Hotline, Fall 2000
Marie Kocoshis, GASP President of many years, has handed the Presidential gavel over to long time Board member Walter Goldburg. Marie will be moving with husband Sam to new opportunities in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Marie leaves the environment in Pittsburgh literally a better place for her tireless efforts. To name a few of her many activities: she was the guiding GASP presence in the recent citizens’ group CHOC, which worked so effectively to discourage Sun Coke Co. from siting themselves in Hazelwood; she admirably represented GASP on the Advisory Committee to the Allegheny County Air Quality Division, the national Common Sense Initiative, the Pennsylvania Working Group on Environmental Justice and quarterly meetings with the Department of Environmental Protection. These are meetings where GASP had and has a chance to influence policy, but Marie has always been there for the everyday events too. Such ongoing activities as Earth Day events, the annual GASPer Air Congress and the GASP membership events all saw Marie staffing the tables, stuffing envelopes, grocery shopping or delivering folks to the airport. She has done all this with enthusiasm, wit and poise and entirely as a volunteer.
GASP has had a wonderful example and friend in Marie and we now step up to the plate to fill her shoes. Our new President, Walter Goldburg, and other Board members are actively engaged in managing the policy and membership events of the moment. As you will notice in this Hotline, we will have a very exciting presentation on acid rain for our Annual Meeting on December 5. GASP will not miss a beat and if we know Marie, neither will she. We fully expect to find the equivalent of a GASP West in Cincinnati before too long. The GASP Board sends Marie our heartfelt best wishes and gratitude.
Farewell from Marie Kocoshis
As I leave Pittsburgh and GASP, I have mixed emotions and have been feeling quite choked up at times –assuredly it is not from dirty polluted air! In my years as an active member and officer of GASP, I have been able to go where I had never thought possible. With an organization like GASP behind one — an organization that has 30+ years of longevity; 30+ years of working to improve our community; 30+ years of respect and community acceptance — it is possible to achieve many things. It has been my privilege and honor over the past decade to have been able to represent GASP. I have learned a lot — though there is always more to learn — and feel I have experienced a great deal of personal growth. I have enjoyed working closely with many dedicated clean air activists and will miss you all deeply. I thank you all for the opportunity to have been a part of GASP’s successes over the years.
While I might be inclined to think that GASP cannot go on with me, I know that I am in error. GASP is an organization that will go on; it is not dependent on one individual but rather relies on the commitment of many citizens/members and will always be there to respond to an environmental need and take the moral high ground when necessary. GASP is unique among the Pittsburgh region’s environmental groups — it takes on causes and fights that no other group would dare. It is vital and essential and has many years of work ahead in order to assure clean, healthy air for Southwest Pennsylvania citizens. I wish you all the best of luck in this important work. A fond farewell!
Marie and Sam Kocoshis