History: The Love Behind Mother's Hope


Cathy Howe
Cathy Howe, Founder of Mother's Hope

In June of 1994 Cathy Howe, a homemaker living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania traveled to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina following the passing of her mother. While there she visited the Capljina refugee camp in Tasovcici. She was part of a humanitarian group which was greeted by children and adults left homeless by the Bosnian War. These refugees were sleeping in boxcars without electricity and only newspapers covering their windows. Some had war wounds. Awestruck by their plight, Howe began handing candy bars to the young children. "I was totally numb," she remembers. "I felt as if I was in a dream and the refugees I saw were the lucky ones." Three days later she arrived in Pittsburgh with a huge hole in her heart for all the suffering people, especially the children. "When I came back and saw my own children, I thanked God like I had never thanked him before," Cathy recalls.


Jaromir Jagr
Jaromir Jagr joined the efforts of Cathy Howe to help orphans in Bosnia by initially hosting the Walk for Peace in 1995.

In 1995 Cathy organized a WALK FOR PEACE at the Civic Arena to raise awareness and money for the plight of the Bosnian orphans. She knew she needed some high-powered help and obeyed an inner urge to solicit the help of National Hockey League Super Star, Jaromir Jagr, a native of the Czech Republic. She sent him a letter and four color pictures taken at the refugee camp. "I knew in my heart he was the one to help!" she said. Within a few weeks Jagr responded saying he would join in her efforts to help the orphans of Bosnia.


On September 17, 1995 Jagr hosted a WALK FOR PEACE. September of 1997 marked the third walk. The 1997 fundraiser was the most successful effort thus far, and their efforts had begun to make an impact on the Pittsburgh community. After three years of what seemed to be an uphill battle, Cathy was feeling quite optimistic about future events. As a result, she was planning additional fundraisers.


Unfortunately, that winter, Cathy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphona, a form of cancer. Her work was brought to a sudden halt. At home one evening during radiation therapy she heard the story of a child suffering from the same illness who would be spending the holiday in the hospital. Feeling the same heartache she did years earlier in Bosnia, Cathy knew she must reach out to this child and others suffering in the Pittsburgh area. The result was the birth of the Mother's Hope Foundation which Cathy runs out of her home. With the generous support of George Hackett, President of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, and his wife, Teddi, Coldwell Banker became Mother's Hope Foundation's first Corporate Sponsor working hand in hand enabling the Foundation to touch even more children. Coldwell Banker was Mother's Hope Foundation's Corporate Sponsor from 2001 through 2007.


Mother's Hope and Fifth Third Bank

Jill Sandilla
Jill Sandilla of Fifth Third Bank

Beginning in the fall of 2007 until the summer of 2012 Fifth Third Bank was the corporate sponsor of Mother's Hope Foundation. Jill Sandilla, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, of Fifth Third Bank and Bob Buzzelli, Senior Vice President and Managing Executive Investment Advisor, also of Fifth Third Bank had attended the 7th Annual Night of Hope Rainbow and Roses Benefit Evening. At that time, Jill's heart became very opened to the sick and disadvantaged children Mother's Hope Foundation so desires to help. Through her efforts, Fifth Third Bank so graciously agreed to become our new Corporate Sponsor. Their openness to our Foundation and its mission to aid the suffering children is more needed than ever before.


Dennis J. Sipe
Dennis J. Sipe
Eternal Hope Award Recipient

Mother's Hope Circle of Hope

In 2008, Dennis J. Sipe became the first ever Eternal Hope Award Recipient. Through his generosity as an annual Circle of Hope Sponsor, Mother's Hope can greatly increase its efforts to bless children in Western Pennsylvania and abroad.



Honorary Chairmen and Advisory Board

Jaromir Jagr and Pierre Larouche are Mother's Hope Foundation's Honorary Chairmen and were recently joined by Mother's Hope Foundation's

Honorary Chairmen
Mother's Hope is supported by Honory Chairmen Jaromir Jagr, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pierre Larouche, Mark Recchi. Several additional Pittsburgh athletes and celebrities extend a helping hand to the Mother's Hope mission.

newest Honorary Chairmen, Mark Recchi and Marc-Andre Fleury. They are directed by a 15-member Board, some of whom are cancer survivors. Among the Advisory Board members are Barry Austin MD, the wife of our late Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri, Jeanne Caliguiri, WPXI Anchorwoman Peggy Finnegan, KDKA Sports Anchor Bob Pompeani, WTAE News Anchor Mike Clark, Rose and Roger Vega, MD, Georgia C. Hernandez, and Jean and Louis D. Astorino.


Georgia C. Hernandez
Georgia C. Hernandez


Georgia C. Hernandez
2nd Annual Eternal Hope Award
Award Recipient

In 2009, Georgia C. Hernandez was awarded the 2nd Annual Eternal Hope Award. Georgia's dedication to Mother's Hope and its mission has allowed Mother's Hope to grow and make a tremendous impact in the lives of children.



Pierre Larouche
Pierre Larouche


Pierre Larouche
3rd Annual Eternal Hope Award
Award Recipient

  1. In 2011, Pierre Larouche, Mother's Hope Foundation Honorary Chairman, was awarded the 3rd Annual Eternal Hope Award.  Pierre's open heart to Mother's Hope since its inception in 1994 has greatly enhanced the Foundation's effort to help suffering children.



Fundraising Efforts

Jaromir Jagr
Logan Eger, Mother's Hope Poster Child, with Mom, Dad and Sister at the 8th Annual Night of Hope

In February of 2001, Mother's Hope Foundation held its Inaugural Night of Hope, a Rainbow and Roses Benefit Evening. This annual fundraising dinner is the cornerstone of the foundation's effort to fulfill its mission. The evening gives supporters an opportunity to mingle with well-known Pittsburghers, bid on special one-of-a-kind items, and support this deserving cause.


With the generous support of Jaromir Jagr, Pierre Larouche, Mark Recchi, and Marc-Andre Fleury and many other Pittsburgh celebrities, Mother's Hope Foundation will continue to help suffering children both at home and abroad.



For Information About How You Can
Help Us Help Others
Please Contact:


Mother's Hope Foundation

133 Black Oak Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
412-278-HOPE (4673)