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Across Town

More gatherings and notable events ...

Monday, November 17, 2003

Racial Justice Awards
"We are honoring the struggles of those who came before us," said Diane Hernon Chavis, director of YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh's Center for Race Relations and Anti-Racism Training as she welcomed guests to the 2003 Racial Justice Awards dinner Thursday.

Bishop Joseph Garlington Sr., Alma Speed Fox and Nathan Davis (Bill Wade, Post-Gazette)

The event at the Grand Hall at the Priory honored individuals Nathan Davis, Alma Speed Fox and Bishop Joseph Garlington Sr., as well as PNC Financial Services Group, North Hills Ebony Women Inc. and a special posthumous award to Frieda Shapira. Among those working to make sure the blindfold of justice remains firmly in place were honorary chair Bill Strickland, co-chairs Alka Patel and Ken Spruill, YWCA CEO Cecilia Griffin Golden, Sheriff Pete DeFazio, Sal Sirabella and county councilwoman Brenda Frazier.

-- Patricia Sheridan

AGH Auxiliary Ball
"Want to see my etchings?" That old line might be resurfacing after Saturday night's Allegheny General Hospital Auxiliary Ball at the Westin Convention Center.

Event chairs Mary Warde and Sandy Bonnet (Pam Panchak, Post-Gazette) 

The event to benefit the Gilmore Women and Infants Center Endowment, had guests perusing more than 150 auction items, including two Rembrandt etchings donated by Blackwood Gallery. Some pre-dinner competitive bidding, it seems, is just the thing to get a party started. "They had to throw them out and turn on the lights," said one guest recalling last year's ball. Always the sign of a good time, this year's AGHA party team co-chaired by AGHA president Sandy Bonnet (with Dr. Chris) and Mary Warde (with Dr. Donal) didn't disappoint. Once the Alex Donner Orchestra started playing, it was STAT to the dance floor, which is why remarks were kept brief.

Appreciating that prescription were honorary chair Marilyn Gilmore (her late husband, Dr. James, had donated $1 million), KDKA-TV's Bob Pompeani (with Lisa), Dr. Gene and Susan Scioscia, Dr. George Magovern Sr. with Ann, Dr. George Magovern Jr. with Jamie, Dr. Patrick and Anita DeMeo, AGH CEO Connie Cibrone, board chair Herb Elish, Dr. Fred and Susan Harchelroad, Janet Stein, Cathy Deverts, West Penn Allegheny Health System CEO Jerry Fedele (with Terry),WPAHS board chair David McClenahan (with Carol).

-- Patricia Sheridan

Henne Helps Children's
More than 700 guests crowded into the new Henne jewelry store on Walnut Street Thursday evening for a grand opening celebration that doubled as a benefit for Children's Hospital.

Anne Henne Rockwell, John Henne and Meg Henne Gibson (Doreena Balestreire, Post-Gazette)

County Executive Jim Roddey cut the ribbon as a steady stream of supporters attempted to circulate among cases of diamonds and rubies and pearls. Gift certificates were wrapped around rolls of Lifesavers (some lucky guest landed one for $5,000!), and martinis and hors d'oeuvres were passed inside and outside in the giant tent erected on the closed block of Bellefonte. With a portion of sales going to the hospital, customers had added impetus to shop. Accepting congratulations on their elegant, much larger store were Jack and Nancy Henne, and their children John Henne (with Dara), Meg Henne Gibson (with Barry) and Anne Henne Rockwell. Wishing, hoping and buying were folks like Pat and Allan Siger, Chris and George Romero, Shelly and Thor Tolo, Jan and Dick Pagliari (with daughter Nicole and 15-month old grandson Casey), Lil Isaacson, Selma Sherman, Marsha Deaktor, Ina Gumberg with her mother and many more.

The Henne opening came a day after Shadyside's first light-up night, with Gov. Ed Rendell cutting the ribbon at WAG and a laser light show two stories high.

Leaders for Literacy Luncheon
The spoken word championed its written counterpart and the efforts by the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council to achieve literacy for all adults during its annual Leaders for Literacy Luncheon Wednesday.

Randy Crawford and Don Block (Bill Wade, Post-Gazette) 

With a theme of "Transforming Lives," the affair at the Omni William Penn attracted 250 supporters to hear keynote speaker David Shribman, executive editor of the Post-Gazette. KDKA's Ken Rice compared Shribman's former city of Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh ("We have dinosaurs in the Carnegie, they have them in the U.S. Senate") before board chair Marshall Wunderlich and honorary chair Randy Crawford welcomed the crowd. GPLC executive director Donald Block recognized outstanding students Christine Rogosz and Cynthia Parrotte, who shared how learning to read had improved their lives.

Applauding their efforts were Carnegie Library's Herb Elish, Patsy Smith, Marilyn Jenkins, Marguerite Jarrett, retired PG chairman Bill Block Sr. with Maxine and Karen Block Johnese, Mary Lou and Susie McLaughlin, Nancy Richmond, Pittsburgh Magazine editor Betsy Benson, Ceci Sommers and John Haughwaut, Cecile Springer and Libby Simpson.

Arthritis Dinner
The truth is that testimonial dinners can be dull.

Dinner chair Sam Rockwell III with Jack Mascaro (Pam Panchak, Post-Gazette)

Not so Wednesday night at the Westin Convention Center where kind folks with a few jokes, including emcee County Executive Jim Roddey, gathered for the Arthritis Foundation Western Pennsylvania Chapter's 21st annual Testimonial Dinner Gala, "Building Pittsburgh's Future." Who better for that, than honoree Jack Mascaro of Mascaro Construction? His admirers mingled over cocktails and milled around the silent auction table before tributes were paid. Among those hitting the nail on the head when it came to his professional and personal high points were dinner chair Sam Rockwell III (with Mary) and honorary chairs Alex Sciulli (with Leslie) and Sy Holzer. Supporting the future and the foundation were board chair Dr. Ted Osial, Bonnie Anton, Dr. Terry Starz with Jodie and Dr. Paul Caplan with Gertrude.

-- Patricia Sheridan

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