Here & Now

Mealtimes just got a lot cooler at the fire house, with the donation of a handmade kitchen table, built by Brafferton Drive resident Pete Schoonmaker using Spanish Oak from the hose bed of the fire department’s retired 1982 Grumman fire engine. Details include the station’s call number, 198, the department motto, “Pride, Professionalism and Personalized Delivery,” and every firefighter’s hope for every shift: “Everyone Goes Home.” From left, Jamie Waugh, Chris Meyers and Joe Gavita. /Photo:Ken Lager
Photo: Dean M. Beattie Photography

Get gorgeous ideas for holiday decorating and support a great cause—the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra—by attending the sixth annual Symphony Splendor holiday home tour on Sunday, November 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will get you in to eight Upper St. Clair homes, lavishly dressed for the holidays. Get into the holiday spirit with live seasonal music from classical musicians.

The tour, which was in Mt. Lebanon for two of its years, has raised nearly $500,000 to benefit the orchestra. Tickets are $55 in advance or $65 on the day of the tour (if any are left). Purchase tickets online or see a list of vendors where tickets are available at You may also call 412-392-3303.


Berkshire Hathaway branch manager Micole Tucker, top, and assistant manager Kelly Smith, above, are sharing management duties at the Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair offices.

The management team at the Upper St Clair/Mt. Lebanon offices of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has some new leadership.

Micole Tucker and Kelly Smith bring a combined total of 43 years of real estate experience to the market.

Tucker owned a custom homebuilding company prior to working in residential real estate. Smith spent time developing the structure of a small homebuilding company from the ground up before spending more than five years on the development side of the industry and eventually landing at Berkshire Hathaway.

Tucker and Smith are passionate about creating a positive workplace culture that includes a collaborative learning environment where individuals can continually share ideas and learn from one another. They believe strongly in adapting their mentoring style to each individual to help them become a successful real estate agent.


Kelli Wall, Martin Avenue, is the new chief philanthropy officer for Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh. She will be responsible for raising awareness and philanthropic support of Humane Animal Rescue’s animals, shelters, and wildlife rehabilitation center through public outreach, individual, community, and corporate partnerships.

Wall spent more than 10 years as senior director of investor relations with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. She has also worked in fundraising for the American Heart Association, UPMC and Gateway Rehabilitation. She currently serves on the board of directors of Allegheny Family Network and previously was a board member of the Women & Girls Foundation and Sarah Heinz House.


Priya Amin, co-founder of the mobile child care provider Flexable, with sons Ronin and Kirin. Flexable received an award from the Women’s Business Enterprise Center. /Photo: Corey Grau

Priya Amin, Vermont Avenue, was honored by the Women’s Business Enterprise Center with its Bravery Award. Amin is the co-founder of Flexable, a mobile child care provider that brings child care to a customer’s venue. The Bravery Award is given to a Women’s Business Enterprise Center member company that has been in business for a minimum of one year, has started its business from scratch and has a 3- to 5-year business plan.


HOLIDAY LIGHTS December 24 will be a little brighter this year thanks to Relay for Life of Mt. Lebanon. The fundraising group will be selling luminaria kits for a suggested $20 donation. All money raised will go to the American Cancer Society.

Each kit contains 10 candles, 10 bags and 10 liner bags. Participants can decorate the bags in honor or memory of a loved one, then light them at dusk December 24.

The next Relay for Life of Mt. Lebanon will be June 13, 2020, in Mt. Lebanon High School Stadium.

To order kits and keep up to date on Relay’s fundraising activities, go to


As a fundraiser for high school principal Brian McFeeley, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Mt. Lebanon police officers who donate $60 can go a month without shaving. /Photo: Harrison Lilley

LET IT GROW You may have heard of No-Shave November, an annual fundraiser where men let their beards grow in order to spread awareness and raise money for cancer research. Mt. Lebanon police have often participated. But this year, the officers will be upping their game with a fundraiser they’re calling Beards for Brian, to raise money for the family of Mt. Lebanon High School principal Brian McFeeley, who was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer this past summer and the entire Mt. Lebanon community has pulled together to support.

Mt. Lebanon police officers are normally not permitted to grow beards, but for $60, they can rest the razor for the month of November. And to raise even more money, they can pay another $60 to let it go throughout December.

You can get in on the community spirit, too. Find donation information at


Saige Baxter, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ Emerging Artist of the Year.