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Your Source for News, Information & Highlights from Focus On Renewal WHAT’S INSIDE:

FALL Fall 2010 Issue 3

Walkin’, Rockin’ and Kickin’ for the Cause Sixty-seven walkers braved the elements at Schenley Park on Saturday, May 22 in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community. Their efforts raised $5,484 for the emergency food pantry at the FOR Community Center. Despite the rainy morning, once the race began, the sun shone for the duration of the walk. Sincere thanks to everyone who made our first Highmark Walk such a success! Mark your calendar for next year’s event, which is currently slated for May 21, 2011. *** Big thanks to the packed house who attended the Who’s Your Daddy? concert at the Hard Rock Café on Thursday, June 17, raising money ($1,176) and awareness for the Father Ryan Arts Center of Focus On Renewal. Iconic musical dads like Joe Grushecky, Dave Hanner and Jim DiSpirito shared the stage with their talented offspring for a unique and heartwarming concert experience. Many in attendance suggested this should be an annual event! We are grateful to the Hard Rock Café, Station Square and the wonderful musicians who shared their time and talent on this special night. *** Thanks also to Tim Bishop of Alumni Football USA, who put together a game between his Alma Mater Sto-Rox High School and Langley High School. The game was a huge success and generous proceeds of $1,247 each went to Focus On Renewal and the StoRox Booster Club.

Note from Father Ryan page 2 A

Art on the Rox page 3

To Be Continued…

Bricks & Butterflies page 3

Upcoming Events page 4

by Maree Gallagher

I’d like to tell you a little story. You may have heard it before. Perhaps you’ve even seen the movie. Like most good stories, it’s worth telling again. It’s got all the elements of a blockbuster – drama, suspense, and even some cool special effects. The best part is, you can help write the ending.


nce upon a time, forty-odd years ago, in a small, sad town held captive by an evil landowner, a humble hero and his loyal sidekick started building something miraculous. It all began in a single room, a room of welcome and respect for all who lived in the small, sad town. The people who came to the room joined in to help the hero and his sidekick. In working with and for each other, they felt renewed. After a while, the hero was called to serve in another story in a faraway land, so a new hero arrived to take his place. He and the sidekick continued to work on building something miraculous, and slowly over


time, the town began to change. That single room expanded a thousand-fold as did the miracles therein. The land once held by evil was released for good, and goodness flourishes there. The town still has its sad parts, and some people still feel imprisoned there, but our hero and his sidekick have added to their ranks. Working together, they outnumber the sadness and continue, every day to build something miraculous. It is built of grace and blessings, and it is called C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y.

Each one of you is part of the story of Focus On Renewal helping to build community every day. Your support is so vital to this effort. Now more than ever before as government funding and foundation support has decreased, we depend on your generosity. Please help FOR continue to be there for the more than 15,000 people we serve every year. With your support, the FOR story will continue… 

We still live with a tremendous amount of hope and trust, but long ago became legally independent of the diocese. As a result, we have embraced many partners to help this neighborhood organization flourish. Groups and organizations too numerous to list here have shared space, time, financial support, advice, directions and ideas—all of which have become part of the network of services created by FOR. Major funding has come from federal, state and county agencies, as well as the regional foundations—which have been very generous in helping us begin and sustain many endeavors. All the local universities and colleges have been a part of our work at one time or another.

Pittsburgh Cares brought the CVS Cares Pathways to the Pharmacy Fellows to FOR in July. The students “spruced up” the agency’s various facilities by painting and cleaning. In August, Robert Morris University Early Success Program students and their mentors visited FOR to clean, paint, weed and serve lunch in the community center. We are blessed that St. Malachy parishioners collect food each month for our emergency food pantry. The Pepsi Bottling Group and Lane Construction Company also hold regular food and clothing drives on behalf of our clients.

Photo by Christopher Rolinson

In the beginning, that is in 1969, when Focus On Renewal began in the storefront community center at 610 Chartiers Avenue, we relied on a handful of dedicated neighbors, a small amount of money from the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese and a tremendous amount of hope and trust.

Partners in caring By Father Regis J. Ryan

The local churches continue to supply us with many resources, especially during the holidays. Plus, thousands of individuals have donated amounts—big and small—from their own pockets. Most recently a whole new group of partners has come upon the scene. Their contributions are greatly helping this aging neighborhood. Here are just a few of our new partnerships: Just Between Friends Pittsburgh North selected FOR to receive unsold donated items from its yearly fall and spring children’s toy and clothing sales events.

Employees at Partners for Quality (PFQ) collect empty printer cartridges that we recycle for much-needed office supplies. And PFQ clients help with the seasonal farm stand at the Father Ryan Arts Center that Richard “Dick” O’Toole, Jr. operates as part of his pediatric fund. Every little bit helps. For these and all the other donations, we say thank you. Gratitude is the word @ FOR.

Yours in service, Father Regis J. Ryan P.S. A “thank you” note to all the FOR supporters who weren’t mentioned above… forgive me if I didn’t have space to include you. Please know that you have my heart-felt gratitude.  Focus On Renewal

Focus On Renewal Elects Officers At their August meeting the Focus On Renewal Board of Directors elected the following officers who will comprise the Executive Committee: Joanne Lorenz, President, Craig Rippole, Vice-President, David Hopkins, Treasurer and Phyllis Seibert, Secretary. The board also announced the following committees: Development, Anne Immekus - Chair Governance and Nominating, Joe Koscinski - Chair Finance, David Hopkins - Chair

Congratulations to all and thank you for your dedication to FOR.  2

Thank you for your support!

Planned Giving: Remember Focus On Renewal in your will Other ways to give to FOR: United Way Campaign [Code 208] & Combined Federal Campaign [Code 21684]

Are you on FACEBOOK? Please add Focus On Renewal as a friend and suggest that your friends do too. The agency has a Facebook CAUSE page and a regular Facebook page. The Focus On Renewal CAUSE page also offers a convenient and safe way to make an online donation to FOR, through our partnership with Network for Good. There is also a link for you to make online donations on the home page of the FOR Web site: Thank you for your support 

ANNUAL BENEFIT CELEBRATION Bricks Who is that What’s the gangster over password? Let me try there? an ARTini!

& Butterflies

And... all that jazz! Don’t miss the Father Ryan Arts Center’s new signature event, Art on the Rox, slated for Saturday, October 9, from 6 p.m to 10 p.m. The center will be transformed into a roaring twenties speakeasy. Guests are encouraged to dress the part as well. The evening will begin with a reception featuring delicious hors d’ oeuvres and beverages, followed by a live auction of several fine art pieces, and the announcement of the winning bidders from the online art auction, which commenced on September 9. A total of 28 artists have donated art for the online auction. It’s not too late to bid! Check it out: www.

Saturday, October 9 The highlight of the evening will be a concert of world class vocalists and dancers: Lenora Nemetz, Etta Cox, Myrna Paris, Raymond Very, The Pillow Project, and Mid-Atlantic Contemporary Ballet. Actor and funnyman Tim Hartman will serve as Master of Ceremonies. We hope you’ll join Director Patricia Moran in honoring renowned arts philanthropist, benefactor, cultural leader and Honorary Chair Richard E. Rauh, who will receive the very first Roxy Award for his support of the Arts. Proceeds from this unforgettable night of Art on the Rox benefit the Father Ryan Arts Center.  We thank the following sponsors who have signed on so far to support this event: Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


Point Park University Dargate Auction Galleries Kevin Sousa, Salt of the Earth Restaurant Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka Duquesne Light

Mongiovi and Son Joe Lysaught, Consolidated Graphics J & G Catering The Shoppes at Chartiers Crossing Lynn’s Quality Catering

Pepsi Cola Bottling Group 5 Generation Bakers Pittsburgh Playhouse Christopher Rolinson, Start Point Media

Photo by Christopher Rolinson

Two short years ago the Father Ryan Arts Center opened its doors with a three day grande opening extravaganza. That event also kicked off a commemorative brick campaign for future installation in the Arts Center’s adjacent courtyard. The courtyard area has long been an eyesore, but after the acquisition and subsequent demolition of the former White Tower restaurant, it still needed work to level the ground, fill in the holes and make it safe. At present, thanks to a grant from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, some donated landfill from McKees Rocks Borough, and the fine work of Mongiovi and Son, the courtyard was made ready for its first phase of renovation. A grant from EQT to the FOR Butterfly Garden Early Learning Center, as part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, was used to create a lovely “butterfly garden” in what was previously a pile of dirt. Jeff Jaeger of Octopus Organic Gardening designed and constructed the garden. Dick and Colleen O’Toole also graciously donated some of the plants. Jeff conducted a workshop for the children enrolled in Butterfly Garden and showed the schoolage youth how to plant the flowers and shrubs. All in all, the result is a colorful and pleasing Phase One for the Arts Center courtyard. Phase Two will include achieving a design that will include the commemorative brick installation, lighting, water access, fencing, landscaping and a doorway to the Father Ryan Arts Center lobby. The Commemorative Brick Campaign continues! We have sold 95 bricks so far. If you’d like to honor a loved one with this lasting tribute, please contact Lynn Stys at 412.771.3052, ext. 220, or complete the brick order form online at  3

You Pick the Date

ART on the ROX

Day of Giving

Celebrate the second anniversary of the Father Ryan Arts Center of Focus On Renewal in roaring twenties style at this innovative arts event.

Your online donations to Focus On Renewal at www.pittsburghgives. org will be matched by the Pittsburgh Foundation. Log on anytime from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 11:59 p.m. – October 13.

Focus Gathering - Date: At Your Convenience

See page 3 for more details. Tickets are $100 and proceeds benefit the Father Ryan Arts Center. This event will sell out so don’t delay.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

Mark Your Calendar:

For more information or to find out how you can help, call 412-771-6460 or visit:

Call 412.771.3052 for tickets!

Thanksgiving appeal


The Focus On Renewal Thanksgiving Appeal will be mailed. We humbly ask all who are able to increase their gift this year. Cutbacks in funding and greater demand for services have created an urgent need. We give thanks for all of you!

Are you passionate about Focus On Renewal? Do you believe more people should know about our services and programs? If so, please consider hosting a Focus Gathering at your home to engage and enlighten your friends and family about FOR. Father Ryan will speak about the agency and answer questions. Focus Gatherings can also be scheduled at your office, local restaurants, or even the Father Ryan Arts Center. Please call Maree Gallagher, Director of Development @ 412.771.6460, ext. 300, to discuss this fun new way you can help support FOR.


Wednesday, Oct. 13


Saturday, Oct. 9

Mission Statement: To empower the development of the spirit, mind and body of individuals, that they may live their lives in a dignified and fully human way. Contributors to this issue: Father Regis J. Ryan Chris Crytzer Maree Gallagher Layout/Design by Pilar Brown Photography by Chris Rolinson FORcast is published in the spring and fall and mailed to friends and supportersof Focus On Renewal. You can help FOR save postage and printing by signing up to receive the newsletter by email. Please contact Maree Gallagher, Director of Development, 412-771-6460, ext. 300 or

701 Chartiers Avenue McKees Rocks, PA 15136 Sto-Rox Neighborhood Corporation

Focus On Renewal

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FORcast Fall 2010 Newsletter  
FORcast Fall 2010 Newsletter  

FORcast is published in the spring and fall and mailed to friends and supporters of Focus On Renewal. You can help FOR save postage and prin...