‘Elite’… ‘Thanks for Giving!’ (Bill Neal’s column Dec. 9)

by Bill Neal, For New Pittsburgh Courier

It was in fact community service personified Thanksgiving weekend as the Elite Corvette Club of Pittsburgh joined forces with Achieving Greatness Inc. and Eat’n Park in Penn Hills to present the first-annual “Great Turkey Giveaway” to benefit senior citizens and low-income families.

However, for my own safety and future well-being, please allow me to make one thing perfectly clear—the success of the day’s event was made possible by a major contribution and leadership of the “The Ladies of Elite.” And as usual, the case-in-light, without the women—we have nothing. (Whew! That should buy me some protection until the next run!)

That being said, now would be a good time to give you some background information. The Elite Corvette Club of Pittsburgh is a newly-established group of men and women who own, race and showcase some of the most magnificent vehicles known to man. With that, they share a mindset to not only operate in the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County communities, but to provide a community service as well.

THE ELITE CORVETTE CLUB OF PITTSBURGH MEMBERS deliver the birds!

Thus, the partnership was established with Achieving Greatness Inc. As many of you know, AGI, formerly known as Champion Enterprises, is now in its 46th consecutive year of providing community service programs and events. Most notably, the nationally recognized Connie Hawkins Summer Basketball League, Franco Harris All-Pro Football Camp, Willie Stargell MVP Awards Banquet and the Pittsburgh City League High School All-Sports Hall of Fame Inductions.

FORMER EUROPEAN PRO BASKETBALL STAR and Penn Hills native Warren Wilson with Penn Hills Mayor Pauline Calbrese and Councilman Frank Pecora.

With the exception of the weather…rained all day…the event could not have gone any better. Turning Corners Association founder and director Sheldon Oliver, who doubles as the President of the Elite Corvette Club, set the wheels in motion by providing 150 turkeys via his own resources. Those deceased birds were joined by donations from Giant Eagle, Shop ‘n Save, Jones Turkey Farm, Highmark, UPMC, Goodrich & Geist Law Firm and most especially, with the help of KDKA personality Marty Griffin, AKA “Get Marty,” who brought superstar Richard Bazzy of Shults Ford to add the final truckload of turkeys to seal the deal (set the wheels in motion…you missed what I did there, didn’t you?)

Even record-setter and first-year starter Chase Claypool, of your Pittsburgh Steelers, would be impressed with the numbers on the day—257 turkeys, 10 whole chickens, 200 backpacks provided by Boost Mobile, 150 gift bags provided by Eat’n Park, along with 50 packs of Smiley Cookies—all given to some of the less fortunate in our community.

THE EAT ‘N PARK IN PENN HILLS HOSTED THE EVENT—Penn Hills Councilman Frank Pecora, Elite Corvette Club President and co-sponsor Sheldon Oliver, Penn Hills Mayor Pauline Calabrese, Corvette legend Milton Oliver, Warren Wilson.

Special thanks goes out to Penn Hills Eat’n Park and General Manager, Raeann Allen, for providing their parking lot and facilities, State Representative Tony DeLuca, Penn Hills Mayor Pauline Calabrese, Penn Hills Councilman Frank Pecora and all the volunteers that helped make this Thanksgiving one for the fast lane! (see I did it again…fast lane…corvettes…alright my bad.)

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