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October 2014

Congratulations to the Franklin Center of Beaver County on their celebration of 30 years of service to Beaver County! The Franklin Center of Beaver County located at 524 Franklin Avenue, Aliquippa, has been in existence providing outreach and referrals to low income and unemployed residents of Beaver County for the past thirty years. It began in 1984 and was originally called the Aliquippa Alliance for Unity and Development (AAUD). It became the Franklin Center of Beaver County to mark its commitment to all of Beaver County. For more information about the Franklin Center of Beaver County and the services they provide, please visit h

Third Quarter 2013

Twelve years ago Church Army officer, John Stanley, arranged for the purchase of an old, rundown store front on Franklin Avenue. At that time, he had the vision for and the hope that volunteers would have a working coffee shop ministry in six months’ time. In actuality, it took nearly four years of volunteer labor to get up and running. That four years produced Uncommon Grounds Cafe, a fully functional café and coffee shop located at 380 Franklin Avenue in downtown Aliquippa, that eight years later still runs strong with the assistance and the efforts of many volunteers.

In reality, the purpose of Uncommon Grounds Cafe is not to merely provide a palce for a delicious coffee or sandwich. In fact, it aspires to help a whole community heal and lead individuals to Jesus. This is done in a myriad of ways such as connecting someone in need with the proper social services; sometimes it’s just listening; or sometimes its guiding people
to local churches. Volunteers undergo training not only to make various coffee drinks, but also to understand how to deal with difficult situations and people.

The idea of Uncommon Grounds Cafe is to provide space for those in need of healing and for
everyone to be themselves and to express themselves and thus to be heard and to be appreciated by connecting with one another. Promoting diversity is critical. Additionally, they work to draw local churches in to work together, no matter their particular denomination, for the common good of Aliquippa and its people.

Uncommon Grounds Cafe also offers many other opportunities to the Aliquippa community such as hosting Bible studies, workshops, having an outdoor garden, featuring music and open mic nights, and featuring art of local artists and local youth on its walls.

Uncommon Grounds Cafe hours of operation are the following…visit soon!
7am-5pm Tuesday, Wednesday
7am-midnight Thursday, Friday
9am-4pm Saturday

Second Quarter 2013

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is pleased to recognize
Communicycle Aliquippa
as its quarterly featured Downtown Recognition Recipient. Communicycle is a part of AMP-Aliquippa Mission Programs. AMP is a collaborative effort of Aliquippa area churches and organizations. It is an outgrowth of various mission projects completed in the past 2-3 years by the partnering organizations.

Communicycle Aliquippa collects used bikes and parts, and provides a way for children and adults to earn a bike through volunteering. People can also bring their bikes to the shop or to our “Communicycle on the Road” events and we’ll help them repair their bikes using our tools and parts.

Communicycle Aliquippa grew out of a handicapped ramp construction project in September 2011. While building the ramp for an Aliquippa woman, volunteers became friends with her grandchildren who lived with her. They loved helping with the ramp construction and one evening one of the boys dragged up his bike and asked them to fix it. A few new parts and a wheel rebuild, and he was happily racing around the neighborhood again.

The next evening a second boy asked if the volunteers could fix his bike. It needed a lot more work so word was put out through the AMP groups to look for an old bike that could be used for parts. The conversation turned to how many more people could be helped through a bike program. Communicycle Aliquippa has a large selection of donated bikes & parts. The shop is located at 329 Franklin Ave (across from the Aliquippa Police Station), and is open Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:30 PM and Saturdays from 9:30 AM – Noon. You can select a bike and volunteer to earn it. If you already have a bike that needs repaired, you can bring it in and we’ll help you fix it.

If you are selecting a bike from the shop inventory, we’ll ask that you commit to a certain number of volunteer hours - at your church or another church, at the Uncommon Grounds Café, at the bike shop, and/or in your community. Talk to one of our volunteers for details.

Communicycle Aliquippa accepts donations of bikes (in any condition). All bikes, parts and repairs are then offered to the community at no cost. The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee thanks Communicycle and the AMP for the wonderful work they do and the dedication they put forth for our community.

First Quarter 2013

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is pleased to feature Stacey and Mike Henry as this quarter's featured Downtown Recognition Recipient.

Stacey and Mike Henry have been active in the Aliquippa community for a number of years, first as football and basketball coaches and afterwards as daycare operators. Mrs. Henry saw opening their daycare, Today's Kidz Child Care Center, located at 385 Franklin Avenue, as a natural extension of their community activities in that many of the individuals she and her husband coached over the years as 4th, 5th and 6th graders are now the parents of the children who attend their daycare. In a few cases, the Henrys have served three generations of a family.

Mrs. Henry expresses that in addition to quality daycare, the couple makes a concerted effort to provide quality pre-K education to the children. Mrs. Henry carefully tracks each child's progress so the child can be properly prepared for the academics that will come beyond the walls of the daycare in future years.

Before the sports center was built, the older and advanced younger children were provided educational activities at the Cyber Lounge, as the older children did not like the idea of being in "daycare". Those children transitioned to the sports center once construction was completed. The Henrys built the sports center with private funds. When asked why she and her husband built the sports center, Mrs. Henry's response was "that when Aliquippa's gym was demolished several years ago, we needed a place to continue engaging the children we coached and my husband suggested that we construct a gym on the site where it now sits." The Henrys, who have been in the daycare business now for 10 years, desired the structured environment and encouragement provided to the children they serve to remain consistent, even as the children grew older; therefore, building the gym seemed both a natural and logical next step.

One a month at "The Top of the Lounge", a beautifully decorated space above the Cyber Lounge, Mr. and Mrs. Henry once provided dinner parties for parents so that mom and dad could dress up and socialize with other parents. This was also a way for the Henrys to touch base with the parents of their daycare children. The couple does not typically rent out The Top of the Lounge for outside events as the couple desire to remain focused on the children. Mrs. Henry stated that she would like to resume the monthly dinners but a hectic schedule has not yet allowed for it.

Mike and Stacey Henry are totally devoted to the children of the Aliquippa community. Additionally, with the daycare, Cyber Lounge and sports center all on Franklin Avenue, they are invested in the downtown area as well.

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is so very appreciative to have the Henry's in our community and thank them for their limitless dedication to our children, our town, and our community!

Fourth Quarter 2012

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is happy to recognize the efforts of Mayor Dwan Walker and city councilman, Donald Walker to adopt an official city flag as the featured downtown recognition recipient.

The effort to have an official city flag is being pursued in the hopes of building city pride and hope. The Aliquippa varsity football team recently carried the proposed flag onto the field. The flag's design is bisected diagonally with red on top and black on the bottom; Aliquippa printed in white letters; a silhouette of an American Indian in a chief's headdress; and the date the City was incorporated.

The flag was designed by Bruce Donoso in 2005. Donoso was an Aliquippa student participating in a contest sponsored by the Franklin Avenue Development Committee.

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee applauds these gentlement on their efforts to instill hope and pride in our community!

Third Quarter 2012

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is please to recognize Stop and Shop as this quarter's featured downtown recognition recipient.

The Stop and Shop located at 614 Franklin Avenue offers a gas station and convenience store.  The store has been on Franklin Avenue for approximately 10 years. The Stop and Shop has also generously donated to the town, churches, and other such organizations over the years.

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is happy to have the Stop and Shop on Franklin Avenue and thanks them for their dedication to Aliquippa!

Second Quarter 2012

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is pleased to recognize Earl Trump as the Featured Downtown Recognition Recipient this quarter.


Earl Trump has been a dedicated member of the Franklin Avenue Development Committee and is committed to revitalizing the Franklin Avenue business district. Earl Trump is the owner of Demenel’s located at 728 Franklin Avenue. As part of Earl’s dedication to the Franklin Avenue Development Committee, he recently attended an Educational Workshop on New Business Recruitment sponsored by the Beaver County Mainstreet Network.


The Franklin Avenue Development Committee thanks Earl Trump for his commitment to Downtown Aliquippa!

First Quarter 2012

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee is pleased to recognize the Aliquippa Council of Men and Fathers as its featured Downtown Recognition Recipient.

The council was founded in 2009 and organized by Shon Owens.  The council hopes to grow in 2012 by adding more men and fathers to mentor kids, mediate disagreements, and foster a sense of community.  This group of volunteers has set out to change the city and the negative perceptions associated with it.

The council has made strategic decisions to spend time in areas like the Plan 12 neighborhood, at sporting events, and at a tutoring program in the schools.  The efforts have brought people out of their homes in neighborhoods and provided a sense of community.  In many ways, the council has provided a neighborhood watch resulting in less crime in the community.

The efforts of the Aliquippa Council of Men and Fathers are chaning the way the people of Aliquippa view themselves and helping them to become more vested in the community, while at the same time helping to change the perceptions of people outside of the community.

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee applauds the efforts of the Council and acknowledges their outstanding contributions to our community!

Fourth Quarter 2011

The Franklin Avenue Development Committee has chosen to recognize Reverend Mike Anastas and Mt. Carmel Presbyterian Church for their leadership in our community.  Mt. Carmel and the Reverends' ongoing service and commitment to our community are appreciated and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.  We also take this opportunity to recognize Uncommon Grounds Cafe, their staff, patrons and friends for their constant dedication in the many community projects initiated over the years.

In particular, the committee wishes to recognize the assistance given by both Mt. Carmel and Uncommon Grounds Cafe in flood relief efforts this past summer.  The committee is proud to recognize the service both groups provided to the community of Aliquippa during this troubling time.  Thank you.

Third Quarter 2011

The Franklin Avenue Development Committee has chosen Sandy Edwards as its 3rd Quarter Downtown Recognition recipient for 2011. Sandy is being recognized for educational programming at the Franklin Center and as a leader in our community. Sandy's service and commitment to our community is appreciated and her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Through her leadership, Aliquippa youth have enjoyed many academic enrichment programs such as the Green Tea, Biz camps and E-Club among others. These programs foster a sense of teamwork and responsibility. It also provides a safe place for kids in the summer and allows them to use their summer constructively, and teaches them the importance of making a difference through helping others. Sandys efforts have provided an educational and communtiy work experience for local youths while also enhancing Aliquippa community beautification, volunteerism, community involvement and culture.

Local businesses can support Sandy's efforts and the Franklin Center by donating to the Franklin Center's Educational Programs while receiving a tax credit. The EITC Program allows your company to reallocate our tax dollars to youth education programs in your own communities.

Second Quarter 2011

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee (AFADC) has chosen The Community of Celebration as its 2nd Quarter Downtown Recognition Recipient for 2011.  This religious order was originally established in the Anglican Church in England and Scotland. In the mid-1960’s, its roots began in Houston’s inner city Church of the Redeemer and today the Community’s home is in Aliquippa. Its public ministry focuses on programs that are anti-drug, anti-crime and anti-domestic violence. The organization also works to provide affordable quality housing to low-income families.      The community is located at 809 Franklin Avenue and includes: All Saints House, a chapel, dining hall, conference room and accommodations for visiting mission teams and people on retreat. It also owns 14 row houses on Franklin Avenue and a beautiful English garden, which is actually tended by Maggie who visits from England three times a year!

Bill Farra is its Primary Guardian and a dedicated downtown volunteer.  He serves on the boards of the Uncommon Grounds Café, The Franklin Center and the AFADC as chair of the Architecture and Design committee. 

For more information on this remarkable and inspirational organization, please visit the website at  Congratulations and many thanks for your outstanding contributions to Aliquippa and its community life!

First Quarter 2011

The Franklin Avenue Development Committee has chosen Dean Baldwin as its 1st Quarter Downtown Recognition Recipient for 2011.  Dean is the Art Director at R.O.O.T.S. and has channeled the artistic skills of young local artists in many ways.  One example is the painted boards that decorate vacant buildings on Franklin Avenue. In October, 2009, Dean was the recipient of a Main Street Award for Architecture & Design for the painted board project.

Dean is also involved in Aliquippa Impact Summer Day Camp and the Drama Camp where he served as a volunteer in media help from 2006-2008. 

Dean is a very accomplished artist himself and has held art exhibits of his work at the Uncommon Grounds Café, Three Rivers Art Festival, the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY and the European University in Cypress. He uses oils and acrylics to paint his favorite subjects: social criticism, personal expression and humanity. 

Very importantly, Dean also works as a community activist, encouraging at-risk Aliquippa youth who attend R.O.O.T.S. Academy to “embrace creativity, expression and positive outlet through the arts”. He is currently involved with coordinating public works in Aliquippa, raising awareness for Beaver County Fair Housing and facilitating the creation of a mural depicting Aliquippa’s history as a thriving steel town, what it is today and finally, what it will be in the future. 

Aliquippa is extremely fortunate to have such a talented, caring and involved young man like Dean. The AFADC congratulates him on this very special honor.

Fourth Quarter 2010

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Shon Owens as our 4th Quarter Downtown Recognition Recipient for 2010. He is being recognized for his work with The Aliquippa Council of Men and Fathers. His goal to help fathers establish deeper connections with their children and become more actively involved in their community is the first step in reducing crime, poverty and other social ills. The Board commends Shon for his dedication to our families and community life.

Third Quarter 2010

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee has chosen Mary K Wawro as its 3rd Quarter Downtown Recognition Recipient for 2010.  Mary K is a valued member of the AFADC and is being recognized for her dedication and support of the downtown.  She recently completed a facade renovation on the first floor of her building, Wawro's Bar, at 395 Franklin Avenue.  Future plans include renovations of the 2nd and 3rd floors, as well as an apartment for Mary K.

Second Quarter 2010

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee has chosen the Aliquippa Police Department as its 2nd Quarter Downtown Recognition Recipient for 2010.  The Department is being honored for its dedicated efforts to make Aliquippa’s main street safe. Chief Ralph Pallante is introducing a new program that will place officers on Franklin Avenue walking and riding bikes or motorcycles.  

Additionally, the department is working with the Aliquippa Men’s Council regarding curfews.  Shon Owens and other members of the Men’s Council will work weekends in group areas to reduce loitering.  

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee thanks Chief Pallante, Sgt. Steve Roberts and the other members of the Police Department for taking the initiative to reduce crime and violence on our streets.

First Quarter 2010

Emanual "Manny" Panos has been recognized by the Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee for his 22 years of dedicated service to Aliquippa. He always puts the patient first, providing many services with one friendly stop.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Downtown Recognition: Main Street Awards

On Wednesday, October 28th each of the ten Riverfront towns honored individuals and businesses that made outstanding contributions to their downtowns.  Recognition was made in three categories: Business Development, Architecture & Design and Community Life. 

Beaver County Commissioners Joe Spanik and Charles Camp offered words of support and encouragement to the 100+ audience gathered at Tinitique Restaurant in Bridgewater. 

Chairpersons from the various Business District Authorities and Development Corporations described the accomplishments of their honorees with the help of a PowerPoint presentation. Each winner received a Main Street Award plaque in the appropriate category and a group photo was taken.

The event was hosted by the Community Development Program of Beaver County, which provides a wide array of programs and services which support and encourage downtown revitalization for its ten downtown community members, and Town Center Associates, a planning and management firm specializing in downtown revitalization.

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee presented Main Street Awards to:

Stacey and Michael Henry
Business Development

R.O.O.T.S. Academy Art Program
Dean Baldwin, Director
Architecture & Design

Pastor Joel Repic
Aliquippa Impact Summer Program
Community Life

Third Quarter 2009 Downtown Recognition:

Pastor Joel Repic is being recognized for his work with Aliquippa Impact. His programs include training adult mentors to provide positive guidance to students who attend ROOTS Academy, Street Ministry to Aliquippa families, and City Camps which offer training in leadership development, business development, global awareness, enrichment, art, painting, photography and music classes.

Second Quarter 2009 Downtown Recognition:

Ben and Luke Stanley and Christina Mutchler have been selected as Downtown Recognition recipients for their work with this year's Easter Egg Hunt which took place on Saturday, April 11th at the the Uncommon Grounds Cafe.  These young volunteers organized and orchestrated the entire event, filled plastic eggs with treats and helped the children in their hunt.

First Quarter 2009 Downtown Recognition:

Stacey and Michael Henry have been chosen for their commitment to Franklin Avenue.  They own Today's Kidz Child Care, the adjoining playground, the Cyber Cafe and are currently completing a new recreational facility.

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee congratulates the following businesses for their 10 or more years in our central business district:

Hoffman’s Drug Store

Franklin Sporting Goods

Junak’s Auto Repair

Endless Horizons

The Salvation Army

AAUD Franklin Center

The Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee thanks the following businesses for opening in our central business district during the past 2 years:

The Cyber Lounge

Union Ministries

Johnston's Market