Current News & Events

July 24, 2017

2017 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Wrap-Up

The 35th annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP), presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, concluded on Race Weekend (July 15-16) at Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park. Leading up to the weekend was 10 days of events that included car shows, parades, a gala, a new party in an airplane hangar, vintage races, and much more.

This year, several NHS Allegheny Valley School consumers attended PVGP events as charity ambassadors. They mingled at the Black Tie & Tailpipes Gala, sang the National Anthem, rode in race cars at Pitt-Race, and waved to the crowds as they participated in the race weekend Opening Ceremonies Parade. We are grateful to the ambassadors for representing NHS/AVS so well! The beautiful weather drew huge crowds to Schenley Park for Race Weekend. The park was filled with spectacular cars of all ages, makes and models – including numerous Camaros, the 2017 Marque of the Year. Spectators participated in activities designed for all ages, including the qualifying races on July 15 and the finals on July 16.

We are grateful to the many family members, friends, and employees who came out to Schenley Park to volunteer and sell PVGP merchandise. The sunny weather helped to make this weekend a huge success. THANK YOU to our army of volunteers!

The PVGP is a volunteer-led organization with more than 1,000 participants coming together to run the entire event from laying the race track, to collecting donations, to selling merchandise. The event brings race fans from around the world to Pittsburgh to experience this truly unique festival of vintage cars. We are grateful to all volunteers for their efforts to ensure the event runs smoothly, is enjoyable to the spectators, and is a huge success for the charities. Since its start in 1983, the PVGP has raised more than $4.75 million for its two charities - NHS Allegheny Valley School and the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.

Save the date for PVGP 2018: July 6 – 15, with Race Weekend on July 14 and 15. BMW will be the Marque of the Year in 2018!

For more about the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, visit

July 14, 2017

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Celebrates 35 Years

The 35th Anniversary Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, kicked off in style this past weekend. Several NHS Allegheny Valley School ambassadors and other guests have attended events including:

  • Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala, Friday, July 7, Pittsburgh Field Club: Ambassadors Liz, Brandon, Ed and Joe, along with staff members Gert, Chris and Jim, greeted guests as they arrived at this grand event. The Ambassadors took photos with guests, admired the gorgeous vehicles on display, and enjoyed seeing everyone dressed to the nines. A photo of the four was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s weekly SEEN column! A good time was had by all.
  • PVGP Historics at Pitt Race, Sunday, July 9, Pittsburgh International Race Complex: The Pittsburgh Campus Choir was thrilled to sing the National Anthem at Pitt Race on Sunday morning. NHS/AVS Ambassadors Brandon and Joe also loved their ride in a race car!

  • PVGP Receives Proclamation from Pittsburgh City Council, Tuesday, July 11: City Council member Corey O’Connor tweeted, “I was honored to present @PghVintageGP w/ a proclamation commending its 35 years of successful events, programming, & philanthropic efforts.” NHS/AVS ambassador Liz was on hand to accept the proclamation, along with the PVGP’s Dan DelBianco and NHS/AVS’s Dorothy Gordon.
    Photo caption:
    PVGP Ambassador Liz attended the Pittsburgh City Council meeting to receive a proclamation for the PVGP by City Councilman Corey O’Connor.  Liz, along with the PVGP’s Dan DelBianco and NHS/AVS’s Dorothy Gordon, are surrounded by members of Pittsburgh City Council.

  • Tune-Up at Atria’s, Wednesday, July 12, Atria’s at PNC Park:  This annual downtown party transforms Federal Street and the Clemente Bridge into a massive car show. Director of Facilities Management John Police had his 1973 Camaro on display where our crew gathered for a team photo. The 50th Anniversary of the Camaro is being celebrated during this year’s event.

  • Inaugural Passport to Elegance, Thursday, July 13, Voyager Jet Center:  Guests traveled back in time and around the globe to kick-off race weekend in high-style at this first-time event. Historic cars and airplanes were on display as guests mixed and mingled in a beautifully decorated airplane hangar at the Allegheny County Airport.

Watch for highlights from RACE WEEKEND next week!

NHS/AVS is grateful for the support of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association, whose mission is to hold a world-class vintage automotive race event for charity. Since 1983, this volunteer-driven event has raised more than $2 million for NHS Allegheny Valley School. The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix remains our country's largest vintage race event and the only one run on city streets.

July 6, 2017

Honoring Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

On June 21, individuals and staff members across western PA celebrated The Longest Day, an initiative of the Alzheimer’s Association meant to build awareness about the challenges faced by those who are impacted by Alzheimer’s/Dementia, including their caregivers. On the summer solstice, NHS/AVS staff members were encouraged to wear purple and white, the colors designated to show support for those facing Alzheimer’s/Dementia. In and around western PA, the following activities took place:

  • Individuals at the Slippery Rock Program Center created and sent cards to their peers in the Memory Care Home, and participated in a walk-a-thon and bike-a-thon around the outdoor sensory area. Purple and white balloons were released by the individuals who attend the Senior Center. Consumers also released butterflies that they had raised. Butterflies signify endurance, hope, and life, a fitting tribute to those who are impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Nearly $700 was raised for the Memory Care Program through fundraisers at several locations:
    • Individuals in the food preparation programs at the Zapp and Slippery Rock Program Centers baked, decorated, and labeled cookies and cupcakes.
    • Consumers, staff members, family members and friends purchased purple carnations that were sent to special people in their lives.
    • Supporters bought petals and wrote messages to honor someone who is impacted by Alzheimer’s/Dementia. The petals were used to create a huge flower at Patricia Hillman Miller Campus.
  • Consumers and staff members at the Kennedy and Zapp Program Centers held their second annual Walk With Me event. Consumers took turns carrying a flag while walking with a staff member through an outdoor path. During the walk, they discussed their favorite things and recalled memories from their past. Each participant planted a purple or white flower along the walking path.
June 29, 2017

NHS/AVS Plays Ball in the Miracle League

When the Miracle League of Southwestern PA (MLSWPA) wrapped up its 2017 season on June 29, team members from NHS Allegheny Valley School (NHS/AVS) shared many memories of their baseball experience. NHS/AVS fielded ten teams of men and women ages 25 to 70+ in this 5th year of Miracle League participation. Assistant Western Region Director Roni Erath said, “These experiences support our commitment to provide opportunities and choices for NHS/AVS consumers to grow and function at their full potential as independently as possible.”

Miracle League provides the opportunity for children and adults with special needs to experience playing baseball in a league-based environment at The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field in Cranberry Township, PA. The field has a specially designed all-weather rubber turf field and is accessible for those with disabilities. There are no raised surfaces to interfere with crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs. “Attainment of exceptional athletic skill or the winning of games is secondary to the molding of future citizens.That’s of prime importance,” says Mike Wiseman, Miracle League board member and adult division coordinator.

A game consists of two innings in which all players bat each inning. Batters can hit off a tee or from a coach/pitcher. Special baseballs for those who are hearing impaired are available.There are no strikeouts or walks, players are never called out, and all players get to circle the bases to score a run each inning. “While the game is adapted to the players’ special needs, it still promotes a real baseball experience,” explains Sara Volk, an NHS/AVS house manager who serves as coach of the NHS/AVS Volcanoes. “Circling the bases in a wheelchair is a thrill. As team members hit and field balls they eagerly await a tally of runs on the scoreboard despite the fact that all games end in a tie on purpose.That way everybody wins.” The Miracle League also is a unique way to acquaint the community with the work of NHS/AVS as people stop by to cheer on the teams. Local media coverage helped to convey the enthusiasm of NHS/AVS consumer participants:

Carol: NHS/AVS staff member Christine Weekley, left, celebrates with NHS/AVS Grasshoppers team member Carol during the June 28 Miracle League baseball game in Cranberry. Staff member Lisa Pettner is behind them.

Joan: NHS/AVS team member Joan gives it her all at bat for the Volcanoes!

Anna: NHS/AVS Emeralds team member Anna rounds the bases heading for home in the June 28 game of the Miracle League Baseball League that closed out its season this week.

Christopher: NHS/AVS staff member Lauren Csoman accompanies NHS/AVS Volcanoes team member Christopher around the bases after his turn at bat in the June 28 Miracle League baseball game at the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field in Cranberry.

Mud Cats Jim Kronk coaches Mark as he comes up to bat.

Olivia waits for her pitch during the Hooks June 29th Miracle League game.

Brogan Jasek pitches to Kayla during the Hooks final game of Miracle League spring season.

June 29, 2017

NHS/AVS Night at the Pirates Game

Friends, family members, consumers, and staff members gathered in the 1927 and 1960 World Series Suites at PNC Park on June 13 to see the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Colorado Rockies. A 5-2 victory made the evening even more exciting!

To kick off our 3rd annual event, guests cheered on Benjamin Pollon, son of NHS Foundation Board Member Dorothy Pollon, as he threw out the honorary first pitch. He was joined on the field by his parents, Dorothy and Neal, his sister Jill, NHS Foundation Board Member Chris Dunton (who was Ben’s catcher), NHS CEO Joe Martz, NHS/AVS Assistant Western Region Director Roni Erath and clients and staff members from Malcolm Group Home.

The gathering gave our supporters the opportunity to socialize and enjoy Pirates baseball in the beautiful PNC Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Capital Development Fund, helping to maintain and improve the services we provide to 850 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Pennsylvania. 

We are grateful to the following underwriters who helped to make the event possible!

Capital Healthcare Solutions
Guardian Protection Services
HAR-KEL, INC. Medical Specialties
Lintons Food Service Management
Kathy and Joe Martz
Mike Mitchell and The Graham Company
Donna and Terry McNelis
Mongiovi & Son
The Pollon Family
Dan Taylor Interiors, Inc