Bleacher Foundation will benefit local future pediatric surgeons

By William K. Alcorn


The family of Dr. John H. O. Bleacher, the first pediatric surgeon in Youngstown, announced today, the fifth year anniversary of Dr. Bleacher’s death, the formation of a foundation to benefit a Youngstown-area student to become a pediatric surgeon.

The family intends to start a thrift store from which to sell items that will help fund the John H.O. Bleacher Foundation, said his son, Joseph Bleacher.

“We will be appealing to the local community for recycling materials and unwanted items that we can sell at our thrift store; and are also asking for help in finding and attaining a shop front for the store,” Bleacher said.

In the near future, Bleacher said an account will be set up at a local bank for people who wish to donate to the cause.

Bleacher thanked Aey Electric on North Meridian Road for providing transportation to pick up donated items; Wally Dunne, director of the Youngstown Diocese and Ursuline High School and St. Charles School for donating unwanted computers to raise money; and Robert Burke, park and recreation director for Youngstown and oversee of Stambaugh Golf Course, for donating scrap materials for the project.

Bleacher said the foundation will continue the recycling activities through Green Waste Enterprises in Youngstown.

Dr. Bleacher established his practice here in 1967 and served the Mahoning Valley as its only pediatric surgeon for more than 35 years.

While serving as a medical intern at St. Elizabeth Hospital, he met his future wife, the former Nicolette Yannarella of Youngstown, who was a registered nurse at the hospital. After they were married, she was his practice manager for 19 years.

Dr. Bleacher retired from Forum Health in 2005, four years before his death in 2009 at 76.

For information about the foundation, call Bleacher at 330-398-6535.

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