We had high hopes for the 5th annual Jessie Games. Thanks to you and your prayers, we exceeded them.
With a rainy morning expected to continue throughout the afternoon, we admittedly had some concerns. But somehow, the showers past just in time for a welcome by Susan Rauscher, executive director Catholic Charities, and members of the Smith family.
A crowd of 250 filled Central Catholic’s field to enjoy new and classic carnival games. Kids raced their parents to pop balloons, Giant Jenga blocks were stacked and toppled, and of course, there were many dunks in the dunk tank.
We also created beautiful canvas paintings and debuted a children’s book: “The First Jessie Stone: how a little rock became so much more.”
Families stretched across the field to see who would be the last one standing for the water balloon toss, which ended in what has become another annual tradition: a massive water balloon fight. We brought back the “no-hands” watermelon eating contest, and the beloved Pittsburgh Pierogies arrived just in time to join the relay races. In between, kids made jewelry, had their faces painted and munched on popcorn. And as always, the day ended with blankets spread on the field for families to eat hamburgers and hot dogs.
While the activities and games were fun, the best part of the afternoon was something that happened throughout the day that everyone was a part of: joy, laughter and a lot of big smiles.
Oh, and one more thing: we set a goal of $35,000 – which seemed a little ambitious – but we topped it!
None of this would have been possible without our incredibly devoted and hard-working volunteers – some of which have been with us all five years – who came early to set up, stayed throughout the day to run the games, cooked the meal and cleaned up.
So to the volunteers, donors and participants: THANK YOU!
We would like to extend a big thank you to all who made the fourth annual
Jessie Games a huge success!
Over 200 new and familiar faces joined us at our new venue, Central
Catholic High School, to celebrate the Jessie Games. Thanks to our
generous sponsors, donors and participants, we raised nearly $30,000,
which will be used to help children in need through Catholic Charities’
Once again we were blessed with beautiful weather. The sun was out with a
gentle breeze as friendships were formed through games of kickball, water
balloon tosses and laughter.
The Pirates Pierogies raced with the kids (and were occasionally chased
by them). They posed for photos, gave high-fives and showed off a few
Volunteers got soaked in the dunk tank as onlookers cheered. Kids danced
in front of the DJ. Pirates, princesses and animals of all kinds emerged
from the face-painting table. Kids made bracelets and tested their skills
putting, racing pigs, knocking down stuffed cats and sending frogs into a
pond. They snacked on snow cones and popcorn, played bingo and relaxed
under the big tent.
Many gathered at the Jessie Stones booth, where Jessie Stones and jewelry
were sold, along with paintings of Ireland’s Croagh Patrick.
The day closed with a picnic of hamburgers and hot dogs, apples, chips and
homemade cookies. Many went home with tickets for ice cream,
trampoline parks, museums, and the zoo, courtesy of our many generous
donors. As they left, each child received a backpack filled with school
supplies. It was a wonderful day to celebrate, remember and give thanks.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who supported the third annual Jessie Games in so many ways.
We had so many generous sponsors and donors underwrote the costs, donated supplies and prizes.
We had crews of volunteers came early to set up and stayed late to take down. Others ran the games and cooked.
And we had all of you who came, participated and celebrated. We had friends and family traveling from Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois and Ohio to spend the day with us. We were happy to see so many returning for the third year and welcome new faces, too.
Together, we raised close to $30,000, which will be used to help children in need through the Catholic Charities summer lunch program. Bishop David Zubik was unable to attend but sent the following message.
We Ran for Jessie again this spring in the conjunction with the Pittsburgh Marathon. Two relay teams and half marathon runners, donning “I Run for Jessie” shirts raised close to $1,000 for the Jessie Games and enrichment programs offered to children in need through Catholic Charities. The day started out a little rainy and cool, but cleared up for comfortable running. Family and friends, some in their first marathon event, came together for a day that started out a little rain and cool but cleared up for comfortable running.
We hope to have even more runners next year! You don’t need to be able to run a full marathon. We have spaces on relay teams for those who want to walk or run only a few miles. So if you want to join the Run For Jessie team, email us at email@example.com.
In the spring of 2016, we Ran for Jessie in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Marathon. Several relay teams and marathon runners, donning “I Run for Jessie” shirts raised more than $2,000 for the Jessie Games and the Catholic Charities Summer Lunch program. The day started out a little rainy and cool, but cleared up for comfortable running. It was our first time working with the marathon and we plan to build on the success next year. If you want to join our team, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 200 people attended the second annual Jessie Games to celebrate the spirit of Jessie by having fun and raising money to support the Summer Lunch program at Catholic Charities. After weeks of rain, the sun broke through and gave everyone a chance to celebrate. [Click on any photo to enlarge].
This year, three Pittsburgh Pierogies — Sauerkraut Saul, Cheese Chester and Jalapeno Hannah — joined the fun, in a series of races on foot, in burlap sacks and in costumes.
Later, four local volleyball teams competed for top honors, with the winning team awarded Jessie Games baseball hats. And while they played, others gathered in front of the DJ for hoola hoop and dance competitions.
Competitive eaters gathered at tables lined with watermelons to see who could down their quarter-watermelon the fastest. No hands allowed!
Friends, neighbors, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents stretched across the field for the water balloon toss, trying to be the last standing with an intact balloon. Those who needed a break from running around played bingo under the welcome shade of the big tent.
Throughout the day, kids and adults ate sno-cones and popcorn, had their faces painted, made jewelry, raced battery operated orange pigs, played corn hole, and tested their putting abilities.
Crowds cheered at the dunk tank, and the kids lined up for the chance to get dunked. Those wanting to test their strength headed for the High Striker, to see if they could ring the bell.
Many gathered at the Jessie Stones booth, where Jessie Stones and jewelry were sold. This year, there were several new offerings, including snowdrop bulbs, earrings, and water colors of Ireland’s Croagh Patrick, along with new bracelets and pendants made with stones gathered in Ireland.
The day ended with a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, fruit and cookies. It was like a big family picnic! We couldn’t have done it without all of your support – attending the games, supporting it with donations, and praying for its success. So, from all of us at The Jessie Games Committee, Thank you!
The Jessie Games 2015 – Sponsors
Event Sponsor: News Corp
Platinum Sponsors: Creehan & Company;
Gold Sponsors: Hayes Design Group – Architects; The Klemick Family; Don’s Appliances; Team Scotti
Silver Sponsors: John M. Hartzell, Jr., Esq; Houston Harbaugh, PC, Attorneys at Law; Leslie and Paul Reynolds; The Marasco Family; St. Clair Hospital; St. Anne PTG & Athletic Association
Bronze Sponsors: Sean & Jenn Ansberry; The Beringer Family; Brandt Bernat; Mary Kay & Jack Binder; Gerry and Louise Cipriani; The Dan & Kathy Goff Family; Pittsburgh Orthodontic Group; McGervey Electric; Rebecca Pounds, D.D.S.; Steel Sales Corp.
In kind donations: Metz Food Services; Breadworks; Giant Eagle; Jan Klemick; Tim Zugates; St. Louise de Marillac; The Andy Warhol Museum; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Pa. Rebellion Softball; Washington Wild Things; Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History; AMF Mt. Lebanon Lanes; Fleet Feet; Eat N Park; City Theater; Seven Springs Mountain Resort; Carnegie Science Center; Skyzone Trampoline Park; Chris Grella
Donors: Keith & Yvonne Creehan; Linda Cunningham; Nancy & Ralph Belsterling; Pat Dwight; Mike & Margaret Hooten; The Wunder Family; The Shapiro family; Patrick Furey and Denise Little Family; Judy Caves; John Miller; Melissa McCart; Alex Iniquez; Kevin Kirkland; Kathleen Amanti; Kathy and Greg Reiff; Barbara Vancheri; Carol Hymowitz; Peggy Bond; Joe & Prudence Posey; Karen Kane; Ginny Chenet; John and Michelle Manning; Molly Fichter; Judy Albenzi; Lois Cole; The Richtar Family; Tyler Batiste; David Shribman; Susan Smith; Barbara Paul; Tim and Erin Betler; Mike Fuoco; Fr. Michael Caridi; Marissa and David Cochran; Andy and Sandy Gans; Kate Giammarise; Patrice Giancola; Dan Gigler; Tim Donahue; Joe and Chris Furey; Dan and Shelly Haser; Frank Hynos; Cathy Jakubowski; The McItrot family; Nancy and Wes Smith; Terry and Jan Smith; Jim Walsh.