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Across Town

More gatherings and notable events...

Monday, October 20, 2003

Culture Shock and Fashion

An ensemble from Palm Place at the Pittsburgh Fashion Awards (Doreena Balestreire, Post-Gazette)

The First Annual Pittsburgh Fashion Awards and Fashion Show was a huge success Thursday, with more than 600 turning out to celebrate style in the Club Level at Heinz Field. The benefit for the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (executive director Jane Werner and board chair Anne Lewis were there) was presented by Whirl Magazine and Oxford Development, but the impressive array of fashions came from shops throughout the region. Two sets of awards made sure there were plenty of winners in both the People's Choice categories and the Best of Show, selected by a panel of celebrity judges including Greta Rooney, Mariann Geyer, Burton Morris, WTAE's Mike Clark and the PG's own LaMont Jones. Oxford's Tara Rieland and Gabrielle Leahy staged the show, and Whirl's Jack and Christine Tumpson welcomed the guests who made the hallways as much fun as the runway. Cindy Engler, Tim McVay and Mary McVay, Mark and Myrna Mason (their granddaughter Amanda modeled), Ellen Marks and so many more were part of the fun crowd.

McGuire Memorial's 40th Celebration

From its humble beginnings 40 years ago in Beaver County, McGuire Memorial has grown into a state-of-the-art facility that cares for the region's most severely mentally and physically challenged children and young adults. Saturday night a gala 45th anniversary celebration was held at the Omni William Penn with Ginny Thornburgh, now VP of the National Organization on Disabilities, as guest speaker. Ellen and Fred O'Brien, who heads McGuire's board, co-chaired the dinner, during which longtime supporter Tony Dorsett was honored. With Bob Pompeani as emcee and remarks from Bishop William Winter and executive director Sr. Mary Thaddeus (who acknowledged founding directors Foster McCarl, Rev. James Aaron and Bill Uricchio, who served as board chair for 32 years), the evening ended with a concert of Irish music performed by Cahal Dunne. Among the 350 guests were Paul and Mary Jo King, Bill and Marie Lowry, Maureen Donnelly, Larry and Karen Dorsch, foundation president De Tuthill with Jean and coach Johnny Majors.

Phipps is Still Growing at 110

Chairs Elin Roddey, Karla Groninger and Nancy Scarton (Doreena Balestreire, Post-Gazette)

It says something wonderful about a city that generations of folks have worked hard to protect and nourish a living treasure in its midst. Such is the story of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the grand Victorian glass palace that celebrated its 110th anniversary Friday with its annual wine tasting and a new gala dinner. A major expansion is under way (the state just released $5 million to that end), and the mood was festive as the Second Century campaign reaches fruition. The perfect pairing of a wine tasting, always generously provided by Winery Associates Kevin Piacentini (brother Richard is Phipps executive director) and a lovely dinner created by Rania Harris combined for a pretty night beneath the stars. Co-chairs Elin Roddey, Karla Groninger and Nancy Scarton (with an assist from Nancy Byrnes Events) orchestrated the affair. Among the guests sporting twinkling lights were board chair Dr. Al Biglan with Barbara, incoming chair Jim Stalder with Judy, campaign chair Jim Mitnik, Susie Steitz, Louise Hartman, Joe Lagana, Lowrie Ebbert, Brooks Robinson, Kitty Hillman, Alex and Silvia Speyer, expansion architect Mike Marcu with Betsy and County Executive Jim Roddey.


Peggy McKnight, Stephanie Flannery, Jane Pasman and Karen Lally Meck (John Heller, Post-Gazette)

All that glittered wasn't gold or diamonds or brilliantly colored glass, but everything was dazzling Wednesday during the Preview Party Gala for Pizzazz, the annual benefit presented by the Garden Club of Allegheny County. The Fox Chapel Golf Club was packed with shoppers who came to enjoy cocktails while they perused the selection of 30 fabulous specialty boutiques. Co-chairs Karen Lally Meck, Stephanie Flannery, Peggy McKnight and Jane Pasman worked hard (as did their committee!) to bring in many new vendors this year. Appreciating the results were Sue Barnes, Louis Talotta (buying those exquisite Kiton handkerchiefs), Courtney Borntraeger, Parie Dugan, Ann McGuinn, Lowrie Ebbert, Francye Kinney, Tom and Audrey Hilliard, Penny Page, Mary Margaret Stamy, Caroline Stewart, Jay and Ranny Ferguson, Comly Watters, Barbara Wishart, Richard Curran and Nancy Zappala.

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