Community Foundation of Westmoreland County

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The beauty of collaboration

FUELED BY AN ABUNDANCE OF TEAMWORK, a group of about 30 high school– and college-age students took part in a seven-week program meant to encourage next generation philanthropy. The Youth Philanthropy Internship — a partnership of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, The Heinz Endowments and the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies — brings together young people from across western Pennsylvania to address the most pressing issues in their communities.

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Turn Market Gains into Community Good

Giving now while the market is up makes it possible to take an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of shares — and avoid long-term capital gains tax on the appreciation.

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Circling to Uplift

In Westmoreland County, the community foundation is leading giving circles that realize the philanthropic potential of donors and the self-sufficiency potential of those in need.

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Paying it forward

On Sept. 7, 2011, Maggie Elder wrote in her journal, “Today has been a day of 1,000 tears. Today has been a crying day for me, although I’m not sure why… Mom also says those are healing tears and to just let it flow out of me… Tomorrow will be better.”

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“Bring the hoses?”

It’s an unfortunate fact that most local elected officials win their positions by way of a small percentage of those eligible to vote. But holding office as a member of a school board, council, board of supervisors or mayor means something far greater than what is represented in a vote tally.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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The Collective Power Network

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County convinced 20 nonprofits to look past daily work demands and band together to build relationships. This year, membership is growing and joint projects have launched.

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Every Penny Counts

A beneficiary of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County's scholarship program describes how awards help donors honor loved ones while making college more affordable.

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From Blight to Beautiful

IN 2013, THERE WERE FEW REGRETS from Latrobe residents when a notorious nuisance bar at the corner of Ligonier and Main streets in the heart of the downtown was destroyed by a fire that officials determined was caused by arson. The dirt-covered lot that lingered for several years afterward served as a constant marker of deterioration in a town struggling to recover from a decades-long recession.

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Women of Purpose

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

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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.

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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.

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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.