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Seen Pittsburgh's 50 finest

Monday, August 20, 2001

By Marylynn Uricchio, Post-Gazette SEEN Editor

Even the rain couldn't dampen the spirits, mostly because they were in kegs last Thursday at the I.C. Light Amphitheatre. Known primarily as a concert venue, the giant tent turns out to be a great place for a giant party. That's exactly what the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation had in mind with its annual Pittsburgh's 50 Finest 2001, a mainly singles event that packed them in by the hundreds despite the weather.

Maximillan Beier came prepared for the storm. (John Heller, Post-Gazette)

There's not another foundation in town that does so many things to include young people, and since the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation consistently earns high marks for fiscal efficiency (88 cents on each earned dollar goes directly to research, care and medical programs ), it's gratifying to see the support it generates. The 50 Finest is a case in point. The event selects single professionals on the basis of their activity in the community, success in careers and commitment to charitable causes. Then local companies sponsor the individuals by pledging funds on their behalf. A glance through the program book is impressive. Most of the participants can boast a solid copy block of volunteer involvement, and it's touching to realize how many young people give so generously of their time with such little recognition.

Pittsburgh's 50 Finest is basically a giant cocktail party, with foods donated by DiSalvo's Station Restaurant, Mancini's Bakery, Bruster's ice cream, Pittsburgh Brewing, Bacardi and Coca-Cola. Guests mingled under the big top (Jim Keriotis worked hard to decorate the challenging space), browsing the silent auction and dancing to a DJ later in the evening. But the centerpiece of the event was the introduction of the participants, handled smoothly by emcee Andrew Stockey, WTAE sports anchor.

The finest women were Cindy Aiello, Stephanie Archer, Victoria Berdnik, Michelle Bost, Flavia Colgan, Rhea Corso, Rose Cotton, Cindy Crawford, Karen Davis, Emily Erb, Vanda Freesman, Donna Johnson, Michelle Johnston, Krysten Macy, Peggy O'Toole, Trisha Pittman, Kristen Robinson, Stephanie Rusnak, Peggy Santoriello, Selena Schmidt, Renee Shew, Annette Slezak, Jessamy Tang, LisaMarie Weinzetl and Ilecia Williams.

The chosen men were Jay Adams, Randy Baumann, Tim Benz, Todd Biagini, David Brown Jr., Reg Chapman, Marc Daffner, Gary DePalma, Michael Fitzurka, Tracy Foster, Dave Hallewell, Nicholas Hartner, Evan Indianer, David Joyce, Craig Kwiecinski, Gerardo Leon, Christian Manders, Michael McSorley, Dan Oshop, Michael Pijanowski, Marc Rosen, Al Schnur, Scott Slosarik, Brian Tarquinio and Brian Wargo.

Among the guests braving the intermittent showers for a cold one or on the lookout for a warm one were WDVE's Jim Krenn with his wife Heidi, Pirate Kris Benson, Jim "Doc" Mendelson, Catherine Baker Knoll, Francois Bitz, Vera Valerio (who did the pretty flowers), Scott Spector, John McWilliams, Dr. Tim Heffner, photographer Ron Richards, Dan Havel, Joe DiSalvo, Mary Smith, Minette Seate, Taylor Abbett, Brian Finneran, Dave Neimeyer, Ginger and Howard Schwartz, Charles Reaves, Norma Jean Standish-Myrick, Anthony Bamonte, Mary Hartner, Gene Ciavarra, Rick Gabbianelli, Max Beier, Kristen and Matt Walsh, Julie Beck, Brenda Stanton, Kristin Letham, Jim McDonald, Mike Wolff, Duncan Jameson, Dr. Mi Lee and Dr. Derrick Fluhme and CF's effervescent event planner Cyndi Nace.

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