Oliver Community Day strengthens ties between school, residents


More than 200 Northside residents enjoyed free food and games at Oliver High School’s second annual Community Day last week. (Photo courtesy Caroline Wiest)

Rain held off for the second Annual Oliver Community Day last Thursday, which brought in more than 200 community members for games, music and fun.

The event’s purpose was to bring families, organizations and students together to liven up the community and featured basketball toss, skittle ball, wheel of fortune, a putting game, a fish pond, water balloon toss and sack races.

An Oliver High School teacher played DJ for the day, and organizations like Healthy Start Inc., Pittsburgh Promise, Lutheran Service Society, Carnegie Library and Oliver Alumni set up tables to promote their businesses.

Although last year’s event was poorly attended, Catherine Wiest, the project manager for the Pittsburgh Board of Education said that this event exceeded its expectations.

 “The organizations were talking to kids and families and to each other. Having time for organizations to collaborate and share space together is empowering for everyone who witnesses,” Wiest said.

The Pittsburgh Board of Education and Urban Impact Foundation partnered to fund the event. Urban Impact is a faith-based, nonprofit organization on the Northside that works with at-risk children, youth and families.

They spent a total of $800 on supplies, including $500 on food and serving materials and $300 for the dunk tank and the bounce house.

Some of the prizes included Pirates tickets, Steelers decals, pocket calendars, mouse pads from StarKist, stuffed bears and gift cards from various restaurants.

Cindy Dell, the manager for marketing and communications of Urban Impact, said that working with Oliver was a great experience.

“We built some good rapport with the community,” Dell said. “We would be happy to work with them all the time.”

Additional donors for the event included: Auntie Anne’s, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, StarKist, Jake Wheatley and Rivertowne Inn on the North Shore.

Staff members from both organizations donated additional items that were needed.

“[It was] great entertainment for students and the community,” Wiest said. “The event ran so well. Everyone was relaxed and excited, the staff, kids and organizations.”

Ashley Goodsell graduated from Point Park University this year with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She was co-sports editor for Point Park’s newspaper and plans on attending graduate school for communications or advertising.

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