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Donor Spotlight

Conrad Rossetti, featured with the painting he sponsored at the Kara Building, St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center - Peters Township

Conrad Rossetti - Why I give to St. Clair...

Those who enjoy the sport of fly fishing know that the pleasures of the sport are transcendent.

The fundamentals – synthetic vs. natural “flies,” the weight of the line, the type of rod and reel – matter far less than the personal experience of being immersed in the natural world, so focused on getting that fly to gently land on the water in the perfect spot, that all of one’s worldly cares disappear for a blessed few hours. A fly fisherman casts his line out into the water with care and hope, never knowing what it might bring.

Conrad Rossetti understands this. The Washington County resident is an avid fly fisherman for whom the sport is restorative and relaxing. So, when he attended the opening of St. Clair Hospital’s new Outpatient Center in Peters Township and saw the framed photograph of fishermen on Canonsburg Lake hanging behind the reception desk, it resonated with him. “I was inspired when I saw that photograph,” he explains. “I’m passionate about fly fishing. My wife Gerrie and I love the outdoors and anything to do with water and boats. I saw myself in the picture.”

The Rossettis decided to make a donation to sponsor the colorful photograph, one of a collection of 13 created by regional artist Leroy G. Pettis and hanging in prominent locations throughout the Center. The photographs feature 12 Washington County sites, plus a picture of St. Clair Hospital that adorns the Center’s Community Room. They are all available for sponsorship through the St. Clair Hospital Foundation; small plaques bearing the donor’s name will be placed beside each photograph. The Rossettis were moved to donate by the quality of the photograph and their high regard for St. Clair Hospital. “Gerrie and I were impressed by the Outpatient Center,” Rossetti says. “It exceeded our expectations: the advanced technology, the convenience and location of all the departments, and the addition of the café. It’s well thought-out and beautiful.”

Conrad Rossetti’s relationship with St. Clair Hospital grew out of his volunteer involvement with the Washington affiliate of Habitat for Humanity,  Following a 44-year career in the industrial sales and marketing, Rossetti retired to his Nottingham County home in 2005 and was eager to find a new purpose. “I wanted to remain active and give back. I’ve been blessed with good health, a good life and good family; I thought I might become a hospital volunteer. Then I read a story about Habitat for Humanity seeking to establish a “ReStore” for Washington County. A ReStore is a non-profit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail cost. “The Washington affiliate needed volunteers to help get the ReStore established. It was clear that the initiative to start the ReStore was exactly what I was seeking. With my background in sales and marketing, it was a perfect fit.” The ReStore opened for business in September 2006, with Rossetti as Business Manager.

“In the summer of 2010, a member of our board, Dr. Arnold Sholder a physician at St. Clair, reached out to the Hospital about Habitat’s positive impact in Washington County.  The Hospital  was interested in supporting our mission. Our store receives only new and recyclable donated items that can be resold, we asked him if we could salvage and recycle items left in the Lorenzi Lumber Company and Arthur Murray Dance Studio buildings, which were slotted for demolition to make room to build the new Outpatient Center and the Hospital immediately agreed.”

‘As someone who spent so much time on that site, overseeing the salvage operation and literally watching the Hospital’s vision for the Outpatient Center come to life, I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ by sponsoring the Canonsburg Lake photograph.”

“Conrad and Gerrie Rossetti were the first donors to sponsor a photograph at the new Outpatient Center,” says Matt Hiser, Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship for the St. Clair Hospital Foundation. “Their donation shows their appreciation for St. Clair Hospital and allows us to better showcase our connection to the community with these images of Washington County landmarks. We are so pleased that the Rossettis chose to make this donation.”
At St. Clair, there’s a personal connection between the donor and the Hospital and  between the Hospital and the community. We accomplish so much because of our donors, and the Foundation acts as a bridge between the Hospital and donor, to facilitate that personal connection.”
Family is important to the Rossettis, whose children and grandchildren all live within five miles of their home. Sponsoring artwork at the Outpatient Center creates a legacy for the close family, and for Conrad, is a way of honoring his marriage to Gerrie. “This is a special year – we’ve planned a year-long series of trips and activities to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.  Sponsoring the photograph is part of that; it’s a nice feeling to know that something lasting exists to honor my marriage and family.”

Conrad Rossetti views himself as an ordinary and very fortunate man. But his generous spirit and passion for helping others set him apart. He likes to say that Habitat for Humanity is a win-win, because there are so many positive dynamics that benefit and even transform everyone involved. In the same way, making a donation to the St. Clair Hospital Foundation is a win-win. The donation supports the Hospital’s continued growth and area residents receive great patient care.  And for the donor, there is the immense joy of giving and making a positive difference in the lives of others, perhaps even in an entire community.

It’s a little like fly fishing. A fisherman chooses a spot that feels right, casts the line and reaches out, sending forth a little something that eventually gives back something much better. It’s an experience that is engaging, enriching and restorative.