On Saturday, June 23, 2018 Shell Polymers teamed up with Pro Football Alumni to host its first annual Community Awards Gala in support of Beaver County. 290 attendees sipped, mingled, and dined while raising over $150,000 for local schools, students and nonprofit organizations.
Thanks to Merril Hoge for emceeing the evening!
We were honored to present Aliquippa’s own Pro Football Hall of Famer, Mike Ditka with a Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of his football and broadcasting career. Mike reflected on playing at Aliquippa and Pitt and in thanking Beaver County, said, “You have a lot of good people here. That’s what matters.”
We began the awards presentations with a grant of $30,000 in memory of Aliquippa high school football player DiMantae Bronaugh, to improve the athletic field house and name the fitness center in tribute to his jersey number and fighting spirit, “24 Strong”. DiMantae’s aunt Anita Gordon spoke of how, even in sickness, DiMantae always wanted to be with his teammates.
I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Shell Polymers for championing Beaver County education. Working along with the Beaver County Educational Trust, a $10,000 donation was made to the Aliquippa School District to support STEM Education Initiatives with a $15,000 grant to fund the Beaver Valley Intermediate Units lending library.
In addition, Central Valley teacher Matthew Reese received $5,000 for “Teacher of the Year” and two Beaver County high school seniors, Bryan Culler and Alexis Meuller each received $5,000 scholarships for being recognized as “Student of the Year”.
Rocky Bleier, on behalf of the Home Depot Foundation presented their Veteran Housing Grant to Beaver County detective and Iraqi War veteran, Patrick Young, whose home was recently lost in a landslide. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 862 also received a $10,000 Grant for the services they provide to veterans in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Another highlight of the evening was our live Special Ask for the Salvation Army “Allegheny Camp” special ask that was held following the conclusion of the Live Auction. Over $32,000 was raised to provide local Beaver County kids an opportunity to attend a 5-day/4-night camp this summer.
This gala was momentous in giving us the opportunity to reconnect with our supporters, sustain a sense of community, and welcome new people to our purpose. It allows us to circle back to the people and kids of Beaver County whose lives inspire us.
Finally, a heartfelt “thank you” to all of you for your unwavering support, passion, and generosity in making our first Annual Gala a night to remember!
See you next year!