letters to the editor
letters to the editor
Pleasant Hills event great for Joey Fabus

Once again, I attended the Pleasant Hills National Night Out event, and I am compelled to write a letter to the editor. This year, I attended event with my partner, Officer Joey Fabus. Joey has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and his prognosis is poor. Joey wanted very much to be a police officer and he was made an honorary Bethel Park Police Officer. I asked Joey and his family if they would like to attend the Pleasant Hills event and they agreed. I then contacted Chief Brian Finnerty to let him know Joey would be attending. Chief Finnerty was quick to say that he would make sure Joey enjoyed the event. I was then contacted by canine officer Ron Porupsky from Pleasant Hills, who wanted to make Joey an honorary canine officer for the day.

We arrived early to the event and met Officer Porupsky and “Scrappi.” Joey and his family played ball with Scrappi for a half an hour or more and really enjoyed the experience. Thank you, Ron and Scrappi! Then, on to the registration. When we pulled up in our vehicle, Joey took notice of all the other police vehicles, fire vehicles and other participants. He was as happy as I have ever seen him. He mingled with all the officers at the event, shaking hands and getting encouragement. Even though Joey was tired and having a rough day, he truly enjoyed the camaraderie. This little guy just loves police officers, and I truly believe that he wants to be a police officer.

Joey took pictures with all of the officers and was given patches from them as well as other little gifts. He even got to meet “Duke,” a canine from Brentwood. Joey was smiling from ear to ear. The parade started and Chief Finnerty made sure Joey was near the front of the parade. Joey really enjoyed the event. He could not believe the support that the Pleasant Hills community shows for the police, fire, EMS and military. He threw candy to other kids and was marveling at the event. There were signs on the route that Joey and his family took note of, including “Congrats Officer Fabus,” “Welcome Officer Fabus,” “Stay Joey Strong,” and “We are Praying for Joey and his Family.” To the Pleasant Hills community, thank you very much for the love and support for Joey and his family. It was a night of many happy memories for the family.

At the end of the night, we went to the VFW for a little get together, and Chief Finnerty and the Pleasant Hills community had even more surprises for Joey! Joey was presented with a large trophy representing Bethel Park Police at the event, various patches that Chief Finnerty and his department had collected for Joey and four large bags of police/fire Legos from the Target store that sponsored the event. Mr. and Mrs. Fabus and their entire family were overwhelmed by the love and support the Pleasant Hills community bestowed upon them at this event. It will be a night that they will not forget.

Additionally, the entire room full of police, fire, EMS and military personnel attending the event gave Joey a loud and genuine standing ovation. Joey absolutely enjoyed the atmosphere! There is so much more to write about, but in an effort to just keep this short… Thank you very much Chief Finnerty, Pleasant Hills Police Department, The Law Enforcement Community, Barb Foster and the entire Pleasant Hills Community. You are all first class all the way!

Officer Tom Rigatti Bethel Park Police Community Resource Officer

Ice Bucket Challenge a social media sensation

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge, the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) fundraiser that is spreading awareness like wildfire on social media. In case you haven’t, the concept is simple: once you have been called out, you have 24 hours to either donate $100 to the ALS Association or you must pour a bucket of ice water over your head. Then, you call out others to complete the challenge, keeping the campaign viral.

While critics have panned those who pour ice over their heads to avoid donating to the cause – Vice.com’s Arielle Pardes wrote “There are a lot of things wrong with the Ice Bucket Challenge, but the most annoying is that it’s basically narcissism masked as altruism” – the fact of the matter is that ALS is at the front of our minds.

But awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease is not the only thing that the Ice Bucket Challenge is raising – according to the ALS Association, $15.6 million has been raised as a direct result of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a stunning nine times the amount raised in the same time frame a year ago. Thankfully, this is because a lot of people are dumping ice water over their heads AND donating, rather than doing the stunt to avoid the donation.

The beauty of this fundraiser is that 100 percent of the donations go towards the cause, rather than say, a percentage that must pay for over the top centerpieces or aged prime rib at a black tie fundraising gala. By the same token, people of all ages and income levels can participate, and they do. How many 10-year-olds attend those stuffy soirees? Very few, if any.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is an example of social media working for the greater good. However, it is only a matter of time before the videos stop populating our news feeds and are replaced with the next viral sensation.

What a world.