FASD Superintendent nominates Ted Pedas for National Philanthropy Day 2006 Award

Richard R. Rubano, Jr., Superintendent
Farrell Area School District
1600 Roemer Boulevard
Farrell, Pennsylvania 16121

June 15, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

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.

[FASD Letter] 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.
Superintendent of Schools

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[Masthead - Herald]

Pedas up for award honoring his generosity to community

By Jim Raykie
An Editor's Notes
The Herald (Sharon, Pa) —Thursday, July 27, 2006

[Herald - Jim Raykie article] Ted Pedas, the Farrell community's benefactor extraordinaire, has been nominated by the city and school district for the Outstanding Philanthropist Award, sponsored by the Mahoning/Shenango Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Who can be more deserving of the honor than Pedas, who has contributed more than a half-million dollars to Farrell and Wheatland to be used in the community as well as the school district?

In letters of recommendation to the association, City Manager LaVon Saternow and schools Superintendent Dick Rubano lauded Pedas for his epic efforts in his community. The association will name its recipient in November.

"Ted Pedas truly serves by example," LaVon said in her letter penned for the city. "He knows that no community can survive without individuals who perform a selfless service so that others can benefit. To recognize the unsung heroes who have made this commitment in Farrell and to encourage others to take responsibility for our community's future, he has generously given of his own resources."

According to Dick's letter, "I am very hard-pressed to find a more generous and professional individual ...I cannot think of a more deserving individual."

During the city's 100th anniversary celebration in the summer of 2001, Pedas was honored by Farrell officials by receiving the Centurion Award for his extraordinary efforts. During his acceptance speech, Pedas announced that he would be funding, among a host of other programs and activities, the creation of the annual Farrell Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year Awards.

They are intended "to acknowledge those individuals who have distinguished him or herself over the years in their faithful service to our community." This year's awards will be given during the city's annual Homecoming Celebration July 27-29 at the newly renovated Veterans Square on Spearman Avenue.

The citizen award honors contributions of an adult in the community, while the junior citizen of the year honors students in the school district, who hail from the city as well as Wheatland. While technically the deadline has passed for nominations, I don't think the city or the school district would turn away any late entries.

Nomination forms are available at the superintendent's office in the school complex on Roemer Boulevard, or from the mayor's office at the municipal building at Spearman and Roemer.

I would hope that Farrell residents would supply Pedas with many nominations. Not only are many adults as well as students in the community deserving of the awards, but the nominations themselves go a long way in honoring the generosity and community spirit that Pedas offers.

Pedas is living up to the ideals contained in his acceptance speech in 2001. "There's a Greek proverb that says 'A community flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.' Over the past century Farrell has been blessed with community gardeners.

"They are the philanthropists, fundraisers, board members, community volunteers and others whose kind and generous work serves to protect and nourish others and benefit us all. They do so without fanfare, and they do so willingly with the hope that someone next door or down the street, whose face they may never know or see, will be strengthened from their actions."

Don't forget to drop by the community homecoming in late July. You'll get to see the new look at Veterans Square and you'll no doubt run into Ted, an exemplary philanthropist with or without the award from the association. But I'm betting he gets it. Can anyone else have a better track record when it comes to honoring the good in his community?

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[Masthead - Herald]

Ted Pedas, one of Farrell's leading sons, to get philanthropy award

By Tom Davidson — Herald Staff Writer
The Herald (Sharon, Pa) —Thursday, July 27, 2006

FARRELL- One of Farrell's leading native sons is being honored beyond the friendly confines of his hometown.

Astronomer, educator and philanthropist Ted Pedas is set to receive the 2006 National Philanthropy Day Special Recognition Award by the Mahoning-Shenango Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Pedas, a longtime supporter of city endeavors, along with those of the Farrell Area School District, has been the driving force behind the district's planetarium, and his gestures of support to his community haven't escaped notice.

"Ted Pedas truly serves by example. He knows that no community can survive without individuals who perform a self-less service so that others can benefit," Farrell City Manager LaVon Saternow wrote in her endorsement of Pedas for the award.

Pedas understands how important it is "to recognize the unsung heroes who have made this commitment in Farrell and to encourage others to take responsibility for our community's future, he has generously given of his own resources," Mrs. Saternow wrote.

The city honored Pedas in 2001 when it named him Farrell's "Centurion" of its first 100 years. Pedas has contributed more than $500,000 to the city, school district and other civic organizations, Farrell Area School District Superintendent Richard R. Rubano said in his nomination letter. "I am very hard-pressed to find a more generous and professional individual," Rubano wrote of Pedas.

The award will be presented to Pedas on Tuesday, Nov. 14 - which happens to be National Philanthropy Day when a luncheon will be held at the Holiday Inn Metroplex in Liberty Township, Ohio.

Pedas' generosity stems from his basic beliefs: "I've always felt that my school and my community are very important. This is my community and I've always been a son of Farrell," he told Farrell school board members when he made this year's contribution to the district.

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[Masthead - Vindicator]
November 15, 2006

Donors were recognized for their financial support, time and leadership.

Caring and concern for others honored during annual luncheon at MetroPlex

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.

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[Masthead - Herald]

Freedom Fund banquet speaker stresses service

By Tom Davidson — Herald Staff Writer
The Herald (Sharon, Pa) — October 7, 2013

MERCER COUNTY - History is filled with trying times, lost generations and the need for change, Andrea Carson told a packed house at the Park Inn by Radisson in Shenango Township.

"Change is the one thing that will never change," Carson said.

The executive director and partner of Carson Criminal Justice Consultants, Columbus, Ohio, Carson is the retired communications director for the Ohio prison system.

She was the keynote speaker for the 50th Freedom Fund banquet of the Mercer County Unit of the NAACP.

She gave a rousing, wide-ranging talk of reflections on the theme of the night: "A new vision for the next generation."

One of the keys to acquiring that vision is service, she said.

"Helping someone (else) to be the best they can be," is a key to "acquire and obtain justice," for all, she said.

That's one of the aims of the NAACP, which is the country's oldest civil rights organization.

Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights to all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination."

The Mercer County Unit is led by Monica Y. Gregory.

Gregory urged those who support the NAACP to "do what it takes to harvest a commitment towards injustice that is still plaguing America and Americans."

Doing that requires perseverance, Carson said.

"Our children are killing each other day after day after day," Carson said. "African American males are filling up prisons.

"Maybe they're not lost, we just have to lift them up," she said, and clear up "the blurred vision" they have.

The youth of today live during a time that "feels hopeless and helpless," to some, such that they "resort to killing as a sport."

Members of previous generations who have endured hardship need to share the story of their struggles with the youth of today, she said.

"We all have a story; we weren't always on top," she said. "We need to share that with this 'now' generation."

Adults need to live as examples for youth and "practice what we preach," she said.

"We're going to have to pitch in deep and help each other and become servants," she said.

It takes "strong-willed individuals who know the meaning of service," she said.

"And time. And guess what, the time is now," she said.

"It's time to take away the blindfold. No more excuses. No more why fors and what nows," Carson said. "The pain of our past must keep us focused on our vision."

"Now's the time to uphold the promise and support each other," she said. "Marvelous, mighty and magnificent things lie ahead."

This was the 50th Freedom Fund banquet held locally and it comes on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington that was a touchstone of the civil rights movement.

"These are special times to be a president," Gregory said.

On Friday, the group honored Farrell philanthropist and astronomer Ted Pedas, who annually supports Farrell schools with a unique cash donation that aims to help honor each student in the district.

"I have always appreciated what my school and my community gave to me," Pedas said in accepting the NAACP community service award.

The group also honored former president George Footman with a special "president's award" for his service to the organization.

The 2013 NAACP Scholarship Awards went to Alisha Tarver, a 2013 Farrell High School graduate now studying at Youngstown State University, and Nelson Murphy, a 2013 Hickory High School graduate now studying at the University of Pittsburgh.

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