Congressman Doyle Presents $72,750 Check to Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society

May 5, 2006
Press Release

Pittsburgh, PA – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) today presented a check for $72,750 in federal funding to Janet Cercone Scullion, Executive Director of the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society. 

This money will be used for the construction of a permanent outdoor Pennsylvania History Exhibit at the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society’s Education, Research, and Development Center.

“Our region’s history and cultural diversity are essential parts of our identity, and I believe that preserving our remarkable heritage enriches our community and keeps it vibrant,” Congressman Doyle said. “The Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society clearly shares that philosophy, and has made it the foundation of its many efforts to serve this community.”

“I’m pleased and proud to be able to help Janet Scullion and the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society carry out their important work by providing this federal funding for construction of this outdoor exhibit on Pennsylvania’s rich history,” Congressman Doyle added.

Congressman Doyle worked successfully to include this funding in the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2005 appropriations bill for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development (H.R. 5041).  The money comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Economic Development Initiative.

Bloomfield is one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods, with its origins dating back several hundred years to John Conrad Winebiddle’s plantation in the 1700s.  It is currently home to a vibrant Italian-American community as well as several other active ethnic groups.  Many local families have been Bloomfield residents for the last four or five generations.  Consequently, Bloomfield has a strong sense of community and history.

“Bloomfield is a microcosm of the scene that took place across this Continent as we were becoming the homeland to people throughout the world,” observed Janet Cercone Scullion, Executive Director of the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society.  “The Immigration movement of Germans, Irish, and Italians to Bloomfield over the past two hundred years has made this neighborhood worthy of being called ‘Hometown USA.’”

The Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society was founded in 1991 with the mission of preserving the community’s heritage, educating young people about that heritage, disseminating news about the community, and promoting positive relationships between young people in Bloomfield and their elders.  Its motto is “Cherishing the past to provide a better future.”  The Society publishes a quarterly newspaper called the Spirit of Bloomfield that is published by volunteers with local business support and has a circulation of 12,000.  The Society also offers historic and architectural tours of Bloomfield. 

The Society works through its Education, Research, and Development Project to help Bloomfield’s young people better understand and appreciate their roots – and thereby foster in them a greater sense of community.  This project includes interviews of family members and older residents conducted by the children as part of the curriculum for learning about their community. 
“One of the greatest problems our region faces is keeping its young people from leaving,” Congressman Doyle observed.  “The heritage education program developed and operated by the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society helps us deal with that problem by building young people’s ties to this community at the same time as it helps them develop the life skills and academic capabilities that will help them build a good life for themselves here.”

“On behalf of the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society, I would like to thank Congressman Mike Doyle for recognizing the complexity of each individual search for meaning,” Janet Cercone Scullion said in accepting the check.  “We are a product of our environment, and this opportunity for self discovery is the anchor that builds respect for our ancestors and family ties.  This is what America is all about!"

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Caption:  US Congressman Mike Doyle presents a check to the Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society.