Strictly Business: Bob’s Discount Furniture & Steelers Update Local Boys & Girls Club

While many teenagers might prefer to take it easy after their school day ends, the go-getters at LaRosa Boys & Girls Club in McKeesport, Pennsylvania are using their afterschool time to expand upon the lessons they’ve learned in the classroom.

Two older members of the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club enjoying an Olivia chair | Bob's Discount Furniture
Two older members of the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club enjoying an Olivia chair.

Recently the teens at the Club came up with an idea to run a mock business to sharpen their leadership and management skills. The kids voted on the type of business they wanted to run – a Hip Hop Art and Production studio – and how they wanted the space to be furnished to accomplish their business goals.

And that’s how the idea for their Strictly Business space was born. Their new program is based on Hip Hop Ed, a growing educational movement that uses Hip Hop as a means for teaching skills related to STEM, literacy and leadership.

Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri discusses the Hip Hop Ed program with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree | Bob's Discount Furniture
Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri discusses the Hip Hop Ed program with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree.

The teens’ vision was big and bold so who better for us to team up with than the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have a history of huddling up together to support the Pittsburgh community so this project seemed like a great fit to work together.

After listening to the teens’ plans, Boys and Girls Club staff including Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Western PA and Jim Barry, Boys & Girls Club Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, put together a wish list of furniture pieces and Steelers wall decor and sent them our way. They also shared their plans for freshening up their teen career readiness and homework center, which we were happy to assist with too!

Here’s a look at the space before any updates were made:

At the 50-yard line: Time to shop

In July, Bob’s Discount Furniture hosted the Boys & Girls Club on a shopping trip at the Monroeville, PA store to select the furniture and accessories that would be donated to the new space.

Erich Gamache, Retail Sales Manager and Adam Yagulli, Monroeville Store Manager were on-hand to help Lisa and Jim around the store and even had time to snap a quick picture with me!

Heading into the End Zone: Delivery Day!

Now it was time for my BOBtastic Delivery Experience team to take this project into the end zone. They arrived bright and early to start moving the furniture into the Boys & Girls Club. 

Here are some images of my all-star crew:

The delivery team poses for a picture with Jim Barry (right), director of the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club | Bob's Discount Furniture
The delivery team poses for a picture with Jim Barry (right), director of the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club.
Every item was expertly assembled and moved into position for the big moment when the teens got to see their vision come to life | Bob's Discount Furniture
Every item was expertly assembled and moved into position for the big moment when the teens got to see their vision come to life.

Touchdown Celebration Dance: Ribbon Cutting!

Later in the evening, the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club was ready to unveil the two newly furnished rooms which had also been freshly “Steeler-ized” with wall decor.

The music studio featured a Steelers logo flanked by a Mercury Onyx sectional and Montibello Bluestone table | Bob's Discount Furniture
The music studio featured a Steelers logo flanked by a Mercury Onyx sectional and Montibello Bluestone table.

The event kicked off with the ribbon-cutting featuring children from the club, Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Jim Barry, Mickey Grabner, and Bud Dupree, linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

During her opening comments, Lisa spoke to the kids saying “The Steelers and Bob’s are here today because they believe in you and know you are working hard in school and had this vision for a music studio. They wanted to help make today a special day and watch you enjoy all this cool new furniture!”

During the event, Dupree shared that he had attended two different Boys & Girls Clubs while growing up in Georgia but both were shut down due to lack of funding.

“I understand the impact the Club has on kids…and why it’s important for groups like the Steelers and Bob’s to support Boys & GIrls Club to keep them the clubs going and keep kids off the streets.”

Bud Dupree – Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker

Dupree’s appearance was a big surprise to the kids, who were able to spend time with him and show him around the Club. One member of the club shared that “Playing Uno with him in the new room was the highlight of the day!”

Dupree and Club members sat down for a lively game of Uno at one of my Summit tables | Bob's Discount Furniture

 Dupree and Club members sat down for a lively game of Uno at one of my Summit tables.

Bob’s Store Manager, Mickey Graber, commented “Seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces when they saw the furniture was the best part — in addition to seeing how happy they were to meet Bud Dupree! Giving back to the community – especially to great organizations like Boys & Girls Club– is one of the most rewarding parts of working at Bob’s.”

Lindsay Ruszczyk, director of communications, and Mickey Grabner, Bob’s store manager, pose with Bud Dupree | Bob's Discount Furniture

Lindsay Ruszczyk, director of communications, and Mickey Grabner, Bob’s store manager, pose with Bud Dupree.

Thank you to the Boys & Girls Club of Western PA and the Pittsburgh Steelers for partnering with Bob’s on this terrific Outreach initiative. For more information about Bob’s Discount Furniture, download the app.

About the author / Bob

I consider myself the luckiest spokespuppet ever because I get to talk about the thing I love the most everyday – furniture! Tufted headboards, rustic finishes, the difference between a sofa and a couch (yes, there is a difference)… I could go on and on. Oh, I just love furniture and I’m SO excited that I have this blog to share my passion with you! It may take me a little longer to create posts – have you ever tried typing with clay hands – but I look forward to talking furniture with you!

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