By Ronald A. Arnoni, District Judge
A round of applause, please, for the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Citizen Award: Samuel (Sam) Gaetano. This past December, Judge Ronald Arnoni presented this award to Sam, who was nominated by Tom and Susan Bluemling.
The Outstanding Citizen Award, established by Judge Arnoni in 2017, is awarded to an individual who demonstrates excellent community leadership, makes significant contributions to his community, and shows generosity and unselfishness through his actions.
A resident of Upper St. Clair for more than 21 years, Sam earned his degree in dental technology from Median Allied School of Health Careers in 1982. He continued his education and became a master dental technologist through board certification. A student at Southern Eastern University Christian Academy, Sam received advanced credentials in theology, and he completed and earned Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) mentorship certification in 1997. Serving in prison ministry in various capacities since 1994, Sam currently performs Christian services twice a month to inmates at the Allegheny County jail. In addition to his services at the jail, Sam also runs a 12-step recovery workshop every Monday morning at Gateway Rehabilitation Center at the outpatient facility in Greentree. Involved in addiction recovery services since 1990, he currently leads and oversees the operations of Life Recovery/Family Rescue Ministry at the South Hills Assembly of God in Bethel Park.
Over the years, Sam has been many things—a volunteer, a teacher, a mentor, a preacher, a friend, and a business owner. His passions are crafting smiles, improving the skills of his employees through training, and ministering to those who God puts in his path.
In recognition of this award, Sam was presented with a commemorative medal and certificate, as well as a gift card to Dellalo’s Restaurant. Judge Arnoni wishes to thank all those who participated in the nomination process, and he extends a special thank you to the Bluemlings for nominating such a deserving individual.