FBI agent honored with play area in Pleasant Hills
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The children playing at the updated playground at the Cloverleaf YMCA are too young to remember FBI agent Martha Dixon.
But the new play equipment they're using was made possible through a fund named in honor of Ms. Dixon, an FBI agent who grew up in Mt. Lebanon. She was killed in the line of duty in 1994 while trying to stop a gunman inside police headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Dixon was an avid runner and, to honor her memory, Martha's Run was created to raise money to fund playgrounds in the Pittsburgh area. The South Hills YMCA was awarded a $5,000 grant from Martha's Fund to buy the new equipment for the Cloverleaf YMCA in Pleasant Hills.
Rick Rinaldo, race director, said more than $125,000 has been raised for playgrounds in the Pittsburgh area through the 16 annual Martha's Runs.
"We were very pleased to support the Cloverleaf playground and have been very impressed with the dedication and efforts of the South Hills YMCA personnel who have participated in the project," he said.
"The Cloverleaf YMCA is more than 70 years old and the playground was in great need of being upgraded," said Mike Lloyd, executive director of development for the YMCA. The playground was dedicated in Martha's honor June 3.
More than 400 volunteer hours were donated to remove old trees, level the ground to meet state requirements and prepare the playground area before the swing set was put in place.
"We thought it would be easier than it was, but it was well worth it," said Greg Engelmeyer, board member of the YMCA.
Mr. Engelmeyer and a few other volunteers spent numerous weekends at the site readying it for the new equipment. He estimates they spent $2,300 on additional supplies, money they will recoup through fundraisers such as the Craft Beer University slated for July.
The Cloverleaf YMCA will host a nine-week summer camp, and the children will be able to use the new playground every day, according to Mr. Engelmeyer.
"We do this first and foremost for the kids and that area that we serve. And second, we want to see that Y survive and continue to grow," he said. "It is a seasonal Y and sometimes I think we forget about it."
The Cloverleaf YMCA focuses on Baldwin, Brentwood, Clairton, Jefferson Hills, Munhall, Pleasant Hills, West Elizabeth, West Mifflin and Whitehall.
First Published June 21, 2012 5:17 am