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Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, made an interesting observation during his address at Tuesday’s grand opening ceremony of the Franciscan Center for Evangelism and Renewal.

“I think the fact that it’s in a neighborhood, this place of peace, this place of refuge becomes a place not only for our team and our staff, but also for the local community – that they can come here, that they can be refreshed. This is another sign that the university is dying out,” Pivonka, the president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, said at the groundbreaking event for the 16,000-square-foot facility on Brady Circle that for decades had housed several medical practices.

The opening of the center was one of many events over the past week that reminds us that our community is filled with good people working to do great things and improve the lives of those around them.

“We live by a saying – you win with people”, Anthony Mougianis said during a speech at last Sunday’s fundraising gala that supports the efforts of Ohio Valley Health Center.

“Looking through the crowd, I see a lot of familiar faces, and that’s what really makes our tri-state area special – the people are always there and able to help.”

Mougianis and Tara Dzovonick again co-chaired the event at the St. Florian Event Center. It’s always a big day on the calendar — the money raised from dinner, live auctions and other giveaways makes up about half of the center’s operating budget, which is located at 423 South St. in Steubenville. and ensures that uninsured and underinsured area residents can access quality health care.

In addition to the gala and other donations, the health center is able to fulfill its mission thanks to the help of volunteers at many levels from all over the region. This year’s gala, themed “Where Hope Grows” was the 16th – but the first held in the past three years, with the others falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our medical providers are the key to unlocking our services,” Ann Quillen, the center’s executive director, said while adding that the center was able to provide half a million dollars in free medicine and $1 million in free healthcare.

“Our mission, our service and our work to improve lives in the Ohio Valley and our high quality, compassionate care are all achieved through volunteers and staff,” she added.

The evening was also an opportunity for the organization to present honors — to Diann Schmitt, who served as the center’s first executive director and whose continued efforts earned her recognition as Medical Provider of the Year; to the Pugliese Charitable Foundation, which was named Community Partner of the Year; and to Dr. Janet Bischof, who was chosen as Volunteer of the Year.

“The real winners are the many patients who receive care at the clinic, and that takes a team effort, with everyone working together,” Bischof said.

“Look at what we can accomplish when we work together – hope for people in our community who don’t have insurance or a primary care provider so they can receive quality health care.”

Gratitude, hope and a vision for the future were the threads running through this week’s events, including Wednesday’s groundbreaking and dedication of the Edison Local School District’s Unified Athletic Complex and renovation project. Funded with voter support from a $2.1 million emergency levy passed in 2019, the $12 million complex offers facilities for football, baseball, softball, soccer and track on site from high school, which means students no longer have to travel across the northern part of Jefferson County to participate in extracurricular activities.

Basketball, wrestling and volleyball will move into the new state-of-the-art 1,500-seat sports court, while music, vocal and other programs will be housed in renovated spaces.

Superintendent Bill Beattie and School Board Chairman Aaron Richardson said they are grateful for the community support and help from many employees and others who have worked to make the improvements possible.

On May 14, the largest class of graduates in the history of the Franciscan University of Steubenville – the 761 members of the class of 2022 – heard Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, who delivered a keynote address. humorous and biting opening that carried an important message.

“Viktor Frankl said we should balance the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor with another statue, the Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco Bay,” he says, referring to the psychiatrist and existential philosopher. “But that would violate our new Ten Commandments, which prohibit being solely critical, repressive, dogmatic, intolerant, insensitive, callous, callous, narrow-minded, hypocritical and fundamentalist – our new lewd”F” word.”

The ceremony, which returned inside Finnegan Fieldhouse, gave Pivonka the opportunity to let graduates know that the school had reached its Rebuild My Church fundraising campaign’s $75 million goal the day before. .

This money will allow the construction of the academic hall and the Christ the Teacher conference center on campus, which meant that the university had to find new housing for employees who worked in areas such as evangelism. Which brought together employees, community members and university officials on Tuesday at 114 Brady Circle East, where they seek continued growth.

It was just one more example of the hope, faith and gratitude you can find in our community, and the willingness to reach out and work together to ensure that goals can be achieved.

(Gallabrese, a Steubenville resident, is editor of the Herald-Star and the Weirton Daily Times. He is a member of the advisory board of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.)

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