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Holiday greeting cards benefit charities

Lupus Foundation
Watercolor paintings designed by the late Pittsburgh artist Jess Hager are the inspiration for a series of cards depicting Pittsburgh scenes for the Lupus Foundation.
American Cancer Society
Pittsburgh artist Linda Barnicott’s painting, “Winter’s Glow on Grant Street,” is featured on this year’s American Cancer Society holiday card.
Make-A-Wish Foundation
15-year-old Danielle of Richmond, W.Va., designed this Christmas card for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Make-A-Wish Foundation
8-year-old Lillia Vehovic's Christmas card design for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Little Sisters of the Poor
Sister Martha Lieb's pencil sketch Christmas card for the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 2014 card features Mary Lois Verrilla's winter scene at the West End Overlook.

It’s time again for sending holiday greeting cards that not only deliver good wishes, but help the good work of charitable organizations.

Wintry Pittsburgh scenes are favorite subjects of local artists, including several snowmen created by children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

For 8-year-old Lillia Vehovic of Erie, the holiday season is two times brighter this year.

The third-grade student at Robison Elementary School submitted two designs for the annual Make-A-Wish holiday greeting card contest. Her family was surprised to learn that among the five winning designs selected from dozens submitted by Make-A-Wish kids, two of them were Lillia’s.

“We’re so happy, especially since it helps fulfill other kids’ wishes,” says her mother, Suzanne Vehovic. Her daughter, who has been in remission from leukemia for two years, had her wish fulfilled last year when the family went to the Orlando theme parks.

Lillia’s winning cards depict a smiling group of ice-skating youngsters, and a decorated tree with a wish for a merry Christmas and hope, love, faith and joy to those who receive them.

Another Make-A-Wish young artist, Brady Herr, 11, of Cranberry, Venango County, created one of the snowmen for his prize-winning card. His mother, Nichole Herr, says winning the contest was important to her son.

“As a mom, you always want your kids to do well,” she says. “Kids like him need things like this to happen. He was so proud.”

Brady has Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, and has recurring epileptic seizures. His wish was for a trip to Disney World, “so his sister Aurora, 3, could meet the princesses,” Herr says.

Linda Barnicott, a Pittsburgh artist known for her cityscapes, offers a holiday design based on her painting “Winter’s Glow on Grant Street” for her card this year for the American Cancer Society. Sales from the cards benefit cancer society research, education, advocacy and patient service programs.

Barnicott of Bethel Park has participated in cancer society greeting-card sales since 1998 and says “it’s quite an honor to be part of this movement.”

Her card features two vintage streetcars, the City-County Building and Allegheny County Courthouse. She added her husband, Tom, daughters Brittany and Alyssa and son-in-law Jon to her painting.

“Everybody in the painting posed for me,” she says. “It’s fun for me, because I know the people.”

How to get the cards

Here is ordering information for holiday cards and seasonal gift items from participating nonprofit organizations:

American Cancer Society: This year’s card with Barnicott’s painting “Winter’s Glow on Grant Street” is available in boxes of 25 cards for a donation of $24 per box for one to three boxes, $22 each for four to nine boxes, and $20 per box for 10 or more boxes. Imprinting is available for an extra charge. A limited number of previous years’ cards and vintage assortments are available. The 2014 holiday cards can be purchased by phone or in person at the American Cancer Society regional office, 320 Bilmar Road, Kennedy. Details: 412-919-1100

American Diabetes Association: A variety of greeting cards, calendars, cookbooks, ornaments and gift items are available from the association’s online catalog. Card prices vary per box. Details: 800-232-6455 or

Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association: Assorted notecards feature artwork by individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Also for sale are personalized calendars and other gift items. Details: 800-435-8284 or

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter: The 2014 card by watercolor artist Mary Lois Verrilla features a winter scene of the West End Overlook. Holiday cards from previous years are available in limited quantities. Boxes of 20 cost $20. Cards can be ordered by phone or mail: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, River Walk Corporate Centre, 333 E. Carson St., Suite 441, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Mail orders will include a $5 charge for delivery. Details: 800-726-2873

Little Sisters of the Poor: This year’s card designed by Sister Martha Lieb features a pencil sketch of the Blessed Mother with baby Jesus and the sentiment, “A Child is Born to Us.” Proceeds from the sale of the cards benefit the care of the elderly poor. The cost is $10 for seven cards, $15 for 12 cards and $25 for 30 cards, plus the cost of postage for mail orders. Cards also are sold in the Little Sisters of the Poor Gift Shop, 1028 Benton Ave., Brighton Heights. Details: 412-307-1100 or

Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania: Watercolor paintings designed by the late Pittsburgh artist Jess Hager are the inspiration for a series of cards depicting Pittsburgh scenes, including three new cards this year: “Mt. Washington — Mon Incline,” “Winter Skyline — Pittsburgh” and “Winter Reflections — South Side.” A card assortment featuring different designs also is available. The cards cost $16 for a box of 20, plus $5 shipping. Personalized imprinting is available. Details: 412-261-5886 or

Make-A-Wish Foundation: Cards with designs created by area children are $15, plus shipping and handling, for a package of 15. Proceeds from these cards will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Each package contains 15 full-color cards of the same design with envelopes. Cards can be mailed or picked up at the Make-A-Wish office, Gulf Tower, 37th floor, Downtown. Details: 412-471-9474 or

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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