Grace Beal accepting Jefferson Award

In 1972, the Jefferson Awards program was created to honor volunteers for their contributions through public and community service. WOMEN of SW PA is proud to sponsor Grace Beal this year as one of the five local finalists. After losing her 11 month old sister to a heart defect and seeing the struggles families go through at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), Grace and her family turned their struggle into something positive. When she was only in fourth grade, Grace started a project in her sister’s honor, donating more than 600 books and videos to CHP. After this great start, she raised funds for various other projects as well. When she was in seventh grade, Grace held her first “Layups for Lucy” by inviting her basketball teammates to shoot layups, raising almost $7,000. This has become an annual event and over the past two years, $40,000 has been donated to CHP in Lucy’s name. To learn more about Layups for Lucy visit