Program focus is suicide, depression
The Blair County May Is Mental Health Month Committee will present "Depression and Suicide Prevention: What We Know and What We Can Do," a free program, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Altoona Heritage Discovery Center, 1421 12th Ave., Altoona.
Professional continuing education credits are available.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and for an hour attendees can visit representatives from different agencies to learn what help and services are available locally for those coping with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Nationally, May is designated as Mental Health Month to decrease the stigma society attaches to mental illnesses. For 18 years, a group of local mental health service organizations have presented programs designed to increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of mental health-related subjects.
This year, May Is Mental Health Month's featured speakers include Dr. Joseph Antonowicz, medical director, UPMC Altoona Behavioral Health Services, and Holly Wilcox, associate professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Antonowicz will open the presentation by sharing what we know about depression, and Wilcox, also a researcher for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will discuss what we know about suicide and how we can help prevent it.
The program will conclude with testimonies from those who have experience with depression and a suicide loss.
For information on professional continuing education credits, call 889-2706.
Sponsors include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Blair County Department of Social Services, Blair Family Solutions, Community Care Behavioral Health, Home Nursing Agency, Lytle EAP Partners, Meadows Psychiatric Center, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Blair County, Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center, Primary Health Network and UPMC Altoona.
Friends' Spring Fling raises $5,250
The UPMC Altoona Atrium was bustling with activity on March 14 at the first annual Spring Fling Basket Raffle, sponsored by Friends, the hospital's auxiliary.
Hospital employees and visitors made their way around the tables of baskets trying to decide which they wanted to try their luck with, and luck was a common basket theme with St. Patrick's Day just a few days away.
Gregg Weise, Friends' ways and means co-chairman, said he was very pleased with the results. Twenty baskets were donated by various hospital departments and groups.
Sally Young, Friends member and retired employee, said many of the prizes were worth several hundred dollars, some as much as $400.
Determined by number of entries, the most popular basket was a wicker patio furniture set and other patio accessories donated by Volunteer Services, Marketing and Communications, Foundation for Life and Community Education.
The Friends will hold another basket raffle in September.
Foundation discusses scholarships
COALPORT - At the April 28 meeting of the Glendale Education Foundation, held in the new conference room upstairs at Josie's Restaurant, the board of directors voted unanimously to change the name of the Glendale Education Foundation Scholarship to the Dr. Edward B. Turchick Scholarship.
The change was made as a way to not only honor a longtime charter member of the board - who resigned in February - but also for his many years as superintendent of Glendale School District.
Besides this newly named $500 scholarship, awarded to a student with an influential community or school-based senior project, the board randomly chose their Glendale Educational-Community Scholarship winner based on pre-determined criteria.
Both scholarship winners will be announced Wednesday evening at the high school.
Executive director, Richard W. Snyder II, announced that a total of 41 students have earned the foundation's "Academic Letter," representing the first group of students in grades nine through 12 who have achieved the minimum 94 percent grade point average the first three nine-week grading periods.
These students will be awarded their letters around mid-May, and another 10 students can earn this academic letter the final nine weeks' grading period.
Elementary principal Edward DiSabato informed the group that a record total of 13 sixth-graders have perfect attendance this school year, for which they will potentially receive a new bicycle as part of the Elementary Attendance Award co-funded by the foundation and the Horace Mann Insurance Co.
Snyder updated the board on the upcoming GEF Golf Tournament fundraiser (set for June 13 at Eagles Ridge Golf Club).
Any business, organization, alumni or other individual who were not mailed requests for sponsorship can email the executive director at rwsnyder@
JoAnn Wagner, proprietor of Josie's Restaurant, is planning to donate a portion from the cost of gob cake slices to the foundation during the month of June
The board also provided funds to help support Holocaust speaker Eva Olsson's recent talk at Glendale and five other school districts.
The next meeting of the Glendale Education Foundation is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 29 in the upstairs meeting room of Josie's Restaurant.