Visionaries in mental health honored |

Visionaries in mental health honored

Continuing the battle against mental illness and the stigma associated with it, the Mental Health Association in Westmoreland County honored innovators engaged in the fight.

2007 Innovations awards were presented Thursday in four categories.

Prevention: Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale, represented by Karen L. Kiefer and Brad Geyer , for embracing mental wellness, education and prevention through theater and the arts.

Recovery: Edna McCutcheon , CEO of Torrance State Hospital, for commitment to recovery and the mental health consumer movement.

Workplace: Joyce Bucchi, director of human resources at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, for attaining and supporting a positive, healthy on campus work environment.

Education: Jeffrey Mansfield, principal of Greensburg Salem School District’s Amos K. Hutchinson Elementary School, for creating an environment conducive to the mental wellness of all students and the school community.

WTAE-TV reporter Jennifer Miele was the evening’s host at Greensburg Country Club, with welcoming comments by MHA president Molly Robb Shimko.

“The recipients are truly outstanding,” MHA executive director Laurie Burnett Levine said. “Each — in their own way — is making strides toward mental wellness in the community.”

For more information about MHA advocacy, education or services, call 724-834-6351.

Seen at the event: Westmoreland County Judge John Driscoll , state Sen. Bob Regola , UPG president Frank Cassell with Beth , Linda Austin, Michele Bononi, Ron Weaver, Josie Funari, Judy Modecki, Carolyn Royse, Paul Niemiec, George Shaner, Michael Philopena, Jill Deglau, Dick and Barbara Flock, Chuck and Nancy Anderson, David and Linda Assard, Dave Delisi, Herb Chissell, Julie Cawoski, Joyce Stillwagon, Candace Squires, Justine Federico, Lisa Hauswirth, Mary Ann Fusco, and Thomas Shipley , director of secondary education, human resources and transportation, and Judy McMahon , director of K-12 curriculum, instruction and assessment, both with Greensburg Salem School District.

No place like home

Western Pennsylvania has a big heart.

That’s what WTAE-TV news anchor and award-winning sports broadcaster Andrew Stockey told the audience Saturday at the Friends of Penn Trafford Area Recreation Commission gala at Greensburg Country Club.

Stockey, at the event with his wife, Sharon, took on opportunities to volunteer for Race for the Cure, United Cerebral Palsy and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation after learning of the accidental death of a college friend.

“It made me realize two things: No. 1, how important life is, and No. 2, how we only have one opportunity in this life. … The world is a better place when we give of ourselves.”

Stockey, a Washington County resident, formerly of Chicago and Simsbury, Conn., had traveled extensively when covering the Steelers and Pirates.

He found when it comes to generosity, there’s no place quite like home.

“When it comes to giving of time and money,” Stockey said, “no one is better than Western Pennsylvania.”

Stockey was presented with an honorary Friends Award for Community Excellence, which is given annually to individuals, organizations or businesses enhancing quality of life by contributing to recreation.

Also honored:

= Penn Trafford Adult Recreation, a volunteer group led by Devra Cherrone , which raises funds for scholarships, and has coordinated recreation programs for 45 years.

= Penn Township resident John Harvison , a former tax collector who contributes to charitable organizations from an account he established 30 years ago, and who wrote material for Penn Township’s 150th anniversary album.

The PTARC/Shelley Proskin Recreation Center in Level Green will benefit from event proceeds that included a $25,000 check from state Sen. Bob Regola , and a $1,000 gift from Waste Management, represented by Shawn Meenihan and Jim Gebicki.

Mistress of ceremonies and gala chairwoman was WTAE-TV reporter Jennifer Miele .

Seen at the gala: Penn Township Magisterial District Judge Helen Kistler, Bruce and Vivian Light, Andy and Kris Samloff, Dr. Jeffrey and Alexis Baird, Michelle Ginley with daughter Meghan, Roy and Sue Anderson, Dr. Jason Cinti, Julia Harvison, Dr. Anthony Cherrone, Mike and Lisa Ginsburg, Todd and Michele DeNillo, with daughter Emily, Pat and Pam Downs with daughters Julie and Lauren, Dave and Cheryl Kemerer, Sallie Bradley, Chuck and Rosemary Horvat, Mike and Linda Bires, Hal and Noreen Turkowski , and Doug and Linda Iams .

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