Content about Features


The Avonworth Eagles Competition Cheer Team recently brought home the title of national champions. The team is made up of 17 girls, ages 7-14, from the surrounding area. The team practices almost year-round for a competition season that starts in January and lasts for about three months. The girls perform at several local competitions to earn enough points to qualify for regional and national sanctioned events. This year, the team won a bid to the U.S. Finals Cheer & Dance Competition in Virginia Beach, which is one of eight sanctioned events around the United States.


Shortly after Bellevue's name was changed to "WizardVue" at the Route 65 entrance to the town, an advertisement for the WizardVue Two festival on June 22, a dragon appeared on the roof of Bellevue Elementary, where he appears to have begun eating the stone work.


Emsworth officials recently celebrated the dedication of the volunteer fire company’s newest truck. From left, Paul Getz, Borough Solicitor Robert McTiernan, Council President Kevin Yurkovick, Representative Anita Astorino Kulik of the 45th District, Brian Fashian, Dan Lenz, Jolene Bennett, Emsworth Treasurer Rebecca McNeil. Borough Secretary Cathy Jones, Emsworth Mayor AmySue Lillie, Jason Helfrich, and Gateway Engineer Dennis Flynn. Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen


A young girl visiting the petting zoo at last Saturday’s Avalon Apple Blossom festival was delighted when the baby llama she was feeding returned her affections. The petting zoo was just one of many attractions at the popular annual festival sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church and Avalon Borough.The day also included classic cars, a variety of vendors, music, food, raffles, a pie eating contest and other entertainment.

Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen


Avalon’s annual Easter celebration took place last Saturday and featured more than 200 children hunting for eggs, winning prizes, getting their faces painted and other fun activities. Pictured above, Trinity and Reagan Klicker each gathered the 10 eggs necessary to receive a prize.


Avonworth students celebrate a successful fund-raising campaign to help find a cure for a rare disease suffered by classmate Jay Foster, pictured here.

The week of Feb. 25-March 1 at Avonworth High School included all of the regularly scheduled classes and academic activities, but it was not exactly the typical school week.


The Avonworth School District has been designated as a “Live Well School.”

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Hannah Hardy, the program manager for the Chronic Disease Prevention Program of the Allegheny County Health Department presented a plaque naming the Avonworth School District as a Live Well district. The colorful picture on the plaque displays Allegheny County’s shape above the Avonworth antelope logo.

Hardy said that Avonworth is only the 16th school district out of Allegheny County’s 43 school districts to be designated as a “Live Well School.”


Many people were saddened when a mainstay of the Bellevue business district for 40 years closed its doors recently. Luigi’s Pizzaria & Ristorante closed when owner Luigi DellaRagione retired. At Tuesday’s Bellevue Council meeting, state, county and local leaders officially presented him with proclamations honoring his contributions to the business community. Pictured here from left are former Bellevue Council president Tom Fodi, state Sen. Wayne Fontana, Luigi, Allegheny County Council representative Denise Russell, and state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl.


Two Avonworth students made it through six elimination rounds and more than 1,000 competitors to become two of 40 area students who took to the stage last Monday in the finals of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest. Seniors Lucas McDonald and Summer Skillen performed the roles of Rosalind and Orlando in an excerpt from Act 1, Scene 3 of the comedy, “As You Like It.” While they did not take home first place, their director, Deborah Frauenholz, commented on the value of their experience. “Summer and Lucas were exuberant even before the competition.


Senior night for Avonworth boys’ basketball was a star-spangled event that went beyond pre-game photos of parents with senior players, and lots of balloons and flowers.

Add to the activities the singing of the National Anthem by a very “young-at-heart” lady who is mom to 17 children, “gram” to 47 grandchildren, and “great gram” to 23 great grandchildren.

Kathy Donovan of Emsworth delivered a stirring rendition of the Anthem to the crowd that included a large section of white-shirted “Donovan’s Army” fans, and the crowd responded with a cheering ovation.


Avonworth’s chamber choir performed at The Block at Northway: front: Stella Riale, Julia Ciriamboli, Kyra Carlson, Tess Theobald, Macey Schriefer, Megan Robbibaro, Hannah Palmer, Ella Galbraith, Erin Ove, Rachel Little, Isabel Thompson; back: John Seifarth, Garren Hoffman, Peyton Bauer. Northgate's chorus also has been out and about, and will present its annual concert this Wednesday, Dec. 19.


A little rain did not stop the Knight family of Bellevue -- Charles, Colleen and Snickers -- from finding the perfect Christmas tree for their home at the annual sale held by the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company, where they received expert assistance from firefighter Jerry Lundy. A wide variety of trees in all sizes can be found in the lot across from the fire station on New Brighton Road. The lot is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company.


When the Northgate School District asked its staff and students to perform acts of kindness in honor of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, Avalon Elementary second grade teacher Nicole Borza asked her students what they might like to do. The students decided to collect food for the “Backpack Buddies” program that ensures that every Northgate student has enough to eat during weekends when they don’t have the school lunch program.


Avonworth Principal Keera Dwulit led middle and senior high school students in a special Veterans Day morning Pledge of Allegiance as the flag was raised at the front of the school. Dwulit was in military attire worn on special occasions during her four years of service in the U. S. Army, from which she retired as a captain


A funeral home and crematorium exclusively for pets celebrated its grand opening in Bellevue last Saturday. Pictured above, Bellevue Council president Tom Fodi and member Linda Woshner (at center) joined the Green family to officially cut the ribbon for the new business. The George Irvin Green Funeral Home in Munhall has been providing services for humans since 1941, but recently recognized the need to commemorate the loss of all family members, even the non-humans.


Before the kids took to the streets for trick-or-treating on Wednesday, children of all ages paraded through Avalon and Bellevue last Saturday as part of the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce’s annual event, which ended with a fall festival at Bayne Park. Pictured below, a family of circus performers led the group category of the parade with slightly smaller “big tops” sheltering them from the rain.


Northgate cheerleaders not only were cheering on the Flames in their home game against Bishop Canevin last Saturday, they also were sending out a “Cheer for a Cure” for breast cancer. The message was printed on pink hoodies and pink socks they wore to the game. The logo was designed by senior cheerleader Elizabeth Ahlborn. High school athletesacross the country have enthusiastically joined the annual October effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and encourage women to get mammograms every year. Caitlin Gates is the sponsor for the cheerleader squad.


The 2018 Avonworth Homecoming Court, from left: Emily Tyler, Megan Robbibaro, Hayden Robinson, Tara McCafferty, 2018 Queen Caitlin Bellotti, Karen Siddoway, Marion Haney, and Abigail Wert. The queen was crowned prior to last Friday’s game against East Allegheny.


The 2018 Northgate High School homecoming court includes, from left, Miranda Asche, Emily Matz, Megan Wisniewski, queen Katrina Kolsosky, runner-up Madeline Abramowitz, and Samantha Spade. The queen was crowned during last Saturday’s football game against Springdale.


...and whatever other creatures enjoyed the Avon Club’s annual Fall Festival last Saturday, U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb (17th Congressional District) took the opportunity to chat with The Citizen’s ace reporter dog, Deacon. Although the North Boroughs currently are part of two congressional districts, the 12th and the 14th, the redistricting that goes into effect this year puts the entire area into the new 17th District. Lamb won a special election this spring, and now faces incumbent Republican Keith Rothfus in the November general election.


Avalon Police Officer Steve Impell helps Eli McKivigan, age 6, try out some of the nifty equipment inside a police car, one of many vehicles featured during the Touch-A-Truck event sponsored by the Friends of Avalon Library. Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen


Members of the Avonworth and New Brighton football teams entered Lenzner Stadium behind two flag bearers as both teams honored members of their communities who had been killed in war. Families of the fallen heroes were present as football players took on the name of one of the lost, and played the game using those names. This “Gold Star Game” is the first of its kind to be held in this area, and the first to include both teams.


Bellevue and Avalon once again came together to celebrate the annual National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, part of a national event designed to combat crime by making communities more cohesive and familiar with their public safety responders. Pictured here, Bellevue Police Sgt. Mike Hudson joined the fun when he was challenged to a bag race.


The weather was close to ideal for last Saturday’s annual North Boroughs YMCA 5K run that attracted 125 total participants in a variety of age groups.

YMCA director Jake Sekich acknowledged groups who contributed to the success of the event. “We are happy to have had Allegheny Health Network as our top sponsor of the event, as well as Dr. Dahar, DMD and Associates for their contributions, and all of our other sponsors.”