Archived News & Events, March 2019

03.19.2019

Merakey AVS Pittsburgh Campus Happenings

On February 15, a Valentine’s Day dance was held at the Merakey AVS Pittsburgh Campus Gymnasium. Everyone danced the day away and participated in games like “pin the lips on cupid” and “land the Hershey’s kiss on the box of chocolates.” Attendees made beautiful Valentine’s Day boxes that were put on display, and voted on during the dance. The winning box was the popcorn machine created by the group from Building 1B. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to make boxes!

Under the coaching of Lisa Livengood and Savannah Strickland, three individuals from Merakey AVS participated in a Special Olympics 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament held at the University of Pittsburgh on March 10. This was the first time that Sharon, Donald and Shequala participated in the tournament. The team practiced for 6 weeks and through the hard work and determination of the individuals and coaches, the team took gold in their division. Congratulations to Sharon, Don, Shequala, Lisa, and Savannah!

AVS Happenings AVS Happenings

03.19.2019

Anniversary Celebrations at Merakey AVS

Happy Anniversary! Employees of Merakey Allegheny Valley School’s 1996 Ewings Mill Road location are celebrating Merakey’s 50th by highlighting employee work anniversaries each month with a dessert celebration. Thank you to the following staff members for your dedication to the Merakey mission.

Anniversary Celebrations at Merakey AVS
January Anniversaries:
Cindy Champ (20 years), Marsha Schoedel (20 years), Glenda Cress (1 year) - Not photographed: Kathy Logan (9 years)
Anniversary Celebrations at Merakey AVS
February Anniversaries:
Anita Sidun (8 years), Pam McGahan (8 years), Denise Mott (29 years), Roni Erath (35 years), Andy Smith (17 years), Valerie Loy (18 years)
Anniversary Celebrations at Merakey AVS
March Anniversaries:
Irene Jenkins (42 years), Patty O’Loughlin (2 years), Erica Ristich (3 years), Monique Fontaine (19 years)
03.19.2019

Mardi Gras at Kennedy Program Center

On March 5, everyone at Merakey’s AVS Kennedy Program Center celebrated Mardi Gras. Dixieland and Jazz music played to welcome everyone to the Center. Everyone dressed-up in personalized tie-dyed t-shirts, fancy masks and Mardi Gras beads. Participants in each classroom created a float or banner, and a parade was held throughout the building. The parade spectators clapped, cheered and showed off their beautiful artwork as the parade went by. The parade included live piano music performed by Cindy.

The day ended with light refreshments including a King Cake. Traditionally a King Cake of Mardi Gras is baked with a toy baby inside. Seven lucky individuals where blessed with good luck and prosperity by discovering a toy baby in their piece of cake. Thanks are due to the Zapp Center food prep participants for preparing the cakes!

Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras!

03.11.2019

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Visits Pittsburgh

On February 26, the Music Therapy Department at Merakey Allegheny Valley School in Coraopolis, PA welcomed Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) principal flautist Lorna McGhee. Ms. McGhee collaborated with Merakey AVS’s Music Therapist Board Certified Denise Noël and Johnna Mernick to design and facilitate two sessions specifically geared toward the participants. In addition to learning about the flute, attendees were treated to an interactive preview of some of the selections that were to be played at the PSO concert the following day. They were given the opportunity to engage with Lorna in some improvisatory music-making of their own. The visit coincidentally fell a few days before World Music Therapy Day on March 1 and was a fun and engaging way for to experience music therapy in a new way.

Special thanks to Ms. McGhee for her time, talent, and flexibility, and to Suzanne Perrino and Adriel Lyles in the PSO’s Community Engagement Department for arranging the day. We can’t wait for next time!

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Visits Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Visits Pittsburgh