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New & Notable September 2023

$115K Awarded to Help Allegheny County Veterans in Need

On July 14, 2023, Pittsburgh area veterans benefited from new support and services thanks to $115,000 in funding to three area organizations providing housing, jobs, and other critical assistance. The Veterans’ Trust Fund includes $40,000 to Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard for support services to homeless veterans, $40,000 to Pittsburgh Hires Veterans for employment services, and $35,000 to Operation Troop Appreciation for financial assistance.

The Children’s Dyslexia Center – Pittsburgh’s 20th Annual Dyslexia Walkathon

The Children’s Dyslexia Center in Pittsburgh is having its 20th annual Dyslexia 5K Walkathon in memory of Eric Krauss Cohen. The event will take place Saturday, October 7, 2023. Registration is at 8:30AM, and the walk starts at 10:00 AM at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center (3579 Masonic Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15237). It will include a basket raffle, a 50/50 raffle, refreshments, DJ, and clowns. Registration fee is $25; Pre-registration by September 30 is $15; for children under 12, the cost is $10; for children under five, the fee is free. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for a fun-filled day! For information on the walk or to donate a basket for the raffle, contact Austin Shifrin at (412) 496-8767.

Fox Chapel Area Recent Grad Wins Awards at International Science and Engineering Fair

Fox Chapel Area High School 2023 graduate, Arvind Seshan, won awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) 2023. Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers worldwide. Arvind qualified for the Regeneron ISEF by being named one of six overall winners at the March Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF). Arvind received a fourth-place Grand Award in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics category for his project titled “An Iterative Neural Network Based Approach to Automated IFT-20 Sensory Neuron Identification in Caenorhabditis elegans.” He also received an Honorable Mention Special Award from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). The Regeneron ISEF was Arvind’s third consecutive year qualifying for the international competition.

Sealarks Women’s Group

Sealarks Women’s Group will meet at 4:00PM on September 13 at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Road, McCandless. This group provides Christian fellowship and social activity for women. All women are welcome to attend and consider joining the group. This event is the season’s Kickoff dinner. The cost is $10 for guests and $5 for members. Please get in touch with Karen at 412-366-3109 for information and reservations.

Rock Against Cancer Fundraiser Featuring The Hip Waders

Rock Against Cancer will be held on Saturday, September 16, at Cadence Clubhouse North Hills from 6:00PM – 9:30PM, benefiting Cancer Bridges. Tickets are $40, including buffet dinner and two drink tickets for wine or beer, and will feature The Hip Waders, The Serious Moonlight, and Center Stage. Board Co-President, Mike Fitzgerald, owns Frontiers International Travel in North Hills and is a band member of The Hip Waders.

Leland B. Sapp
Leland B. Sapp

Verland’s Board of Directors has Announced the Appointment of Mr. Leland B. Sapp

On July 31, 2023, Verland’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Mr. Leland B. Sapp as Verland’s new chief executive officer, only the third chief executive in the organization’s nearly 45-year history. Verland focuses on providing lifelong person-centered community homes and services supporting more than 200 individuals with profound and complex intellectual disabilities, many of whom have multiple physical challenges. Verland is a nonprofit organization that employs 550 dedicated professionals and support staff to care for these individuals entrusted to them by their families. The announcement was made following a national search earlier this year. Leland Sapp has dedicated his career to serving faith-based solid and mission-driven organizations, starting as a Direct Support Professional for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Philadelphia, then taking on more responsibility as a frontline manager and organizational leader over the years. Mr. Sapp will succeed former CEO Bill Harriger, who has served as Verland’s leader since the board appointed him in 2018 when he took over from Verland’s co-founder Carol Mitchell as the chief executive officer. To learn more information, and to donate, please visit

Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival

Pittsburgh Hearts of Steel Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Team is hosting a dragon boat festival on Saturday, September 30, 2023, from 8:30AM-3:30PM at North Park Lake Boathouse. A dragon boat is a 40-foot canoe adorned with a dragon head and tail that seats 20 paddlers in pairs on ten benches, a drummer in the front to keep a steady cadence for paddlers to follow in sync, and a steersperson in the back. Now in its fifth year, this vibrant event at North Park Lake brings together the exciting sport of dragon boat racing, entertainment, food, and fun family activities! At this year’s festival, community, youth, competitive, para-paddlers, all cancer survivors, and breast cancer survivor teams will compete in spirited races at beautiful North Park. Anyone can learn how to paddle a dragon boat. Interested individuals can form a group by gathering 20-24 friends, family, and co-workers. Every team will get a one-hour lesson/practice the week before the race, and all equipment will be supplied. Register online at by no later than September 16, 2023.

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