Jamie’s Dream Fulfills a Magical Dream for Eight Pennsylvania Families 

         My family and I recently embarked on a “magical journey” to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.  We were invited on this trip by my friend Susan Wagner, and the entire excursion was made possible by Jamie’s Dream Team. This non-profit organization helps fulfill dreams for terminal, severely disabled or traumatized children and adults. Jamie sent eight families with disabled children on this amazing journey to the Magic Kingdom.  [Read more…]

Mary Casamassa

By Paula Green

       Amateur boxing is not about knocking your opponent out; rather, the focus of each contest is to score as many cumulative points as possible. This month we are introducing a local teen who is a familiar face on the amateur boxing circuit. [Read more…]

Mover & Shaker of the Month Mary Mancini Hartner Honored

By Paula Green

Local bakery owner Mary Mancini Hartner will rise in the spotlight on Oct. 14 when she is honored at the Focus on Renewal Anniversary Gala. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks. The theme for this year’s event is Metamorphosis, which simply means transformation. Mary has been a difference-maker in the Sto-Rox community where she owns Mancini’s Bakery. She is being honored for both her personal and professional contributions to the Sto-Rox region.
Mancini’s Bakery was founded in 1926 by Mary’s uncle, James Mancini. The ovens are constantly running at this popular bakery where they roll out over 10,000 loaves of bread per day. She has been the president of this local icon since 1978.
Mary has deep roots in the region. She graduated from St. Mary’s in McKees Rocks and earned a B.S. from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Mary also earned her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Duquesne University. Through the years, she has worked directly in and with the growth of her community.
Mary has served as a board member of the Sto-Rox Family Health Center and also the Greater McKees Rocks Area Rotary. She is also a strong supporter of Focus on Renewal (FOR). This organization was founded in 1969, and is committed to the development of the McKees Rocks and Stowe Township communities. Its services include four vital areas – Community Resources, which includes the Community Resources Center; The Father Ryan Arts Center, which is the home of the library and Renewal Café and Gemini Children’s Theater; Early Childhood Parenting with their Family Foundation/Early Head Start, Positive Parenting Programs; and Food Security and Nutrition that includes the Community Food Pantry and Family table program. “The FOR is really committed to transforming this region. I am happy to be a part of it,” 
Mary said.
Mary is originally from Windgap, and she currently resides in Robinson Township. For more information on the Focus on Renewal Gala, visit www.forstorox.org.

Mover & Shaker of the Month: Samantha Goetz 

By Paula Green 

       A teenage girl’s surgical experience has persuaded her to seek a medical career path. Two years ago, Shaler Area High School sophomore Samantha Goetz, 16, underwent a nine-hour spinal fusion and stabilization surgery to correct severe scoliosis.   [Read more…]

Three Local Penn State University Women Help Build a Suspension Bridge in Rwanda 

 By Paula Green 

           The Penn State University Chapter of Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) recently constructed a 200-foot suspension bridge in the Muhanga District in Rwanda, Africa.   The eight-member team of engineering students consisted of three local women – Lauren Donatelli of West View/Ross, Grace Daigle of Fineview/North Side and Abby Cowser of Bethel Park.  [Read more…]