Archived News & Events, September 2020


Merakey Celebrates Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week | September 13 – 19

Philadelphia, PA - Check out what our Direct Support Professionals from Merakey AVS locations in Philadelphia have to say about their jobs. Thank you, all, for making a difference and for putting your heart and soul into everything you do!

Dubois, PA - Direct Support Professionals in DuBois, PA received gift bags and t-shirts for DSP Recognition Week 2020. “We are extremely appreciative of our DSP staff who have continued to provide supports throughout this very challenging year,” states Jessica Baird, IDD In Home and Community Supports Program Specialist.


Pittsburgh, PA - The Oregon Home at Merakey AVS in Pittsburgh celebrated DSP Recognition Week with treat-themed days. They included positive messages such as … “we could use s'more staff like you!”


Keeping it Safe at Friends of Merakey AVS Golf Outing

The 29th Annual Friends of Merakey AVS Golf Outing was held on September 21 at Chartiers Country Club.

Chaired by Rick Mongiovi from Mongiovi & Son and Dan Taylor from Dan Taylor Interiors, Inc., the day was a huge success, raising more than $125,000.

This year’s AVS CHAMPion award honored our Direct Support Professionals and Frontline Managers. Every day, we are grateful to them for putting their heart and soul into their work.

Of course, the event looked different this year due to COVID-19. All activities – including the auctions, cocktail hour, and awards celebration – were held outside so everyone could stay socially distant. Thankfully, the weather was PERFECT – cool, crisp, and sunny! Thanks to everyone for playing their part in making it a fun and safe day!

Click here to view pictures from the event.

Congratulations to this year’s winning teams:

Golf Winners

Friends of Merakey AVS Golf Outing 2020

Camp Barkley at Merakey AVS

The Barclay home at Merakey AVS in Western PA held a fun and unique week-long “Camp Barclay.” They put up a tent for star gazing, played carnival games, decorated camp shirts, read stories and much more. The week ended with take-out from one of their favorite restaurants, Olive Garden.


Oregon Home Goes Country

The Oregon home at Merakey AVS went all out for a rodeo-themed party. Everyone dressed up and danced along to country music. Individuals and staff painted a group canvas and enjoyed a dinner from local eatery, Fat Jimmy’s.

Oregon Home Goes Country


Getting Ready for a Beach Party at Home

The Galey ladies at Merakey AVS designed their own tie dye shirts for their upcoming house beach party. Staff members Morgan Butler and Kim McCartney helped each of the ladies make their own unique shirt by cutting and knitting the materials, and then adding fringe and beads to complete the looks. They were so excited to personalize the shirts and couldn’t wait to pose for their group photo.

The residents and staff have also been sprucing up their outdoor area with hand painted garden stones, all in preparation for their beach party. Great job, ladies!


Arts & Crafts Shared Over Zoom

For the past several months, Administrative Assistant Arlene Selser from Merakey AVS Zapp Center has been hosting Arts & Crafts sessions over Zoom. The weekly sessions each have a theme, and they are accompanied by upbeat music that fits the theme. The sessions are attended by nearly 30 individuals who receive services at the Zapp or Kennedy Centers (which are currently closed due to the pandemic).

In August, Arlene introduced a more relaxing/therapeutic Arts & Crafts Zoom session. This session, which will be repeated in September, included calming music, a slideshow of projects completed by the participants and their peers, and coffee and tea which Arlene sent out to the homes prior to the gathering.

Thanks are due to Arlene for hosting this amazing activity! Also, we are grateful to the Walter F. and Ellen H. Nicoden Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation for underwriting the coffee and tea.

Check out some of the amazing artwork made by individuals at Merakey!


Harvesting Their Crops

The gentlemen who live at Merakey’s Redstone Drive home in the Capital Region planted a garden in the raised flower beds next to their home. They have been caring for the vegetables and other items they planted. They are especially proud of the corn that they recently picked and enjoyed!

Harvesting crops!