While COVID-19 is keeping many people at home, others continue to report to their duties more or less as usual, including first responders.
“You and I appreciate everything they do, and we can’t thank them enough,” Peters Township resident Brian Ruscello said. “It’s the least we can do, buying them lunch.”
And so he has joined with some restaurateur clients of his insurance business to say thanks in a tasty manner.
Fiori’s Pizzaria in Peters and Ardolino’s Pizza in Upper St. Clair recently delivered dozens of delicious pies to the police departments in their municipalities, plus Bethel Park, where Ruscello grew up and graduated from high school.
“The South Hills is my community, obviously,” he said.
His expressions of gratitude, though, have extended to Oakland, where nearly 60 people working in the neonatal intensive care unit at UPMC Magee Womens Hospital of Pittsburgh were treated to lunch from Pitaland in Brookline. One of Ruscello’s employees, Mike Barry, made the suggestion because his wife, Chris, is among those who help with the vital services the unit is providing throughout the pandemic and beyond.
For Ruscello, the goodwill gestures represent an extension of his general outlook.
“It’s just the way I’m wired, with anything in life. You just keep moving forward and staying positive, and seeing how you can make a difference,” he said, especially with regard to the current situation. “You have to keep a big picture on it.”
The contributions of Ardolino’s, Fiori’s and Pitaland are indicative of similar attitudes on the parts of others.
“My experience with everybody right now, too, is whatever anybody can do to help,” he said. “It’s refreshing to see that.”
A 2001 Bethel Park High School graduate, Ruscello is a 2016 inductee to the Bethel Park Athletic Hall of Fame as a three-year starter in the middle infield in baseball and a starting running back and defensive back in football. An all-state selection on the diamond, he also played baseball at Richmond University.