New Northside nonprofit combines athletics and academics


Former Steeler Mike Logan will serve as the honorary chair of Pulse.

by Kelsey Shea

A new nonprofit that will combine athletics and academics for at-risk youth in the Northside kicked off its program this week with a fundraiser with Superbowl-winning Steeler Mike Logan.

The Northside Pulse Association is a nonprofit founded by Alichia Parker, of Malaika Early Learning Center, and Eugene Goodwine of The Northside Youth Athletic Association, that will provide programming for at-risk Northside youth.

Pulse held its first fundraiser Tuesday night to raise money for its first program called G.R.A.S.P.(Growing Reaching and Sowing Possibilities).

“We want to break the cycle of poverty, the cycle of despair,” said Daren Ellerbee, communications director for Pulse. “We are sick and tired of turning on the news and seeing stories about our young people being gunned down.”

G.R.A.S.P. will be an eight-week summer enrichment program at Hosanna House for 25 at-risk children from ages 10-15. The day program will be split between morning academic lessons and afternoon athletic activities.

“We really want to make an impression and show how there is a relationship between academics and athletics,” said Goodwine, who said the program will focus on being a well-rounded individual.

2006 Superbowl-winning Steeler Mike Logan will serve as Pulse’s honorary chair.

Logan said he wishes there were programs like this when he was growing in the McKeesport area.

“Being from the area, I get asked to do a million programs like this. I’ve sat in rooms with prestigious people at big fundraisers…but nothing ever materializes,” said Logan. “I’d rather be here in this room with you and get something done.”

Ellerbee estimates that the cost of running the G.R.A.S.P.  program will be roughly $1,000 per child.

Pulse raised enough money at Tuesday’s event at Bistro-To-Go to fund 10 of the 25 children.

The fundraiser was invitation only and featured live music, food, prizes and autographs by Logan.

Pulse will host a second fundraiser, “A Night of Spoken Word Open Mic,” on May 25 at the Central Northside Banquet Hall at 302 W. North Ave.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.  All proceeds will benefit the G.R.A.S.P. program.

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