Family Legacy Dinners hosted by the North Side Partnership Project and Save Garvin Field are two community initiatives started with the help of New Sun Rising’s One Northside Mini-Grant Program.

By Alyse Horn-Pyatt

Much of the building that was McNaugher School in Perry Hilltop remains the same since its closure in 2012, but slowly it has started to breathe new life under the ownership of the North Side Partnership Project.

The nonprofit plans to use the space to implement STEAM labs (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) for students and families, and to lease space to individuals focused on community and social services.

It has also been available for community events, and in early November the North Side Partnership Project hosted its third Family Legacy Dinner with support from New Sun Rising’s One Northside Mini-Grant program. The grants have awarded $1,000 to over 30 projects that concentrate on education, employment, place, and health and safety.


Project Lead Eleanor Williams said the dinners have been funded by One Northside since they began, and were created to credit community members who respect family and want to elevate their neighborhood.

“You might have to dig deep to find it, but there is always something good going on within our families,” Williams said.

With past dinners, one family was chosen and awards were given out to each family member in categories like academics or performing arts, but this year the dinner was done a bit differently. Williams said the decision was made to bring together the Johnson, Gibson, and Humphrey families to celebrate the birth of the newest family member, Kyier Lee.

Williams said she sees a lot of negativity in the world, but believes if children and families are exposed to positive places and gatherings, their outlook on life will become more positive.

A similar idea backs Save Garvin Field, a project also funded by ONS, and is lead by Bonny Kwolek. The project will commence in the spring and clean up the the Observatory Hill park while also igniting the conversation of how to revitalize the space.

Because the space is physically unkempt and at the end of a dead end street, Kwolek said it is used as a meeting place for illegal activity “and we are trying to curb that.” The field was once owned by the Perry Athletic Association, but it is no longer in use.

Some ideas have been kicked around, like starting another baseball league or turning the land into a community garden like Ballfield Farm in Perry Hilltop, but will not be officially discussed until the spring.

Kate Kelley, one of four Street Team Ambassadors for the program, said the mini-grants are a great opportunity for individuals and organizations to get funding for their projects.

Kelley received funding in the past from One Northside and became a Street Team Ambassador because she wanted to be more involved in letting other Northsiders know about the mini-grant opportunity.

“It’s accessible for everybody and New Sun Rising is willing to help [you] flesh out the logistics for the grant application and support [you] through the implementation of your project,” Kelley said.

“You don’t need to be a professional. You can just be your own self with a great idea,” Kelley said.

Printed applications for One Northside Mini-Grants are accepted at both the Allegheny and Woods Run Carnegie Library branches during normal business hours and by postal mail addressed to New Sun Rising, attn. One Northside Mini-Grant, P.O. Box 58005, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15209.

You may also send your application as attachments to Contact New Sun Rising staff with inquiries or other questions by phone 412-407-9007 or email

New Sun Rising’s One Northside Mini-Grant Program is made possible through support by The Buhl Foundation.

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