The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 22, 2009

Pair lead fundraiser for UPJ athletics

Jeanne Gleason, Carl Sax and others worked hard during the summer and fall to make student athletes at Pitt-Johnstown score better on and off the field.

Gleason and Sax co-chaired the planning committee for the premiere of the Blue and Gold Gala that raised $20,000 for athletic scholarships at the university.

The event, held Oct. 9 at the Sports Center, was attended by more than 300 people.

Gleason and Sax are delighted with the athletic programs at the university and want to see them grow.

“I’ve come to admire the coaches and student athletes for the great effort that they put forth,” Gleason said.

“They shine a great light on Pitt-Johnstown.

“They reflect the best of the best.”

The university has been blessed with dedicated coaches, she said. Coaches such as Pat Pecora, wrestling; Bob Rukavina, men’s basketball; and Sasha Palmer, women’s basketball, inspire others to want to help the athletes, she said.

She said a couple of years ago, the university joined the West Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Conference, where competition for the best student athletes is keen. Therefore, additional scholarship money is required to attract the best athletes, she said.

Gleason, who is chairwoman of the university’s Advisory Board, said they had great support from businesses and individuals who supported by the event by buying tables and tickets.

She said individuals and businesses donated items that were auctioned off at the event.

All of the nearly 30 members of the planning committee were committed to the event, she said.

Both Gleason and Sax said that Helen Golubic, a member of the committee and the university’s director of development, deserves recognition for being the mainstay of the committee.

Sax, who played basketball at the university in 1957 and 1958 and is a member of the university’s sports Hall of Fame, said athletic scholarships at the university are limited, so he and Gleason decided to help by organizing a group to hold the gala.

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