Nearly 200 people gathered Thursday night at the Georgetown Centre banquet facility as Mon Valley Initiative celebrated its annual dinner and community awards ceremony.
Johnna A. Pro, regional director of community affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, served as emcee for the evening, but was surprised when MVI presented her with the 2017 Sen. H. John Heinz III Award for Community Service.
A Charleroi native, Pro was honored by MVI for her efforts to foster “a network of open and accountable organizations … working together for community and economic development.”
Dale J. Bizub, chair of the MVI board, praised Pro for being a “trusted advisor” to the organization and other community development corporations, who “thinks strategically and has a wonderful sense of humor. ”
The Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was presented with the 2017 MVI Regional Partnership Award for its efforts to donate vacant church buildings for neighborhood re-uses.
Patrick Shattuck, MVI real estate director, presented representatives of the presbytery with the award and noted that the organization’s recent donation to MVI of the former First United Presbyterian Church of Braddock will enable the creation of “really special residential living spaces” next to the Braddock Carnegie Library.
Honored with community awards by MVI’s partner CDCs were:
- Grow Pittsburgh, by Braddock Economic Development Corp.
- The AB Men’s Group of First Baptist Church of West Newton, by Downtown West Newton Inc.
- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Manna from on High Ministries and New Day Ministries of East Pittsburgh, by East Pittsburgh Economic Development Corp.
- Charleroi Borough Council, by Greater Charleroi Community Development Corp.
- Hilltop Station of Monessen Volunteer Fire Department, by Monessen Community Development Corp.
- Swissvale Fire Department, by Swissvale Economic Development Corp.
- Triton Holdings LLC, by Rankin Community Development Corp., and
- Linda Patchel of Wilkinsburg, by Turtle Creek Development Corp.