Edit ModuleShow Tags

Why You Should Know: Debi Wheeler

It’s impossible to keep track of all of the charities this community volunteer has supported with her time, input and financial support over the years.




Photo provided
 

About: Hers is a name you might not necessarily see highlighted on a host committee, and it’s not in her nature to make a beeline for the cameras or see her name in lights. Yet, it’s impossible to keep track of all of the charities Debi Wheeler (pictured on the left) has supported with her time, input and financial support over the years.
 

  • You could describe her as a major underwriter, but she doesn’t let that get to her head. Ask for one of her business cards and notice she titles herself “Community Volunteer.” “You don’t have to be seen to be heard,” she says.
     
  • When she does attend a charity event Downtown, she’s making a 73-mile drive from her home in Somerset. Stay at a posh hotel afterwards? Nope. She’ll drive home the same night.
     
  • Philanthropy isn’t business; it’s personal. Although she’s been a champion of charities since she was a teen, her philanthropic efforts shifted into high gear after her only son, Pete Wheeler, died at the young age of 24 as a result of a traumatic brain injury while residing in Texas.
     
  • She created the Pete Wheeler “Pay it Forward” Fund at the Pittsburgh Foundation and serves as its director. “Nobody should belong to the club I belong to. If there is anything I can do to prevent that from happening, I’m going to do it,” she says.
     
  • The Pete Wheeler Pay It Forward Foundation’s mission is to support the emotionally injured, as well as those suffering from other mental health issues related to behavioral health and neurological disorders such as schizophrenia or ALS. “We’re focused on research and technology to stay on the front end instead of the tail end,” she says.
     
  • Her involvement extends well beyond Pittsburgh with an eye on national charities whose missions focus on supporting veterans, the emotionally vulnerable and those suffering from addictions, abuse or traumatic brain injuries. “All I do is connect dots and open doors,” she says. “I create synergy where there wasn’t any.” 
     

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


The Time to #GiveBigPittsburgh is Almost Here

The Time to #GiveBigPittsburgh is Almost Here

Make your donation go farther on the one-day charitable giving bonanza.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

The over-the-top holiday-themed bar opens at the Original Oyster House the night after Thanksgiving.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

The winner received the most votes among five dogs, four cats and a bunny.

Comments


Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

The new escape game is instantly among the best in town.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

The time has come for the offense to more often resemble what everyone thought it would become this season, as opposed to sinking on occasion to a Cleveland Browns-esque level of ineptitude.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Pixar's Coco is a Visual Stunner, While Last Flag Flying is a Knockout

Pixar's Coco is a Visual Stunner, While Last Flag Flying is a Knockout

Reviews of "Coco," "Last Flag Flying" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Only in Pittsburgh: The Blast Furnace Wedding Venue

Only in Pittsburgh: The Blast Furnace Wedding Venue

Carrie Furnace is one of three intimate, uniquely Pittsburgh wedding venues that can accommodate every style from homestyle to rock-and-roll.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Bright Living: ‘Lumiere’ Condos Slated for Former Saks Downtown

Bright Living: ‘Lumiere’ Condos Slated for Former Saks Downtown

Named after the French word for light, the 86-unit mixed-use development, which will include a Fogo de Chao steakhouse as a tenant, offers folding glass walls in its residences to create an open-air living space.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module