Bill Neal: It takes a village, and the village showed up! 


At this very moment I am sure you’re saying to yourself, “Where is Bill Neal going with this, what does it have to do with sports, and do I have to go along for the ride???” Yes, you have to take the ride and a joyful ride it will be. And wait ‘til you see what you’re riding in. 

However, to address your other question, about the village, hop in, let’s take that ride. 

It was only several weeks ago that a young, hard-working mother of four was shocked with what might be the greatest tragedy of their lives. 

In the interest of privacy and their future status, I will intentionally leave out some details. Ms. Adrena and her children; 4-month-old baby boy, twin 5-year-old boys, and her super intelligent 8-year-old son were horrified and shocked by a fire that burned them out of their home and caused them to lose everything…and I do mean everything! 

Now here comes the village. Ms. Adrena is a waitress at a local Eat’n Park where some of us oldies but goodies make up the now infamous “E’nP Counter Crew!” When I heard her colleagues speaking of the unbelievable circumstances and what they were faced with, we all jumped into action. 


In the next several days “The Crew,” co-workers, and restaurant strangers raised over $500 and a host of household items. Now enter the Prime Time Players. The Allegheny County Housing Authority moved quickly to house the family and put into motion what would soon become evidence of the sun rising out of darkness in the village. 


Along with the request for help from family, friends and well wishers establishing the GoFundMe account to the world, I also presented the situation to the Elite Corvettes of Pittsburgh, of which I am a proud member, and as expected, the club sprung into action as they always do in such matters and hosted a “Drive-In” car cruise that raised another $1,000 while showcasing some of Western Pa.’s finest Vettes. 


Now hold on there partner, the village doors didn’t close there. Driving to the rescue as only they can do were Dennis and Penny Briggs, founders, owners and operators of D. Briggs Transport, LLC, the family-owned business that showcases over 100 vehicles that transport our children, elderly, disabled, veterans and those in need, as well as four luxury buses that can take you where you want to go anytime and anywhere. 

With the Briggs company donation of $500 plus their personal out-of-pocket contribution, the figure from “The Proverbial Village” rose to nearly $2,500 in total contributions. 

When you add to that the generous contributions made by Senator Jay Costa, the Penn Hills Fire and Police Dept., Penn Hills Mayor Pauline Calabrese, Eat’n Park, Oliver and Sons Garage, the Noblemen Cigar Bar and Restaurant and Achieving Greatness Inc., you are witness to “THE VILLAGE!” 

I can tell by that glazed look in your eyes that you still can’t connect the dots to this and sports. Come close, young man, and follow the process. It’s the game of life, a game that we all play. One that we strive to win every day and Ms. Adrena and her boys are still in the game thanks to the village! 

Be reminded of what a famous man once said: “You Fight and You Never Quit, Because If You Quit, You Neither Win Nor Live!!! (Clint Eastwood – “The Outlaw Josey Wales”) 







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