Individuals honored for impact on community

Monday, May 06, 2019 - Updated: 4:28 pm

By JOHN FRANKO Staff Writer

Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier was among a group of community leaders honored at the 46th Annual Art Rooney Award Dinner and Auction April 29 to benefit the Catholic Youth Association of Pittsburgh.

The CYA, which serves tens of thousands of people through a variety of programs, recognized individuals who have impacted the community at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Honored with the Art Rooney Award was Eva Tansky Blum, chair of the University of Pittsburgh board of trustees. Shazier received the Bob Prince Award, while the Bill Burns Award was presented to former WTAE-TV anchor Sally Wiggin. Dr. Susan Manzi, chair of the Allegheny Health Network’s Medicine Institute, was honored with the John E. McGrady Award.

Mark Lewandowski received the Nick Cardello Volunteer of the Year Award.

The dinner also saw the inaugural presentation of the Patricia R. Rooney Award. It was presented to Sister of Charity Louise Grundish, a member of the CYA’s board of directors.

Blum said that she was honored to receive an award in Art Rooney’s name. She noted that she has the responsibility to help provide opportunities for others, just as opportunities had been provided for her. Blum thanked the CYA for the honor and praised the work of the organization, adding, “They nurture and care for, with great love, our citizens of all ages.”

Shazier pointed out that while he has been recognized for his inspirational fight to come back from his devastating injury, he has just been following in his mother’s footsteps. It has been her spirit and determination, he noted, that has given him the courage in his fight.

In noting the work of the CYA, Wiggin said, “What you do for our community is God’s work. That’s what it is.”

Manzi has compiled a national and international portfolio. She recognized the contributions of the CYA to the community, adding, “To say that I’m delighted and honored to receive this is an understatement.”

Lewandowski spoke of how the CYA’s Stephen Foster Center has impacted his life. He spent much time there as a youth, he noted, and has appreciated the opportunity to volunteer there as an adult. “The center is a true jewel in the community,” Lewandowski said.

His father, Rusty, was honored by the CYA some three decades ago.

In offering remarks, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto thanked the CYA for taking care of those who are the most needy — senior citizens and young people. “They need that help, and the Catholic Youth Association has led that effort,” he said.

Mary Ann Heneroty, CEO of the Catholic Youth Association, recognized the Rooney family for making a difference. Art Rooney’s legacy continues to impact people today, she said.

“Mr. Rooney was a man of vision,” Heneroty said. “A man of compassion. A man of strength.”

The CYA of Pittsburgh has been a neighborhood community center since 1925. Based at the Stephen Foster Center in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, it operates three sites and provides more than 200,000 services a year. The services include a child-care program; intergenerational programs; three senior center sites that provide 30,000 breakfasts and lunches five days a week; a Meals on Wheels program; recreational, health, wellness and transportation programs; and a legal aid program. It also provides volunteer opportunities for 75 seniors.

For information about the Catholic Youth Association of Pittsburgh, call 412-621-3342 or visit www.catholicyouthassociation.com.

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