRichland High School Atrium, 700 Warrendale Rd., Gibsonia. For details, email

Holiday Events Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m., Dec. 13, Pine Community Center. Register at 100 Pine Park Dr., or online at www.twp. Butler County Chamber Holiday Celebration, 5 p.m., Dec. 5, at The Atrium. For reservations, call (724) 2832222 or Butler County Symphony Holiday Tour of Homes, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec. 6. Self-guided tour. For details, call (724) 283-1402 or Butler County Symphony presents Holiday Traditions with Michele Ragusa, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6, Butler Intermediate High school. For tickets, visit Dreher Chorale Presents their holiday concert Three Gifts, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 12, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School; 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13, Knights of Columbus Hall, Wexford; 3 p.m., Dec. 14, Mars Alliance Church, Adams Twp. For info, visit Festival of Lights, Dec. 5, A Craft Show will be held at 3 p.m., in Zappala College. Sponsored by La Roche College, Sisters of Divine Providence and Providence Heights Alpha School. For info, call (412) 536-1069 or Gary Latshaw Pops Christmas Show, 2 p.m., Dec. 6, Legacy Theatre. Multiple show packages available. Call 1-877-987-6487 or Glade Run’s Christmas Gift Drive serves over 3,000 children each year. If you are interested in helping with their drive, call (724) 452-4453 ext. 1277. Glade Run Polar Express event, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Dec. 6, Strand Theatre in Zelienople. For info, call (724) 452-4453, ext. 1277. Harmony Museum’s Silvester New Year’s Eve celebration, 2-6:30 p.m., Dec. 31. For info, call (724) 452-6780 or (724) 452-7341, or or www. Holiday Cookie Walk, 9 a.m.-noon, Dec. 13, St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral, 8290 Thompson Run Rd., Allison Park. Homemade Greek, Russian, traditional cookies. For info, (724) 612-6492 or Holiday Mart, 5-9 p.m., Dec. 5, Let the Men Cook! During Sewickley’s Light Up Night, Holiday Mart Brunch, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Dec. 7. For info, (412) 741-4405 or visit Holiday Market, seasonal craft show and sale runs through Dec. 6, North Hills Art Center, 3432 Babcock Blvd. For info, call (412) 364-3622 or Johnny Angel & the Halos Christmas Show, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13, Legacy Theatre. Multiple show packages available. Call 1-877-987-6487 or The Little Sisters of the Poor are selling Christmas Cards sketched by Sister Martha, lsp. The cards are: 7 for $10 (plus $1.50 shipping), 12 for $15 (plus $2.00 shipping) or 30 for $25 (plus $5.00 shipping). Cards can be ordered at (412) 307-1100 or online at Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis, Dec. 16, Benedum Center. Call (412) 456-6666 or


Northern Connection | December 2014

NHCO Holiday Toy Collection, collecting new toys & gift cards for kids, birth thru age 18. For details, visit (412) 487-6316, opt. 1, Patriotic Holiday Concert, 3 p.m., Dec. 14, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, 4141 Fifth Ave. For info, call (412) 621-4253 or Pittsburgh Philharmonic Christmas Concert, 8 p.m., Dec. 12, Butler County Community College’s Succop Theatre; 7 p.m., Dec. 13, Northgate High School auditorium. For details, visit www. Saint Alexis Handbell “Sounds of the Season,” noon, Dec. 6, Palm Court at Phipps Conservatory; 6 p.m., Dec. 6, Ross Park Mall; 2 p.m., Dec. 27, Benedum Center. For info, call (724) 935-4343 ext. 226. Saint Ferdinand’s New Year’s Eve Party, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m.- Jan. 1, Marriott, Pittsburgh North, Rt. 228, Cranberry Twp.

Singin’ with Santa concert, 11 a.m., Dec. 6, Ingomar United Methodist. Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. For tickets, call (412) 635-7654 or Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Library Northland Public Library: Holiday Beading Workshop, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 4; Reindeer Romp Storytime, 10 a.m., Dec. 10; WQED Winter Wonderland Workshop, 2 p.m., Dec. 14; Italian Wines for the Holidays, 7 p.m., Dec. 15; Family Storytelling, 2 p.m., Dec. 29; Coal Mining Songs of Northeastern PA, 7 p.m., Jan. 8. For info, (412) 366-8100, ext. 113. Shaler North Hills Library: Quilt Trunk Show & Reception, 2 p.m., Dec. 7; A Visit from Santa & a Holiday Play, 10:15 a.m., Dec. 13; Happy Hanukkah, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 16; Stuffed Animal Sleepover, 7 p.m., Dec. 19 (bring teddy)& 10:30 a.m., Dec. 20 (pick up teddy). For info, call (412) 486-0211 x116 or

Northern Connection | December 2014


HAPPENINGS December 2014

All of us at Northern Connection and Pittsburgh Fifty-Five Plus magazines wish you a Christmas and Holiday Season that is full of Love, Peace & Laughter. Have a Healthy and Happy New Year!


Northern Connection | December 2014


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with

Classic Christmas Movies Trivia BY PAULA GREEN

Since we have presented you with glittery information on “classic” holiday movies, we must now unwrap this Christmas query. Get set to don those Santa hats because it’s time to get a little trivial... 1. It’s a Wonderful Life was based on a short story called? 2. Who played the nun who tried to save a Catholic school in The Bells of St. Mary’s? 3. In White Christmas, where was General Waverly’s ski lodge (inn) located? 4. Who portrays Ted Hanover in the movie Holiday Inn? 5. Name the first animated holiday special (it aired Dec. 1962) ever produced for TV. 6. Which Christmas film was released during the month of May because the studio head felt that more people went to the movies during the summer? 7. What was the name of the suave angel that Cary Grant portrayed in The Bishop’s Wife? 8. This 1944 movie has a famous Christmas scene where Judy Garland sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. 9. What was Barbara Stanwyck’s occupation in the movie Christmas in Connecticut? 10. Name the “Mouseketeer” who starred in the 1961 film Babes in Toyland. 11. In Charlie Brown Christmas, which character quotes the Bible and delivers the true meaning of Christmas? 12. How many spirits visit Scrooge in A Christmas Carol? 13. The set of Holiday Inn was reused 12 years later for which Christmas film? 14. What was the name of the orphan boy in Little Drummer Boy? 15. In It’s a Wonderful Life what holiday movie was showing at the Bedford Falls theatre? F Sources:,,, http:// Answers: 1. The Greatest Gift 2. Ingrid Bergman 3. Pine Tree, Vermont 4. Fred Astaire 5. Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol 6. Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version) 7. Dudley 8. Meet Me in St. Louis 9. food writer 10. Annette Funicello 11. Linus quotes Luke 2:8-14 12. four (spirit of Jacob Marley, ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come). 13. White Christmas 14. Aaron 15. The Bells of St. Mary’s


he holiday season brings about fun, excitement and plenty of busyness. It can be enjoyable to take a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping and kick back and watch a classic holiday film. I am referring to Christmas movies from 1940s-1960s. It’s a Wonderful Life is one those heart-warming hits. Ironically, when it was released in theatres in 1946 it performed poorly at the box office. Over the years, it has, however, come to be regarded as a classic and is a staple of Christmas television. An angel named Clarence shows frustrated businessman George Bailey what life would have been like if he never existed. The film was produced and directed by Frank Capra and it starred James Stewart and Donna Reed. Miracle on 34th Street opened in 1947. Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus. Gwenn won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. The film also starred Maureen O’Hara and a young Natalie Wood. Another 1947 holiday movie is The Bishop’s Wife, which featured Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. Remember the Night is a 1940 American romantic comedy/drama Christmas film which showcased Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. Five years later, Stanwyck starred in another holiday flick Christmas in Connecticut. Actor Bing Crosby had his share of Christmas films. They included Holiday Inn in 1942 and The Bells of St. Mary’s in 1945, and White Christmas in 1954. Both films featured songs composed by Irving Berlin. In White Christmas, Crosby and Danny Kaye portrayed a pair of famous performers whose quest was to help out their old Army general. It co-starred Rosemary Clooney and VeraEllen. Holiday Affair opened in theatres in 1949; it featured Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. A Christmas Carol premiered in 1938 and Scrooge was released in 1951; this Charles Dickens’ tale was repeatedly remade numerous times under various different titles. Disney’s Babes in Toyland premiered in 1961. Shortly after, there was a surge of short holiday TV films – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1966), Cricket on the Hearth (1967), The Little Drummer Boy (1968) and Frosty the Snowman (1969).

Northern Connection | December 2014



How Do You Put the FUN in Dysfunctional? BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON


o you ever feel like a wishbone during the holidays? People pulling and tugging at you from all sides until you think you are going to split right down the middle? I sure do. On the one hand, I’m so touched and honored that people want to spend time with me and (or) my husband; but on the other hand, making time for everyone and making sure that it is “fair,” I believe, can be one of the biggest stressors around the holidays. People making demands on your time and insisting that it’s because they love you the most, much more than those other people who are making demands on your time – is a


strange phenomenon to be sure. The love vibes make you or your loved ones feel warm, cozy and, let’s face it, obligated. If you are like me, you hate letting loved ones down or disappointing any one, especially over the holidays and especially when all they want is to spend time with you, but there just isn’t enough hours in the day to possibly make everyone happy. What do you do? Do you have any advice for those that are feeling like a wishbone and reaching the breaking point? For instance, have you established rules and boundaries? Do you switch-off years? Do you eat two dinners? A brunch and two dinners? What have you found that works for you and yours? Let’s Continue the Conversation on my blog at and discuss options, ideas, suggestions and more for finding the “fun” in dysfunctional. F

Northern Connection | December 2014

The Little Sisters of the Poor


he Little Sisters of the Poor are once again offering Christmas Cards sketched by Sister Martha, lsp. This year’s sketch is green on a cream card. Last year’s card is also available. The cards are: 7 for $10 (plus $1.50 shipping), 12 for $15 (plus $2.00 shipping) or 30 for $25 (plus $5.00 shipping). Cards can be ordered online at www. or by calling (412) 3071100, or sending a check made payable to Little Sisters of the Poor at 1028 Benton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 or stopping at the Main Entrance of the Home. All proceeds from the sale of the cards helps to support the elderly poor Residents in the Little Sisters care. F

Northern Connection | December 2014




Northern Connection | December 2014

Saint Alexis

Catholic Church Come Home to Christ This Christmas!

Christmas Eve Masses

December 24, 2014 4:00 p.m. Children’s Choir 7:00 p.m. LIFETEEN Mass 10:00 p.m. Adult Choir and Handbell Choirs (Prelude 9:30 p.m.)

Christmas Day Masses December 25, 2014 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. – Handbell Duo 11:00 a.m. – Harp

Sacrament of Penance Wednesday, December 17, 2014 7:00 p.m. _______________

Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 7:30-7:50 a.m. Saturday: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon _______________

Eucharistic Adoration Wednesday Evenings 7:30 p.m. _______________

Weekday Masses

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:00 a.m. Friday: 8:30 a.m. _______________

10090 Old Perry Highway Wexford, Pennsylvania 15090 724.935.4343

Northern Connection | December 2014


IMAGE & STYLE December 2014

Hot Holiday Hair & Makeup Quick Tips BY KELLY SMITH


rom decking the halls to shopping the malls, another great way to get into the holiday spirit is with festive style! Fabulous holiday hair and makeup need not be a hassle and in most cases can be done in just minutes – as long as you know a few tricks. Between sending out the Christmas cards, wrapping all those presents and navigating through all of the hustle and bustle that December always brings, be sure to take a few minutes to focus on yourself and look your best at that next party or holiday event.

Silky skin -- it takes only a minute to moisturize from head to toe. This time of year why not slather on a bit of sparkle? Start at your neck and work down from there. Any brand of body shimmer will do but use sparingly- you want to shimmer, not shine. Gorgeous nails now -- if you’re in a pinch and you’re hands have seen better days, take just a few minutes to pamper your mitts. Remove old polish and grab a handful of sugar topped with a few tablespoons of lemon juice and gently scrub under running warm water for a minute. The sugar will act as an exfoliant while the lemon will clean and brighten your nails. Apply a generous amount of hand cream and voila! No time for color polish? Get an instant gloss by slapping on a 30 second clear coat- no excuses for this one! Evening eyes -- is there anything more glam than a set of smoky eyes? You can perfect this look by practicing ahead of time but if you’re pressed for time try a dry eyeliner (instead of liquid) or dark eyeshadow to create that line and get it as close to the upper lash as possible. Use a shade lighter than your liner on your lids and be sure to wing outwards for a dramatic look. Finish off the drama with thickening mascara and you’ve got yourself one set of fierce eyes to be envied! Gold rush -- Gold is the word this season and it can be applied just about anywhere but DO choose only one feature to highlight or risk blending in with the holiday décor! I like a touch of gold under the eyes but another fun way to show off some sparkle is on our lips. Yes, really! Try adding just a dab on top of your usual


Northern Connection | December 2014

lip color and watch it set off a flurry of compliments. You can also get your nails in on the act as well as a gold bronzer across the chest and décolletage. Speed hairstyles that work -- when in doubt, go for the ponytail. There are endless ways to make this classic style work for you! You can go with a high sleek back style (don’t forget the “pouf” on top!) or the haphazardly pulled back loose pony tail. A classic chignon is always a party stopper and it really shows off a nice set of arms and shoulders! This look is very easy to do and only takes minutes. Start by loosely tying back all of your hair in a band then wrap your hair around the band and fasten it with a few bobby pins. Always throw in some flair- a beaded hair pin, a sparkly barrette or even a silky ribbon to name just a few. With the looser pulled back looks try pulling out just a few strands to have some face framing tendrils. If you crave curls, throw in a few Velcro rollers, spray all over with hairspray then power up the blow dryer for 30 seconds and watch those curls really set! The holidays are the perfect time of year to really add some extra sparkle and shine to yourself and your wardrobe. Take full advantage of it after all, it’s the only time of the year where gaudy and classy can be used in the same sentence. Let yourself shine at your next holiday party but not so much that you blend in with the tree! Happy Holidays! F

Northern Connection | December 2014


HEALTH & WELLNESS December 2014


The Key to Being Healthy Even When Gluten-Free BY JOELLA BAKER


ver the years of working with athletes, I’ve heard of all kinds of diets. Lately, the main diet is “Going GlutenFree.” As someone who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, going gluten-free isn’t easy and it’s certainly not a way to lose weight. I can tell you that since going gluten-free, I’m eating healthier than ever but I’ve gained weight. I admit, I feel so much better, but I’m not any thinner or lighter. This phenomenon made me think of what other myths are out there. I’ve heard it all, cleansing diets, metabolism boosting diets, the Paleo diet, Weight Watcher’s, Jenny Craig and more. All of these diets recommend eating healthier, eating fewer calories, eating as many NATURAL foods as possible, cutting back on sugars and carbohydrates and most of all, exercising. This is the biggest myth of all. You can’t lose weight and keep it off without balance in your life. That means changing what you’ve been doing, cutting back on bad foods, eating smaller portion sizes and exercising. If you want to lose weight and make a change in your life, answer these questions... • How many calories do you take in each day?

• How many calories do you burn in a day? • How many glasses of water do you drink every day? • How much alcohol do you drink each day or each week? • Do you drink soda pop or diet soda? • How many fruits and vegetables do you eat in a day? • How often do you exercise? • Are you exercising at least 1 hour a day? All of these questions will tell you if your lifestyle is out of balance. To balance: You must drink a glass of water every morning when you wake up to rehydrate your body. This should be at room temperature. Drink water throughout the day and drink a glass before every meal. It will help to fill you up so you eat less. Do not drink soda or diet soda. Soda is too high in sugar and calories and diet soda makes you crave sugars. You end up eating more when you drink diet soda. How much alcohol do you drink? Beer is full of sugars, carbohydrates and calories. Wine is lower in calories than beer but can still pack on the pounds if not drank in moderation. The worst part about drinking alcohol, especially with the holidays

My Journey to Wellness BY AMY SOERGEL


n 2007 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and my life was completely changed. Having battled with multiple digestive disorders for over 10 years, I was relieved to find out that a gluten-free diet was the answer to my health problems. Knowing I was not alone and unable to easily find the products I needed, I felt moved to establish Naturally Soergel’s as a one-stop-shop for gluten-free, allergen-free and organic, natural products. Along with my personal journey has come a fulfilling educational one, as well. I studied public health at Johns Hopkins University and then went on to get my Masters in Public Health in epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, I became a holistic health counselor through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, glean-


Northern Connection | December 2014

coming, is when you drink, you tend to make bad food decisions. Fruits and veggies give you nutrients and vitamins in their PUREST form. The more colors on your plate, the better. Putting them in smoothies is the perfect way to start your day. I prefer to eat mine raw or cooked. I eat fruits and veggies with every meal. Exercise is critical to weight loss. More importantly, it’s critical to your overall health. If you can fit in 30-60 minutes of exercise every day, you will be on the road to better health. You will lower your cholesterol, improve your blood pressure and if you improve your diet, you will lose weight. My favorite app is My Fitness Pal. It’s free, easy to use and tells you if you are in a calorie deficit which is the only way to lose weight. However, don’t get caught up in just losing weight. Changing your body composition and getting more toned is critical to good health. The biggest myth is that losing weight and getting healthy is easy. It’s not easy at all. It takes a great deal of discipline, commitment and a lot of hard work. You must challenge yourself. Are you up for the challenge? F

ing knowledge from the “greats,” including Walter Willet, Marion Nestle, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and others. I provide counseling services for those who would like to learn more about their health, nutrition, and perhaps gain a better understanding of what wellness and health means to them. We welcome you to stop in, check out the store, and ask questions! Along with myself, everyone is here to help you and make you feel comfortable as soon as you step into the store! F

Coming in February


Soergels Farm Market 2573 Brandt School Road Wexford, PA 15090 724.935.1743

Reserve Your Ad Space Today!

Call Laura or Mary at 724-940-2444

Northern Connection | December 2014


Dr. William Bentz


Dr. Daniel Grob

Dr. Tad Scheri

Dr. Mark Woodburn

Dr. Eric Griffin

Northern Connection | December 2014


5 Things Your Chiropractor Wishes You Knew... BY DR. SHANNON THIEROFF


’m always committed to helping people “live in bodies that work properly.” I’ve been thinking about some of the behaviors and thoughts that both chiropractors and patients have around the process of healing the body and maintaining health. I’ve had the hindsight to wish that I had shared some of these tips with patients, ahead of time, because I think it would help them get even better results. You’re all Different and We’re all Different The practice of chiropractic allows for the use of a lot of tools. Your experience can vary a lot from office to office. Some doctors will be very wellness-based and others more pain-based. Some will focus on adjustments and others on nutrition, rehabilitative exercise, or soft tissue treatment. Please be clear with us about what “speaks” to what you think is right for your body and mindset. If we can match that up, you’re more likely to get good results and be in a good doctor-patient relationship. Chiropractic is Not a “Magic Bullet” Though chiropractic is exceptionally effective and safe, it’s not an instantaneous result. The importance of stressing this recently became apparent to me when I had a series of conversations around

the maintenance of spinal health. Most clients come to us with a spinal condition (pain, arthritis, dysfunction etc.), we’re When Doctors and Patients are Partners, typically operating Real Results Happen. with a non-perfect spinal system. And that’s okay… a lot of us have these issues. What’s interesting though, is that with other body problems like a heart condition, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. People will understand that periodic check-ups, adjustment to treatment plans or medicines etc. are completely normal. In fact, it’s expected. It’s just not right to think that the spine, which absorbs a massive amount of stress daily, will just sustain good function without periodic attention. It’s More than “Popping Your Back” The big idea behind chiropractic is that the nervous system affects every body function. It just happens to be surrounded by spinal bones as it originates and branches out to the body. The adjustment is to remove interference from that amazing system that controls every body function 24/7. So if you wonder if the adjustment affects ______. The answer is that the nervous system affects everything. What You do Outside of our Office Matters If you really want awesome results that last, you have to be aware of what you’re doing that helps and hurts you. Making good decisions about how you use your body, whether you exercise, what you feed yourself and how you sleep, all play out in how healthy you are. Your adjustments hold better when you do the right things. Is it work? Absolutely. But you’re worth it. Your Body is Dynamic and It Changes to Stay Alive The body is adaptive. Prolonged exposure to negative stressors like physical trauma, stressful emotions, and chemical toxins produce an internal environment that can be inflamed and hypersensitive. Prolonged exposure to positive tools such as good nervous system function, less stress and good nutrition will help the body restore balance and function over time. You cannot rush or trick the body into doing this, you have to be patient and consistent. If you’re ready to stop dealing with pain or health conditions that limit you we should talk. Taking the first step to see if chiropractic can help is an easy, pain-less exam. Visit our website or call to schedule. F

Brought to you as a Public Service by:

Choice Chiropractic & Wellness Center, P.C. Dr. Shannon Thieroff and Associates McKnight (412) 364-9699 Harmar (412) 826-9030 We are your “in-network” provider Like us on Facebook

Northern Connection | December 2014


HEALTH & WELLNESS December 2014




or many people, the holiday season may be likened to Ebenezer Scrooge’s terrifying, ghostly journey of remorseful visitations to Christmas past, present and future. This is especially true of those suffering with eating disorders and other types of food and dieting obsessions. Instead of joyous anticipation of festivity and fellowship, feelings of anxiety, remorse, depression and fear begin to creep in beginning around Thanksgiving and lasting through New Year’s Day. Certainly, the great abundance of elaborate foods, candies and cookies can create an atmosphere of terror, but the real stress may be caused by more complex fears than those triggered by simple external cues. People who develop food and body size issues often are preoccupied with perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. While striving for a perfect performance, perfect appearance, perfect relationship, and perfect holiday, holidays become a set-up for disappointment and failure. Expectations about achievements may far exceed what reality can provide and, consequently, many find themselves walking through a nightmare of self-defeating hopelessness. For most of us, holidays do carry with them memories and anticipation of celebrations past, present and future. For some, the images are cheerful pictures of joy, fulfillment and warm

companionship while for others, the pictures are Group Services desolate memories of sadIntensive Outpatient ness, disappointment and Program (IOP) emptiness. These recollec5:30-8:30 PM, M/W/Th tions may form the basis Therapy Group of what is expected in 6-8 PM, weekly Tuesdays the present. Although we cannot change the experiFamily Only Group ences of the past, we can, 7:30-9 PM, second Tuesday like Scrooge, take lessons of the month from the past in order to Psycho-educational manifest a better future. Support Group Staying in the present 7-9 PM, fourth Monday of moment and concentrating the month on the positive can allow Contact Anita at 412-215-7967, one to have a more, or www. ing and less fearful holiday season. The following suggestions can help make the ‘ghosts be gone’ forever: • Realize that perfect holidays exist only in the media and fairy tales. Adjust your expectations to more realistic levels in order to avoid disappointments. • Role play stressful situations that may arise during the season. By utilizing new coping skills and problem solving techniques, you will not be caught off guard. • Keep your holiday commitments to a manageable level. Feeling tired, overwhelmed and overextended will affect your ability to have positive experiences with others and keep your eating behaviors under control. • Restructure negative thoughts and attitudes into a more positive and realistic framework. Learn to look ahead with hope while staying grounded in the present. Pay attention to what you have enjoyed and accomplished rather than focusing on what went wrong. Anita Sinicrope Maier, MSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorders and trauma and director of Footsteps for Recovery. Individual, family, and group services are available as well as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at the 4801 McKnight Rd. location. For information contact Anita at 412 215-7967,, or


Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014



Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014


HEALTH & WELLNESS December 2014

Kids Plus Pediatrics and Staying Active in Winter


ids Plus Pediatrics has been around for over 30 years, with locations in Pleasant Hills, Squirrel Hill/Greenfield and Cranberry/Seven Fields. The practice, is physicianowned, family-focused and almost all of the physicians have children. Dr. Lucas Godinez, a Kids Plus Doc since 2004, spends a lot of time being active, so his expertise on keeping kids active in winter is both personal and professional. According to Dr. Godinez, “The dark, cold days of winter can lead to an imbalance with physical activity. It’s essential to remain active to keep your body’s metabolism elevated and to decrease the risk of converting it to a storage body. The recommended activity is at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day -- preferably in minimal intervals of twenty minutes.  At minimum, achieve a goal of 3 days per week.” Dr. Godinez offers the following list of activities to keep it all fun and effective:  • OUTDOORS - Dress in layers and breathe some fresh air while walking park trails, sledding, skating, snowshoeing, or skiing. Remember safety first!  • GO TO AN INDOOR FACILITY TO KEEP MOVING - These places include your local YMCA, an ice rink, an indoor swimming pool, a local school gymnasium, a bowling alley, a local library, or the nearest shopping mall. Activities like basketball, soccer, ice-skating, swimming, rock climbing, walking/climbing stairs, and exercise machines. Consider instructional classes like dance, martial arts, yoga, zumba, and gymnastics.  • AT HOME - Be creative and, again, keep it fun. Dance, do jumping jacks, squats, sit ups, push-ups, run in place, have a short pillow fight, play musical chairs/sofas and active games like Simon says, Red light/ Green light, Twister, Hopscotch, Helicopter, Shadow Shadow, and Chase. • CLEANING THE HOUSE (Yes, really!)- You can make it fun by playing music and dancing while getting the chores done together. • “EXERGAMING” - Video games that require physical movement.  Kids Plus Pediatrics schedules same-day sick visits seven days and four nights a week and offers no-appointment necessary walk-in hours five mornings and four evenings a week. At the new Cranberry office, Kids Plus also offers allday, no-appointment necessary, walk-in hours. Kids Plus Pediatrics accepts all major and most minor health insurances. Kids Plus Pediatrics is also currently accepting new patients. For more information on the practice, visit their website at or their Facebook page. F


Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014


Catholic Schools REGISTER NOW

Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh (Gibsonia)

Head of School: Leslie Mitros 724-444-0722

Assumption School (Bellevue) Principal: Mary Ann Miller 412-761-7887

Butler Catholic School (Butler) Principal: Sister John Ann Mulhern, C.D.P. 724-285-4276

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School (Cranberry Twp) Principal (Interim): Sister Patrice Hughes, SC 412-321-4823 Ext. 127

Central Catholic High School (Oakland) Principal: Brother Robert Schaefer, FSC 412-208-3400

Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy (Aspinwall) Principal: Mr. Mark Grgurich 412-781-7927

Holy Sepulcher Catholic School (Middlesex Twp)

Principal: Sister Anna Marie Gaglia, CSJ Phone: 724-586-5022

Northside Catholic School (Brighton Heights) Principal: Rosanne Kwiatkowski (412)761-5043

Oakland Catholic High School (Oakland)

President: Mary Claire Kasunic 412-682-6633

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (Coraopolis) Principal: Tim Plocinik 412-262-3300

Providence Heights Alpha School (McCandless)

Principal: Margaret Ruefle M.ED.M.S. 412-366-4455

Quigley Catholic High School (Baden) Principal: Mrs. Rita McCormick 724-869-2188

Catholic Schools Week is J 40

Northern Connection | December 2014

of the Pittsburgh Diocese

for the 2015-2016 School Year Saint Alexis Catholic School (Wexford)

Saint James School (Sewickley)

Saint Sebastian School (Ross)

Saint Alphonsus (Wexford)

Saint Joseph High School (Natrona Heights, PA)

Saint Teresa of Avila School (Perrysville)

Saint Kilian Parish School (Cranberry Twp)

Saint Ursula School (Allison Park)

Saint Mary (Glenshaw)

Vincentian Academy (North Hills, PA)

Principal: Mr. Jim Correll 724-935-3940

Principal: Mr. Robert Reese 724-935-1152

Saint Bonaventure (Glenshaw)

Principal: Jacqueline B. Easley 412-486-2606

Saint Gregory School (Zelienople) Principal: Erin Harris 724-452-9731

Principal: Sister Christy Hill, CSJ 412-741-5540

Principal: Beverly K. Kaniecki (724) 224-5552

Principal: Mrs. Jane Pampena 724-625-1665 Ext.2101 Principal: Antoinette Pilarski 412-486-7611

Principal: Dr. Patricia Thomas 412.364.7171

Principal: Dr. Michael J. Pendred II 412-367-9001 Ext. 530

Principal: Sr. M. Joanita Fedor, S.C.N. 412-486-5511

President: Mr. John Fedko Principal: Mrs. Kelly Lazzara 412-364-1616

January 25–January 31

Northern Connection | December 2014


KIDS & EDUCATION December 2014

School Movers & Shakers Pine Richland The following Pine-Richland students were recognized as outstanding Students of the Month at AW Beattie Career Center. They are: Edward Kratochvila, Kyrra Bosland and Alexander Wilson.

North Allegheny North Allegheny Senior High School Speech & Debate program has earned sig-

nificant recognition from the National Speech & Debate Association. NASH was named #9 out of more than 3,000 schools nationwide for the 201314 school year.

Seneca Valley A team of Seneca Valley students were chosen for 2014 PMEA Honors Choir.

Seneca Valley School District received a $10,000 grant from the Highmark Foundation to provide programming that focuses on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program survey for students in grades 3-12. The Seneca Valley Academic Games Team earned a host of awards during the Presidents Tournament. Haine Middle teams placed third, fourth, fifth and sixth. HMS also had eight national qualifiers. The Seneca Valley Middle School had five students qualify in the President’s Tournament. Seneca Valley Special Education director Gerald Miller has been appointed as board president for the Gaiser Center, a residential inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility in Butler. Seneca Valley freshman Jack Reynolds was named an honorable mention winner in the 2nd Annual Expressions of Courage competition presented in partnership with Jameson Health System and the New Castle YMCA.

Gerald Miller

Farmers National Bank of Jack Reynolds Emlenton officials donated a $3,500 check to the Seneca Valley Foundation through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program grant. Haine Middle School demonstrated their community support by collecting $2,486.98 last month to donate to the Superhero Foundation for abused children.

Fox Chapel Seven Fox Chapel Area High School students were selected to perform with the 2014 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Honors Band. They are: Jennifer Mountz, Olivia Van Dyke, Yelim Lee, Philip Swigon, Thomas Swigon, Benjamin Franks-Meinert and Elizabeth Mountz. Two Fox Chapel Area High School students placed at the University of Pittsburgh Model United Nations (UN) conference. Rohan Chalasani and Jeremy Rodrigues won second place on the African Union committee. A team of Kerr Elementary School fifth grade students were named the winners of the 2014 Fox Chapel Area School District “Battle of the Books” Tournament. The winning team members were Danielle Horne, Ellie Peterson, Sophie Pilarski and Izabella Stern. Dorseyville Middle School eighth grader Annika Urban has been named a winner in the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS National Science Fair STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Math).

La Roche College Elementary students from Providence Heights Alpha School visited La Roche College on Nov. 7 to participate in a variety of hands-on activities led by faculty, staff and students.


Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014


Shaler Shaler Area High School welcomes Shaler Township Police Officer Frank Spiker as the district’s first school resource officer.

Frank Spiker

St. Sebastian Saint Sebastian School forensics team participated in the first southwestern Pennsylvania Forensics League season meet at St. Alexis School. The team placed second out of ten schools. Winners were: Mary Doerfler, Isabella Kunsak, Xavier Moskala, Samantha Gruber, Kate Wells, Emma Sennott, Sarah Berger, Sydney Ryan, Luca Consalvi, Nicholas Weising, Lauren Gaertner, Antonio Battista, Dana Schaich, Carlie Kreutzer, Lauren Lutz, Sarah Petrunia, Savannah Powers, and Rachel Rombach.

Saint Alexis Saint Alexis School hosted a Holocaust survivor on Nov. 3, Fritz Ottenheimer, a German native who escaped Holocaust, only to return as a member of the U.S. Army. Saint Alexis School Development Soccer Team, grades 2nd-4th finished the regular season undefeated, giving up only three goals all season.

CCAC Community College of Allegheny County North Campus Golf Team finished the season as runnersup at both the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference Championship and Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association Championship. Team members are: Austin Sicilia, John McCabe, Tom O’Toole, Nick Matelan and Justin Cormack. In addition, Silicia, McCabe and O’Toole were named to the All-Conference, All-State teams for their athletic achievements.

St. Vincent College Dr. Matthew A. Fisher, associate professor of chemistry at Saint Vincent College has been selected as one of the 2015 recipients of the ACS’s Committee on Environmental Improvement award for exemplary contribution to the incorporation of sustainability into chemical education. Saint Vincent College inducted five freshmen as Fred Rogers Scholars. The inductees are: Lauren Campbell, Joshua Centore, Jennifer Haseleu, Noah Keys and Marla Turk. Dr. Daniel Vanden Berk, associate professor of physics at Saint Vincent College has been named by Thomson Reuters to its list of Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) which recognizes him among the world’s most highly-cited authors.


Northern Connection | December 2014

Dr. Daniel Vanden Berk


The Robert M. Mill Labor Management Lecture Series Bringing Positive Attitudes and Skills to Labor and Management BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON


ommunity College of Allegheny County is home to the incredibly popular and innovative Robert M. Mill Lecture Series which was developed to recognize and enhance the understanding of labor-management relations and economic development in western Pennsylvania. Its guest speakers and panel participants feature labor and industry leaders from both locally and around the world. Offered in conjunction with CCAC’s Labor & Management Institute, The Robert M. Mill Labor Management Lecture Series embodies a series of two to three-hour interactive sessions designed to enhance the understanding and recognition of the large role labor unions and labor relations have played in forming our great region. The lecture series, CCAC’s Labor & Management Institute, and the Labor & Management Studies (LMS) Certificate CCAC Alumnus Robert M. Mill Program are all ideas championed by CCAC alumnus Robert M. Mill (’73 & ’98) who believes in the benefits of accessible education aligned with business and labor relations. According to Mr. Mill, “Western Pennsylvania is incredibly unique in the positive ways labor and management work together in a cooperative effort. We are proud to welcome leaders in both labor and management, locally as well as internationally, to share their experiences and insight with the many attendees that represent various walks of life including, business, government, and academia.” Robert M. Mill was a member of the first class of CCAC in 1966 and became the first student government president. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1972 at only 23 years old and was the youngest member ever to be appointed. He continued in that role until 1997, holding the office of the chair of the Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1987. Robert M. Mill has spent most of his career working with organized labor in various roles as a trustee, third-party administrator and with Highmark Blue-Cross as Highmark’s vice presi-

New Column Coming! Beginning with our January 2015 Education issue, Northern Connection magazine will feature a new monthly column entitled, “Educators Making a Difference.” These educators may include, teachers, teaching assistants, instructors, counselors and administrators. If you would like an educator or educators to be included in this feature, please submit a short bio of accomplishments plus why they are “Educators Making a Difference” along with a headshot plus photos with students for each submission. We will highlight a few educators in each issue. This feature article will appear: • In the print version of the magazine

dent of Labor Affairs for 17 years, then served as vice president of Executive Relationship Management until his retirement in 2013. Mill has received multiple college awards, including being named a 1998 CCAC Lifetime Legend and, with wife Candace, being recognized as 2009 CCAC Distinguished Alumni and Friends. The next lecture of the Robert M. Mill Lecture Series is “From Conflict to Collaboration: The compelling story of Golden Living (formerly Beverly Enterprises, Inc.) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that moved from an adversarial relationship to a transformative working environment.” The lecture will be presented at the Foerster Student Service Center Auditorium at the CCAC Campus on the North Side on December 10 at 2:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. The lecture series events are FREE and open to the public. Reservations are requested by Monday, December 8. CEUs are available. For more information or to register, contact 412.237.4412 or Free parking is available. To learn more about the Robert M. Mill Lecture Series, the Labor & Management Institute and the Labor & Management Studies Certificate Program, visit the CCAC website at F

• On our very popular website, • In “NC on the Go,” our digitized version of the magazine downloadable to mobile devices including laptops, tablets, iPads, Kindle and Nook readers. • Plus shout-outs on our various social media venues and e-marketing reach • Through our own mobile app that will be available 1st quarter of 2015. If you know of an educator making a difference, contact us by emailing or calling 724-940-2444. F

Northern Connection | December 2014


KIDS & EDUCATION December 2014

Innovations in the Classroom BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON

In this, our final installment on Innovations in the Classroom for 2014, we are highlighting a few additional innovative ways schools and educators in our area have implemented programs, technology and methodologies into their classrooms. Due to the popularity of this column, all previous columns from our monthly issues are now available on our website at under the Education tab for your quick and easy reference. This month’s highlights are: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School and Saint Kilian Parish School – Collaboration and cooperation lead to innovation. CWNC is located directly across the street from Saint Kilian Parish School (SKPS) and in conjunction with Election Day, brought about the first (of many future to come) opportunity for a wonderful enrichment experience for both the CWNC and SKPS students. On Wednesday, Nov. 5th in celebration of election week, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic students from Mrs. Kellie Makar’s AP American Government and Politics class paid a visit to the fifth grade class at Saint Kilian Parish School in Cranberry Township to share their original children’s books on the formation of the United States government with the fifth grade students. Mrs. Makar’s class,

comprised of mostly tenth grade students who are accelerated learners and leaders in their community, were tasked with a six week, holistic assignment outside the classroom environment requiring them to produce a twenty page bound children’s book telling the tale of the formation of the United States government. The high school students were very excited to share their results with the fifth grade who were excited to have them visit and very much enjoyed the enrichment experience and learning more about the US government. To learn more about these innovative schools, visit and Early Years Child Care Centers – All four Early Years Centers are equipped with Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and tablets. According to owner Maureen Bergdahl, “We take a cautious approach on how much new wave technology is used in our classrooms. Nothing can take the place of face to face personal interaction. However, we find that our teachers are able to enhance the children’s learning experiences because they are able to access the best practices and resources in the industry. Because our teachers reflect a diverse group of educators from the new and older generations, we believe they need time to play, learn and explore new technology in order to be comfortable and confident in the classrooms. Advanced technology in our centers has certainly made a positive effect on our teaching staff. Having access to wireless tablets in our centers has made it more accessible and convenient for our teachers to complete their professional development courses at our centers. But innovation in the classrooms doesn’t necessarily mean its always electronic media. There are many resources available in our community that also enhances the children’s learning experiences; you just have to go find them. For example The Carnegie Science Center has some amazing traveling museums that we utilize in our classrooms. Just for the asking. They are a wonderful and tangible tool used to enhance each child’s learning experience as every child learns differently. The more mediums they are exposed to, the better. I think that a balance of new and old, electronic and hands on experience provide for the best possible learning experiences.” To learn more, visit Shady Side Academy – Two new innovative highlights are going on at Shady Side Academy. First, is an Academy-wide sustainability and experiential learning initiative that includes organic garden plots at all three Shady Side Academy campuses known as the SSA Farm. The three gardens yield about 500 lbs. of fresh produce annually, which is used by the school cafeterias and sold at the weekly Fox Chapel Farmers Market on the Senior School campus. At the Senior School (grades 9-12) in Fox Chapel, a 4,000-square foot vegetable garden is tended by students who receive PE credit for working


Northern Connection | December 2014

on the farm in the fall and spring academic terms. The Middle School (grades 6-8) in Fox Chapel has eight raised garden beds, and students who choose Gardening as their spring athletic/activity option tend to the garden each afternoon. The Middle School recently received a $2,000 School Garden Grant from the Whole Kids Foundation to fund improvements to the garden. The Junior School (grades PK-5) in Point Breeze has five raised garden beds on campus and recently welcomed two egg-laying hens, Snicker and Doodle, which the students are helping to care for. Volunteers and student interns care for the three school gardens over the summer. The SSA Farm gardens are integrated into the curriculum at every campus. Second are the Middle School Science Lab Renovations Two science labs were completely renovated to bring the facilities up to par with the school’s dynamic science programs. The renovations to the sixth grade earth science lab and the eighth grade chemistry lab, which were made possible in part by a generous gift from Sharon and Jim Rohr, transformed them into more flexible spaces that better support SSA’s interactive, collaborative and project-oriented approach to teaching science. iPad storage units in each room support the integration of technology into the classroom and the school’s 1:1 iPad program. These new science facilities better support SSA’s robotics, rocketry and state championship Science Olympiad teams, as well. To learn more about this renowned, innovative school or to schedule a tour, visit F

Northern Connection | December 2014


SENIOR LIVING December 2014



s your house ready for Christmas? It seems as though the season starts earlier and earlier each year. By the time it actually gets here, it doesn’t seem to be so special anymore because we’ve been preparing for it since before Thanksgiving. I have to admit that this is a very special time of the year. Everyone is in a holiday mood and there are parties and you hear from friends you haven’t heard from since last year at this time. Of course, the children are really worked up over it.  I don’t remember going to see Santa Claus as a child although I’m sure that I did, but I definitely remember taking my sons to enjoy that experience. Now, I have grown up grandchildren and the very best part of the holiday for me is when we all get together for the day. We usually go to my older son, Tim’s home, where we have dinner and our gift exchange. I don’t need a lot of expensive gifts. I would rather they spend the money on each other and the grandchildren. I just thoroughly enjoy having the family together for the holiday.  I wish each of you a very merry Christmas and I hope that you receive what you are hoping for.  See you next year! F


Northern Connection | December 2014

Look for it wherever you find Northern Connection CALL now to reserve your advertising space for Fall 2014!


Northern Connection | December 2014


SENIOR LIVING December 2014


December Enchantment BY JOE BULLICK


ello everyone, can you believe that December, our twelfth month is here? I am trying to get over November, and 2014 is going to soon be history. People, who are determined to brighten our darkest month of the year, have created “Festival of Lights” ceremonies. This is also a time to commemorate the winter solstice and the return of the sun. As a young boy, I remember Mom was a busy soul during this month, baking cookies and addressing greeting cards to be sent out for the holidays. I think mom had

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more recipe books, and she loved using them. One of her favorites was American Cookery which was published in 1796. The publisher of this handy book was Amelia Simmons. This book motivated mom to compose a syllabub this time of the year. She wrote, “Sweeten a quart of cider with double refined sugar, grate nutmeg into it, then add your milk into your liquor.” Now, would your neighbor be impressed? Another thing I remember, about December is that Mom always had to take care of the birds in the winter months. She would say, “This is there Christmas present.” Mom would put different foods and place them at various heights. Most wild birds respond best to white millet and black oil sunflower seeds. I also remember, Christmas and December was a big time for me since we celebrate the birth of Christ. Mom would read this passage to me, “If the child like the joy of Christmas continued throughout the year how wonderful our lives would be with hope instead of fear. If the world would just receive him as they do one Christmas Day, every heart would glow with love, happiness would stay.” Another special person to commemorate in December is Saint Nicholas. He was the bishop of Turkey in the fourth century. In the spirit of the child Jesus, we remember Nicholas because he brings out our joy in giving and our gratitude in receiving. Then, there is the Christmas tree, which was introduced in the

Northern Connection | December 2014

United States by German settlers, in 1851. Christmas trees that were cut-down from the forest, and they began to be sold commercially in the United States in 1883. Sears & Roebuck & Company began selling the first artificial Christmas tree with 33 limbs for 50 cents, and 55 limbs for $1.00. In 1901 the first Christmas tree farm was started when W.V. McGalliard planted 25,000 Norway spruce on his farm in New Jersey. There are over 15,000 Christmas trees farms, and 100,000 full or part time jobs create by this industry. Indiana County in Pennsylvania has been known as the Christmas tree capital of the world. So as we look at December filled with love and gift-giving we also must remember things that happen in December. Pearl Harbor was bombed (Dec. 7) which marked the United States entry into World War II in 1941. The Boston Tea party occurred on Dec. 16, 1773. Human Rights Day is celebrated on Dec. 10, and Give Someone a Hug Day is commemorated on Dec. 4. Christmas is a time when candlelight and carols fill the air at our churches, and the glory of Christ child is observed. I leave you with this May you give generously to all you love And receive God’s Blessings in return this Christmas Day and throughout the coming New Year. – Classic English Christmas Card Verse

Happenings for Seniors Free Home Safety Inspection is available for seniors through the Open Your Heart to a Senior program. For info, call Cathy at (412) 307-0069, ext. 3313 or Free Rides for Seniors, to grocery stores, doctor’s appts & more thru St. Margaret’s Foundation. Pick up & drop off seniors in the corridors from Sharpsburg to Blawnox & Rt. 28 to the Allegheny River. Sign up by calling, (412) 449-0151. Free Services for Seniors through North Hills Community Outreach. Help with rides to medical appts., grocery stores, yard work. For info, call Cathy at (412) 307-0069 ext. 3313 or Kerry at (412) 4490151 to schedule an in-home registration visit. Home Instead Senior Care® is offering a unique approach to help area families in Northwest Allegheny County manage the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Free training is available for families at McKnight Meals on Wheels provides home delivered meals to the elderly, homebound and disabled. Services Ross Twp., Berkley Hills, Swan Acres & part of McCandless Twp. Call (412) 487-4088. Safety for Seniors will conduct FREE Home Safety Checks. For info, call Cathy, at (412) 307-0069 ext. 3313 or

Contact Rose at (724) 728-2563 or Janet at (724) 869-5339 for information.

Holiday Events Glenshaw AARP #3744 Christmas Dinner Party, 5 p.m., Dec. 9, Elfinwild Presbyterian Church, 3200 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. Entertainer: Jennifer Clayton. Pine-Richland Middle School Leaders Club will hold its annual Senior Citizen’s Holiday Dinner, 4 p.m., Dec. 11, 100 Logan Rd., Gibsonia. For info, call (724) 625-3111 x2373. Seneca Valley School District Senior Holiday Event, 12:30 p.m., Dec. 18, Seneca Valley Senior High School. Free, but required reservations. For info, (724) 452-6040, ext. 0 by Dec. 10.

Research UPMC Passavant Hospital Foundation is partnering with Dr. Elizabeth M. Venditti & her team of Univ. of Pittsburgh researchers to offer a free lifestyle/weight management program for older adults ages 65-80. The program is called Group Lifestyle Balance™. For info, call (412) 647-1845.

Seminars From Conflict to Collaboration, Golden Living Nursing Care Centers, 2 p.m., Dec. 10, CCAC Allegheny Campus, 808 Ridge Ave., Pittsburgh. For info, call (412) 237-4412 or

Volunteer Opportunities: North Hills Community Outreach’s Faith in Action program is seeking Senior Companion volunteers. For details, contact Nancy, at (412) 307-0069 or Pittsburgh Friendship Group is looking for volunteers to help visually impaired seniors. No experience is necessary. For info, call (724) 444-0064. St. Athansius Parish Education & Community Center (West View) & Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services need your help this tax season to provide tax preparation for low income individuals, families, the disabled & the elderly. If interested, call Frank at (412) 350-3463 or Snow shoveling for Seniors, volunteers are needed in all neighborhoods of Allegheny County. To register as a volunteer with Open Your Heart to a Senior, call (412) 307-0071 or email

UPMC Senior Communities offers independent living & personal care. For details, call 1-800-3245523.

Senior Meetings AARP Chapter #2991 meetings, 11:30 a.m., 3rd Thurs. (Dec. 18), basement of Northmont Church, intersection of Rt. 19 & Perrymont. Refreshments served at noon (for a nominal fee). New members are welcome. For info, call (412) 367-5718. Bereavement Support Group (for Widows/ Widowers over 50), 1-2:30 p.m., 2nd & 4th Wed., St. Sebastian, Haber Hall. To register, call (412) 366-1300. Cranberry Senior Citizens Club for residents 55+ meets at 1 p.m., the 2nd Tues., of the month in the Cranberry Municipal Center. Call (724) 816-4977 for info and programs. Friendship Groups for Visually Impaired, Men’s Group meets every Weds. 1-3:15 p.m., Knitting & Crocheting Circle meets every Weds., 1-3:15 p.m., Monthly Meeting 2nd Thurs. of each month 1:15-3:15 p.m., The Lunch Bunch meets 4th Thurs. of every month 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., The Talking Book Club meets 1st Mon. of each month 1-2:30 p.m. For info, call (724) 444-0064. Paramount Senior Living at Cranberry Alzheimer’s Affiliated Support Group meets the 1st Mon., of every month 6-8 p.m., and the last Fri., 1:30 p.m. Contact Pam, at (724) 779-5020.                  Primetimers, noon, first Thurs of the month, Christ Church Grove Farm, Ohio Twp. For info, call (412) 7414900 or visit

Entertainment & Social Events St. Alexis Over 50 Trips & Events, Dec. 10, Meadows & Lights at Oglebay; Dec. 20, Christmas Party.

Northern Connection | December 2014



CCAC’s Hockey Tournament Goal is to Assist Operation Troop Appreciation BY PAULA GREEN


wo hockey teams are joining forces for the benefit of a military program. The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) North Campus Intercollegiate Ice Hockey Team is hosting their seventh annual benefit game at 7 p.m., on Dec. 6 at the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center. These accomplished athletes will be facing-off against the Pittsburgh Celebrity Hockey Team. According to CCAC’s North Campus, athletic director, Charles Bell, “We have a nice line-up of local Pittsburgh personalities that will be playing for the celebrity team. They include – Brandon Hudson of WPXI, Mike Jax from WAMO Radio, Tab Douglas of Root Sports, and Paul Guggenheimer of WESA Radio will be the celebrity team’s goalie.” “The teams will play two, 20-minute periods. There will be no checking, it’s all for fun and all for a worthy cause. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit the Pittsburgh-based military group Operation Troop Appreciation,” added Bell. Operation Troop Appreciation is dedicated to the active and veteran members of our Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice for our country. During the game, all military members will be recognized along with the student veterans of CCAC. Local military dignitaries will be in attendance along with the U.S. Air Force Color Guard. “The Quilts of Valor will be on hand and they will giveaway two of their military quilts. CCAC’s seamstress and student, Taylor Bronowicz has custom-made, patriotic pillows for the event as well. A drawing will be held the night of the tournament, with lots of donated prizes that range from theatre tickets to Penguins items. All guests in


attendance will be given a complimentary Operation Troop Appreciation wristband” Bell said. The CCAC hockey team will be wearing special red, white and blue jerseys for the game that was specially designed by Bell. The jerseys may be purchased in adult and youth sizes for $50 from the CCAC North Campus Student Life office. Tickets for the game may be purchased at the Student Life office as well. They can also be purchased at the door, cost is $5. CCAC’s Ice Hockey Team has previously raised funds for the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, Crisis Center North, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Best of the Batch Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes. For more information, visit CCAC-Ice-Hockey-Team-Benefit-Game/. F We welcome brief biographies and photos of local servicemen and women from our community. If you know of someone you’d like to see featured in this column, please call (724) 940-2444 or mail the information to: Northern Connection Magazine, P.O. Box 722, Wexford, PA 15090-0722 or email

Northern Connection | December 2014

Northern Connection | December 2014


Profile for Northern Connection Magazine

Northern Connection Magazine December 2014 Issue  

Holiday Happenings in and around the Pittsburgh area McCandless Crossing Continuing to Grow in the North Hills National Nods to North Alleg...

Northern Connection Magazine December 2014 Issue  

Holiday Happenings in and around the Pittsburgh area McCandless Crossing Continuing to Grow in the North Hills National Nods to North Alleg...