Written by: Doc Giffin, Assistant to the President- Arnold Palmer Enterprises
Arnold Palmer’s remarkable and wondrous golf career had its roots in Western Pennsylvania while he was growing up at Latrobe Country Club and competing on the golf team at Latrobe High School. Young Arnie learned early on how to handle stardom as he led the Wildcats to sectional championships and at the same time consecutive WPIAL and PIAA individual championships. He had his first golf club in his hands when he was only three years old. His father, Milfred (Deacon) Palmer, the golf professional and grounds superintendent at Latrobe Country Club, cut down a set of clubs to fit him and showed him how to hold them. He told him: “That’s the right grip. Don’t change it. Hit the ball hard. Go find it and hit it hard again. Don’t let anybody fool with or change your swing.” Obviously, father gave son the right advice. Arnie was breaking 100 when he was just eight years old and got his first tastes of competitive golf when he was 12, playing in junior events around the Greater Pittsburgh area. That and his constant practice at the country club prepared him for his days wearing the orange and black of Latrobe High School. What may have been critical to everything that followed was what happened his freshman year. Besides his golf, like most boys those days, Arnie played football and baseball. Although he wasn’t very big, he was good enough to letter as a halfback and defensive tackle on the junior high football team. Naturally, he went out for football when he began senior high, but the coach, Bill Yates, wouldn’t give him a uniform. Too small, he told him. This was a bitter disappointment for Arnie, but may have been the best thing that could have happened to him—and for Bill Yates, who also was the golf coach. Deacon Palmer was not very sympathetic when Arnie told him about it. In fact, he said: “You shouldn’t be playing football away. If you really want to play golf, stick to that.” In what proved to be a real understatement, in its preview of the 1944 season, The High Post, the student newspaper, labeled Arnie first among golf team newcomers who “show promise.” He immediately became the No. 1 man and in his first high school match shot 71, defeating Bill Danko, Jeannette high’s top player. Over the next four seasons, he led Latrobe to four consecutive sectional championships and deep into the WPIAL playoffs, in one match during his senior year shooting a brilliant 31. Individually, Arnie pulled off a rare feat his last two years of high school. He won the WPIAL and PIAA (State) championship back to back. The 1946 victories earned him his first trip to a national junior tournament and he advanced all the way to the championship match before bowing out. The summer following the 1947 high school double, he won his first of two straight West Penn Junior titles and, even more impressive, the first of five West Penn Amateur championships, the area’s most prestigious non-pro event. At the time, he was the youngest winner ever. With those sparkling credentials, he headed toward his brilliant collegiate career at Wake Forest College and the greater glory that was to come.
In 2012, Greater Latrobe embarked on a major, comprehensive Capital Campaign under the leadership of Ray (Class of ’63) and Pam Mt. Joy. The Campaign would seek philanthropic support for Academics, Arts and Athletics. The Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation was established to lead the effort. The GLPIEF reached their A+ Campaign goal of $5M from the generosity of over 600 donors.
Please read the following statement from the pittsburghgives.org website:
The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving program, which in its six years of operation has raised more than $40 million for worthy nonprofits through a combination of individual donations and generous match pooling, has now been forced to suspend operation of today’s event.
The decision was made this afternoon after the national online fundraising firm’s technology platform used by 54 participating community foundations across the country had technical problems that severely disrupted the ability of tens of thousands of donors to complete transactions on coordinating organizations’ websites such as our PittsburghGives.org portal.
We were on track in the first few hours to raise $1.5 million until the technical issues occurred. To resume that enthusiasm, we are committing to re-schedule another Day of Giving for the region, which includes Butler, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, with an underlying online donation platform that we trust. And we will provide an additional $100,000 in incentives to the $100,000 already in place for today’s event. We also want to assure all participants who were able to make donations today that they will be honored and apply to the incentive pool that has been in place.
While we very much regret having to suspend our participation, we recognize that we need to be able to maintain the high standards of performance and donor experience that we know nonprofits and those they support expect in this annual event. It is for that reason that we are the first among participating foundations to pull out of the event.
While we could not repair on our own what happened with the computer operation of Kimbia, the Austin-based online fundraising and crowdfunding firm that provides the online platform for Give Local America and the Day of Giving, we certainly have the ability now to stop a malfunctioning process and work to make it right for our region.
We understand the frustration that Pittsburgh area nonprofits and their donors are feeling with this disruption, and we’re sure that the scores of other organizations across the country coordinating through the fundraising firm are feeling it as well. We look forward to re-scheduling this event as soon as possible to provide our region with a charitable online donation experience that is worthy of the record-setting generous spirit of all the people and organizations that participate in this event.
Support the GLPIEF on the DAY OF GIVING – May 3rd. Donations between $25 and $1,000 will be partially matched by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and its donors (up to $50,000). All donations must be made online on May 3, 2015 between 8am and midnight in order to qualify for the match. Only Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are accepted. Click here to donate on May 3rd. If you wish to direct your donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Day of Giving, please visit www.westmorelandgives.org.
On September 22, 2015 at the GLSD School Board Regular meeting the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation presented various grants to GLSD totaling $265,850. Jessica Urbanik, the newly appointed President, shared a brief video that showcased the areas of the Foundation’s support. The Education Foundation was formed in 2012 as an independent charitable nonprofit to enhance and enrich the educational experiences of Greater Latrobe students through community support. The Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation have focused their efforts on securing donations for programs and projects that are innovative and build upon GLSD’s tradition of excellence. Jessica Urbanik commented, “I am pleased to announce that the inaugural 2014-2015 annual fund raised over $100,000 from the generosity of parents, teachers, staff, alumni, businesses and foundations. Our success speaks volumes about our community’s commitment to great schools and support for the next generation. We are very pleased that we exceeded our goal and today we our able to show our donors how we have put their gifts to work.”
In addition, GLPIEF presented $28,400 in grants from the McFeely-Rogers Foundation. The McFeely-Rogers Foundation has been a long time generous supporter of student enrichment programs and GLPIEF is pleased to accept these grants and make certain these programs continue to thrive in GLSD:
- Greater Latrobe Arts Series which supports visiting artists-in-residencies and field trips
- Elementary Cultural Enrichment Assembly Program
- Learning Support, Autistic Support & Life Skills Classroom Enrichment
- McFeely-Rogers Performance Series for Junior and Senior students
- 6th Grade Camp Arts & Crafts Activities
The third major announcement was an additional A+ Campaign grant of $135,000 to support the purchase of new computers in all classrooms from kindergarten to third grade. The Annual Fund was created to support innovative projects and initiatives on a yearly basis – the Foundation is still working on fundraising for the A+ Campaign goals which were designed to make large scale improvements in the areas of Academics, Arts & Athletics.
Celebrate With Us
Dear School Community:
Welcome to the 2015-16 year! As a parent of two children in our School District, I am so proud to serve as President of the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation (GLPIEF). In 2012, GLPIEF was formed as an independent charitable nonprofit to enhance and enrich the educational experiences of Greater Latrobe students through community-wide participation and philanthropy.
We at GLPIEF are excited for this year’s Every Child Needs a Champion annual drive. Last year, GLPIEF’s inaugural annual fund raised over $100,000 from the generosity of parents, teachers, staff, alumni, businesses and foundations. These gifts enable GLSD to:
- Create STEM learning labs in each elementary school, equipped with 30 iPads and a 3-D printer.
- Purchase a second 3-D printer for the Junior and Senior High School.
- Provide Chromebook laptops for 6th grade Language Arts Teachers.
- Grant College-in-High-School Scholarships. Students, in financial need, registered in a GLSD dual enrollment course offered at the SHS campus, can apply to receive college credits at no cost.
- Install new swipe card security doors at Mountain View and Baggaley Elementary Schools to allow staff and students to securely enter the building during the school day.
- Offer district-wide safety and security training for all GLSD staff members.
Your philanthropy directly impacts Greater Latrobe students. We hope you will make a gift that is meaningful to you to the Every Child Needs a Champion 2015-16 Annual Fund that will support:
STEM Education: Thanks to a recent grant GLSD received to implement Project Lead the Way, the nation’s leading provider of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum, GLSD will be providing world-class K-12 curriculum and teacher professional development. GLSD was the only school district in Westmoreland County to be selected for PLTW for K-12. Last year, through gifts made to the annual fund, GLPIEF supported the needed equipment for school STEM labs. This year, your gift will support ongoing STEM teaching training. In addition to PLTW, GLSD is partnering with the Carnegie Science Center to provide STEM professional development for teachers throughout the district.
Global Classrooms: Technology constantly changes and GLPIEF is committed to ensuring teachers and students have the best classroom tools. Your gift will support laptops in 90 elementary classrooms across the district as well as support Chromebook expansion in the Junior High School.
Thank you for your consideration. Gifts of ANY size DO make a difference. We are truly grateful.
Jessica S. Urbanik
Our first ever alumni directory project for Greater Latrobe Senior High School is completed! Directories that were ordered have been printed and will be mailed Summer 2015. The alumni directory includes Latrobe High School graduates from 1950 to 1962 and Greater Latrobe High School graduates from 1963 to 2014. If you would like to purchase a directory please contact Harris Connect at 1-800-338-7789, or contact the Center for Student Creativity Office at 724-539-4220.
After graduating from Greater Latrobe High School in 1992, Scott Markovich has excelled in the business world, and is currently the national president of Magellan Complete Care. In 2007 he was recognized by the New Haven Business Times as one of the Forty Under 40 award recipients, an outstanding young professional shining through his leadership. Though, Scott is not the only leader in his family.
Scott’s dad, Richard J. Markovich, was a star on the basketball team during his time at Latrobe. He averaged over 12 points per game as a junior, and with hustle and practice, he earned the title of co-captain for his senior year (1959-60). The season looked promising at the start. Richard averaged nearly 16 points per game before he devastatingly suffered a separated shoulder during a game at Somerset. After the injury, Richard could no longer play basketball and was forced to sit out for the remainder of the season. However, his leadership and support of his team never waned. He made sure to be present at every remaining practice and game to fulfill his duties, motivating and leading his team.
The extent to which Richard loved the game of basketball and the devastation surrounding the injury that cut his career short were unknown to his son, until Scott began researching his father’s high school days. It was a search prompted by a postcard from the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation to update biographical information for an upcoming alumni directory. Upon learning about GLPIEF for the first time, Scott explored the website and reconnected with GLPIEF Board Member, James Okonak, who was his youth soccer coach. He decided he wanted to do something to honor his dad, began his research, and discovered Richard’s involvement as a Wildcat basketball player and leader. Scott knew the perfect way to honor his dad would be through an award for a student participating in the game his father loved.
The Richard J. Markovich Scholarship Award was established in 2015 to recognize a graduating senior of the Greater Latrobe Senior High School’s Boys Basketball Team. Following suit with the qualities Richard Markovich possessed as a student at Latrobe, the awardee should exemplify student leadership with special dedication to hard work and sportsmanship in the areas of academics and athletics, be a positive role-model for his school and have the respect of his teammates.
On May 21st, 2015, Scott took the stage of the Greater Latrobe High School auditorium, with his father at his side, to announce the recipient of the first Richard J. Markovich Scholarship Award. Senior Matt Dragan, a power forward on this year’s team, was announced as winner. Matt averaged nearly 15 points per game for the Wildcats and will be continuing his education at Geneva College in the fall. It was a memorable moment for father, son, and awardee.
“He graduated with a lot of unknowns. What if he hadn’t separated his shoulder? Would he have played in college? Would he have been one of the better Wildcat players to play the game? We simply don’t know,” Scott said about his father during his speech. “But what we do know tonight is that this scholarship will have a lasting legacy for both him and my family.”
Richard Markovich still lives in the area with his wife, Elaine (Czerpak) Markovich, where they raised their two children Scott and Michele, both Latrobe graduates. Michele and her husband John Zavatsky reside in North Huntington with their two daughters Ava and Ella. All were in attendance for the ceremony. Scott Markovich resides in Guilford, CT with his wife Brandy and their two sons, Logan and Caden.
Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation (GLPIEF) is pleased to announce that Dana Marcinko and Robert F. Demangone have joined its Board of Directors. GLPIEF is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to encouraging community-wide participation and philanthropy to enrich the opportunities of Greater Latrobe school students.
Dana Marcinko is currently the manager at Douds of Greensburg furniture store, where she incorporates her 20-year sales background and love of decorating into her job. She is married to Robert Marcinko, Mid-Atlantic Director of Sales at Citizens Investment Services, and they have two sons Jack and Cole. Dana has served as President for the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission. She has also served as a board member for both Westmoreland Case Management and Supports, Inc and Homes Build Hope. Most recently, Dana joined the Development Committee for the Greater Latrobe Partners In Education Foundation in 2014. Serving on the Development Committee sparked her interest to serve as a GLPIEF Board member. Dana says, “My children have been at Mt. View Elementary and starting in this next school year my oldest will be attending seventh grade. I saw firsthand the improvements that the foundation has made to the Jr. High and I just wanted to be a part of something that can impact them and so many others.” Moving forward in her new role as board member, she hopes to introduce other parents to the opportunities for donating as well as volunteering to benefit all Greater Latrobe students.
Robert F. Demangone graduated from Saint Vincent College with a Bachelors of Science Degree in accounting. He currently serves as Vice President of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, Inc. He joined the Palmer organization in 1992 as a personal financial advisor to Arnold Palmer and now holds numerous officer positions within the affiliated businesses of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, Inc., including serving as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer for the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve. On his decision to serve as a GLPIEF Board member, Robert says, “I believe in the Foundation’s mission and in the importance for a community to have a strong education system.” As a board member, he brings experience in business, financial management, and philanthropy to add value in helping achieve the Foundation’s goals.
Dana Marcinko and Robert F. Demangone join the volunteer board of directors comprised of parents, alumni, and civic and business leaders committed to effectively governing the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation. The board includes David B. Arnold; Luigi G. DiIanni; William A. Palmer; Michael J. Rossi; Bradley E.Smith, Esq.; Dorothy M. Staffen; Lester R. Sutton; Judith A. Swigart and Maryann White. The new officers of the GLPIEF Board include Jessica S. Urbanik, president; Raymond W. Mt. Joy, Vice President; Keith M. Visconti, treasurer and James R. Okonak, secretary.
The Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation’s mission is to ensure the highest level of education innovation supporting GLSD students, faculty and staff with community involvement in a partnership of lifetime learning through philanthropic and volunteer opportunities. Its first project is the A+ Campaign which is a major, comprehensive capital campaign to seek philanthropic support for the 3 A’s: Academics, Arts and Athletics. To date $4.8 million has been raised towards the $5 million campaign goal. The three strategic goals of the A+ Campaign include the following: (1) Comprehensive cutting-edge technology integration in all classrooms K to 12. (2) Development of an up-to-date Athletic and Wellness Complex at the Senior/Junior High Schools. (3) The renovation of the Junior High School entrance leading to the main building corridor which provides a flexible space for the Junior High art collection modeled after the existing unique collection that we have developed at the Senior High School and three Elementary Schools, the Center for Student Creativity and courtyard.