Community Foundation of Westmoreland County

Stories Archive


Women of Purpose

An endowed scholarship fund at The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County supports scholarships from a historic women's organization.


Sounding the Alarm

PENNSYLVANIA — specifically, native son Benjamin Franklin — created the concept of volunteer fire brigades, which have served small communities since 1736. But nearly three centuries later, rural communities like many in Westmoreland County are struggling to maintain that selfless tradition.

Faced with a sharp decline in volunteer firefighters, philanthropic and emergency services officials turned to a federal government program to make Westmoreland the proving ground for a novel recruitment strategy.


A park for today and tomorrow

Twin Lakes Park is considered the jewel of Westmoreland County’s parks system, both for its natural beauty and its public amenities designed to be accessible by all residents. Centrally located in the county, the park’s recently completed expansion is being hailed as a national model for community partnerships, planning and stewardship.


Founding Father

IN 1989, VINCENT QUATRINI was an attorney with a young family and a demanding practice in his native Westmoreland County, when someone dear to him died of a heart attack at age 40.

That Nicholas Cecchini was also his brother-in-law made the grief all the more searing. Quatrini’s wife, Patty, was devastated over losing her brother so young. (Over the course of the next 12 years, the Cecchini family would also lose brothers Ned and Fred, and niece, Kimberly.)


Fighting Blight in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

THE TERM “MAIN STREET” INCREASINGLY EVOKES A BYGONE ERA, a time when downtown streetscapes bustled with the activity of thriving towns and busy shops. Too often, that era has been replaced by big-box suburban stores and an infrastructure in decay.


Bringing More to the Table

EVERY THURSDAY, a group dinner in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, begins like millions of others across America — with a prayer.

But then the meal follows its own unique script. There is a Word of the Day — such as gratitude, hope, beauty or friendship — and diners are encouraged to discuss what that word means to them in their lives as they are at that moment. At meal’s end, one of the hosts tells three jokes.


Hope Grows for New Kensington's Future

Terrence, 6 years old and clad in a Batman T-shirt, carefully sprinkles water from a pig-shaped watering can onto a bed of peppers. Terrance is in first grade, one of 30 kids tending the Hope Garden in an empty lot in New Kensington.