November 2020 Issue Northern Connection Magazine

Page 1

November 2020


Passavant Hospital Foundation Shines a Spotlight on Our Health Care Heroes

Also... Family & Small Business Profiles Mayflower Trivia | Holiday Guide U.S. Marines Corps 245th Anniversary

A Community of Heroes Pages 20-21



Holiday Guide 8

Health & Wellness


11 Cover Story: Passavant Hospital Foundation shines a spotlight on our health care heroes 20 UPMC Senior Communities: A Community of Heroes

Family & Small Business Profiles


22 22 23 23 23 23 24 24 24 24 25 25

McGroarty & Bradburn Insurance, LLC SSB Bank Jewelry by Alicia & Scott Pups Playhouse Heyl Family Practice Elite Custom Fitness Rothrock’s Kung Fu & Tai Chi Landau Building Company Eichner’s Family Farm Colbert Law Katie’s Clay Kostilnik & Associates Graphics, Inc.

Kids & Education 27 Foster Love Project Janice Lane Palko

Advertorials 5

Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers Have Hope Dr. Shawn Richey

20 PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events usually featured in our Happenings and Senior Happenings have been cancelled. Therefore, we have not published those sections in the November issue. We will update our website when we learn of activities resuming. Also, it would be advisable to check with any business or organization hosting an event to make sure that it is still scheduled before venturing out.

In Every Issue... 4 From the Publisher Marion Piotrowski 7 Mover & Shaker of the Month: Jenna and John Sutton Paula Green


Facts From the Farm Ron Eichner


28 Support Our Troops: Marching into the United States Marines 245th Anniversary Celebration Paula Green 29 Trivia Connection: Mayflower Trivia Paula Green 30 From the Editor: What Is and What Will Never Be Janice Lane Palko


Welcome to the November Issue of Northern Connection Magazine!

NORTHERN CONNECTION P.O. Box 722, Wexford, PA 15090-0722

Phone: 724-940-2444 Fax: 724-940-2447 Email:


ith all the changes and turmoil that 2020 has brought us this year, I hope our holidays are filled with a deeper appreciation of the blessings we do have. As we observe Veterans Day, we want to thank all of those who have served this great country. All of us at Northern Connection magazine wish all of you a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! n

President & Publisher

Marion Swanson Piotrowski Laura Arnold

Executive Editor

Janice Lane Palko Managing Editor/ Public Relations Coordinator

Paula M. Green Marketing & Account Executive and Office Coordinator

Mary Simpson

Laura Lyn Arnold Marketing & Account Executive

Mary L. Simpson Design & Production

Kostilnik & Associates Graphics, Inc. Janice Lane Palko

Web Master

Swanson Publishing Company Core Writers

Paula Green

Belinda Burchick Ron Eichner Paula M. Green Janice Lane Palko

Northern Connection is published twelve times a year by Swanson Publishing Co., Inc. (P.O. Box 722, Wexford, PA 15090-0722, 724-940-2444) and is distributed free of charge to the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Subscription can be purchased from the publisher at $25 for one year. The mission of the Swanson Publishing Co., Inc. is to connect the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh by publishing the area’s finest community publication, Northern Connection. The publication is dedicated to the people, communities, educational, religious, travel, and recreational needs of the area. The contents of Northern Connection magazine may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Northern Connection magazine reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertisements that do not meet the standards of this publication.




Cindy P. As heard on KDKA

Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers Have


Get Your “ING” Back!

Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged or destroyed and can’t send messages to the muscles, skin and other parts of the body. Peripheral nerves go from the brain and spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs and feet. When damage to the nerves takes place, numbness and pain in these areas may occur. A specialized treatment protocol utilizing brand new technologies is available at the Neuropathy Treatment Centers of PGH. It includes the combination of very specific, non invasive, FDA approved and painless treatments that are designed to heal rather than just deal with the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Ray B. balancING again

Betty P.. walkING again

Dr. Shawn’s SUPERVISED, MONITORED and IN OFFICE program has a 90 percent satisfaction rate. With the experience of seeing over 5000 patients, he is able to tailor a specific and successful treatment plan for each individual to provide maximum results.

Peripheral Neuropathy symptoms can include: • Sharp Pains or Cramps in the Feet or Legs • Burning Pain in the Legs, Feet or Hands Take • Extreme Sensitivity to Touch PREQU our ALIFY ING • Loss of Balance or Coordination www.M SURVEY at aryDa ncedIn • Feelings of Walking on Pins and Needles .com • Weakness in the Arms and Legs • Numbness and Tingling or Pain in the Toes, Feet, Hands, Arms and Fingers • Dependency on Medications If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t wait till they get worse. Call today to schedule your FREE consultation.

The most rewarding change is I no longer suffer from electrical shocks in my feet especially prior to and during sleep. The anxiety caused by the anticipation of electrical shocks were horrible. Also, my numbness is gone and they are no longer freezing. I am walking, shopping, sleeping and walking bare foot again. My improvements are amazing, close to a miracle is all I can say. Fourteen years of suffering, fear of walking even in my own home, the dread of going to bed, tired of disappointing friends and family… ALL GONE!! All in the past!! A new me in 2020!! I’m already a walking advertisement. I have never been to any Doctor’s office where I felt more welcomed. It was more like family than a patient, welcomed with open arms. Everything is all up front and honest. Everything was explained and all questions were answered. I also made lifelong friends at the office that I’m going to miss seeing on a regular basis.

Neuropathy Treatment Centers of PGH Three Locations: Sewickley 2591 Wexford-Bayne Rd, Suite 207


Call for your FREE in office or phone consultation to begin your path to recovery. Call Dr. Shawn Richey at 724-940-9000 to schedule your time.

1385 Washington Rd., Suite 100

Visit us on Facebook under Neuropathy Treatment Centers of PGH and join our private support group (724) 940-9000

1901 Ligonier Street

Washington, Pa | NOVEMBER 2020


Is Pleased to Announce the Addition to Our Practice

Dr. Kristin L. Buterbaugh Dr. Kristin L. Buterbaugh is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity surgery, from shoulder to fingertips, in adults and children. Dr. Buterbaugh specializes in peripheral nerve surgery, arthritis surgery, traumatic conditions, and upper extremity reconstruction. Dr. Buterbaugh completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in American Studies. She attended the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY where she graduated with honors, and completed her Orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Buterbaugh will be seeing patients in both the Wexford and Beaver locations.

For more information, visit our website at Wexford 724-933-3850


Clairton 724-933-3850


Beaver 724-933-3850


Mover & Shaker of the Month

Jenna and John Sutton By Paula Green


very November 11, our country celebrates Veterans Day and pays tribute to American veterans—living and deceased. A local sister and brother Jenna and John Sutton have been honored by the Mars VFW auxiliary for their support of veterans. Jenna graduated from Mars Area High School this past spring, and John is a sophomore at the school. In 2018, the siblings started the “Cookies for a Cause” campaign, which benefits veterans living at St. John Specialty Care. “Every Saturday at the Mars Farmers Market, John and I sold cookies with the help of Mars student council. Approximately 60 members of the council participated by either baking cookies or selling them at the stand. In the first year, we raised $1,350. We collected $1,600 in 2019, and this past summer, we raised $1,452.75,” Jenna said. “I was inspired to start my fundraiser when I read Unbroken about Louis Zamperini. It is a true story about Louis, a WWII veteran and a prisoner of war by the Japanese. The book affected me; the horrors that Louis faced and his sacrifices for the U.S. made me feel grateful for my life. I knew that I needed to give back to the veterans in my community. I am appreciative of them and want them to know that they are not forgotten by younger generations. We donated all proceeds of Cookies for a Cause to the veterans at St. John Specialty Care Center. I know that I will never be able to repay them, but hopefully, the cookie stand helped them a bit,” Jenna added.

beehives, and John is the main beekeeper. Our small honey business is called Philosopher Lane Honey. All of our honey is local and can be bought pasteurized, raw, or even with honeycomb,” Jenna stated. Jenna is an honors student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in bioengineering. While she was a student at Mars, she participated in the student council and key club. Since John still attends Mars Area High School, he collaborates with the student council, so Cookies for a Cause can continue in future summers. He also runs track. n

Jenna worked part-time at Supremo’s Pizzeria over the summer, and they helped with the cause. “The owner, Don, gave us Supremo’s cards to help fundraise. From Supremo’s cards alone, I was raised $500 more than with only the cookie sales. In other words, 35% of our earnings this summer can be accredited to Don’s generosity. Don is well-known in Mars to support its local people. I would often receive phone calls from people wanting to thank him for something that he did, whether it was donating pizzas for a child with cancer or giving out free pizzas to first responders during the COVID-19 crisis,” Jenna said. “During the market, John and I had another stand in which we sold mostly bread and honey. Every week, we turned our house into a factory: French baguette, boule, pepperoni rolls, ham and cheese twists, and other baked goods. My family has | NOVEMBER 2020


2020 Holiday Guide

Facts from the Farm By Ron Eichner


i Folks! November is the last full month of fall each year. As we pass by Oktoberfest and Halloween, we start out with All Saints’ Day on November 1. All Saints’ Day is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honor of all the saints. Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, is a federal holiday observed annually on November 11 for honoring all of our military veterans for all their sacrifices and service to our United States, which has been key to protecting our freedom over the decades and centuries. Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday of November, and this year it will be celebrated on November 26. Thanksgiving is a word we can take in many directions and with my limited column, let’s focus on the turkey and trimmings. Rumor has it that “Zoom” is the thing to do to bridge our current events. If you “Zoom” the Thanksgiving feast and trimmings, click on the new option called “Smelly Vision,” so everyone can enjoy the festive smells of the Thanksgiving meal! The news media has been saying this past week that people will be needing smaller turkeys because of COVID. Well, people always like added value; if you need a 12-pound turkey, you can get an extra 30% of white and dark meat by purchasing a 24-pound turkey and cut it in half, bake one half and save the other half for another great turkey meal. A 12-pound turkey is still developing, and a 12-pound half turkey has much more breast meat. The half turkey isn’t a traditional whole turkey, but who makes a turkey and sets it on the table, so everyone just looks at it and eats all the holiday trimmings and side dishes? Most of our valued farm customers have been reordering their normal turkey weights, which are between 12 to 32 lbs. With all the abnormal events over the last nine months, it seems families are welcoming a traditional Thanksgiving. As a family farm producing over 500 farm fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving and over 100 for Christmas, we are committed to a 20-week program and process the turkeys at our farm to offer farm-fresh, not frozen, turkeys for the two holidays. The big turkey producers start processing in August and September each year and up to a week before the holiday, and most of the turkeys offered are sold frozen. I can raise our two flocks of turkeys; however, it takes 18 to 20 friends and family members to assist in the processing of each day of processing. Unlike how the large processors are robotic and automated, other than our one-bird feather picker, it is all handwork, the old-fashioned way. So, there are two paths to choose if you want about a 12-pound turkey: Buy a 12 pounder or buy a 24-pound one and split it in half to get 30 to 35% more meat. Feel free to stop by Eichner’s Whole Farm and Greenhouses and experience Farm Fresh at 285 Richard Road in Wexford and get the “rest of the story.” n













UPMC Senior Communities: A Community of Heroes UPMC Senior Communities is home to more than 3,000 older adults every day across Pennsylvania. Preserving their physical and social well-being since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic remains at the forefront of care across those campuses.


n this regard, UPMC Senior Communities benefits from the expertise of David Nace, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of UPMC Senior Communities. Dr. Nace is one of 25 national representatives selected to serve on the federal Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. He is considered an expert in the safe operation of senior residences during COVID-19. In constant communication with leadership and staff across all our facilities, Dr. Nace has likewise been engaged with thousands of residents and families via a series of tele-town halls that launched in March. Says Dr. Nace, “We are doing everything we can to ease our residents’ fears and treat them with compassion and kindness. It is equally important for residents’ families to know their loved ones are safe and protected.” Balancing physical safety with meaningful social engagement continues to drive daily operations, and staff and residents alike are embracing the challenge with creativity,



humor, and generosity of spirit, with wonderful result.

We love a parade

One thing we have been reminded of in this unforgettable time is that we love a parade! It’s a group activity that allows for connecting while still practicing proper physical distancing. Simply creating the opportunity to cheer and clap has been a wonderful release as well, for all involved. Our Seneca campus in Penn Hills hosted a “Salute to Mothers” vehicle parade on Mother’s Day weekend. More than 200 vehicles carrying family members, local car clubs, first responders, and community representatives drove throughout the campus to honor mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers living and working there. Vanadium Woods Village also held a kids’ parade on Father’s Day weekend to the delight of many, featuring younger grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. And Weatherwood Manor’s pet parade with costumed creatures as the featured attraction, provided a huge lift to residents and staff. Perhaps the most unique parade took place at Sugar Creek Station, our skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Franklin. Sugar Creek Station celebrated Father’s Day a

little early with a tractor parade. Since many of Sugar Creek Station’s residents are from rural areas, activities coordinator Joyce Moore thought such an event would evoke memories for many. Joyce drove her own 70 HP John Deere 6200 farm tractor to work that day and lined up for the parade that night. In all, there were six tractors, two side-by-side vehicles, three dogs, and one antique truck.

Celebrating life’s milestones

Across all our UPMC Senior Communities, we are celebrating life’s moments in new ways, developing fresh perspectives and renewed appreciation for those we love and the things we love doing. Birthdays receive their due in a variety of ways. Pauline of Sugar Creek Station celebrated her 103rd birthday while visiting with her family via video chat on an iPad. At Asbury Villas in Mt. Lebanon, Bill’s family celebrated his 91st birthday from the parking lot as he waved on from his third-floor apartment window. In Monroeville, Beatty Pointe Village resident Dorothy marked her 88th birthday with a hamburger lunch shared with her daughters, who joined her from the other side of the dining room windows. And cake was not in short supply when David and Myrna of Lighthouse Pointe Village in Fox Chapel marked their 65th wedding anniversary this spring. With visitation restricted due to the pandemic, the community provided them with a cake for the occasion to lend the proper sweetness.


Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, UPMC Senior Communities secured iPads for all sites as a means of virtual communication and socialization for residents. Benefactors also came forward to supplement the inventory of devices which have proven invaluable in bridging visitor restrictions necessitated by the crisis. Simultaneously, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reached out to offer the support of current students early in their training whose normal opportunities for clinical experience had been disrupted by the pandemic. Activities coordinators at several Senior Communities independent and assisted living campuses collaborated with a group of students to schedule virtual social visits with residents. Seneca Manor resident Bernie was one of the first to FaceTime with several students, including Jennifer Mihalo, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine MD candidate. Jennifer “knew it would be a fun way to spread some joy in a scary time.” She discovered in speaking with Bernie that he worked a large part of his career at the University of Pittsburgh. “He told me stories about some of the first women he knew who entered Pitt’s medical school when very few women were entering the medical profession,” Jennifer said. Deanne Thomas, activities coordinator at Seneca Manor, described Bernie as “more optimistic and happier” following these interactions. The residents of Cumberland Woods Village in Allison Park have been treated to a few physically distant, outdoor entertainment events during this time. The River City Brass Band Trio and Wally Merriman have visited for outdoor concerts. The residents have also been able to participate in outdoor sing-a-longs. “We all joined to sing together in our outdoor

plaza,” said Christine Cassese, life enrichment coordinator. The communities are also prioritizing ways to keep residents physically active. “One of our food service attendants who graduated college with an Exercise Science degree put together a physically distant Zumba class for residents,” Sherry Karafa, Seneca Hills Village concierge, said. “The residents were so excited to move around and exercise.” Doorway parties in resident hallways are all the rage at many campuses. Residents remain in their doorways but can see and interact with one another. The parties always include a special treat. “We want to ensure that all residents feel included and appreciated,” says Tricia Gill, activities coordinator at Lighthouse Pointe Village. Vanadium Woods Village in Bridgeville decided to take mask wearing in stride by having “Outlaw Days.” Complete with “Wanted” posters of notorious outlaws, a humble sheriff, and deputies around the facility, it was a fun day for residents. “Our activities director, Gina Straight, pulled off a great event!” David Ott, resident manager, said. “We all really enjoyed living in the Wild West for a day.”

Residents find ways to reach out

UPMC Senior Communities residents have a long history of reaching out to the larger community with acts of kindness. The COVID-19 pandemic has not tempered their generosity. Bob, a resident of Strabane Trails Village independent living in Washington, was watching the news recently when he was struck by the number of cars lined up and people waiting to receive food from a local food bank. “I thought of all of those kids and their parents without jobs and without food and I said, ‘I have to do something,’” Bob recalled. And he quickly set to it. Strabane staff helped Bob circulate a letter to the residents launching the effort in which Bob wrote, “We are all blessed at this time in our lives, with a great place to live and plenty to eat. Most of us don’t have to worry about next month’s rent or having food to eat.” In less than two weeks, the residents rallied to present more than $3,300 to the Greater Washington County Food Bank. n

For more information about UPMC Senior Communities, call 1-800-324-5523, visit, or follow us on Facebook. | NOVEMBER 2020



Family & Small Business P R O F I L E S There’s something special about a family or small business. Perhaps it’s because we like to see people working together for something larger than themselves. Perhaps we like to see how generations come together. Perhaps it’s because we like seeing a dream turn into a reality, and the family or small businesses we are featuring all started with someone having a good idea. Whatever the reason, Northern Connection is proud to feature these small and family businesses in this issue.

McGroarty & Bradburn Insurance, LLC McGroarty & Bradburn Insurance, LLC, is owned and operated by siblings Michael McGroarty, Jr. and Megan McGroarty, who purchased the agency from Mike McGroarty Sr. McGroarty Insurance Agency, Inc., was founded in 1926 by their grandfather, and it merged in 1989 with Bradburn Insurance Agency, which also had a long family history, having been founded in 1946. The company specializes in Auto, Home, Business & Life Insurance, and its employees are active members of Independent Insurance Agents of America, Professional Insurance Agents, Insurance Agents & Brokers, the Insurance Club of Pittsburgh, South West Communities Chamber of Commerce, and Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce to name a few. “We are a third- generation, family-owned business that considers our clients and team members as part of the family. Our No. 1 core value is ‘Do the right thing,’” said Michael McGroarty, Jr. “We help our clients find the right insurance coverage at the best price. We accomplish this by working with multiple, highly rated insurance companies and customizing a policy to meet your needs and budget.” (412) 444-4470 |

SSB Bank SSB Bank, Member FDIC, is a local community bank established in the Northside of Pittsburgh almost 100 years ago in 1922. Originally known as Slovak Savings Bank for its start in the basement of an old Slovak church, SSB Bank has grown from a Savings & Loan Institution to a comprehensive, full-service financial institution. Although they provide products and services to fit a variety of needs, small business banking is one of their specialties. From fee-free checking accounts to merchant services and remote deposit capability, SSB makes banking easy for business owners near or far. But rest assured, businesses and individuals alike are sure to receive a level of customer service they’ve never received before. SSB prides itself on their dedication to excellent customer service and ensuring that customers know what’s best for their financial needs. If you are looking for a local financial institution you can trust that will provide you the most competitive products and services, SSB Bank would love to be your new banking partner. 412-837-6955 |



Jewelry by Alicia & Scott Jewelry by Alicia & Scott is a husband and wife-owned jewelry business located in Wexford. They have over 20 years’ experience in custom design, fine jewelry, diamonds and gemstones. Modernizing their approach to the industry, Alicia & Scott’s custom jewelry is designed through CAD design with precision and only the finest materials. All setting work and repairs are done in-house so that nothing leaves their showroom. Alicia & Scott’s dedication to their craft and their clients shows through in every piece of jewelry they design. They are truly passionate about their clients and are thankful to be a part of their journey through life. Alicia has been designing jewelry and grading diamonds for the past 24 years. Scott has over 15 years in metal fabrication from aircraft to jewelry. Together, these two are an incredible team. Check out their Facebook and Instagram profiles to learn more about their designs and services. 724-934-6296 |

Pups Playhouse Pups Playhouse opened in July 2020 in Wexford. The owners, Judy and Craig Cipriani, spent over three years designing and implementing their ideas to create a place of recreation and relaxation for dogs. Pups Playhouse offers dog daycare, sleepovers, and grooming services. Judy is the primary working manager. Her journey did not start in the dog world. After working in the financial industry for 20 years, she had the desire to create something for the community where she lives. With her creative mind and Craig’s financial savvy mind, they learned as much as possible by attending multiple dog daycare national conferences, meeting industry leaders, and attending educational seminars “We strive to go above and beyond to make the dogs feel right at home,” said Judy. “It makes our day when the pet parent tells us their pup is so excited to come back to Pups Playhouse.” | 10273 Perry Highway, Wexford | 724-759-7262

Heyl Family Practice Heyl Family Practice, part of the Genesis Medical Associates network, is a local team of primary care providers located north of Pittsburgh in the heart of West View. Founded in 1948 by Dr. Frank Heyl, Dr. Louis Heyl’s father, this practice has evolved into a trusted resource for the local community and their healthcare needs. Currently led by Dr. Louis Heyl, Dr. Donald Shoenthal, Dr. Scott Heyl, and Dr. Matthew Macken, Heyl Family Practice’s dynamic and knowledgeable team provides a variety of immediate and long-term medical services for the whole family all under one roof, including counseling and mental health services. For many patients, this practice has (and will continue to) support generations of their family by providing an unmatched level of care, knowledge and attention. This team also understands the importance of providing options to their patients, especially during these stressful times, which is why they’ve recently implemented the use of Telehealth. Now, patients can receive the care they require, from the providers they trust, without having to leave the comfort of their homes. If you are looking for a primary care team that you can trust to support the needs of your entire family, this is the practice for you. 1020 Center Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15229 | 412-931-3066 |

Elite Custom Fitness Elite Custom Fitness (ECF) is a locally owned, semi-private training facility going into its ninth year of business – and still going strong. Tim Merolillo, the gym’s sole owner and founder, started the business with only a few pieces of equipment, a handful of interested clients and a heart full of passion. Over time, Tim has grown his business into a well-known and trusted training facility that provides safe, comprehensive and unique training and nutritional programs for clients of every experience level. ECF specializes in personal training and a focus on proper technique, to help their clients build strength that will assist them with their fitness goals. Whether your goal is to build athletic endurance, weight loss, establish a healthier lifestyle, or learn better techniques for weight lifting, Tim and his team can provide you the knowledge and attention necessary to help you reach your goals. With new gyms popping up left and right across the city, especially in our local communities in the North Hills, Tim and his team continue to prove that what they do sets them apart from all the others with their continued growth over the last near decade. From the basement of another local business with only a few pieces of equipment to a 2,500 square foot facility, well-equipped with state-of-the-art training tools, ECF has everything you need to ensure you are receiving top-notch training. If you are looking for a trainer and a community that will not only guide you toward achieving your goals but help you learn and understand how to exceed them, this is the place for you. 412.302.2128 | | NOVEMBER 2020


Rothrock’s Kung Fu & Tai Chi Rothrock’s Kung Fu & Tai Chi started in 1972 in Scranton, PA, by Master Rothrock. Since that time, Master Rothrock has expanded to six locations: Wilkes Barre, Scranton, Pittsburgh, West Mifflin, Wexford, and Butler. Rothrock’s Kung Fu & Tai Chi offer classes for Kids, Kung Fu for Adults, and Tai Chi for Adults. Kids’ classes teach discipline and focus. The adult Kung Fu classes include fastpaced traditional basics, Kickboxing, and Self-Defense. In Tai Chi classes, we focus on relaxation, stress relief, balance, and flexibility with slow-motion, low-impact movements. In our clean and modern facilities, the classes are taught by highly trained and friendly black belt staff with years of experience. A special 3-Class Trial Starter Kit makes it easy for anyone to try a few classes in a safe environment. Learn more at and see some of our 5-star reviews.

Landau Building Company Established over 130 years ago, Landau Building Company has become one of the premier family-owned and operated construction management and general contracting firms in Western Pennsylvania. In 2006, Landau Building Company expanded its construction services to include the northern West Virginia region when it created the subsidiary Marks-Landau Construction. Now in its fifth generation, Landau continues to build strong RELATIONSHIPS with its clients by focusing on their need to build a safe, high-quality project on time and within budget. Our commitment to integrity, honesty, and excellent client service has built the solid REPUTATION we exhibit every day on every project. We deliver exceptional RESULTS that exceed our client’s expectations for quality and service which makes Landau Building Company their builder of choice. We welcome the opportunity to be your builder of choice. 724-935-8800 |

Eichner’s Family Farm Our family farm history began in 1897 when John Richard purchased 22 acres and a one-story log cabin with a livestock stable in the basement. He added a second floor to his house, built our barn and a few wooden outbuildings in 1900. The second generation, Mike and Teresa Eichner, continued to develop our farm by expanding farm fields and building several masonry farm buildings over the years without accruing a penny of debt through the 1960s. The third-generation brothers, Dick and Paul Eichner, continued to maintain and nurture our farm through the 1990s with Ron waiting in the wings. Grandpap Eichner knew 42 years ago, that I was the one to take the farm into the fourth generation. I shared his comment with someone special 20 years ago, and she said to me, “That is the fuel that supports your drive.” Also, twenty years ago in 1997, I bought 22 acres adjacent to our farm and made a personal decision. A day later Dick made a decision, then I responded, “Dad, what is your plan?” Dad responded, “There is a time when a son follows his dad, and then there’s a time when a dad has to follow his son.” Dad is still following me today, AKA – YouTube Eggman Wexford, KDKA. Fast forward to the fourth generation. What keeps me outstanding in my field is our angel’s message from heaven, “Dad, I love you. Just let me help you.” That’s when I put him on full-time at our farm. Our family farm future can be secured with support from our community for our family farm. We welcome our valued customers’ support throughout the year. You are welcome to stop by Eichner’s Whole Farm. 285 Richard Road, Wexford, PA 15090 | 724-935-2131 |

Colbert Law Colbert Law was founded by attorney Renee Colbert, who focuses on legal and litigation issues in North Allegheny and Butler County. If you are facing a family legal battle, whether business, divorce, custody, or criminal, that’s where Renee comes in. She is committed to minimizing the emotional damage and seeks to always advocate for your best emotional and financial interests. A native of Oklahoma, Renee comes from a long line of small, family-owned business owners. Her grandfather started the first local weekly newspaper in a small town in the Oklahoma panhandle in 1930. Renee moved to Pittsburgh when she married and raised two children in Wexford. Her son is a Major in the U.S. Army and her daughter is Director of CAISO Market Policy. Renee believes that justice is your most precious asset and is committed to providing clients with the best legal counsel—so much so, that she went into labor during a court hearing and finished the hearing before going to the hospital. 412-889-9007 |



Katie’s Clay Studio Katie’s Clay Studio is the North Hills’ premier family and community art studio. As a small business, owned and staffed by members of the community, we prioritize personal connection and success for our customers. We seek out new and exciting mediums, and specialize in old favorites: let us teach you how to throw a pot on the potter’s wheel, hand build with clay, paint on canvas or glaze ceramic pottery pieces, fuse glass into a variety of shapes and designs, or create a unique tie dye piece. With regular workshops and classes, and the option of hosting a private party, Pallet Art is a super accessible craft for beginners and experienced crafters alike. Along with projects to-go, perfect for any artist that wants to create at home! Join us this month for workshops and specials that will help you get started at budget-friendly prices, with only a little effort on your part! Katie’s Clay Studio wants to help you “get muddy!” 412-486-2184 |

Kostilnik & Associates Graphics, Inc. Tim and Dawn Kostilnik are the owners of Kostilnik & Associates Graphics, Inc. located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Kostilnik & Associates is a full-service graphic design company providing logo and corporate ID package design, brochures, advertisements, magazine design and layout, signage systems, multi-media graphics, journals and publication design and layout. Kostilnik and Associates has been in business for over 31 years and has worked with many small and large businesses, churches, and educational systems in the Pittsburgh area. Tim is also the author and illustrator of two Christian children’s books, I Am So Angry and I Hate Myself, which help children learn to handle feelings and emotions in a Godly way. Both books are available on Amazon. 412-427-0568 | | NOVEMBER 2020




Executive Director Kelly Hughes

From left to right: Lorraine Marks, Jacqui Colmenares, Kelly Hughes, Elizabeth Baldoni

Foster Love Project By Janice Lane Palko


any times, children entering foster care and new placements in foster homes do not have much time to prepare. This is the same for most foster parents, who have lovingly chosen to care for children but are not often afforded many tangible items or resources to help get them through the first evening of transition. The need to reinforce dignity and compassion at such a crucial and traumatic time for children was the very foundation on which Foster Love Project was formed. In 2014, Kelly Hughes, who was a foster parent, founded Foster Love Project to provide love in action for foster children as well as support to the foster families who are providing their care. This may look like providing placement bags for children, easing their transition with gift cards, assisting with additional resources, connecting families with a time of respite, and offering programming opportunities to learn and grow the foster/adoptive communities. Foster Love Project’s first placement bag drive experienced overwhelming community support. With a donation goal of 300 bags of basic items such as pajamas, toothbrushes and blankets, and sole event promotion through word of mouth and social media, over 1,340 bags were collected and given to deserving foster children. Soon Hughes realized that the need was great for the aid Foster Love Project provided and that no one in the local region was filling it. In spring 2016, a board of directors of adoptive and foster families was formed, and in August 2016, the organization became a recognized nonprofit agency. The first free donation center for foster children and their foster families opened its doors July 2017 in Dormont. In 2019, the first Annual Retreat was held at Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer, and the registration for 2020 was sold out in 22 minutes. This year, 2020, has been the year of global “pivoting” as Foster Love Project successfully hosted two virtual programs: the first BackTo-School program, which provided 141 tennis shoes and hoodies for foster kids and the 2nd Annual Retreat, which provided insight into the rarely heard from birth-mom perspective, as well as offering privacy and a safe space to teens. “As our programming continues to grow to reach more children, so do our costs; and we appreciate the support we’ve received from the community as we continue to bring love and dignity to foster children in and around Pittsburgh,” said Lorraine Marks, Manager of Development and Programming.

Here’s how you can help:

• Pack a transition bag for a child moving into foster care with your family. • Purchase a Christmas gift from their Angel Tree wish list. • Give a year-end financial gift as Foster Love Project raises funds for a move to a larger facility in order to impact and care for more at-risk children. All links can be found on the website at n

Saint Joseph High School (Natrona Heights) Principal: Beverly K. Kaniecki (724) 224-5552 | NOVEMBER 2020



Marching into the United States Marine Corps 245th Anniversary By Paula Green “Some people spend their lives wondering if they made a difference. Marines don’t have that problem.” — Ronald Reagan


his year, three branches of the U.S. armed services have celebrated their 245th anniversary. The Army was June 14, followed by the Navy on October 13, and the Marines have an upcoming one on November 10. As the saying goes, the Marines are “The Few. The Proud.” They make up a small branch of a tight-knit group who uphold the phrase “Semper Fi” — meaning “always faithful” — in all that they do. The United States Marine Corps, also called USMC, was created in 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized Marines’ battalions to serve aboard naval vessels as sharpshooters and boarding parties. Samuel Nichols founded it at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Nicholas was the first commissioned officer in the Corps. Although the Marine Corps is its own branch of the U.S. military, it falls under the Department of the Navy’s administration. The USMC functions as a striking force, combining ground, aviation, and amphibious assets to defend our country and its interests. Over the years, Marines have acquired nicknames such as “jarheads,” which emerged during World War II. The high collar on the Marine Dress Blues uniform made their head look like it was sticking out of the top of a mason jar. Another nickname is “devil dogs.” This phrase is associated with the Battle of Belleau Wood, which took place in France during World War I. The Germans were shocked at the ferocity of the attacking U.S. Marines, and they called them “Teufelhunde,” which means “devil dog.” You may also hear Marines called “leathernecks.” This label is based on the leather wrapped around the neck of Marines to prevent saber cuts. The sword they carry is called a Mameluke. Both noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and staff noncommissioned officers (SNCOs) wear it. The Marines’ Hymn is one of the most recognized songs in the world and is the oldest of our country’s service songs. “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…” Some famous folks served in the USMC; they include Drew Carey, Gene Hackman, Harvey Keitel, Ed McMahon, Steve McQueen, Rob Riggle, George C. Scott, Montel Williams, and Bob Keeshan a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo. Actress Bea Arthur served as a truck driver in the Marine Corps. She enlisted into the Women’s Reservists during World War II at the age of 21 under her maiden name, Bernice Frankel. A famous conflict fought by the Marines was the Battle of Iwo Jima. It was an epic military campaign between U.S. Marines and the Imperial Army of Japan in early 1945. In the end, the Marines were victorious as they raised their ceremonial flag on the island of Iwo Jima. More medals of honor were distributed for courage and bravery on Iwo Jima than any other battle. n Sources:,, https://www.sandboxx. us/blog/marine-corps-facts/,, https://www., celebrities-who-served-in-military,




MAYFLOWER TRIVIA Commemorating the 400th anniversary of this historic journey he Mayflower set sail on September 16, 1620, from England on a voyage to America. At that time, the English explorers called it the New World. Onboard were 102 men, women, and children, half of whom (the ‘Saints’ or ‘Pilgrims’ as they are known today) were escaping religious persecution and seeking a new life across the Atlantic. The first half of the voyage went fairly smoothly; the one problem the crew combated was sea-sickness. By October, they began encountering a number of Atlantic storms that made the voyage treacherous. Several times, the wind was so strong they had to drift just where the weather took them. The Pilgrims intended to land in Northern Virginia, which at the time, included the region of the Hudson River in New York. They had received good reports on this area while in the Netherlands. The fateful voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took 66 days. On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower landed in present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the tip of Cape Cod. Before going ashore, Pilgrim leaders drafted the Mayflower Compact, a brief 200word document that was the first framework of government written and enacted in the territory that would later become the United States of America. The ship remained in port until the following April when it left for England. Although there was a kitchen on board, most of the food the Pilgrims ate while on the Mayflower consisted of things easily kept, like oatmeal, ship’s biscuits, salted pork, cheese, beans, and fish. They also drank beer, including the kids. The pilgrims did not drink much water on the journey. Nine United States presidents are Mayflower descendants; they are John Adams, John Quincy Adams, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Calvin Coolidge, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Zachary Taylor. There are an estimated 10 million living Americans, and 35 million globally descended from the Mayflower voyagers like - Myles Standish, John Alden, and William Bradford. Some descendants include – Humphrey Bogart, Julia Child, Bing Crosby, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Richard Gere, John Lithgow, Sarah Palin, Norman Rockwell and Orson Welles. Since we have voyaged through Mayflower history, we must now sail through this 1620 query. Get set to don those Pilgrim hats, because it’s time to get a little trivial... 1. What was the name of the other ship that was to sail with the Mayflower? Since it leaked, it couldn’t make the trip.

2. Name the 1950/1960s blonde bombshell who was a descendant of John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden. 3. A baby boy was born on the Mayflower voyage; what did his parents name him? 4. This Mayflower passenger served as the Pilgrim’s military leader when established in Plymouth, New England. 5. What was the name of the captain of the Mayflower? 6. The term used to describe Protestants that wanted to separate from the Anglican Church. 7. Name of the 1988 Charlie Brown program that focuses on this 1620 adventure? 8. The Baldwin brothers are descendants of Mayflower voyagers, so are these two comical brothers – (one had a TV series and the other played the banjo). 9. This gentleman is credited with writing the Mayflower Compact and was its first signer, and he was also the first governor of Plymouth Colony. 10. Name the On Golden Pond actress who was a descendant of Pilgrims William and Mary Brewster. 11. In the 1979 movie, Mayflower: The Pilgrims’ Adventure, who portrayed the Mayflower captain? 12. This dictionary writer descended from Mayflower passenger William Bradford. 13. The Mayflower was not meant to transport people because it was actually this type of ship. 14. Renowned female folk artist, who began painting at the age of 78, was a descendant of Pilgrim Francis Cooke. 15. What is the title of William Bradford’s history of the early years of the colony? n Sources:, https://www.,,,, https://www.,,, articles/teaching-content/pilgrim-trivia/

Answers: 1. Speedwell 2. Marilyn Monroe 3. Oceanus 4. Myles Standish 5. Christopher Jones 6. Separatists 7. The Mayflower Voyagers 8. Dick and Jerry Van Dyke 9. John Carver 10. Katharine Hepburn 11. Anthony Hopkins 12. Noah Webster 13. merchant (cargo) ship 14. Grandma Moses 15. Plimouth Plantation


By Paula Green | NOVEMBER 2020



What Is and What Will Never Be By Janice Lane Palko


hat if? These two little words pack a powerful punch. For those who enjoy crafting fictional tales like I do, they provoke creativity. What if we make the protagonist a kleptomaniac? Or what if the killer is the mother? What if we set the story during the Renaissance? For those who battle or have battled anxiety, (myself included), those two little words can send an anxious mind down a path to panic. What if that mole is cancerous? What if they die? What if I don’t have enough money saved for retirement? For the “what might have been” crowd, the What if? question can be haunting. “What if I hadn’t gotten drunk, driven my car and injured that pedestrian? What if I hadn’t cheated on my girlfriend? What if I had chosen a different major? For historians, these two little words spark debate. In fact, there is a series of books entitled What If? in which brilliant historians examine critical turning points in history and what the world would be like today. They explore such topics as: What if the Americans had lost the Revolutionary War? What if Lincoln had not freed the slaves? What if the Russians hadn’t backed down during the Cuban Missile Crisis?



Since we celebrate Veterans Day this month, I thought I’d share my little stroll down the historical What if? path. Although many men in my family have served in the armed forces including the Korean War and World War II, my family has been fortunate to lose only one life to war and that was my paternal grandmother Agnes Lane’s older brother, Will Moran, who died in World War I. I didn’t know much about Will except for seeing a few black and white photos of him in his Army uniform and a photo of his mother, my great-grandmother, on a ship sailing to France for Gold Star mothers to visit the graves of their fallen children. As we began to dig a little deeper into Will’s life, we learned that he was killed near the end of the war at the Second Battle of the Marne in France. My son knows so much more about history than I do, and one of the history books he has stated that a young German soldier by the name of Adolf Hitler was on the front during that battle where Will perished. That got us to thinking: What if Hitler had died at that battle instead of Will? How different would our world have been? Would there have been a Second World War? Would six million Jews have died in the Holocaust? What would Europe be like today? While the What Ifs are intriguing and thought provoking, they are futile. Although those two little words are powerful, two other words surpass them, and they are: What Is. Reality is where life takes place and dealing with what is and what is real is where we can affect the most good. You can’t live in fantasy, or conjecture or what will never be. So, in life, there’s no going back, there’s only going forward. n | NOVEMBER 2020


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