Farrell Area School District
1600 Roemer Boulevard
Farrell, Pennsylvania 16121
June 15, 2006
It gives me a gread deal of pleasure and satisfaction to nominate Mr. Ted Pedas for an outstanding philanthropic award. Certain criteria set forth by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) must be met in order to be given consideration for the award. After reading them all, without hesitation I feel that Mr. Pedas not only fits into every category, but exceeds them. I am very hard-pressed to find a more generous and professional individual.
To date, Mr Pedas' contributions to the Farrell Area School District, its programs, activities, facilities, and the communities of Farrell and Wheatland have amounted to an astonishing half-million dollars. Some of his most noteworthy programs include student motivation and improvement awards, a high school and an elementary school student of the month, volunteer-of-the-year awards in which volunteers in our community are recognized and given a stipend, his ongoing commitment to the outstanding Planetarium in our school district in which he pays for equipment, supplies, and maintenance of this facility. The Planetarium has received national and world recognition as a "Planetarium of the 21st Century" through his extraordinary efforts. We have welcomed notable visitors such as Astronaut Scott Carpenter, NASA indivudials and others involved in the exploration of space.
Mr Pedas is also instrumental in providing an 'Education of the Year' award for an outstanding teacher in the school district. He has also provided dollars for a Citizen and a Junior Citizen of the Year award in the community of Farrell who have shown exemplary community service. In addition, a program that I feel is most worthy of recognition is the Farrell Area School District Alumni Hall of Fame. This Hall of Fame was started in 2005 honoring Farrell graduates dating back to the 1940's and included doctors, lawyers, and authors. Finally, the Farrell Area School District Foundation has generated dollars which helps to support the communities of Farrell and Wheatland and enables many of our young people who otherwise couldn't afford to attend optional programs of excellence such as leadership, medicine, and law-related conferences.
Therefore, it is with a great deal of honor and pride that I extend to you the nomination of Mr. Ted Pedas for an outstanding philanthropic award. I cannot think of a moer deserving individual.
Yours very truly,
Richard R. Rubano, Jr.
By Jim Raykie
By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer
November 15, 2006
LIBERTY - Eight people and organizations were honored for their contributions to nonprofit organizations and causes at an annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon at the Holiday Inn MetroPlex.
"Philanthropy: It is more than generously giving. It is really about caring and concern for others," said William Kirker, president of the Mahoning-Shenango Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
"It is the motivation that leads to the giving of time, talents and treasures to improve the lives of others."
"National Philanthropy Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all that it has made possible," JoAnn Stock, event co-chairwoman, told the audience of more than 250 at Tuesday's event. "We are proud to join the 172 other Association of Fundraising Professionals chapters across the country and around the world who all join together on this special day to recognize our outstanding philanthropists," she added.
Howard B. Friend was recognized as the outstanding volunteer fundraiser.
"Volunteering is rewarding because of the people you come in contact with who are dedicated to various organizations and wanting to assist other people," he said.
Friend, of Poland, a Youngstown YMCA trustee for 16 years, volunteers at least 40 hours a week to raise the $5 million needed to build a new dining hall at the YMCA's Camp Fitch and has already seen $4.8 million raised for the project.
Other honorees and their awards were:
Special Recognition: Ted Pedas. The former Farrell High School teacher and planetarium director has donated almost $500,000 since 1969 to fund programs, scholarships and awards in the Farrell schools.
Legacy Award: Gail Todd Dennison. The award was given posthumously to Dennison, who died in 2004 at the 53. A professional horse trainer with a lifelong interest in horses, she was engaged in riding instruction, horse breeding and thoroughbred racing at her farm in Florida, to which she moved in 1996 from Canfield. She was a supporter of the Butler Institute of American Art, Angels for Animals, 4-H, the Buckeye Horse Park and pony clubs in Canfield and Marion County, Fla.
Outstanding Philanthropist: J. Fred Rentz, former co-publisher of the New Castle News, who has served as a Westminster College trustee and as a member of the national board of governors of the American Red Cross. He has been active with the Presbyterian Church for 50 years.
Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist: WYTV Channel 33. The TV station was honored for its donations of money and air time and its employees' donations of volunteer time and talent to a multitude of local causes.
Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist: Weathertite Windows. Founded in 1991 by Mervyn Hollander, Weathertite supports Forum Health Tod Children's Hospital and Relay for Life, holding numerous Relay for Life fundraisers throughout the year. More recently, the children at the Rich Center for Autism have benefited from the generosity of Hollander and his wife, Marlene.
Outstanding Young Philanthropist: Leo's Club. Derived from the Canfield Lions Club, Leo's Club was founded in 2000 by Michael Kerensky, a seventh-grade teacher at Canfield Middle School, with the goal of encouraging seventh- and eighth-graders to become involved in volunteer and philanthropic efforts in their community. The club's activities have included participation in the Heart Walk, volunteer service to elderly and retarded people, fundraising for Sojourner House and assistance to poor people in Haiti.
Outstanding Civic Organization: Rotary Club of Poland. The club's annual Chili Open Auction and Golf Outing has raised more than $1 million to benefit local charities over the past 20 years. A generous contributor to Hospice of the Valley, the club also donates to Poland schools, participates in literacy projects, and helps families in financial distress due to illness or other crises.
By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer
E-mail: Ted Pedas