Locals gathered at Lemont Restaurant on Wednesday, October 26th for the annual Bingo Bash for Bartko event.  The landmark restaurant was the perfect spot for advocates of the Bartko Foundation to gather. The Foundation has itself been a monument in their own right for championing self-sufficiency in our city’s single minority mothers.

The Bartko Foundation works to provide financial support to struggling moms by providing financial support to assist them in achieving self-sufficiency.  The organization partners with local agencies, charities and churches to connect with mothers who are already working on self-sufficiency goals.  Once they are identified to Bartko Foundation by another organization as a potential candidate, the struggling single mother may submit a request for possible funding.

More than 300 women and 700 children have received funding in areas the Bartko Foundation believes will have the most impact in their lives: education, transportation, housing and employment. To date, the organization has awarded more than 1 million dollars in grants.

Four out of 10 families headed by single mothers in Pittsburgh live in poverty, with an average income of $36,726,” said Carl Perkins, Bartko Foundation,Executive Director. “National statistics indicate that in our area, over 80% of African American women who have babies are unmarried. Families headed by unmarried women, particularly those with preschool children, are far more likely to be poor because of the difficulty of working or finishing school while raising a small child. Overcoming these odds is a challenge, but we have been fortunate to witness amazing women achieving their self-determined goals. There is no greater joy for these moms than the sense of accomplishment when they feel they have a path to become self-reliant.”

“This is the second year for the Bingo Bash for Bartko, said Melanie Gefert, Bartko Board President. “It’s so much fun for our guests and us that we have made this event an annual fundraiser.  It’s a nice night out, that includes a great meal, playing a game we all love and just enjoying the company of friends, supporters and grant recipients, all who we consider part of the Bartko Family.”

Guests of the Bingo Bash for Bartko will receive five game cards with their admission ticket and enjoy a dinner buffet.  The evening also includes a cash bar, a 50/50 raffle and the opportunity to win numerous prizes including a $1,500 cash grand prize.