The Center for Organ Recovery & Education, a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York, joined the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program to present “Celebration of Praise 2012,” a free gospel concert to promote the need for organ donors among minority communities. The celebration was held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and served as the kick-off to National Minority Donor Awareness.

LISA UPSHER, CORE and MOTTEP program director, asked everyone to become a donor. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

“Because conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are often more prevalent among the minority community, minorities make up more than 50 percent of the people on the national organ transplant list,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “At the same time, minorities comprise only about a quarter of the registered organ donors today. The need is great, and at CORE, we hope that events such as ‘Celebration of Praise 2012’ will encourage people to make the pledge for life and become a donor.”

The “Celebration of Praise 2012” featured performances from a variety of gospel singers such as Trini L. Massie & 4 the Caz of Christ, Ella Peterson, Curtis Lewis & Friends, Lady Deborah Moncrief, Trumpets of Joy, Michael Austin and the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Male Chorus of Fairmont, W.Va. Bishop Loran E. Mann served as the master of ceremonies. Mann is the founder and senior pastor of Pentecostal Temple Church and serves as bishop of the state of Vermont for the Church of God in Christ. During the event, Bobby Howard, Pittsburgh native and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, shared his story as an organ recipient. Representatives from CORE provided attendees with the option to register as an organ donor along with offering preventive health information.

(For more information about CORE, visit or call 1-800-DONORS-7.)

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