Current News & Events


The Terrible Towel - Built from Legos!

On September 22, as part of STEM Fest at the Mall at Robinson in Pittsburgh, students from Montour Elementary School arranged build the world’s largest The Terrible Towel® from Lego blocks. The students built the words of the Towel, and members of the public were invited to place all the yellow Legos onto the board. When the project was finished, 34,560 Lego blocks had been utilized!

The effort was coordinated by Montour Elementary Co-Principals Jason Burik and Jason Shoaf. The project was submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records and should hear back in a few months if the Towel will be recognized.

The Lego Terrible Towel will remain on display on the upper level of the Mall in front of JCPenney throughout the football season.

Merakey Allegheny Valley School is the proud beneficiary of The Terrible Towel. Since 1996, the royalties from the sale of all officially licensed “Terrible Stuff” (including towels, ties, ornaments, lapel pins, flags, bibs, cookies, temporary tattoos and more) have come to Merakey AVS.

Lego Terrible Towel Lego Terrible Towel
Lego Terrible Towel Lego Terrible Towel

Read more about The Terrible Towel made at STEM Fest:


Friends of Merakey AVS Golf Open

Merakey AVS Golf OpenOn October 1, Merakey AVS held its 27th annual golf open at Chartiers Country Club. The event raised $130,000 for Merakey AVS programs throughout Pennsylvania that support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During the event, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra was honored as the 2018 AVS CHAMPION for its 25 years of performing community concerts at Merakey AVS. Once again, Event Chairperson Rick Mongiovi (Mongiovi & Son) helped to make the event a success. Golf prizes were given to the following winners:

  • 1st place team (score of 55): Roddy Delaney, Tim Hughes, Bryan Regan and David Regan
  • 2nd place team (score of 56): Art Hoopes, Frank Lodovico and John Lodovico
  • 3rd place team (score of 56): Brad Fisher, Stephen Janocha, Evan Keebler and Brandon Moss
  • Longest Drive: Anthony Pastin and Elaine Hoffman
  • Straightest Dive: John Wenner
  • Longest Putt: George Boy Libby
  • Closest to the Pin: Toby Torchia
  • Putting Contest: Tom Blackburn
We are so grateful to all who contributed to the success of the 2018 Friends of Merakey Allegheny Valley School Golf Open!


Rodel Dominguez Receives DSP Award

DSP Week 2018Congratulations to Rodel Dominguez who received Merakey Allegheny Valley School’s (AVS) Direct Support Professional award for the summer 2018 quarter! Rodel was nominated by five of his colleagues who spoke about his positive outlook, teamwork, compassion and integrity. Rodel has been with Merakey AVS for 5 years.

On August 30, Central Region Director Roland Champ and Residential Services Manager Niki Ubaldi had the pleasure of presenting Rodel the award. They noted that Rodel is an extremely hard working and humble young man. He was surprised and pleased to have been chosen. Rodel is grateful for the award and very happy to work at Merakey AVS.

The DSP of the Quarter Award has been made possible through Steven’s Fund to recognize Merakey AVS Direct Support Professionals. The fund was created in 2017 in memory of Steven Garlick by his mother Betsy Friedman.

To contribute to the fund, visit and include “Steven’s Fund” in the “other” and/or “comments / instructions” box.

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