Current News & Events


AVS Western Division's Consumer Advocacy Group Picnic in the Park

On July 19, the Consumer Advocacy Groups of Merakey AVS Western Division held a picnic at McDanels Boat Launch at Moraine State Park. Attendees came from Kennedy, Slippery Rock and Zapp Program Centers, Pittsburgh and Patricia Hillman Miller Campuses. Many people took advantage of the beautiful day and spent the afternoon fishing on the lake. Luckily, the fish were biting, and several people made a catch. Some individuals participated in games such as bean bag toss, lawn bowling, and ladder golf. The highlight of the picnic was the “Tony Tunes” sing along concert led by Program Aide Tony Bellassai. Everyone was given the opportunity to sing or play an instrument.

The group enjoyed a huge picnic lunch. Throughout the day, people stopped at the Snow Cone Tent for a cool treat to beat the heat. Members of the Advocacy Groups had a wonderful time seeing old friends and meeting new people. Everyone commented on the beautiful weather and how they couldn’t wait to get together again.

AVS picnic! AVS picnic! AVS picnic! AVS picnic!

Summer Vacation at Lake Erie

For the week of July 8 to the 15, Cheyan, Jessica, Kacey, Kayla, Olivia and Tess from the Merakey AVS Malcolm group home, accompanied by staff members Nancy, Tanisha, Sandy, Dana and Brogan enjoyed a summer vacation at Lake Erie. Their vacation included a wide variety of activities such as fishing, swimming, shopping, dining out and nightly campfires. They also enjoyed visits to the Erie Zoo, Waldameer Park and Presque Isle Beach.

The group is grateful to the Walter F. and Ellen H. Nicoden Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation for supporting this fun and exciting trip.


Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Celebrates 36 Years

PVGP logo The 36th anniversary Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP), presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, concluded on Race Weekend, July 14-15, at Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park. Leading up to the weekend were 10-days of events that included car shows, parades, a gala, a party in an airplane hangar, vintage races and much more.

Several Merakey AVS consumers attended PVGP events as charity ambassadors. They mingled, enjoyed dinner and a live band at the Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala, sang the National Anthem, rode in a race car at Pitt-Race and waved to the crowds as they participated in the Opening Ceremonies Parade. We are grateful to the ambassadors for representing Merakey AVS!

We are also extremely thankful to more than 100 family members, friends and employees who came out to Schenley Park to volunteer to sell PVGP merchandise. Their efforts, along with those of hundreds of other volunteers, ensures that all the events run smoothly, are enjoyable, and bring great results for the PVGP and its charities. Since its start in 1983, the PVGP has raised more than $5 million for Merakey Allegheny Valley School and the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.

For more about the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, visit

Below are links to articles about the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix that mention Merakey AVS or staff members that attended the events:


Merakey AVS Takes on Sesame Place

Individuals went on a fun-filled trip to Sesame Place located in Langhorne, PA on June 14. They enjoyed meeting different characters and riding on the teacups.

Merakey AVS Takes on Sesame Place Merakey AVS Takes on Sesame Place Merakey AVS Takes on Sesame Place

Chinese Lantern Festival

On June 24, individuals at Merakey AVS enjoyed an evening outing at The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. Individuals learned about ancient Chinese history and watched traditional Chinese performances.

Chinese Lantern FestivalChinese Lantern Festival Chinese Lantern Festival
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