Everyday Heroes

Volunteers Open Hearts And Wallets To Lay 9/11 Hero To Rest

Like firefighters answering a call for help, volunteers answered the call to help lay Nick Ursta to rest following his cancer battle, caused by toxins from the terrorist attack site in New York City.


Saying "Thank You"

I cannot say enough good things about the people who have opened up their hearts and their wallets for our friend Nick Ursta and his wife Margaret. We just delivered a check from the GoFundMe drive to pay for Nick's burial and funeral. The final tally from GoFundMe alone was over $11,000. That is simply amazing and so is the way Sue Striffler and her team at Striffler Funeral Homes handled arrangements for Nick. Here she is joining me to say thank you to everyone who has helped out.

Volunteering After 9/11

Nick Ursta lost his battle with cancer, caused by debris from the site at Ground Zero in New York City following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Nick and Margaret were part of the White Oak Rescue Squad that volunteered, digging through the rubble looking for victims and survivors.

Nick's cancer didn't appear until seventeen years later. We first got involved when Margaret told us what was going on with Nick, his battle, and how it was keeping him from continuing construction on their dream home in Versailles Borough, just outside McKeesport, PA.

Building Their Dream

It took more than a year of blood, sweat, and tears from volunteers doing the work. Businesses and people in the community picked up the cost and stepped up to take care of everything from the roof to the plumbing to the final pieces of furniture. Before Nick passed, he not only got to see their dream realized, he spent his final moments in that home with his loving wife by his side.

Special Thanks

We cannot thank enough the individuals, organizations, and companies that stepped up along the way to rebuild the Ursta home and get them moved in before Nick's passing. We apologize if we're missing anyone in the following list:

  • TUDI Mechanical Systems : They installed a brand new furnace and donated the entire system as part of their Heat For The Needy program.
  • Kevin Anglum and Tony Napolitano: These retired contractors have done the walls and ceilings drywall and sheet rock with additional volunteer assistance from the Carpenters and Joiners Union .
  • Maury Burgwin, President of the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce : Burgwin worked with area businesses on materials and labor.
  • Anonymous: A mystery man paid for the roofing job installed by Nicolella Roofing .
  • Matt Mertz Plumbing : They have done a complete job of running all of the plumbing and making sure it's all up to code. It took a week of work and they didn't ask for a penny.
  • Michael Jacobs, President and Owner of Marvista Kitchen and Bath . Jacobs' team worked on the dream kitchen and bathrooms for Nick and Margaret.
  • 84 Lumber donated the siding and materials to finish the exterior of the Ursta home.
  • Richard Garland and his volunteers from The Blessing Board took care of the labor, and installed siding on all sides of the Ursta home.
  • Dan Horhut and his crew from Horthut Tree Experts cleaned up the piles and piles of debris from the trees and shrubbery that was removed from the yard.
  • Pat Molyneaux and his team at Molyneaux Tile Carpet Wood for taking care of the carpeting throughout the home.
  • Levin Furniture and an anonymous donor provided furnishings for the home: living room, dining room, and bedroom.
  • Voss TV & Appliance : Matt Hufford and the rest of the family at Voss really stepped up to take care of appliances for the Urstas Kitchen and a television.

Looking Back

Follow the Ursta's Journey on Sparkt (Newest to Oldest below):

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