Pittsburgher Rachel Aul is one of 12 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile drivers touring the country. Photo courtesy of Rachel Aul.

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YWCA Greater Pittsburgh receives $20 million grant
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, bestowed a surprise $20 million grant — not a typo–to the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh to advance its mission to provide support services for people in southwestern Pennsylvania, especially women and girls of color. YWCA, which just confirmed the grant, was among 384 nonprofits in the country selected to receive the unrestricted funds. Scott wrote about the $4.1 billion she gave to organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. over the last four months in this article for Medium. The gift will enable the YWCA to increase Covid relief efforts and expand critical initiatives that impact the intersectionality of race and gender.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Wienermobile
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is rolling into Pittsburgh this weekend! Pleasant Hills native Rachel Aul is one of 12 “hotdoggers” touring the country in a 27-foot-long frank. She’ll be passing out wiener whistles at The Rink at PPG Place on Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and outside of the Heinz History Center on Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Give your sweetie a “Kiss”
Creatives Drink, Market Street Grocery and Mindful Hospitality are teaming up to offer the Kiss: Valentine’s Day Cocktail Box. The package includes a 12-ounce Passionfruit Cocktail for two made with Boyd & Blair Vodka, passionfruit, lemon and ginger. The sparkling beverage comes with two gold, metal straws, custom emoji conversation candies and milk chocolate bars. Randomly selected boxes will include Golden Tickets that contain gift cards to local restaurants. Available at Market Street Grocery Downtown, the box is $50 (must be 21 or older to purchase).

Photo courtesy of Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

A LOVE-LY photo op at Aspinwall Riverfront Park
Love is on display at Aspinwall Riverfront Park. A large LOVE sign and two painted, wooden hearts were installed in the recreation area at 285 River Ave. Created by tech ed and art students from Fox Chapel Area School District and supported by the Dave and Beth Short Family Foundation, the work is the first in a series of public art projects planned for the park. To submit your snapshots or volunteer for the next installation, send an email or visit the park’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

ScareHouse offers an alternative V-Day date-fright
Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Celebrate Halloween and Christmas at ScareHouse. The haunted house located inside The Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills is spreading holiday fear Feb. 12-14. Limited tickets for the three-night event are available online.

Photo courtesy of Tull Family Theater.

Village Candy pop-up at The Tull Family Theater
You can support the Tull Family Theater in a sweet way. The film-focused arts organization has teamed up with Sewickley’s Village Candy — which closed its Broad Street store in October — to sell bulk and vintage candies in the theater’s lobby. The pop-up opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day and closes 15 minutes after the last show of the day is seated. All sales will support the nonprofit theater.

Volunteers needed for Strip District cleanup 
Show the Strip District some love this Valentine’s Day weekend. On Feb. 13 from 9 to 11 a.m., join Strip District Neighbors to rid the neighborhood of litter. Meet at the corner of 21st Street and Penn Avenue. Masks, gloves and trash bags will be provided. RSVP via email.

UniSound launches Black Teaching Artist-in-Residence Program
UniSound launched the Black Teaching Artist-in-Residence Program (BTAR) to support the professional development of Black teaching artists in the city. Multi-genre performance artist Lyn Starr and flutist Brittany Trotter kicked off the program and will conclude their seven-month residency with a project of their choosing, such as a workshop, a recital or a lecture.

Join Oakland’s gift card incentive program
Help Oakland’s shops and restaurants this winter by participating in the neighborhood’s gift card incentive program. Launched by the Oakland Business Improvement District, the program offers a 40 percent bonus incentive, which means customers can spend $25 to receive a $35 gift card at 20 neighborhood businesses. A portion of every sale supports the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, which has donated more than 15,000 meals through the program.

Photo courtesy of 412 Food Rescue.

Community Takeout Program gets a big tip
Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty presented a $10,200 donation to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to support its Community Takeout Program, which is run in partnership with 412 Food Rescue. This donation will provide 1,000 meals to the community.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.