By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Upcoming fundraisers topics for Zone 3 Public Safety meeting


February 22, 2011

Two upcoming fundraisers sponsored by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police were the focus of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council Meeting of Feb. 16.

The first event is a Feb. 25 pasta dinner fundraiser for the family of Nicole Cleland, whose car was struck head-on on East Carson St. on Dec. 5 by a drunk driver as she was headed to pick up her husband from work.

Her daughter, Lexa, 7, a passenger in the family car, died from head and neck injuries.

Mrs. Cleland, 38, whose pelvis was completely shattered, also lost her unborn child. She remains in a nursing facility.

The fundraiser, "Pasta by Police with Love," will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Brookline Blvd. United Presbyterian Church, 1036 Brookline Blvd. The price is $7 for adults; $5 for children; and free for children under age 5.

Tickets will be sold at the door, and take out is available. For donations, checks payable to Nicole Cleland can be dropped off at any police station. Items for prizes are also welcome.

"Our goal is to show her we all care, and it could happen to anyone," said Officer Christine Luffey, the event organizer. For questions, call her at 412-488-8425.

The driver, Travis Isiminger, 23, of Holbrook, Greene County, was driving 62—64 miles per hour after drinking three liters of beer at a South Side bar. He is now facing 13 charges, including third degree murder.

"This tragedy was 100 percent preventable," said city Councilman Bruce Kraus. "Over-consumed, and over-served," he said.

Ken Wolfe, president of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council, said the organization will donate $100 for the Clelands. As of that day, $724 had been raised in total.

Officer Luffey announced plans for the 13th annual "Biscuits Bingo," a fundraiser for local animal organizations on Saturday, March 5, beginning with a bingo at Noon. Doors open at 10 a.m.

The cost is $20, and tickets can be purchased at the door. Anyone who brings dog or cat food or toys will receive a free stuffed animal.

The location for the "Biscuits Bingo" is Guardian Angels Parish, 1030 Logue Ave. (off Steuben St. in the West End). It is a non-smoking event. Children are welcome.

Mr. Kraus said that day council voted to provide $50,000 for a spay and neuter program. For free spaying/neutering, adoption, and other information on pit bulls, visit:

In other news, SAFE (Safe Areas for Everyone) Pittsburgh will be held on Sat., May 21, at West Penn Hospital. While more information has yet to come, the morning will feature workshops on block watches. There will be free lunch and parking, and the event will end at 3 p.m.

In news of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council, Mr. Wolfe said the group's next meeting will be on March 16 at 6 p.m. in Carrick/Overbrook at the Stewart Ave. Lutheran Church, 2810 Brownsville Rd. The following month it will be held on April 20 at 6 p.m. in Arlington/Arlington Heights at Caliguri Hall, 2400 Spring St.

While specific sites for the remainder of the year have yet to be determined, meetings will be held in: Beltzhoover, May 18; Bon Air, June 15; Mount Oliver City, July 20; Mount Washington/Duquesne Heights, Sept. 21; South Side Slopes, Oct. 19; and South Shore and South Side Flats, Nov. 16.

While the Dec. 21 meeting is planned for the Zone 3 police station, it may be moved earlier due to the Christmas holiday. There will be no meeting in August.


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