An online ode to Pittsburgh’s city steps

On Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m., poet Paola Corso will host an online book talk that honors both the immigrants who built Pittsburgh’s city steps and the steelworkers who climbed them. Viewers must register online.

Corso will read from her latest work, “Vertical Bridges: Poems and Photographs of City Steps.” Joining her will be Pittsburgh documentary photographer Tim Fabian and steps activist Joe Balaban, who will share insights about one of America’s most unique architectural landmarks — the more than 800 staircases linking neighborhoods across Pittsburgh.

The free online program is co-sponsored by the Battle of Homestead Foundation and Riverstone Books.

Negro League Centennial

On Friday, Oct. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m., the Josh Gibson Foundation will host a Negro League Baseball Centennial Celebration Symposium called Why the Negro Leagues Mattered, And Still Do. The event will be held at the Power Center at Duquesne University. You can register online.

“The 100th anniversary of Negro Leagues baseball is an incredible milestone that we are thrilled to be celebrating and exploring at the symposium with an array of panelists,” says Sean Gibson, executive director of the Josh Gibson Foundation. “Our speakers all share the same interest in keeping Josh Gibson’s legacy alive and to discuss the incredible impact of the Negro Leagues on the world.”

University of Pittsburgh professor Rob Ruck, a nationally acclaimed scholar and author, will moderate a panel of speakers. Proceeds from the event will support youth baseball, after-school and mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth, and cultural and educational efforts.

On Saturday, Oct. 30, the Josh Gibson Foundation will honor baseball luminaries and community leaders during a gala at the Wyndham Grand Hotel Downtown from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Lloyd McClendon, former Pittsburgh Pirates player, coach and manager, will be receiving the 2021 Josh Gibson Legacy Award.

Joe Block and Sean Nolan at Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training. Photo courtesy of Connecting Champions.

Connecting Champions virtual anniversary party

Connecting Champions, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that provides mentorship to child and young adult cancer patients across the nation, is hosting a virtual anniversary celebration on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

The Toast to 10 Years event will bring together program participants and their families, donors, mentors and  others to highlight the accomplishments of the organization. Each participant will receive a “mystery toast box” at their doorstep, including a fancy drink, pastry and other mystery items for the whole family. Attendees can purchase a ticket to the event to receive their own mystery toast box. Those who cannot attend can also make a donation.

Since its inception, the organization has matched more than 300 kids and young adults with a mentor. As of 2021, Connecting Champions has expanded beyond Pittsburgh and has made friendships possible in more than 15 cities.

Get help heating your home this winter

Peoples‘ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps income eligible families pay winter heating costs through a federally funded grant administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. LIHEAP closes on April 9, 2022, or earlier if funds run out.

The company’s online eligibility tool, the Peoples ProgramFinder, can connect customers to LIHEAP and other programs. Grants are also available for residents without heat or in danger of being without heat. For the 2020-21 winter heating season, the minimum LIHEAP grant is $500, which is applied directly to a customer’s utility bill.

LIHEAP Crisis grants are also available to customers who have fallen behind on their utility bills and can provide up to $800 in additional assistance. Customers who qualify for LIHEAP can also benefit from Peoples’ Customer Assistance Program, which can provide lower monthly bills year-round, and for other grants and programs.

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