Archived News & Events, December 2017

January 12, 2018

Holiday Celebrations at NHS/AVS

The holidays were a fun and busy time at NHS Allegheny Valley School. Visitors were hosted at Campuses, Program Centers, and Group Homes throughout December. We are so grateful for our many friends in the community who bring holiday cheer and brightened up the season for us. Gazette 2.0 visited the individuals who are supported by NHS/AVS Kennedy Program Center.

December 27, 2017

Holiday Outing for NHS/AVS Zapp

Individuals and staff members from NHS/AVS Zapp’s Lower Subcontract area had a wonderful and spirited time at the PPG Wintergarden. They braved the cold weather and snow flurries to enjoy the Santa Clause and gingerbread house displays. After the Wintergarden they went to lunch at Eat’n Park where they experienced some true Christmas magic. The group was enjoying a delicious meal when a staff member saw a gentleman from the military also having lunch, so she decided to pay for his lunch with her own money. Not knowing of the kind act, the gentleman decided he was going to pay for the group’s lunch as well. This wonderful gesture reminds us all to pay it forward, especially during this time of year.

Holiday Outing for NHS/AVS Zapp
December 19, 2017

"NHS/AVS DSP of the Quarter" Award Goes to...

NHS/AVS DSP of the Quarter Award Goes to... Norma Seiders was named NHS/AVS’s first Direct Support Professional of the quarter! Norma was nominated by three of her colleagues who highlighted her compassion and commitment to the individuals she supports, her ability to contribute to the team, and her professionalism. Norma has been with NHS/AVS for 29 years. Congratulations, Norma, and thank you for everything you do for the individuals in your care!

The DSP of the quarter award has been made possible through Steven’s Fund to recognize NHS Allegheny Valley School Direct Support Professionals. The fund was recently created by Betsy Friedman, in memory of her son Steven Garlick.

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

November 20, 2017

Zapp Center Celebrates Thanksgiving

Individuals and staff members in the Therapeutic Activities area at the Edward J. Zapp Program Center at NHS/AVS enjoyed a fabulous Thanksgiving feast together. The meal was donated by staff members working in the area. As a group, they talked about what they were thankful for this year, and enjoyed games including turkey bowling and Thanksgiving bingo. It was a fantastic day for all!

Zapp Center Celebrates Thanksgiving
Zapp Center Celebrates Thanksgiving
November 20, 2017

A Garden of their Own

In May of 2016, individuals at Warm Spring Center at NHS/AVS assisted administrative staff in learning how to plant a garden at their new location on Warm Spring Road in Chambersburg, PA. Through this experience, individuals were provided with the opportunity to plant another garden in May of 2017. The garden “took off” and grew throughout the summer. Individuals made several meals and baked goods with the results from the garden. In September, Warm Spring Center was again blessed with the assistance of administrative and maintenance staff in building their very own greenhouse. The goal is to be able to continue to produce vegetables, herbs and flowers throughout the cooler months of the year, and to prepare for the following spring.

We are grateful to PPG Paints Arena for making this opportunity possible. THANK YOU!

A Garden of their Own
A Garden of their Own
A Garden of their Own
November 20, 2017

Thank You AVS Parents Association!

The Allegheny Valley School Parents Association presented a $9,000 donation to the NHS/AVS Capital Development Fund during its semi-annual meeting on Sunday, October 29. The check was received, with gratitude, by NHS's CEO Joe Martz and NHS/AVS's Executive Director of Development & Communications Dorothy Gordon. Support from the Parents Association, since its first gift in 1988, totals more than $209,000! We are grateful to the Parents Association for its generosity. For more information about the Allegheny Valley School Parents Association contact arocini@nhsonline.org.

Thank You AVS Parents Association!

November 20, 2017

A Superhero Halloween

More than 80 individuals and staff from the IDD Division from NHS/AVS, NHS Allegheny Center, and NHS Woodland Center attended the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Soul2Soul World Tour concert at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on October 12. “The staff at the Arena were phenomenal, helping everyone to have an amazing experience,” says IDD Regional Director Renda Cypher. The individuals were actively engaged in the concert, and danced and sang the night away. One of the guys said, “I had never been to a concert before and knew that Faith Hill was sure going to call him.” Lorraine asked the following morning if she and her friends were going to go to another concert the next day!

We are grateful to PPG Paints Arena for making this opportunity possible. THANK YOU!

A Superhero Halloween
A Superhero Halloween
A Superhero Halloween
A Superhero Halloween
A Superhero Halloween
A Superhero Halloween
November 20, 2017

NHS/AVS Salutes Veterans

Thank you to all of the veterans who stood tall and served our country! Special thanks to the following NHS/AVS employees at the Patricia Hillman Miller Campus (PHMC)…Art Brown, Ken Laing, Ken Thompson and John Weber. We appreciate your service to our country and for your commitment to the individuals who are served by NHS/AVS. THANK YOU!

NHS/AVS salutes all our veterans!

NHS/AVS Salutes Veterans

November 20, 2017

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Victory Lap

On October 26, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP), presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, hosted its annual Victory Lap at The Hofbräuhaus on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Guests gathered to congratulate and thank sponsors, charity ambassadors, and volunteers. Charity ambassador Liz spoke on behalf of NHS/AVS and thanked those attending for their dedication to the event. We are grateful for the commitment of the NHS/AVS ambassadors and volunteers who enthusiastically represent our organization. Since the PVGP’s start in 1983, it has raised more than $4.75 million for its two charities – NHS/AVS and the Autism Society of Pittsburgh. To learn more about the PVGP visit pvgp.org.

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Victory Lap

November 7, 2017

Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC

The individuals and staff members at NHS/AVS Patricia Hillman Miller Campus (PHMC) are having a fun filled fall. October started with the PHMC Oktoberfest on the 4th. The event included a carnival with games and activities that included a very popular petting zoo! Individuals, staff, and family members participated in activities throughout the day, which was capped off by a staff talent show and dance in the Sensory Garden. Special thanks to the Program Department for organizing the day, Lintons Food Service Management for providing the great lunch, and the Walter F. and Ellen H. Nicoden Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation for underwriting the petting zoo.

During the week of October 16, a food drive was held to benefit the Hope House in Crafton. Joe and Molly collected a bounty of donations at the Western Region monthly manager’s meeting. Thanks goes out to all that donated at the manager’s meeting, as well as staff at PHMC including: Letreda Wyatt, Betty Ann Schwab, Donna Scalise, Lindsay White, BJ Fortuna, Claudia Ranalli, Denise Strader, Tanya Wade, Lori Zulka, Mary Curtz, Felicita Mukupa, Colleen Dolgos, and Michelle Miller. We didn’t forget that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! A “Wear Pink” day was held on October 20 with random drawings for any staff that wore pink. Winners were Tricia Ray, Cindy Betz, Iris Higgins, LaVonne Henderson, Oraina Mack and Talazia Posey. Staff were also encouraged to get their mammograms as early detection is so important. To all that are or who have battled breast cancer, we wish Hope for the Fighters, Peace for the Survivors and Prayers for the Taken.

As winter approaches, PHMC looks forward to the holidays and another fun filled season!

Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC
Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC
Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC
Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC
Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC
Fall Activities at NHS/AVS PHMC
November 7, 2017

NHS/AVS Zapp Communications Outing

The Communications Group at the Edward J. Zapp Program Center at NHS/AVS has been out and about in the community. Using their Go Talk devices to communicate, individuals have visited local restaurants, stores, and parks where they have introduced themselves and made new friends.

NHS/AVS Zapp Communications Outing
NHS/AVS Zapp Communications Outing
NHS/AVS Zapp Communications Outing
November 7, 2017

NHS/AVS Benefits from FedEx Services Day of Caring

On October 30, NHS Allegheny Valley School was honored to have 21 volunteers from FedEx Services participate in a Day of Caring. Volunteers visited three NHS/AVS locations where they spent the day engaging with the individuals, decorating, weeding, and more!

At the NHS/AVS Edward J. Zapp Program Center, volunteers assisted individuals in several classrooms including Food Preparation, Therapeutic Activities and the Older Adults Area. Volunteers also helped to paint pumpkin designs on rocks, and others ventured outdoors in the cold temperature to help beautify the outdoor area. After lunch, volunteers at this location traveled to the Pittsburgh Campus to assist with decorating the gymnasium for the Halloween Dance. At the NHS/AVS Kennedy Program Center, volunteers led classroom games, including a bean-bag toss and bowling. Others helped to prepare the NHS/AVS Sensory Development Program Kits.

We are grateful to FedEx Services’ Amanda Sipes who led the coordination of the Day of Caring. We look forward to continuing to work with the FedEx Services team.