The calendar at the Grand Residence of Upper St. Clair is full of special activities for residents, and they especially look forward to one seasonal event.

For nearly two decades, uniformed members of Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department have visited the Grand to participate in the Valentine’s Day-themed Firemen’s Ball, escorting the folks who live there through a balloon-festooned arch.

Gloria Sekeres and Doug Dennig

Gloria Sekeres and Doug Dennig

This year, representing the department were Chief Mike Moore; Daniel Barr, president of the board of directors; Russ Rauch, board of directors member and administrative officer secretary; R.J. Jurik, second captain and administrative officer vice president; life member Doug Dennig; and active member Craig DeRoss.

The department representatives accompanied the residents as Samir Filipovic, Grand Residence wellness and culinary staff director, called their names to the applause of guests and staff members.

The residents were looking sharp for the occasion, as South Hills Beauty Academy offered free services in preparation.

Following the Firemen’s Ball was the Grand’s monthly Family Night, an opportunity for visitors to enjoy an evening of entertainment. On the bill was Steve Tori, a Monroeville musician whose performing résumé goes back more than half a century with groups such as the Fi-Dels and the Electrons, the latter having a regional hit in 1967 with a song called “Ain’t No Big Thing.”

At the Grand, he performed crowd pleasers such as Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” Frankie Avalon’s “Venus,” Willie Nelson’s ”Crazy” and Paul Anka’s “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” enlightening the audience that he remembers seeing Anka on “American Bandstand” when the entertainer was 16 years old.

The Firemen’s Ball provided everyone present with the opportunity to feel like they were that age again.

Upper St. Clair firefighters

From left are R.J. Jurik, Doug Dennig, Dan Baer, Russ Rauch, Chief Mike Moore and Craig DeRoss.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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