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Hill Top Methodist Church honored at Bravo! Brashear luncheon


Brashear Association's executive director Hugh Brannan (right) presents members of the Hill Top Methodist Church with the association's Community Service Award. Accepting the award at Bravo! Brashear were (from left) Rev. Matt Price, Deborah Acklin and Joe Ehrlich.

Bravo! Brashear, the annual meeting and luncheon of the Brashear Association, provided an opportunity for the organization to honor, award and announce all at the LeMont Restaurant on Mount Washington.

As the annual meeting, it was also time to elect or re-elect board members of the association.

This year, three directors were re-elected to the board: The Reverend Jeff Eddings, Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community; Nancy Eshelman, a community volunteer; and, District 3 Councilman Bruce Kraus. In addition, five new board members were elected: Bek Hlavach, Sweet Peaches; Jack Kirk, John Gmiter Funeral Home; Rachelle Ogun, Maher Duessel; Jennifer Pickle-Styron, Carnegie Library of PittsburghKnoxville Branch; and, Martin J. Uram, Jr., Blue Bell Technologies.

All will serve three year terms.

The association also acknowledged the contributions of outgoing board members Janice Goliwas, Jen Jeffers, Juli Milan and Angela Williams.

Brashear also uses the annual luncheon to award the Georgina Peters Scholarship to a student who has contributed in a positive manner to the association. The scholarship was named in honor of Georgina Peters, a volunteer and board member at Brashear who has passed away suddenly.

This year, with the passing of Georgina's husband, Chuck, the name of the scholarship was amended to be the Charles and Georgina Peters Scholarship. Chuck, a former board member of Brashear also took his role as Santa Claus in shorts seriously at the annual Christmas in July and was a great supporter of the association.

The scholarship is funded each year through donations from the Peters family.

This year, the scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Kerr, a psychology major with minors in social work and family studies at Grove City College. Ms. Kerr spent her internship at Brashear working in the summer programs.

Prior to her internship, she volunteered for mission trips since seventh grade, tutored at The Pittsburgh Project, worked on community service projects through Grove City and joined the International Justice Mission Chapter at the college to raise awareness on human trafficking.

Ms. Kerr is pursuing a career in social work with her ultimate goal to work with human trafficking victims and children to give them the help and justice they need.

This year's Community Service Award from the association was awarded to the Hill Top United Methodist Church in Allentown.

The church, an iconic presence in the Allentown Business District for more than 100 years was devastated by fire in September 2014. The congregation elected to re-build the church after the fire, signifying a commitment to the community and a re-dedication of its mission.

The Hill Top United Methodist Church has housed the headquarters of Allentown Senior Citizen Centers since the inception of that agency. Brashear and Allentown have shared an executive director, Hugh Brannan, for more than 30 years.

In addition, the church has provided space for children's programs from The Brashear Association, coordinated a health ministry, housed the Hilltop/Mt. Washington Meals-On-Wheels program for more than 40 years, offered space for countless community meetings and forums, and co-located with other religious congregations.

The Reverend Sue Hutchins, pastor of the church, has been a community leader and an active participant in a variety of South Pittsburgh initiatives.

In addition to the awards, Brashear also announced the formation of a committee to plan the association's centennial celebration. Cathy Niederberger and Lee Phillips will co-chair the committee planning the celebration events for 2017.


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