‘Party for Poppa K’ charity founder gives back by funding ‘positivity’ assemblies
As a result of his 14th year of fundraising to spread positivity in his community, Peter J. Kareha, William Allen High School Class of 2002, has used his charity “Party for Poppa K” to fund eight assemblies in the district’s middle schools.
Kareha raised $19,630 for Laughing At My Nightmare Inc. in late 2017, with the stipulation a portion of the donation be used by LAMN founders Shane Burcaw and Sarah Yunusov.
The two were to speak to Allentown students about their experiences on approaching Burcaw’s muscular dystrophy with a sense of humor and overcoming obstacles with a positive mindset.
Kareha also hosts an annual golf tournament on the last Saturday in September at Olde Homestead Golf Club, New Tripoli, in memory of his father, Dr. Michael J. Kareha, who died of cancer in 2004.
Kareha is also the son of Dianne Kareha, former chaplain at Luther Crest retirement community, South Whitehall.
Named “Party for Poppa K,” the golf tournament raises money from corporate sponsors and individual donors with the mission of “turning lemons into lemonade” by supporting nonprofit organizations that use positive experiences to help others in need.
Burcaw is an author, entrepreneur, award-winning blogger, Emmy winning producer, and inspirational speaker.
Kareha followed his blog in The Morning Call for several years and had the opportunity to hear him speak at a Parkland School District middle school in 2016.
“I called him on my ride home from that assembly and scheduled a meeting,” Kareha explained. “I told Shane and Sarah I wanted Laughing At My Nightmare to be the beneficiary of the 2017 tournament and I hoped to raise $17,000 for them.
“The only string attached was that they had to give the same presentation to students in the Allentown School District.”
Through planning with administrators, principals and school board President Charles F. Thiel, Kareha was able to secure two speaking opportunities for Burcaw and Yunusov at each school, South Mountain, Harrison-Morton, Raub and Trexler Middle Schools.
The first assemblies took place at South Mountain Middle School on Feb. 23, where students made paper flowers for Burcaw.
“This beautiful bouquet of green paper roses were given to us by some of the students at South Mountain Middle School as thank you for speaking today. We had a great time laughing with you all,” Burcaw commented on social media
Kareha and his wife, Kate, who reside in the West End of Allentown, are members of First Presbyterian Church Allentown. He is a vice president at BB&T Insurance Services in downtown Allentown.