226 South Maple Avenue Greensburg, PA 15601
Check back often for news and events from Westmoreland Community Action. WCA holds fundraisers, summits, classes, workshops and more throughout the year.
Archived News Articles from WCA
WCA Hosts Wine Tasting
Anyone looking for good food, good wine, and a good time were not disappointed at Westmoreland Community Action's 9th Annual Wine Tasting Event at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art on Friday, April 15.
Guests enjoyed sweet piano sounds courtesy of Lara Provance and soothing jazz by James T. Boggs. Jennifer Miele from WTAE Channel 4 graced everyone with her presence for the seventh year as celebrity guest hostess. Guests also enjoyed the art exhibit entitled American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum.
The evening's featured wineries included Angeli Winery, Christian W. Klay Winery, Greendance (the Winery at Sand Hill) and Sybarite, LLC. Pepperwood Grille and Rizzo's Malabar Inn provided excellent food to compliment the wine. And who could forget the delicious sweets and cookies provided by One Tuff Cookie and The Chocolate Shoppe? For those craving coffee during the evening, Starbucks provided the tasty beverage.
If you missed this year's event, don'tt worry. Westmoreland Community Action plans to offer a great 10-Year Wine Tasting Event in 2012!
To see more pictures from the event, click here.
Westmoreland Community Action Celebrates 30 Years
Westmoreland Community Action held its 30th Anniversary Luncheon on Thursday, August 26th at Ferrante's Lakeview, in Greensburg. Approximately 220 people attended the event to enjoy lunch, an awards ceremony and Keynote Speaker Kent Rader: author, public speaker, and comedian. Known as the "World's Cleanest Comedian and Speaker," Kent Rader helps people learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress. Proclamations were issued from Commissioner Ted Kopas, Jordan Frei for Rep. Mike Reese, John Albertson for Rep. John Pallone, and Senator Kim Ward.
The Award Ceremony was the highlight of the luncheon presenting the following awards: Housing Partnership Award: Indiana County Technology Center and S&T Bank; Volunteer of the Year Award: Major Kathleen Waddell, Jeannette Salvation Army; County Service Award: Smart Growth Partnership; Community Partnership Award: Jen Kominsky, Dollar Tree, Westmoreland Mall; Community Service Award: Margie Stanislaw, Westmoreland County Juvenile Court; Youth & Childcare Partnership Award: Westmoreland County MH/MR; Partner in Early Learning: The ABB Group; and the Special Service Award: Barry Gaetano, President, WCA Board of Directors.
Westmoreland Community Action (WCA) has recently become the beneficiary of a group of women with very large hearts. Using all donated yarn, the Knifty Knitters group from Latrobe knits and crochets items such as hats, scarves, blankets, etc. for the needy in the area. A short time ago they contacted our agency asking if we would have a need for such items.
One of the members, Linda Taylor, recently dropped off the first batch of items intended for children in our Head Start and Early Head Start programs, as well as adults in our Pathways Mental Health programs. These gifts were handmade by the ladies in the group and will surely keep our clients warm and cozy during the cold months.
Taylor has indicated that their intention is to donate more items to WCA as they become available, even knitting and crocheting throughout the summer months to be able to donate again when the weather turns cold in the fall.
Besides Taylor, members of the Knifty Knitters group include Peg Scalpello, Chris Holohan, Carol Miller, Loretta Duruham, Sherry Zimmerman, Marian Wisneski, Dolly Luttner, and Margaret Conrad. This group meets twice a month at the Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe to socialize and create heart-warming gifts to be given to those who need them most. Our biggest “Thank You” goes out to these special women who are making a difference everyday and letting us be a part of their huge generosity.
Our Holiday Open House on December 16 was fantastic! We had a wonderful mix of GC members, Circle leaders, Getting Ahead participants, staff, and community members.
Jeannette has 13 participants in its 3rd Getting Ahead class and 5 Circle leaders. Salvation Army continues to be the host at the Jeannette site with Pearly Gates Ministries allowing us use of their building in December due to the Salvation Army’s toy/food distribution and Kettle Drive.
Monessen has 3 Circle leaders who have been meeting weekly. The Monessen site will be meeting monthly the rest of the winter.
WCCC/KEYS finished the fall semester with 6 graduates of the Investigations Into Economic Class. Our next class session begins January 17 and we are currently accepting registrations.
M3 ‘s 6 fall graduates have started WCCC classes this week. Our next group is slated to begin Jan. 26 at the Laurel Education Center in Latrobe.
Greensburg has 8 participants in its 1st Getting Ahead class.
The Central Guiding Coalition has established its 5 teams as mandated by the national campaign. We are looking for team members! The teams are:
Weekly Meetings Team
Income and Education Team
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in hearing more about these teams to see if it would be a good fit for you, please e-mail or call Rebecka Andrae at 724-837-6339 x 24.
For several years now Westmoreland Community Action has benefitted from the United Way’s Day of Caring; September 15, 2010 was no different. Employees of Excela Health (Westmoreland, Latrobe and Frick) helped beautify our building at 119 Westmoreland Avenue in Greensburg. This building houses our Next Steps Supportive Housing program, our Circles initiative, and our Greensburg Head Start Center.
Approximately 15 volunteers graciously gave of their time and helped landscape the outside of the building. Once this was finished, they moved to the inside and gave the walls a fresh coat of paint. A big “Thank You” goes out to everyone who helped that day!
When the time came for Nick Hughes to start thinking about what he would do for his Senior Project at Greensburg Salem High School, he naturally decided to give back to his community. You see, Nick is the son of Nancy Hughes, Housing Development Specialist at Westmoreland Community Action, so he grew up knowing the important role non-profits can play in helping those in need.
Nick and classmate Nicole McMaster organized a summer fundraising event entitled Local Vocal 2010 which was held at St. Clair Park in Greensburg on Saturday, July 24, 2010. All proceeds were donated to Westmoreland Community Action.
Bands/artists included JustinHale, a four-piece musical act that plays a wide variety of music spanning more than four decades of rock and roll, dance, acoustic, and popular original songs; Exile, a band formed in January 2010; and Colin Suierveld, a local solo artist.
This event raised $333.00 for the agency. Nick and Nicole presented the check to Tay Waltenbaugh, WCA’s Chief Executive Officer, in August. Westmoreland Community Action is very grateful to all the event sponsors, bands, volunteers and especially Nick and Nicole. They truly embody the spirit of community giving!
Westmoreland Community Action is one of fourteen agencies across America that was competitively selected as a winner of the 2010 National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award by the Community Action Partnership. The Partnership is the national membership organization representing over 1,000 Community Action Agencies throughout the United States. Westmoreland Community Action won this award in recognition of its outstanding work in promoting community development as a core strategy in promoting economic security and reducing poverty.
“In response to the Great Recession, Community Action Agencies across our nation are leading efforts to revitalize communities, encourage entrepreneurship, build individual wealth, stimulate and leverage community investment, promote energy efficiency and create green jobs,” said Stacy Flowers, the Partnership’s Director of Community Economic Development. “Westmoreland Community Action earned its award by demonstrating that its community economic development work produces results that help individuals, families, and neighborhoods.”
Westmoreland Community Action (WCA) received its award at the Partnership’s national convention in Boston on September 2nd. WCA was selected as a winner in the Entrepreneurship Encouragement category for Shop Demo Depot. “We are extremely proud of this initiative because it is really making a difference in the lives of Westmoreland County residents, especially during these tough economic times,” said Tay Waltenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer. “Our staff is so proud that Shop Demo Depot is considered among the best in the country.”
Shop Demo Depot is a social enterprise designed by Westmoreland Community Action to divert 250 tons of building materials and waste plastic from local landfills each year; to use these waste materials in productive and commercially viable ways; to create and sustain an organization that provides a minimum of 36 jobs for low-income individuals in an economically distressed area; and to develop and restore a Brownfield to assist a community in need.
At the heart of this effort is a unique building deconstruction and material reuse business that recovers and recycles building materials and sells them at affordable prices. Shop Demo Depot also serves as a collection and recycling center for waste plastics produced by consulters and businesses. This plastic is then used to generate heat and electricity.
The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award is part of the Partnership’s Community Economic Development Exemplary Practice Initiative, funded by the federal Office of Community Services/Administration for Children and Families/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
On September 9, 2010, Westmoreland Community Action, in collaboration with Smart Growth Partnership, the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, and PNC Bank, hosted the first Community & Economic Development Summit of its kind at the Fred M. Rogers Center located on the campus of St. Vincent College. More than 250 people attended the day-long event.
The morning started with a continental breakfast, followed by the first speaker of the day, Robert Schaub. Mr. Schaub is Vice President & Senior Regional Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Pittsburgh branch. His presentation was on “Regional Macroeconomic Policy”.
This was followed by the morning’s keynote speaker, Sandra Moore, founder and President of Urban Strategies of St. Louis, MO. Ms. Moore has led a team of 50 people in ten states to systematically transform distressed areas into vibrant, healthy communities.
The keynote speaker at lunchtime was Dr. John McKnight, Professor of Education and Social Policy Co-Director, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Northwestern University. Much of his recent work is captured in his book, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets.
Breakout sessions filled much of the afternoon with the Summit ending on a high note. The last scheduled keynote speaker was Ted Howard from Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, OH. Mr. Howard, the founding Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, gave a thought provoking talk about a Case Study on Innovative Job & Equity Creation within the Cleveland Community.
Click on the links below to view the keynote addresses mentioned above.
Keynote 1 Sandra M Moore, Urban Strategies
Keynote 2 Dr John McKnight, Northwestern University
Keynote 3 Ted Howard, Evergreen Cooperatives
The Circles® Initiative is proud of its most recent group of Getting Ahead graduates. This group joins follows two sets of graduates in Jeannette and one group in Monessen. Jeannette just began its third Getting Ahead class in October and two other classes are on-going this fall at WCCC through the KEYS program.
The graduates in this class are employees of Excela Health and participated in an accelerated version of Getting Ahead. The class is made possible by a partnership with with the Mothers Making More (M3) project of the United Way, the Workforce Investment Board, Westmoreland County Community College, Excela Health and Westmoreland Community Action. (Students who complete the M3 class with the Circles Initiative are eligible for tuition assistance and book reimbursement at WCCC.)
We are currently recruiting for the Greensburg Getting Ahead class that begins Nov. 22 and have several slots available.
For more information about the Circles® Initiative, please contact Rebecka Andrae, coordinator, at 724-837-6339, ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduates are (left to right): Barbie Steban, Shaunee Huffine, Kristy Hendricks, and Autum Burkholder. (Not pictured: Becky Busani and Natalie Duffy)
Preventing Underage Drinking Campaign
Parents play a major role in their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Underage use of alcohol is a serious problem that too often leads to harmful consequences for youth and their families. The Drug-Free Action Alliance has developed the “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” public awareness campaign to provide parents with accurate information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. The campaign encourages parents and the community to send a unified message at prom and graduation time that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.
To listen to a broadcast regarding this topic which was broadcast on WDVE's Pittsburgh Sunday Morning show, click here.