A taste of Pittsburgh in charities' holiday cards

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While the Civic Arena is being sold off piece by piece to collectors and sports enthusiasts, an image of the Igloo will live on forever on the cover of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 2010 holiday cards.

Slated for possible demolition, the arena has been captured by watercolor artist Mary Lois Verrilla in "Holiday on the Hill: A Civic Arena Tribute."

Ms. Verrilla, who is known as the "lady who paints Pittsburgh," presents a winter view of the arena from the vantage point of the Hill District, with the city's skyline in the background.

The city Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to tear down the 49-year-old domed structure. But right after the vote a Hill District resident nominated the structure as a city historic structure. The arena cannot be razed until the application is considered by the city Historic Review Commission and eventually City Council.

The society's cards are available in boxes of 20 for $20. Cards can be ordered over the phone (1-800-726-CURE or 2873) or through the mail at 333 E. Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Mail orders will include a $5 charge for delivery.

Here's a sampling of other charity cards:

• If you're a pierogi fan, you might fancy Polish Hill artist Myra Falisz's two holiday illustrations for the Polish Hill Civic Association cards that feature her own pierogi characters, known as P-Rogues.

Both cards include the phrase of celebration, "Sto Lat," wishing you 100 years of life. They sell six for $15 (plus $2.50 shipping); all six of one design or three of each, payable by cash or check. Details: visit http://blogski.phcapgh.org, or e-mail phcapgh@gmail.com, or call 412-681-1950.

• For the first time, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is offering a holiday card that bears an image from each of the four major city parks -- Frick, Schenley, Highland and Riverview. They can be purchased at zazzle.com/pittsburghparks for $1.40 each; less if purchased in bulk.

• The Diocese of Pittsburgh offers Christmas cards and a porcelain ornament depicting the Pittsburgh Creche at the U.S. Steel Plaza. The ornament and an illustrated card of the creche have been designed by local artist Susan Castriota. There also are limited quantities available of a photograph Christmas card of the creche.

The cards/envelopes come 15 in a box at $20 per box (shipping and handling included). The ornament is $15. Order by phone at 412-318-1811, by fax 412-318-1813 or by mail at R&S Marketing Group, 2241 Kingridge Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Make checks payable to Diocese of Pittsburgh.

• Winter scenes of Pittsburgh are offered in four cards from the Multiple Sclerosis Service Society. Packs of 20 sell for $22, plus shipping and handling. Call 412-539-1090 or e-mail Susan Navish at snavish@ucpclass.org.

• Four Make-A-Wish children designed the cards that are featured by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Each package contains 15 cards of the same design for $10 (shipping and handling not included). You can see samples of the four cards at www.wishgreaterpa.org. To order, complete a form on the Make-A-Wish Foundation's website or call 1-800-676-9474.

The Father Ryan Arts Center of Focus on Renewal in McKees Rocks has created a line of holiday and all-occasion greeting cards. Proceeds benefit the center's education programs, which provide arts experiences for underserved populations. The holiday cards feature mosaics created for the center by artists Bob Ziller and Stevo Sadvary.

Cards are available in packs of 10 for $12 (plus applicable taxes, shipping and handling). Purchase them by calling 412-771-3052 or download an order form from the center's website: www.fatherryanartscenter.org.

• The Sewickley Valley YMCA is selling holiday cards that benefit Caring & Sharing, the Y scholarship campaign. Each set of 12 cards costs $10 and will contain two designs that are created by the Y's child-care participants. These can be purchased at the Sewickley Valley Y at 625 Blackburn Road, Sewickley, PA 15143 or on the Web at www.sewickleyymca.org.

• The Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center, which assists families of children with disabilities and special health-care needs, has a note card "Peace and Harmony" featuring the work of local artist Mary Hamilton, which can be used year-round.

Packs of eight cards/envelopes (blank inside) sell for $10. Purchase them online at www.pealcenter.org/notecards.html or by calling the PEAL Center at 1-866-950-1040.

• "Snowy Greetings" is the title of the local card created by Anna Hopkins of Franklin Park for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Western Pennsylvania Chapter. Anna, 11 designed the card to support her brother, Dan, 14, who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes since age 10.

Packs of 15 cards sell for $15.90. To order, visit www.morethancards.com, which produces the cards. A portion of the proceeds go to JDRF.

• The Little Sisters of the Poor are offering a hand-sketched Christmas card created by Sister Martha, which depicts Mary holding baby Jesus. Cards are seven for $10 ($1.50 optional postage); 12 for $15 ($2 optional postage) and 30 cards for $25 ($5 optional postage). Checks or credit cards accepted. Order by calling 412-307-1100. Details: www.littlesistersofthepoor-pittsburgh.org.

• This year's card for the Seraphic Mass Association features the Holy Family in the manger. Order as many as you want for a free-will donation. Recipients are remembered in a Novena of Masses beginning on Christmas Eve. Offerings support the Capuchin missionaries. To order, write to Seraphic Mass Association, Capuchin Mission Office, 3600 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201 or call 412-683-4700 or visit the Web: www.seraphicmass.org.

Virginia Linn: vlinn@post-gazette.com ; 412-263-1662.


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