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Kurt R. Weiss Wish Kid Scholarship Reception with Pirates Charities

  • Pictured here are the scholarship recipients out on the field for the check presentation.

  • Pictured here is Dr. Kurt Weiss, the namesake of the scholarship, wish kid alum and orthopaedic surgeon.

  • Pictured here kicking-off the event is Make-A-Wish Development Coordinator Samara Silverstein.

  • Pictured here is Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Joe Block at the podium.

  • Pictured here is Dr. Kurt Weiss with Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Joe Block, Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly, Make-A-Wish President & CEO Judith Stone and Make-A-Wish Development Coordinator Samara Silverstein.

  • Pictured here is President of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Make-A-Wish Board Member, Frank Coonelly.

  • Pictured here are this year's Highest Honor Recipients.

  • Pictured here is this year's High Honor Recipients.

  • Pictured here are this year's Honorable Mention Recipients.

  • Pictured here is High Honor Recipient, wish kid Alexa.

  • Pictured here is Highest Honor Recipient, wish kid KayLeigh.

  • Pictured here is High Honor Recipient, wish kid Macy at the podium.

  • Pictured here Best Essay Award Winner, wish kid Scott talks about his essay and the meaning of a wish.

  • Pictured here, talking about her wish experience is High Honor Recipient, wish kid Margaret.

  • Pictured here wish kid and Highest Honor Recipient, Mark shakes Dr. Weiss' hand.

  • Pictured here Highest Honor Recipient, wish kid Patrick speaks to his peers about the impact of a wish.

  • Pictured here Highest Honor Recipient, wish kid Zack talks about his support to Make-A-Wish.

In 2017, Pirates Charities partnered once again with Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to support the annual Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship for Wish Kids program.

 There were a total of 50 Weiss Scholarship recipients in 2017.  Wish kids were invited to a ceremony in the Pirates Press Conference room, followed by a buffet dinner at Picnic Park, an on-field presentation and the game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship for Wish Kids was developed in 1998. The scholarship is offered to any wish kid who is a senior in high school and intends to pursue post-secondary education. The scholarship is named in honor of Kurt R. Weiss, a wish kid who is an inspiration to all who meet him. To date, more than 717 wish kids have received some monetary gift through this scholarship to help them with education expenses.  

While a freshman in high school, Kurt was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma. His wish was to march with the Notre Dame Marching Band. In 1990, just months after the diagnosis, Kurt’s wish was fulfilled. He traveled to Miami, FL, and played his tenor saxophone with the Notre Dame Marching Band at the Orange Bowl. Kurt went on to attend the University of Notre Dame and was president of the marching band. In medical school, Kurt studied orthopaedic oncology, and he finished a fellowship at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He is married and has two children and is now back in Pittsburgh, working in the Orthopaedic Department at UPMC. In 2014, he was recognized as one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 Under 40.”

Many thanks to all of our generous scholarship donors, especially Pirates Charities. Your donation will help make the college dreams of our wish kids come true!

Our Lead Scholarship Donors: 
Pirates Charities
Jack Buncher Foundation
Peters Township High School National Honor Society and Student Council

Our Supporting Scholarship Donors:
Cynthia and David Chaney
Ashley and Mark Chaney
Mary Carol Jahn
Gretchen and Jeff Jezerc
Sylvan Kretz
Pam and Al Vernacchio
Joanne and Frank Weiss
Michael R. Wollman, M.D., and Barbara Wollman

*Photos from the Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship Reception, courtesy of Joseph Guzy.

Check out the program from this year's event:

Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Centre
Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474
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