PITTSBURGH, October 11, 2005— Operation Warm, provider of winter coats for more than 4,000 youngsters in central and western Pennsylvania, brings its 2005 campaign to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, October 12 with an event at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., the event will be attended by youngsters from Good Shepherd Elementary School and 4 Kids Learning Center in Braddock, and Martin Luther King Elementary School on the Northside of Pittsburgh. Activities will include a coat distribution and a book reading conducted by Morgan K. O'Brien, president and chief executive officer of Duquesne Light Company.
“We have already attracted an extraordinary level of support from our corporate cosponsors, and thanks to the Pittsburgh Penguins, we also anticipate receiving help from many individual donors,” said Rose M. Gabbianelli, Mellon senior vice president and director of corporate affairs. “This will allow us to expand both the size and geographic scope of this year’s program, with children in northwestern, southwestern and central Pennsylvania sure to be warmer this winter as a result of this unique program.”
A non-profit organization founded in 1998, Operation Warm has grown dramatically in recent years. Providing winter coats to just over 50 needy children in a single Philadelphia-area community during its first year of operation, the program hopes to distribute upwards of 100,000 coats in 33 states this year. “Our program’s dramatic growth in the Pittsburgh area reflects the high levels of generosity and leadership that local corporate supporters have brought to the needs of children, ” said Operation Warm executive director Wendy Leslie. “Duquesne Light’s coat distribution earlier this month in Beaver County was a great success. With the Penguins making it easy for fans to participate in the program, we’re sure to build on that momentum during the months ahead.”
Mellon Financial Corporation coordinates the efforts of a large group of corporate Operation Warm supporters that includes American Eagle, Bayer Corporation, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Dominion Energy, Duquesne Light Company, Heritage Health Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, H.J. Heinz Company, Post-Gazette Charities, Sunoco, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins’ support for the program will include a link on the Pen’s home page for hockey fans who wish to make individual contributions, and Mellon volunteers soliciting contributions at several Pens home games this season.