Matt Scoletti – Living on the Flipside 

By Janice Lane Palko 

Singer Joni Mitchell sang these lyrics: I’ve looked at life from both sides now. Matt Scoletti, 35, from Gibsonia could have easily sung those words. In October 2011, he saw the underbelly of life as an alcoholic. “I was an alcoholic from the ages of 18-27,” said Matt, who grew up in Murrysville and graduated Franklin Regional High School. “I had been keeping a journal for five months, and that morning in October, I woke on my living room floor, which happened quite often, and I looked back over that journal and saw what a mess I had become. And I decided right then that I was in control and it was time to change.” 

He began to take better care of himself-eliminating the alcohol, eating healthfully, exercising and getting more sleep. His transformation was remarkable and soon gained him attention. “Strangely, my first success came when I was a contestant on America’s Funniest Home Video, where I smacked myself in the face with a resistance band. My stupidity finally paid off.” 

Matt has a knack for turning the bad into good, and since his reckoning on that October morning, he has been living on the brighter side of life. He has become a 2-time World Record holder, 5-Time Physique Bodybuilding champion, been featured in Flex Magazinebecome a 40 Under 40 Recipient, was an American Ninja Warrior competitor, became a sixtime Tough Mudder finisher, received the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, Navy Seals 20x “Hellweek survivor. He was also named Mr. Pittsburgh. 

That success has spurred him to become a motivational speaker, life coach, author and philanthropist, leading him to speaking engagements all over the country. “My message is: No matter where you are, you can turn it around.” 

Six months after deciding to change, Matt met his wife, Stephanie, in the gym and learned that she was a 14-year cancer survivor. That has compelled him to raise money for the nonprofit Young Adult Cancer Support. Most recently, he made headlines while running in the Pittsburgh Marathon, when he donned an 11-pound weighted vest and ran in tribute to the 11 victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. 

Scoletti, who is a Catholic, was returning home from a vacation when the shooting happened. “We were walking through the airport, and it is usually a lively, friendly place. But on that day, it was eerily quiet. I thought this is Pittsburgh; this kind of stuff doesn’t happen here. I’ve got to do something.” 

As he crossed the finish line, Alan Hausman, the vice president of Tree of Life synagogue, embraced him and hand in hand they crossed togetherPrior to meeting at the finish line, they did not know each other, but they soon became friendsMatt’s tribute to the victims was noticed by the media, including Runner’s World magazine. “My whole reason for running the marathon was to show that in the end, love wins. I don’t care if anyone remember me, I just them to remember those we lost and that even through tragedy, LOVE CONQUERS in the long term  

Matt’s next challenge is the Marine Corps Marathon this fall in Washington, D.C. If you are interested in turning your life around, visit Matt’s website at: www.MattScoletti.com 

Jackie Sorrenti

By Paula Green

         When it comes to women’s golf, Jackie Sorrenti is the lady who is up to par on the latest fashions and the newest trends.  Sorrenti is the founder and owner of Gals on and off the Green on McKnight Road, at the entrance of the Ross Park Mall.  This unique women’s golf clothing store tailors to all types of women.  The clothing line is designed for ladies of all shapes and sizes, ranging from size zero through size 22.

          In addition to her retail store, Sorrenti also helps women golfers with educational opportunities through her annual GALS (Growing, Achieving, Learning, and Succeeding) Scholarship.  This National Charitable Foundation was founded in 2013, and its purpose is to positively impact the lives of women who are active in golf.  The organization provides scholarship opportunities to applicants seeking education and to improve their life skills.  So far, they have awarded 23 national scholarships.  They are currently seeking qualified applicants for this year.  “While we are proud of our work to date, we remain humble and know that there is much work to do,” said Sorrenti.

        The GALS scholarship is open to women of all ages.  To qualify, female applicants need to be active in golf, not just play, but coach, caddie, or volunteer in golf.  Candidates are selected on the basis of excellence in character, achievement, financial need, and involvement in the sport of golf. 

        Scholarships will be issued in amounts of $2,500 annually depending on the type of education the applicant chooses – professional licensing, trade school, or college.  Candidates must apply (or reapply) each year they are continuing their education. Scholarship winners will be announced at the annual Gals on and off the Green Charity Golf Outing (early October.)  The GALS application deadline is Thursday, August 1.  To learn more, apply at www.galsfoundation.org. 

 

Mover & Shaker of the Month: Anthony R. Savannah

Anthony Savannah
President of Passavant Hospital Foundation

President of Passavant Hospital Foundation

           Passavant Hospital Foundation plays a vital role in making UPMC Passavant a world-class hospital in McCandless and Cranberry townships.  The man who oversees its day-to-day operations is Anthony R. Savannah. [Read more…]

Annie Walton provides comfort for kids with cancer 

          Seneca Valley High School student Annie Walton, 18, is dedicated to her Comfort for Cancer senior project.  She has been making no-sew-tie blankets for young cancer patients at Children’s Hospital.          Thanks to the generous donations that her project has received, Annie has created 83 blankets that will be delivered to these hospitalized kids.  When she started crafting the blankets, her goal was to make 50; she has more than surpassed it. “When I first started, it would take about an hour each. As I made more and got the hang of cutting and tying them, I was able to make them within just 18-25 minutes. It’s still mind-blowing for me knowing that I was able to make so many more blankets than my goal, and I am so thankful,” Annie said.  [Read more…]

North Allegheny Teachers and the NA Community Unite in the Crusade Against Autism

By Paula Green

During April, we celebrate Autism Awareness Month; we often see autism represented by puzzle pieces. It is no wonder since this disorder is puzzling to both the medical profession and those who are inflicted with it. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). [Read more…]