University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Student Organizations Raise Funds for Local Boy

Student Organizations Raise Funds for Local Boy

Article Body

     Four University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown student organizations, Alpha Phi Omega, Business Ethics Club, Accounting and Finance Interest Group, and Circle K, will honor Austin Niall, a local nine-year-old boy, who lost his sight when he was five due to cone-rod dystrophy, at a dinner being held at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 10 in the Pitt-Johnstown Living/Learning Center University Room. The organizations have raised $1,000 in donations for Austin.  The groups will also present Austin with autographed gifts from the Pittsburgh Penguins and World Wrestling Entertainment.

     Kelly Gregory, a Pitt-Johnstown student from Johnstown, spearheaded the project.  The fundraiser started when Jennifer Kist, Pitt-Johnstown director of international services, began collecting money in Blackington Hall from the Pitt-Johnstown staff.  Ms. Gregory heard about the collection and took the idea to the Business Ethics Club (BEC) where she is president and the group held a fundraiser for Austin. Ms. Gregory also presented the idea to the other student organizations. In total, the four student organizations raised $1,000 which will be presented to Austin and his family to help with medical expenses.

     “It means a lot to help Austin and his family. Suffering from blindness at such a young age is unthinkable but he has remained strong. Austin has managed to play tackle football with the help of his coaches and teammates. Playing such a sport without your eyesight is an obstacle that he has overcome. I am very excited to meet this young boy. I am involved with numerous organizations on campus and having the pleasure of helping out someone in need is very rewarding,” said Ms. Gregory.

     Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.  Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010),  and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”

Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 12/8/2009 3:15:00 PM