Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Tenacious' Man's Bike Giveaway Honors 3 Slain Family Members Facebook Campaign to Find Recipients Instead Was Swamped with Donors

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Tenacious' Man's Bike Giveaway Honors 3 Slain Family Members Facebook Campaign to Find Recipients Instead Was Swamped with Donors

Article excerpt

For years, Steve Maze's wife, Debbie, has complained good- naturedly about his single-minded focus.

"Determined. Tenacious," said Debbie Maze, describing her husband of six years. "He just keeps plowing through. He doesn't want to give an inch, but in a good way."

Mr. Maze's long quest to find a way to honor his late daughter and his two grandchildren is finally realizing success, with the help of good Samaritans throughout Washington County.

Seven years ago, Mr. Maze's daughter, Ashley Guarino, 22, was beaten to death by her estranged husband, Orlando Guarino, who also killed the couple's two children, Dreux, 2, and Orlando Jr., 11 months, in the family's Marianna home.

Guarino is serving three life terms in prison for the murders, but since their deaths, Mr. Maze, of Canton, has longed for a way to memorialize his daughter and grandchildren.

Two years ago, he raised several thousand dollars to renovate a dilapidated playground in the city of Washington. Mr. Maze wanted to call it the "A.D.O. Memorial Playground" -using the first initials of Ashley, Dreux and Orlando Jr.

But city politics, almost-constant vandalism and wavering support from city leaders eventually caused him to abandon the project and give up hope.

That was, until this week.

Mr. Maze took to Facebook last Saturday and announced a contest to give new bikes to needy children ages 5 to 12 this holiday season. He got the idea last summer, when he purchased two bikes for neighborhood children who had their bikes stolen.

Mr. Maze wanted to use leftover money from his fundraising for the playground to purchase six new bikes.

He asked his nearly 1,000 Facebook friends to spread the word, looking for children to sign up for the drawing.

But Mr. Maze was astonished when he began hearing from people who instead wanted to add to the contributions. As each day passed, more people called, emailed and messaged him, asking how they could contribute.

"I could see the light in his eyes; he's just been a different person since he decided to do this and make other kids happy -kids who wouldn't get as much," Mrs. Maze said. "He loves to do things for people, especially kids. …

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