by Abby Kirkland

The John and Christine Tortorella Family Foundation for Giving Back, which sponsored a recent event at Heal Animal Farm Sanctuary in Latrobe, was established in 2018 by Christine Tortorella and her husband, Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella.

The foundation supports organizations and individuals who strive to improve the lives of children and animals and protect our environment. Mrs. Tortorella, a children’s book author and songwriter, focuses on youngsters because “the children are more capable of learning.”

The foundation produces a variety of educational materials such as books, poems and songs in both English and Spanish on its website,

The Tortorellas also started Bear’s Angels Humane Education Program, named after their beloved dog, Bear. The materials available on the website include “Be Kind and Safe” activities for the children to complete to earn a Cub Humane Education Certificate.


Braxton Corcoran, 3, of Monroeville reacts as he is surrounded by sheep during a visit to Heal Animal Rescue's Farm Sanctuary in Latrobe on St. Patrick's Day.
Children meet and learn about animals at Latrobe farm sanctuary

Through the Bear’s Angels program, the Tortorella Foundation provides grants for unique programs that promote adoptions, emergency care for abused or abandoned animals, rescue and transport from high-kill shelters and the construction of animal housing and play yards to assist groups caring for homeless dogs and cats.

For more information, go to or contact Robin Meng at

First Published March 22, 2023, 6:00am


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