Northside Common Ministries celebrates local volunteers


Photo by Douglas McGlynn

Northside Common Ministries recognized local community volunteers during its annual “Celebration of Caring” dinner Friday, Oct. 17 at the Priory Hotel in Historic Deutschtown. 

By Douglas McGlynn

Northside Common Ministries’ annual “Celebration of Caring” dinner took place Friday, Oct. 17 in the Grand Hall at the Priory Hotel in Historic Deutschtown.

“Celebration of Caring” is an event meant to recognize and honor the work of local individuals that benefit the community. Two members of the youth community were honored, as well as an adult honoree and a congregational honoree.

The youth winners were Lalia Rushing and Ella Engberg, who operated a bake sale to raise money for the Northside Common Ministries homeless shelter and food pantry.

This year’s adult winner was Harry McCollum, who made great strides in caring for the needy.

“The purest ministry you can do is feed the hungry,” McCollum said in a video that accompanied the presentation.

The Calvary United Methodist Church and Church Union was recognized for the Congregational Award for helping to feed the homeless and hungry.

Nominees Melody Miller, Joyce Rabinovitz, Dotty Scheerbaum, Natasha Walton, and Christ Methodist Union Church were also honored during the celebration.

Charles Hamilton was honored as this year’s Program Participant Success Story. Northside Common Ministries helped Hamilton get on his feet after serving 22 years in prison and having nowhere to go. Hamilton is now helping others that are in similar situations as he was.

“It means a lot to me to be honored,” Hamilton said during the dinner. “Thank you.”

The master of ceremonies for the evening was Mark Nootbaar, news director for 90.5 WESA radio station. The event featured live music and dancing.

A silent auction also took place throughout the evening. Offers included original photography of West Park, assorted wine bundles, and a sports package featuring tickets to an upcoming Steelers game. All proceeds of the silent auction went directly to the Pleasant Valley Men’s Shelter.

Northside Common Ministries is an affiliate of Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. For more information about Northside Common Ministries and its activities please visit the official website.

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