Archived News & Events, June 2017

June 29, 2017

NHS/AVS Plays Ball in the Miracle League

When the Miracle League of Southwestern PA (MLSWPA) wrapped up its 2017 season on June 29, team members from NHS Allegheny Valley School (NHS/AVS) shared many memories of their baseball experience. NHS/AVS fielded ten teams of men and women ages 25 to 70+ in this 5th year of Miracle League participation. Assistant Western Region Director Roni Erath said, “These experiences support our commitment to provide opportunities and choices for NHS/AVS consumers to grow and function at their full potential as independently as possible.”

Miracle League provides the opportunity for children and adults with special needs to experience playing baseball in a league-based environment at The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field in Cranberry Township, PA. The field has a specially designed all-weather rubber turf field and is accessible for those with disabilities. There are no raised surfaces to interfere with crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs. “Attainment of exceptional athletic skill or the winning of games is secondary to the molding of future citizens.That’s of prime importance,” says Mike Wiseman, Miracle League board member and adult division coordinator.

A game consists of two innings in which all players bat each inning. Batters can hit off a tee or from a coach/pitcher. Special baseballs for those who are hearing impaired are available.There are no strikeouts or walks, players are never called out, and all players get to circle the bases to score a run each inning. “While the game is adapted to the players’ special needs, it still promotes a real baseball experience,” explains Sara Volk, an NHS/AVS house manager who serves as coach of the NHS/AVS Volcanoes. “Circling the bases in a wheelchair is a thrill. As team members hit and field balls they eagerly await a tally of runs on the scoreboard despite the fact that all games end in a tie on purpose.That way everybody wins.” The Miracle League also is a unique way to acquaint the community with the work of NHS/AVS as people stop by to cheer on the teams. Local media coverage helped to convey the enthusiasm of NHS/AVS consumer participants:

Carol: NHS/AVS staff member Christine Weekley, left, celebrates with NHS/AVS Grasshoppers team member Carol during the June 28 Miracle League baseball game in Cranberry. Staff member Lisa Pettner is behind them.

Joan: NHS/AVS team member Joan gives it her all at bat for the Volcanoes!

Anna: NHS/AVS Emeralds team member Anna rounds the bases heading for home in the June 28 game of the Miracle League Baseball League that closed out its season this week.

Christopher: NHS/AVS staff member Lauren Csoman accompanies NHS/AVS Volcanoes team member Christopher around the bases after his turn at bat in the June 28 Miracle League baseball game at the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field in Cranberry.

Mud Cats Jim Kronk coaches Mark as he comes up to bat.

Olivia waits for her pitch during the Hooks June 29th Miracle League game.

Brogan Jasek pitches to Kayla during the Hooks final game of Miracle League spring season.

June 29, 2017

NHS/AVS Night at the Pirates Game

Friends, family members, consumers, and staff members gathered in the 1927 and 1960 World Series Suites at PNC Park on June 13 to see the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Colorado Rockies. A 5-2 victory made the evening even more exciting!

To kick off our 3rd annual event, guests cheered on Benjamin Pollon, son of NHS Foundation Board Member Dorothy Pollon, as he threw out the honorary first pitch. He was joined on the field by his parents, Dorothy and Neal, his sister Jill, NHS Foundation Board Member Chris Dunton (who was Ben’s catcher), NHS CEO Joe Martz, NHS/AVS Assistant Western Region Director Roni Erath and clients and staff members from Malcolm Group Home.

The gathering gave our supporters the opportunity to socialize and enjoy Pirates baseball in the beautiful PNC Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Capital Development Fund, helping to maintain and improve the services we provide to 850 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Pennsylvania. 

We are grateful to the following underwriters who helped to make the event possible!

Capital Healthcare Solutions
Guardian Protection Services
HAR-KEL, INC. Medical Specialties
Lintons Food Service Management
Kathy and Joe Martz
Mike Mitchell and The Graham Company
Donna and Terry McNelis
Mongiovi & Son
The Pollon Family
Dan Taylor Interiors, Inc
June 21, 2017

Nifty Fifty Day at NHS/AVS

The Day Program at NHS/AVS at Verree Road celebrated the 1950s by having a Nifty Fifty Day, thanks to Nifty Fifty restaurant in Philadelphia. The restaurant donated items related to the 50s as well as a gift card. Staff and clients were dressed to bop, swing, and dance!

Nifty Fifty Day at NHS/AVS Nifty Fifty Day at NHS/AVS

Nifty Fifty Day at NHS/AVS Nifty Fifty Day at NHS/AVS