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Bob O'Connor Memorial Quilt Unveiled for Anniversary of His Death

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 General News J E 4
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PITTSBURGH, Aug. 27 The Highmark Caring Place, A Centerfor Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, unveiled a memorialquilt to honor former Mayor Bob O'Connor in the City-County Building indowntown Pittsburgh today. The quilt celebrates the life of Mayor O'Connor,who served as an adviser to the Caring Place and as a board member of theHighmark Caring Foundation, and will be displayed until Sept. 7 to coincidewith the anniversary of his death on Sept. 1.

"As we approach the anniversary of Mayor O'Connor's death, we remember himas a great man who dedicated his life to making Pittsburgh a better place tolive," said Kenneth R. Melani, M.D., president and CEO of Highmark Inc. "Hedid the same for the Highmark Caring Place. He realized the struggle manychildren face upon the death of a loved one or family member and understoodthe importance of assisting these grieving children. Honoring Mayor O'Connorwith a quilt is our way of ensuring that his memory and his accomplishmentswill be remembered."

The quilt squares were designed by 15 students from six Pittsburgh PublicSchools, including Brookline Elementary, Helen S. Faison Arts Academy, MorrowElementary, Perry Traditional Academy, Schiller Classical Academy and TaylorAllderdice High School. The artwork in the squares created by the studentswere sewn together to make a quilt representing Mayor O'Connor's life andaccomplishments. The artwork in the quilt squares represents a variety ofaccomplishments of the former mayor, including bringing Wi-Fi access todowntown Pittsburgh, encouraging clean-up of the city in his Redd-UpPittsburgh campaign and much more.

Quilts are an integral part of the Caring Place as each family who attendsthe program creates a quilt square in memory of their loved ones. Individualquilt squares are then sewn together by volunteers into a large quilt thatpermanently memorializes those who have died.

After its display in the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh, thequilt will be permanently installed at the Schenley Park Golf Course, whichwill be renamed in September as Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley.

The Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents,and Their Families, provides peer support groups, referral services, adulttelephone support, and educational programs and resources for grievingchildren and families. In addition, consultation services, as well aseducational presentations and resources, are available for schools and otherprofessionals in the community who work with children. The Highmark CaringPlace is a community resource, offering services at no charge to any grievingfamily throughout the community.

The Highmark Caring Place operates three facilities, located inPittsburgh, Erie and Central Pennsylvania. Since the opening of the CaringPlace in 1997, the program has served more than 15,000 family members andcommunity partners. For more information about the Highmark Caring Place,contact 1-888-224-HOPE (4673) or visit http://www.highmarkcaringplace.com.

SOURCE Highmark Caring Place
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