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DHS News Newsletter June 2009 


June 2009

Senior Celebration brings rave reviews for one OCR staff person

Praise for Ondréa Burton, of the DHS Office of Community Relations (OCR), and others who assisted her, poured in following the first Senior Celebration in the Park (see DHS hosts inaugural Senior Celebration in the Park, DHS News May 2009). Burton acted as the DHS lead planner and organizer of the event.

Anna Marie Kocak left this message with the Allegheny County Information Center: “I want to compliment all who were involved in planning the recent Senior Day at South Park...it was so much better than I expected and so well organized...I got lots of good information as well as two wonderful meals and entertainment. Thank you so much.”

Providers Blanche Buscanics from Jefferson Regional and Charity Leonette of the Allegheny County Library Association added their appraisal of the day’s success.

Buscanics wrote, “I bet you are happy that the weather cooperated and you had such a tremendous success. Once again, thanks for asking Jefferson Regional to participate. The one thing I regret is that I was not able to meet you. I was told by our staff that it was run extremely efficiently….thanks to you! Take the praise you deserve!”

Leonette commented, “What an event! You must be commended for pulling off such a large scale event with a wonderful attendance. Everyone with a yellow shirt that I talked to was most helpful as well.”

Patty Oehm, of Lifespan, organized the participation of both volunteers and older adults in her organizations’ senior centers. Oehm was inspired to write the following note to her staff. “Please accept my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to each of you who volunteered for the entire day at South Park. It was time well spent in making many folks very happy. The AAA and Service Provider volunteers were awesome….The food was exceptional….The [t]ransportation coordination was close to flawless for the extremely large number of consumers using the ACCESS vehicles to and from the event….the [r]esources…. [e]ntertainment…etc. Everything was ‘First Rate’ in every way…..As Joe [Barker of the DHS Area Agency on Aging] states ‘together we can and did’….”

Planning has already begun for next year’s Senior Celebration in the Park.


MVRO clerical worker initiates pillow cases, sheet collection for CYF

Nancy Aquino, Mon Valley Regional Office Director, DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) recently submitted the following email to DHS News concerning one of her staff.

“Congratulations to MVRO clerical worker Vesta Bivins. Ms. Bivins, who is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, suggested a mission project to help CYF children at the Mon Valley office. Their church members collected sheets and pillow cases for our children for whom we purchased new beds. What a nice collaborative effort.”


Project Prom praised for making prom night extra special

Mrs. Vicki Furmanek, prom commit¬tee chairperson at Pittsburgh Pioneer Eductation Center and Dr. Sylbia Kunst, the Center’s principal, wrote the following letter to Samantha Baer McVicker, DHS Office of Community Relations (OCR) event planner, about the 2009 Project Prom. The praise in the letter for both McVicker and Kristy Rzepecki, OCR Resource Specialist, speaks for itself.

“As you know, Pittsburgh Pioneer Eductation Center hosted its first High School Prom, ‘Starry Starry Night’ on Friday, June 5, 2009.

“The prom was a huge success and an event we will now be planning annually. We would like to thank you for your generous donation of prom gown and tuxedo vouchers through ‘Project Prom’ that helped make the prom experience extra special for our young men and women.

“We also want to personally thank Kristy for her help in selecting gowns for our students. The girls were able to shop in our ‘Prom Boutique’ and select the perfect gown and accessories for the prom! The young men had the experience of traveling to Tuxedo Junction and being fitted for formal wear.

“We thank you for your generosity in helping to make Pioneer students’ Prom Day one to remember.”

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