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Zigomanis Visits Grandview Elementary

by Deborah Francisco / Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Zigomanis’ visit to Grandview Elementary school on Thursday afternoon was just the icing on the cake for the youngsters, who won the “Signs for Stanley” contest during the playoffs last season to merit the visit.

“It just felt great to win,” first grader Luke Cochran said. “It was fun. My idea was to make a video for the Penguins. We held hockey sticks and then we tried to shoot at the net.”

The teachers and students at Grandview Elementary in Tarentum collaborated to create a 2-minute video displaying their Penguins pride to win the contest and a $5,000 check for the school.

“We just put our heads together and it worked out great,” physical education teacher Melissa Billingsley said. “It was such a fun way to end the year and such a fun way to support a Pittsburgh sports team. I was so thankful that they chose our school.”

Their winning video can be viewed here. (

Along with the check from the Penguins organization, Zigomanis and Iceburgh made the special visit as part of the reward. He spoke at the afternoon assembly and was greeted by 500 enthusiastic kids chanting “Let’s go Pens!”

“They couldn’t wait,” fourth grade teacher Jessica Erdeljac said. “We love the Pens.”

Each class was allowed to ask Zigomanis one question at the assembly. The black-and-gold clad children eagerly listened to his answers and giggled when he told them his nickname is ‘Ziggy.’

“They were excited for Iceburgh and myself to come,” Zigomanis said. “ They were excited about winning the competition and it was the end of the day too, so I’m sure that added a little bit to it, but it was fun.”

After the assembly Zigomanis was given a tour of the school and he was able to see how the school invested the $5,000 check.

“They purchased four or five exercise machines and a rock climbing wall and fixed the gymnasium up with some mats and stuff,” Zigomanis reported. “I was glad to see the organization can help out.”

Bill Heasley, one of the teachers who helped produce the winning video, explained that the teachers decided on the exercise equipment because it was something all of the children would be able to use and benefit from.

“We thought of different things and this is one that we though of that the kids can use every day to help them get in shape and exercise and get fit,” Heasley said. “It was a great contest. It was a lot of fun to do. The kids loved it.”
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