Donor Spotlight

Contributors to Merakey Allegheny Valley School make it possible for us to maintain and improve our programs and facilities in order to better meet the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are grateful to all of our contributors. See below for some highlights!

Thank You, AVS Parents Association!

The Allegheny Valley School Parents Association presented a $9,000 donation to the Merakey AVS Capital Development Fund during its semi-annual meeting on Sunday, September 25. The check was received, with gratitude, by Chairman & CEO Joe Martz and Chief Development Officer Dorothy Gordon. Support from the Parents Association, since its first gift in 1988, totals more than $200,000!

We are grateful to the Parents Association for its generosity. For more information about the Allegheny Valley School Parents Association, please contact

nhs/avs parents meeting

Partners in Kindness 2017

On Friday, February 17, Merakey AVS residents Helen, Jonathan, Sharon, Shequala and Vicki, accompanied by Assistant Program Director Jeff D’Eramo and Behavior Specialist TeTe Green, visited Guardian Protection Services’ Warrendale, PA office for the 2nd annual "Partners in Kindness" event. The day was planned to show appreciation for the Guardian employees who, for 20 years, have delivered holiday gifts to the individuals at Merakey AVS. “Partners in Kindness” banners decorated Guardian's employee cafeteria, cookies and Valentine’s Day themed cupcakes were served, and dozens of prizes were raffled off. As more than 100 Guardian employees came through the cafeteria, they were greeted by and enjoyed visiting with the Merakey AVS guests, who handed out home-made thank you cards to acknowledge the holiday gifts. Guardian employees in Tempe, Arizona, who have participated in the holiday gift giving from afar, joined in on the celebration event via video conference. It was a celebratory day!

We thank Guardian's Mary Lynn Moriarity and Emil Parent for their dedication to and coordination of the event. Thanks you also to the Guardian employees who stopped by to say hello and to spend time with the individuals. We are grateful to Guardian Protection Services for their continued commitment to Merakey AVS.

Swim-A-Thon Benefits Merakey AVS

Since 2013, seniors of the Seneca Valley School District in Western PA have held a Swim-A-Thon at Merakey AVS Pittsburgh Campus. This year’s event was led by senior Jennifer Listwak with help from PHMC’s Program Director Mary Curtz. The Swim-A-Thon was held in April and paired students from Seneca Valley High School with Merakey AVS individuals to see how many laps they could swim in the Pittsburgh Campus pool. The event was well received by everyone involved. The interactions between the students and consumers resulted in lots of smiles and laughter – another sign of the event’s success!

We are grateful to the friends, family members, teammates and staff members who supported this year’s swim-a-thon which raised $2,870! Funds will be used to purchase exercise bikes and/or sensory equipment for the Pittsburgh Campus. A big thank you to Jennifer Listwak for leading this effort, and to everyone that contributed to its success!


Angels from the Heart Visits Merakey AVS 2017

On April 2, Good Deeds Day*, members from Angels from the Heart Charitable Foundation, dressed as princes, princesses and superheroes, performed a song and dance routine for nearly 80 Merakey Allegheny Valley School consumers, staff, and family members. Many audience members sang along to the songs and danced in their seats. Cast members encouraged audience participation for the Cupid Shuffle and WOW. The floor of the Pittsburgh Campus gym was packed with dancers! After the performance, cast members enjoyed meeting and posing for pictures with the attendees. A great time was had by all!

*Good Deeds Day, created in 2007, is a global day that unites people from more than 75 countries to do good deeds for the benefit of others and the planet. Thank you again to Angels from the Heart for sharing their time and talents with us.