Retirees Launch Nonprofit to Build Beds for Kids in Need

By: Paula Green

At a time in life when most couples are enjoying some well-earned rest or spending lots of time with grandchildren, retirees Ed and Elaine Snyder of Mars, Penna., are spending their days sanding wood, pounding nails, organizing volunteer groups and soliciting donations. The couple recently started the Mars Chapter of the national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) when they learned of an acute need for beds for children. They build beds for kids ages 3 through 17 who don’t have a bed to sleep in. They will service parts of western Butler, eastern Beaver, and northern Allegheny Counties. The couple solicited the assistance of their friend, Dave Nock, of Cranberry Twp, who co-chairs the Mars Chapter with them. They have a motto for the organization, “No Kids Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town.”

“It’s hard for us, who sleep comfortably every night and have the things we need and want, to imagine that there are kids sleeping on the floor,” said Mrs. Snyder. “But it happens every night and not that far from your home or ours. There are lots of poor and single parent families who are struggling. Before Children & Youth Services places a child with a relative or with foster parents, they must have a bed for that child to sleep in and that magnifies just how important a bed is to the well being and stability of a child. The beds, complete with mattress, sheets, blanket, comforter and pillow are free to any qualifying family.

The group recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the warehouse that they are renting in Rochester, Penna. and had their first bed-building day. Once they put the word out that they were officially open for business, it took less than 24 hours to receive two requests for beds. They delivered their first beds to two families and got five kids off of the floor to sleep in heavenly peace.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate, visit http://www.shpbeds.org/chapter/pa-mars. The Snyders can be reached via email at elaine.snyder@shpbeds.org.

In Memoriam Patricia “Pat” Rooney

Pittsburgh Steelers / Karl Roser

January was a sad month for this area; on January 14, we said goodbye to Joanne Rogers, wife of the late Fred Rogers. Then, a few short weeks later, we lost another great lady. On Saturday, January 30, “Steelers Nation” mourned the loss of Patricia Rooney, the wife of the late Dan Rooney. Pat died peacefully at her home at the age of 88. She has often been referred to as the “First Lady” of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pat and Dan were married for 65 years until his passing in April 2017. They raised nine children, including current Steelers team president Art Rooney II.

Pat was a hometown girl and was born on Pittsburgh’s North Side. She loved the community so much, that is where she spent her life. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and she met Dan when she was working in the Steelers front office. They were married in 1952.

Throughout the years, Pat always supported her husband and the Steelers organization. On March 17, 2009, in a surprise St. Patrick’s Day announcement, President Barack Obama appointed Dan as Ambassador to Ireland. Pat followed her husband to his newly assigned position. Dan remained in the ambassadorship until December 14, 2012. After his resignation, Dan and Pat returned home to Pittsburgh.

Pat and Dan were renowned for their charitable endeavors, including a project to restore the fountain in Allegheny Commons. Pat also helped the Salvation Army. She gave her support to her community, the Steelers organization and the National Football League.

In August 2019, Pat was recognized for her football loyalty. She was highlighted in the NFL film, A Lifetime of Sundays. The documentary was produced by Jane Goodell, wife of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The program focused on the lives of the wives of football’s prominent figures. Pat was featured along with Virginia Halas McCaskey of the Chicago Bears, Norma Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs and Martha Ford of the Detroit Lions.

In addition to their nine children, Pat and Dan had 18 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. We thank Pat for her passion and dedication to the Pittsburgh community. May she rest in peace. 

Jamie Eisner

Jamie Eisner has had to deal with her battles with mental health and instead of ignoring it, she went on to fight it head-on.  CLICK HERE to read more about Jamie and how she turned her experience into a career helping others. 

Thank you Jamie for sharing your story and continuing to help others.

Isabella Porta

Isabella Porta Miss Teen Gibsonia International 2020

Isabella Porta was recently named Miss Teen Gibsonia International 2020. She graduated from Aquinas Academy in 2019, where she attended from kindergarten through 12th grade.

CLICK HERE to read more about Isabella Porta.

Dr. Karen Bucher

Newest Addition at Genesis Medical Associates.

Previously a Major in the United States Air Force, Dr. Bucher most recently served as Medical Director for the USAF 19 Medical Group Family Health Clinic at the Little Rock Air Force Base.

CLICK HERE to read more about Dr. Karen Bucher.