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North Hills Monthly

Mooseheart Weekend Supports Kids, Seniors

Mar 31, 2016 10:24AM ● By Clare Heekin Lynch
“A burden heavy to one is borne lightly by many.” This saying is at the core of the Moose International organization and what makes the fraternal order unique to the local communities that it supports.

Moose International encourages its members to become volunteers to support its larger fraternal projects including Mooseheart Child City & School, a community for children and teens in need that is located in Chicago, and a retirement community for its members called Moosehaven, near Jacksonville, FL. The group does not receive any funding from the government; however, according to the group’s website, members of the order contribute an impressive $100 million worth of service every year, through hours volunteered, miles driven and dollars donated, to communities throughout the U.S., Canada and Great Britain.

The group is a huge proponent for supporting smaller local initiatives as well. In February 2012, 53 local residents chartered Highland Moose Lodge 2699 to serve the North Hills community. While some Moose lodges are known more for the social aspect they provide to members, those who join Lodge 2699, located on Saxonburg Avenue in Bauerstown, choose to focus on the community service obligation that the international order supports.

Every year, the lodge hosts the Mooseheart Invitational Softball tournament and the Mooseheart Community Spirit Awards dinner in June to raise money for their sponsored charities. “Our goal is to grow and support the fraternity while assisting with community projects, and have a fun time doing it,” said Joseph Wall, co-founder and executive director of Mooseheart Charities.

The Father’s Day weekend of events starts with the Mooseheart Community Spirit Awards dinner on Thursday, June 16. “The awards dinner was instituted in 2006 to recognize the achievements of those who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of youth and seniors within the community,” Wall said.

What started as a spaghetti dinner in a small dining hall at the Pittsburgh Moose with only 20 people has since grown to a formal dinner with more than 250 guests. “We have a very dedicated team of people who work on the awards event, including co-founders Frank and Heather Perman,” said Wall. “The awards are given annually to seven people from all walks of life based solely on their contributions to the area in which we live and work.”

Hosted by local comic and radio personality Jim Krenn, this year’s dinner will feature a Chinese auction that includes sports memorabilia and gift baskets from local businesses. “We wouldn’t be as successful as we are without the local community,” said Wall. Major sponsors of the weekend include Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Company, Slovak Savings Bank, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Dick’s, Dunham’s Sporting Goods, and Superstar Sports.

On Saturday, June 18, the group will host a family day featuring a karaoke DJ, climbing walls, bouncy houses and picnic food. On Sunday, June 19, the softball tournament will feature softball teams from all over the county in different age groups (8U, 10U, 12U, and 15U). Both events will be held at the Bauerstown softball facility.

The money raised by Highland Moose Lodge 2699 during the weekend is used to fund programs at Mooseheart School as well as other youth programs in western Pennsylvania. “We help support local charities including Project Bundle-Up, Presents for Patients, and the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” said Wall. “We also provide tutoring services, afterschool activities, and even a scholarship program for kids in need.

“While a lot of charities have large operating costs, less than 1 percent of donations to our group go toward administrative fees,” he added. “We’re extremely proud of the work that we do.”

For more information, visit or contact Wall at 412-951-6051 or

2016 Mooseheart Community Spirit Awards
June 16  |  6 p.m.  |  The Chadwick, Wexford, PA
•    Tickets: $50 each
•    Contact Heather Perman at 412-780-3120 or for reservations.

Family Picnic
June 18  |  10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•    Bauerstown softball facility
•    Tickets: $12.50 for kids, $15 for adult

Softball Tournament
June 19  |  Bauerstown softball facility