CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Allegheny County is thrilled to wish the CentiMark Corporation a very Happy 50th Anniversary! The involvement and generous patronage of CentiMark’s Chairman and CEO, Edward B. Dunlap, stretches back 20 years with our agency.
Our partnership began in the late 1990s when Kathy Slencak, Manager of Public Relations, at CentiMark, began hosting Casual Dress Down Days benefiting CASA and the work we do with abused and neglected children in greater Pittsburgh. Kathy, as a former CASA volunteer herself (and now a committed member of the CASA Board of Directors), understood firsthand the value of our mission to recruit, train and supervise community volunteers to advocate in the best interests of abused and neglected children.
Over the past two decades, the support of Edward B. Dunlap and CentiMark has expanded to help CASA in multiple ways. From 2007 until 2014, Mr. Dunlap hosted our annual Volunteer Recognition Event at his beautiful LeMont restaurant, providing incredible food, ample room to hold a large silent auction, a performance space for local school children to sing and dance and unparalleled views of downtown Pittsburgh – all to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our volunteers in an unforgettable way.
In addition to hosting our annual Volunteer Recognition Event, seven years ago Mr. Dunlap began providing all the children we serve with new backpacks, kits full of age-appropriate school supplies and generous gift cards to purchase new shoes and clothing every August before the new school year starts. Because we primarily serve children in foster care, for many of our kids such school supplies may not have been provided otherwise or would have caused great financial strain on our families.
With the help of CentiMark, we have made this a very fun annual event for our kids at various locations such as Schenley Park and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. At the Back-to-School Party, we invite all the children and families we serve to participate in a fun day of pizza, games, caricature drawings and free admission to the Zoo or other activities. The highlight of the day is helping each child pick out his or her own backpack and supplies. Our families have really come to look forward to this event and it helps to start off each school year on a positive note.
CentiMark’s generous financial support on an annual basis helps defray our programming costs and serve more at-risk children in desperate need of individualized advocacy and services. It is hard to quantify just how many children have been impacted over the past 20 years by Mr. Dunlap’s and CentiMark’s generosity, but his reach has been far and helps to positively impact our children well into adulthood.
CASA of Allegheny County is happy to honor CentiMark Corporation on this remarkable business milestone. We will continue to celebrate Edward Dunlap’s strong and humble spirit of community engagement, commitment to underserved children and families in Pittsburgh and empathy for all those in need for years to come. Congratulations!