In 2016, 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 63 Weiss Scholarship recipients in 2016. 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 New York Mets.
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 1,038 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:
Jack Buncher Foundation
Peters Township High School National Honor Society and Student Council
Our Supporting Scholarship Donors:
Gretchen and Jeff Jezerc
Pam and Al Vernacchio
Joanne and Frank Weiss
Liz and Eric Weiss
Michael R. Wollman, M.D., and Barbara Wollman
*Photos from the Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship Reception, courtesy of Joseph Guzy and Dave Arrigo.