O’Hara student designs inspirational painting for nursing home memory unit

O’Hara student designs inspirational painting for nursing home memory unit

A Dorseyville middle schooler is giving back to a local senior center in memory of her great-grandmother.

Ella Golomb, 12, of O’Hara created a positive painting project as her required charitable project for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah.

Golomb is a congregant at Adat Shalom synagogue in Cheswick and social action projects, often called ‘mitzvah projects’ are required there.

Working with her peers from Dorseyville Middle School, Golomb designed a painting that will be installed and dedicated to the Memory Unit at Harmony Nursing Home in honor of her great-grandmother Goldie Rofey.

Goldie lived in Squirrel Hill and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and lived with the disease for a decade before her death in 2001.

Ella never met her grandmother but always recalled her mother and grandfather talking about Goldie.

Students from the One Day PGH club at DMS are volunteering their creative talents to the project.

“My project is a mural of words depicting change and unity that all of the students at DMS helped to make,” Golomb said. “Hopefully many people passing by will read the words and one day the world will be a kinder and more unified place.”

Every homeroom at DMS voted and submitted words to be included in the design. Words include: diversity, hope, inclusion, generosity, grace, growth, happiness, freedom, devotion, friendship and harmony.

Dana Arce, Harmony at Harts Run life enrichment director, said the mural will be a first for the unit. Harmony is located at 3450 Harts Run Rd., Indiana Township.

“I think it’s an honor, being a new community, for a seventh-grader to do this for her project donating her time, it really tugs at your heart,” Arce said.

Arce said the rainbow-shaped painting is expected to be installed in the Harmony Square, a memory care unit, around May.

The painting will be about 4 feet by 5 feet or larger and will be a first for the unit.

Ella’s friend and classmate Lauren Donovan of O’Hara is volunteering for the project.

“I think it’s a really unique idea. I’ve never seen anyone choose to do a project like this for their project,” Donovan said.

To finance the project, Ella and her sister have designed monogrammed T-shirts, jewelry, jars and drinking containers for purchase. They can be ordered through February by emailing [email protected].

The family purchased the supplies for the project.

Donations will be matched by the Golomb family.

“I thought it would lend itself to our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion monthly theme of service,” said DMS principal Jon Nauhaus. “Ella is a tremendous student and very thoughtful. I think it’s commendable and a good way to honor and show a deep memory of her family member and give back to her community,”

Ella’s mother Dana Rofey said her daughter has always been independent and kind.

“When she approached me about a meaningful project, I gave her the freedom to share what is meaningful for her. It gives me great reassurance that this group of kids is our next generation,” Rofey said. “The fact she did something in her great-grandmother’s memory makes us all even more proud of who she is, and who she will become.”

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725 , [email protected] or via Twitter .


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