About Us

 
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"When a great man dies, for years the light
he leaves behind him, lies on the path of men."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Based in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, Once Upon a Hero became an official, non-profit organization in January, 2013. Our organization was inspired by the heroic and selfless acts of Don Spillane, who lost his life in May, 2010 while trying to rescue a young girl who had fallen over a waterfall at McConnells Mill State Park in Pennsylvania.

The organization's mission is to hold fundraising events for a good cause. With the commitment of a team of volunteers and the support of donors and sponsors, we will bring together the community and, through their generosity, raise money to help a local family or individual in need. View 2017 beneficiary

It is our hope that the light Don left behind lies on our path as we begin this journey of "paying it forward," and that his memory continues to live on and inspire others.

     

 Thank you for visiting our website!
          – The Spillane Family

 


  Leadership   Board of Directors
       
  Dawn Spillane HackPresident   Pat Fickley
      Jenna Kratsas
  Ginny Milne
  Craig Pracht
  Tina Pracht
  Chuck Spagnolo
  Donna Spillane
   
  Volunteers
  Lisa Carrigan
  Lynn Gallaher

Bios

   

  Dawn Spillane Hack
President

Dawn is the older of Don Spillane's two daughters. She was 26 years old when her father died and founded Once Upon a Hero in his honor. "I want to inspire people the way that my Dad inspired me," she says. "I want to be an example for my daughter and the rest of my community as well. Today is a day to start fresh and be who you always wanted to be. Be the change you want to see in the world."

Although Dawn is a Biology major from Allegheny College, it is her minor in Art that allows her to showcase her creativity in Photography. She started Moments Ever After Photography, which is based in Cranberry Township, PA, and has won numerous awards for her unique and imaginative style of portraits.

Favorite Quote

"Don't focus on what was taken away from you, or the bad things that have happened in your life. Instead, find a way to spread the happiness and love that you have experienced and acknowledge the blessings that you have." – It's Never Too Late Movement

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Pat Fickley

Pat is a resident of North Sewickley and is a Project Coordinator at CS&E, Inc.  She enjoys "visiting historical sites like Chichen Itza or Machu Picchu, learning about our founding fathers and what they went through to form a 'more perfect union' and studies outer space because she loves to star gaze." Her family is very important to her and she is an absolute dog lover!

She joined OUAH because she wants to help people who truly need it.

Favorite Quote

"Change your thoughts and you will change your world." – Norman Vincent Peale

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Jenna Kratsas

Jenna is a senior accountant and registered representative, and resides in Gibsonia. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, fishing and golfing in her free time. She also loves to travel and spend time with her children, husband, family and friends. Some of her favorite activities are singing in the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church choir and watching her kids play sports.

Jenna is a part of OUAH because she believes the best way to give thanks for the blessings in her life is to help those in need. She has been with the organization since it's infancy and helped with legal aspects of getting started. She now plays an important role handling all of the organization's finances.

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Ginny Milne

Ginny lives in Harmony, PA, and works as an Audiologist. She enjoys cooking and baking as well as gardening. She is also a member of a co-ed community service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega. Her family and friends are very important to her and she loves spending quality time with them and just having fun.

Ginny joined OUAH because she was looking for a way to be more involved in the community and wanted to support her friends who are also members. Ginny has taken on the role of the Halloween Party Chair and does a great job for the organization in planning that event.

Favorite Quote

"I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work," – Harry S. Truman

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Craig Pracht

Craig is a resident of Middlesex Township and owns his own energy consulting business. He coached
amateur hockey for 13 years and is an avid golfer, a devoted pet owner, and a fan of both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Steelers.

Craig joined OUAH to "inspire others to see that a small act of generosity on their part will help someone in crisis." He was a good friend of Don Spillane in high school and is "honored to help the family of a fallen friend keep his memory alive by doing good for others in need!"

Favorite Quote

"Everyone rises to their own level of incompetence." – Laurence J. Peter

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Tina Pracht

Tina resides in Middlesex Township and is familiar with non-profit organizations as she is a former local director for the Girl Scouts of the USA, the largest non-profit organization for girls in the world. She loves to garden, read, walk, bicycle, golf and spend as much time as she can with her nieces. She enjoys the outdoors with her husband, Craig, and is a huge hockey fan "in spite of the Penguins!" 

Tina joined OUAH because she was "Inspired by the selfless actions of a great man," and because she "wants to inspire others to pay forward what we take for granted."

Favorite Quote

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."  – Aristotle

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Chuck Spagnolo

Chuck is a resident of Cranberry Township and is a talented musician. He has a passion for music and has played the piano for most of his life, inheriting his musical talent from his father. He is the keyboard player for a local band called the Fabulous Gunslingers who often perform at the OUAH Halloween party.

Chuck joined OUAH because he was a friend of Don's and of the Spillane family. He helps in many different ways, but his main role is in the beneficiary selection process, helping to select individuals or families in need who meet the organization's qualifications and would benefit most from the help.

Favorite Quote

"Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation. Focus on remedies, not faults."
Jack Nicklaus

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Donna Spillane

Donna was married to Don Spillane for 27 years before he passed. Together they raised 2 daughters, Dawn Marie and Dana Rae. She is honored to be a part of Once Upon a Hero and to try to keep Don's memory alive by helping others in need.

Donna works as a digital media specialist, specializing in web design and development, and digital signage. She resides in Cranberry Township.

Favorite Quote

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Once Upon a Hero • P.O. Box 2234 • Cranberry Township, PA 16066 • 724.996.7019
info@onceuponahero.org

 
Learn about Don Spillane