Escape to Havana Fall Gala
City Mission’s 2nd Annual Fall Gala has been Officially Cancelled
Thank you so much for your interest in City Mission’s Fall 2019 Gala.
Unfortunately, we will be cancelling the “Escape to Havana” Gala this year due to critical summer budget shortages. We have been quite transparent about our need for urgent funding over the past few months, and feel a Gala at this time involves considerable upfront expense that we can’t currently justify.
Hopefully we can try an event like this in the future.
Open For Business
“We’re very very pleased to be back in Monongahela,” said City Mission President/CEO Dean Gartland at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, July 19 for their new City Mission Thrift Store. Last summer, the building they were leasing for their store, just a few blocks away from their current location, was sold, so a new location was needed. “We didn’t intend on leaving,” explained Mark Vinoverski, City Mission’s Director of Hope Enterprises. “We have great relationships with everyone here in Monongahela, and the question we heard so often was when are you going to come back.” Ever since then, the Mission had been looking to find a new location in town. In February, they purchased the old McCrory’s building at 211 West Main Street in Monongahela and began the renovations to convert the space into a thrift store. It marks the first building the Mission has ever purchased for the purpose of opening a thrift store. With the support of countless donors, volunteers, and local churches, businesses, and organizations, the Mission was finally able to open the doors to their seventh Thrift Store and Donation Center on Monday, July 19. Christine Somales of Monongahela was the very first customer at the new store. “I shopped regularly at the old store,” she said. “I’m just so happy that you guys are back. The store looks awesome!” Somales was able to find a set of tea cups she plans to use for decorating tables at an upcoming Monessen Library function in October. “I live in Monongahela,” she added, “and I was watching the construction every day. It’s amazing how it just fits in with all the other buildings…I’m so happy to have the Mission back in Monongahela. We missed you so much.” All proceeds from the sale of items at City Mission Thrift Stores, support the Mission’s life-changing programs and services to reach the homeless and needy in our community. “We want people to ‘Thrift with a Purpose,’” said Gartland. “And our purpose is make sure that people’s needs are being met in our community and our county.” “We are the sustaining arm of the Mission,” explained Vinoverski, who runs City Mission’s Thrift Store organization. “Truly, the money we make here goes to support the programs at the Mission. We love what we do. We love the purpose of the Mission.” This is the seventh thrift store for the Mission, and according to Vinoverski, they are hoping to open an eighth store by the end of the year to bring even more revenue to the Mission’s programs and services. But for now, it was just an exciting day for everyone involved in the Grand Opening! There was cake and hourly give-aways, and a K-Love booth on-site with contemporary Christian music playing throughout the day. There was a steady stream of customers and a constant line at the cash register. “It’s a blessing to be here in Monongahela,” said Vinoverski, “and we’re looking forward to serving the community.” So come on out and shop, donate, or volunteer at one of the Mission’s seven thrift stores to help support this vital part of their ministry. Visit www.citymission.org/stores for more information.
Thrift With a Purpose
On Monday, July 19, City Mission will celebrate the Grand Opening of its newest City Mission Thrift Store at 211 W. Main Street in Monongahela. The opening ceremony will be held at 10:00am at the new store with prayer, remarks from City Mission staff and noted figures in the community, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and an invitation to shop the new store. The store will open to the public for shopping at 11:00am, with prize giveaways every hour, a K-LOVE radio booth on-site, and merchandise specifically chosen for our grand opening shoppers. Last summer, the Mission closed their Monongahela Thrift Store following a change in building ownership. They decided to re-open the store in Monongahela at a new location. “We have a good customer-base here,” explained Brian Johansson, City Mission’s Chief Operating Officer, “and I think they were sad to see us go.” So City Mission purchased the old McCrory’s building on Main Street, which had been converted into a flooring store and then sat empty for the past three years. Once the Mission purchased the building, renovations began. Community members stepped up to offer their time and expertise to paint, build, replace lighting, and complete other tasks to help renovate the space for thrift store needs. With all their hard work along with the great work of local contractors, the City Mission Thrift Store will be a beautiful addition to Monongahela’s downtown area and a fun place to find great deals. The new location, City Mission’s seventh Thrift Store, is just a few blocks from where the old store had been. It marks the first time City Mission has purchased a building for the purpose of opening a thrift store. 100 percent of the proceeds from all seven City Mission Thrift Stores support the life-transforming programs and services for the homeless residents at the Mission. Please visit www.citymission.org for more information.
Mission Possible VI
City Mission’s sixth annual Mission Possible 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, presented by AccuTrex Products, Inc. and benefiting the Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House for homeless veterans, is back in-person this year at Peterswood Park in Venetia on Saturday, August 7 at 8am. And building on the success of last year’s virtual run, this year’s run will also include a virtual component that starts on August 1 and ends August 7. ”This is a unique run because it was conceived to benefit a shelter for homeless veterans, and veterans feature prominently in the opening ceremonies and the event itself,” said City Mission Chief Development Officer, Dr. Sally Mounts, a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Army. The event was started six years ago by Jeff McCartney, a local realtor and board member for the City Mission Board of Directors, as a way to raise funds in support of City Mission’s Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House, which opened in July 2018 and houses 22 homeless veterans, helping to restore them to independent living. For the first five years, the event was sponsored by the Northwood Charitable Foundation. This year marks the first year of sponsorship by AccuTrex Products, Inc., a manufacturing company headquartered in Canonsburg. AccuTrex President and CEO, Marty Beichner, was named Pittsburgh’s Vetrepeneur of the Year in 2020, a prestigious honor presented annually to one of the region’s outstanding veteran business owners. “Marty and his wife Judy are long-time supporters of City Mission,” said Mounts. “Marty was a Corpsman on the ground in Vietnam with the 2nd Battalion 26th Marines, and he understands veterans’ needs at such a visceral level. We’ve worked with him on several other veterans’ projects, and he is just rock solid. When we were looking for a sponsor for this event, Marty was the first person I thought of.” This will also mark the first year that the Mission Possible Run will be a hybrid event with both an in-person and virtual option. Due to the pandemic, last year’s event was forced to go completely virtual, and the success and flexibility of that option inspired the Mission to include a virtual component this year as well. “We’re really excited to be back to having a live run this year. But we’re also giving people the choice to register virtually for Mission Possible VI, and then to run or walk on their own time,” explained Mounts. “That way, they can participate even if they can’t make the actual run date. They’ll still get a T-shirt, and all proceeds will benefit City Mission’s Crabtree Kovacicek Veteran’s House.” Since its inception in July 2018, the Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House has helped to guide nearly thirty veterans out of homelessness and into independent living. Richard, a Vietnam-era veteran and graduate of the Mission’s veterans’ program came to the Mission with significant health issues. For a time, he had lived in a refrigerator box under a bridge. Before moving out of the Veterans House into his own apartment, he said, “This is like heaven to be here [The Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House]. This place helped me turn my life around. I got a second chance, and I thank God for that.” You can help other veterans just like Richard turn their lives around. Learn more or register today for the sixth annual Mission Possible 5K Run/1 Mile Walk at www.missionpossiblerun.org.
New Thrift Store to Open in July
City Mission plans to open a new Thrift Store and Donation Center in Monongahela, with a grand opening ceremony tentatively-scheduled for mid-July. Late, last summer City Mission closed their former Monongahela location. “It was a good building and a good location,” said Brian Johansson, City Mission’s Chief Operating Officer. “But someone else bought the building, so we had to move out.” But the Mission wanted to maintain its presence in the town. “We have a good customer-base here,” Johansson added, “and I think they were sad to see us go.” So City Mission purchased a building at 211 West Main Street just a few blocks from where the old store used to be and began renovations on their seventh Thrift Store location. It marks the first time City Mission has purchased a building for the purpose of opening a thrift store. Revenue generated from sales at all of City Mission’s Thrift Stores support the life-transforming programs and services at the Mission, helping to restore the homeless to independent living. The seven Thrift Stores generate about one-third of the overall yearly funds for the Mission. Since City Mission receives no government funding, the revenue generated by the Thrift Stores helps create a sustainability plan and a consistent revenue source. So the new Monongahela store is part of a crucial enterprise that is integral to City Mission’s work in the community. In addition to generating revenue, City Mission’s Thrift Stores also create a vital vocational training ground for the Mission’s residents. Donated items are sent to the Mission’s warehouse on Sheffield Street where residents work alongside staff and volunteers to sort and prepare the items to be sold in the stores. Here, the residents learn valuable job skills like teamwork, communication, responsibility, and giving and receiving feedback. They also earn resume-boosting certificates such as forklift operation. Some of the residents are even helping in the renovations of the new Monongahela store to get it up and running before the Grand Opening. “We’re trying to use as many volunteers in the renovation as possible,” Johansson explained. Volunteers, Bob, a retired union carpenter, and his wife, Janet, have donated their time and talents to build a closet for the new HVAC unit as well as a donation sorting room. They also helped to fix up a staff kitchen and bathroom. Tom Kennedy, a retired construction project manager for UPMC, is also volunteering his time and expertise to the project. “Tom has great experience,” Johansson noted. “And he offered to help us out. He stops by to check in every week.” Kennedy is also working with his contacts to find skilled volunteers to help with projects like replacing lights and installing security cameras. The building where the new store will be located was once a McCrory’s Department Store. Since then, it was occupied by a flooring store called The Finishing Touch, and then it sat empty for three years before being purchased by the Mission. Fifteen years ago, there was a fire that damaged much of the upstairs, but there were no structural issues for the Mission to contend with during the renovation. Johansson noted the great potential of the Mission owning a building with so much space in the floors directly above the store. Eventually, once repairs are completed, the upper floors could be rented as apartments or office space to generate even further revenue for the Mission’s life-changing programs. Or they could potentially be used as housing for residents who graduate from the Mission’s program. “There’s great potential upstairs,” Johansson suggested. “Down the road, it could be really good for the residents.” Already, City Mission has installed a brand-new HVAC system, created a gravel lot behind the building along Railroad Street (which, according to Mark Vinoverski, City Mission’s Director of Hope Enterprises, could potentially have up to 12-14 parking spots), and built a back deck where the loading dock will eventually be located. Additionally, the Mission is planning to build a brand-new front entrance and a matching entrance in the back. Improvements are also being made to the storefront. Working with the Monongahela Area Historical Society, the Mission has chosen paint colors and improvements that help maintain the historical integrity of the building. Especially appealing will be the new store sign. “It’s going to be an old Woolworth-style sign with gold letters on a blue backdrop,” said Vinoverski. There will be gooseneck lights shining down on the letters. “It’s going to be a real classy sign.” There is currently a great need for volunteers at City Mission’s Thrift Stores and Donation Centers. For more information, visit www.citymission.org or contact Sheila Namy, City Mission’s Director of Volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-705-7137.
2021 Sweet Sunday Auction & Raffle winners list
THANK YOU for your support of the 2021 Sweet Sunday at HOME Dessert Festival! Your generosity helps City Mission continue to provide HOPE for HOMELESS through the proceeds of this event, held virtually this year due to COVID-19. Although winners of our auctions and raffles have been notified by email, we thought you may want the list of winners to check. The list is by the event platform # assigned to you when starting the auctions and raffles. You can sign in to the platform https://one.bidpal.net/sweetsunday/search/sweets(authentication:login/sign-in) to get your number. We look forward to holding this event back in the in person format for 2022, so see you there!
Katie Mason has been City Mission’s Event Coordinator since May of 2020, and she loves working for the Mission alongside wonderful people who work hard every day to help others and make the world a better place. “I love working with an incredible team, serving incredible people, and furthering an incredible mission,” she explained. Katie was born and raised in Peters Township, and her first experience with City Mission was volunteering with her Dad at the inaugural Sweet Sunday when she was a little girl. When she was young, she loved to study history, and her dream job was to be a historian or a professor or any job where she could learn more about history every day. In high school, she moved with her family to Big Timber, MT. She went to college at Montana State University in Bozeman, and for nearly 4 years, was the Director of Artistic Planning & Development Coordinator at the Helena Symphony, the “largest regional-professional orchestra in Montana.” Recently, she moved back to the area and was hired as the Event Coordinator at the Mission, where she has had the privilege of helming the 27th annual Sweet Sunday, the same event she attended with her dad as a child. “I love the tradition of Sweet Sunday,” Katie said of our largest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds helping to provide hope for the homeless. “I remember it as a kid, and it has evolved into a truly special community event that is about much more than buying chocolates, bidding on auction items, buying raffle tickets, and watching entertainment. It is about bringing our community together to help the homeless and the underserved.” This year’s Sweet Sunday event is the first one ever to go virtual. It has been an enormous undertaking to bring all the fun, tradition, and excitement of a beloved in-person event into an exclusively online setting. But Katie has been up to the challenge, and the event has already exceeded expectations thanks to the compassion and generosity of our community. On September 4, in Cedar Falls, IA, Katie will be getting married to Benjamin Bower! “I know it sounds cliché,” she said, “but I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!” A few months ago, Katie got sick and ended up in the ER. Ben took time off of work and drove all the way from his home in Maryland to take care of her for 4 days. She and Ben have already bought a house in Canonsburg and are looking forward to their big day! Thanks, Katie, for everything you do for the Mission!
Sweet Sunday at Home
City Mission’s Sweet Sunday at Home Dessert Festival presented by Realty One Group Gold Standard this year will mark the 27th year of the event and the first time it will be conducted virtually, with sweets delivered to your door on Sunday February 28th. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will look quite a bit different than it has in past years, but it will still have all the fun and excitement that you have come to know and love from Sweet Sunday. “Although Sweet Sunday will be very different this year, the need remains the same,” said City Mission President/CEO Dean Gartland. “This is a critical time of year because of the Pandemic and the need for hope is greater than ever.” “This year, we’re bringing Sweet Sunday to everyone’s homes,” explained City Mission Event Coordinator, Katie Mason. “It starts on February 15 and culminates on Sunday, February 28th with delivery to your door. You can start early to order your sweets boxes, bid on silent auctions, and buy raffle tickets for your favorite baskets, the Wreath of Wealth, and a custom dollhouse!” You can participate in the event online at: www.citymission.org/support/sweet-sunday. All sweets ordered between February 15 and February 27 will be delivered to your home on Sunday, February 28. Sweets ordered on the 28th will be delivered on Monday, March 1 along with auction prizes. You must live within a 30-mile radius of the Mission to have any sweets or items delivered to your home. All proceeds benefit City Mission’s life-changing programs. “For years, people have loved Sweet Sunday,” said Chief Development Officer Dr. Sally Mounts. “It’s a fun family event at a reasonable price point. We’re doing everything we can to transfer that fun spirit to a virtual/at-your-door delivery event. And it will be so easy to access. Just go to our website, click on the Sweet Sunday tab, and get connected to wonderful, delicious sweets and fun auctions.” The Mission will also host an exciting Facebook Live event on Sunday, February 28. “You’ll get front row seats to an exclusive concert by Scott Blasey of the Clarks,” Mason explained. “The sweets will also be delivered right to your door, along with a special surprise bag full of goodies, including your program, information on voting for your favorite sweets, kids’ activities, and gifts from our sponsors!” Creating an online event that captures the fun and excitement of Sweet Sunday was no easy task, and for Mason, who joined City Mission’s staff in May, this was her first time ever planning the Mission’s largest yearly fundraiser. But she remembers attending the very first Sweet Sunday with her Dad, who passed away 21 years ago. “They are some of my most cherished memories with him,” she said. “I am honored to be working alongside amazing people to create an event that encompasses the essence of Sweet Sunday while maintaining low-risk of spread during the pandemic.” “My favorite part of Sweet Sunday is the basket auctions,” said Mounts. “It’s always been so much fun to see the glittering baskets lined up, waiting for tickets. We’re having the same auction, only this year, it’s online. And I get two whole weeks to look at the pictures, read the descriptions, and decide what baskets to put my tickets in!” “This will certainly be a different Sweet Sunday than I’m used to,” added Gartland. “However, I’m really looking forward to connecting online with first-time Sweet Sunday supporters. And I’m really looking forward to sharing in all the joy and excitement of this year’s event.” Please go to www.citymission.org for more details about the event or contact Katie Mason at email@example.com.
Scott Blasey to Perform at Sweet Sunday
City Mission will be hosting a live, virtual event on Sunday, February 28th as part of their 27th annual Sweet Sunday dessert festival and their very first ever Sweet Sunday at Home event, where the sweets are delivered to your door. Headlining the entertainment for this year's event will be none other than Scott Blasey of The Clarks.Scott Blasey is the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Pittsburgh-based rock band the Clarks. Over their 34-year career the Clarks have performed all over the country, sold more than a million albums, toured with Steely Dan and John Mayer, and performed live on the Late Show with David Letterman, and the 2009 NHL WinterClassic. Their music has been featured in movies and television shows, including the 2015 season premiere of the Simpsons. In addition to his success with the band, Scott has found an audience as a solo artist. He’s released three solo albums and opened for rock icons Neil Young, and the Beach Boys. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and just recently was inducted into the Connellsville Area High School Hall of Fame. Most importantly, Scott and his wife Denise are the proud parents of Sofia, Ava, and Gracelyn.The Blasey family has been supporting the City Mission for the last several years. Denise is originally from Washington, PA, and feels strongly about giving back to her community. Denise and Scott, like many others, have been impressed by the City Mission’s dedication to helping adults and families in need. They regularly perform at the City Mission on Thanksgiving, singing songs and helping to serve the residents. Scott and the kids also perform at SweetSunday every February. They’ve seen firsthand the difference the City Mission makes in the community, and are proud to give their time and energy to further their goals.
Fifth Annual Run for Homeless Veterans Goes Virtual
For the fifth consecutive year, Northwood Charitable Foundation is hosting the Mission Possible 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, benefiting City Mission’s Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House. Due to COVID-19 and for the safety of all participants, volunteers, and staff, the event will be held virtually this year. Runners can register at www.missionpossiblerun.org between now and August 8. Then, they simply map out their own 5K or 1-mile route anywhere they want and run any time between August 1-15. Runners are asked to wear red, white, and blue and post photos on social media, tagging City Mission and using #missionpossiblerun. All proceeds from the race, with Northwood Charitable Foundation matching up to $10,000, support life-transformation for the 22 veterans who live at City Mission’s Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House. The house opened in 2018 to provide services and programs targeted specifically to meet the unique needs of homeless veterans. "In this trying and troubling time, we know two things,” said Jeff McCartney, a local realtor and member of City Mission’s Board of Directors who has chaired the Mission Possible event for the past five years. “One is that the homeless Veterans need our help more than ever. And second and most importantly, we know through spirit and truth that all things are possible in Christ Jesus. He is our rock and our Redeemer." Many of the residents of the Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House suffered a great deal before arriving at City Mission, but after entering the veterans’ program, many have been able to restore their hope and confidence. “City Mission gave me a sense of self-worth and put me back in touch with the Lord,” said Tim, an Air Force Veteran who came to City Mission after breaking his hip. “At the Crabtree House, we have confidence and self-respect. We’re all brother veterans, all working together for the betterment of all. I’m grateful to be able to have a sense of pride in something. And we take pride in that house.”The US Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that over 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States, and according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are 50% more likely to be homeless than other Americans. “The Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House is a critical component to the healing process for our veteran population,” said Dean Gartland, President/CEO of City Mission. “Having our veterans living together and supporting one another is the best way for veterans to obtain lasting results.” Register at www.missionpossiblerun.org between now and August 8 to help homeless veterans.About City Mission: For over 75 years, City Mission has sheltered, healed, and restored the homeless to independent living—without discrimination. City Mission’s comprehensive program addresses both short-term needs like food and shelter, and long-term needs, including drug and alcohol counseling, mental health and medical treatment, legal aid, and employment training. City Mission’s goal is to help each man, woman, mother with children, or veteran who walks through our doors to become a healthy, productive member of society. With your help, we can help our residents renew their lives.
3rd Annual Golf Outing
Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about golf…more specifically, the 3rd Annual City Mission Golf Outing on August 24, 2020! Please join us for this highly visible event at the beautiful Southpointe Golf Club, where you’ll enjoy the challenge of an exceptional golf course and the chance to learn
Scott Blasey of the Clarks Facebook Live Concert
“Now more than ever we need music in our lives,” says Scott Blasey of the Clarks. Join Scott as he performs live from the basement of his home to benefit City Mission’s Life-Changing Programs on Saturday, April 25 and May 2nd from 8 – 9:30 pm.
Up and Running
And both Matt and Wayne have decided to do the virtual race through www.pittsburghmarathon.com, which allows them to run the marathon on their own and record their results on the website. They have also decided to use the opportunity to help raise support for the life-changing programs at City Mission. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, City Mission has had to close their Thrift Stores for retail shopping. This is losing them approximately a third of the income they rely on to support their programming. City Mission and the men, women, children and veterans who rely on the Mission – people just like Matt – need your help now more than ever.
26th Annual Sweet Sunday Auction Basket Winners!
Here are the Winning Ticket Numbers! Basket can be picked up at City Mission after February 28, 2020. Call 724-222-8530 to arrange your Basket Pick up time. Winners MUST present winning Ticket Stub to claim prize. Baskets not picked up before March 28 become the property of City Mission for future fundraising.
26th Annual Sweet Sunday Dessert Festival
City Mission is more than a homeless shelter. Our comprehensive program addresses both short-term needs like food and shelter, as well as long-term needs, including drug and alcohol counseling, mental health treatment, medical care, legal aid, and employment training.
11th Annual Celebrate Success
Thursday, October 10, 2019City Mission Dining Room. 84 W. Wheeling St., Washington, PA 15301. Doors open at 6pm.
Fundraiser at The Fairmont Pittsburgh
No sooner had we cancelled our Escape to Havana Fall Gala due to funding shortages than a generous, anonymous donor GIFTED us with a complete, elegant dinner package at The Fairmont Pittsburgh! We are honoring the donors request by holding this fundraiser in hopes of raising $50,000.00 to benefit our Life- hanging Programs! There is no cost. Please attend on Saturday, August 24 and bring your friends.
Hits for the Homeless
Join the community on Tuesday, August 6th when the Washington Wild Things and Range Resources partner to support City Mission of Washington, PA. 100% of the net proceeds will go directly to City Mission. It’s that easy…purchase your tickets and come to the game ready to have a good time! Tuesday, August 6 @2:55 pm
New City Mission Thrift Store to Benefit Area's Homeless
On Monday, May 20 City Mission will celebrate the Grand Opening of its Thrift Store in Belle Vernon, PA. The store opening ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. with prayer, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, benediction and an invitation to shop the new store. There will be a store-wide sale with 25% off on purchases as shoppers
Macy's Bag Hunger Campaign Helps City Mission
You can make CHANGE while shopping at Macy’s at South Hill Village from March 15-31. Customers can donate to Million Meals in March by rounding up your purchase (up to $.99) to the next dollar and give that change to City Mission in Washington, PA. This program, “Make Good Cents,” is part of Macy’s Bag Hunger campaign, which is now in its 22nd year helping to reduce hunger in local communities. Hunger affects 41 million Americans.