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Across Town

More gatherings and notable events...

Monday, December 08, 2003

YWCA Power Play

Carla Brown and Mone Parker. (Darrell Sapp, Post-Gazette)

It was the ultimate power lunch Wednesday as 300 women and a few good men gathered at the Downtown Hilton. The YWCA's annual Women's Empowerment Benefit isn't about big bucks and board meetings. Instead the focus is the familiar struggle to carve out a comfortable life when poverty and other problems threaten to cave it in. Board president Judy Thompson welcomed guests including featured speakers Carla Brown and Mone Parker. Both women spoke about the benefits of the YWCA's programs including Ujima House (a place to "address the permanent needs of homeless women and children who have completed the YWCA Bridge Housing Program"). Their testimonials couldn't help but touch guests, including Y CEO Cecilia Golden, event co-chairs Rhoda Neft and Danielle Robinson, Dave Matta, Crystal Baldwin, Helen Faison and Betsy Teti.

-- Patricia Sheridan

Midnight Masquerade

Betsy Fey, Robyn Hughes, Denise Koontz and Angela Cardillo. (John Heller, Post-Gazette)

Pittsburgh and professional are not relative terms, but young might be. Of the nearly 700 guests at Saturday's Pittsburgh Young Professionals Esprit de Corps Midnight Masquerade event, most fell into the 25 to 45 age range, with some even older. But that's when the masks came in handy. And as long as you were moved to move by Billy Mancini & the Bombay Blue Sapphire Band, you could count yourself a true PYP. Mancini made sure the party stayed pumped until after the witching hour, when the fun moved to Bossa Nova. The party to benefit Junior Achievement and the PYP Scholarship Fund had plenty of breathing room and breathtaking river views in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Feeling the esprit de space were chair Helen Wylie and honorary chair Bill Flanagan, PYP president Tom McManus (ith Sarah Orscheidt), Stu Wise, Carol Bittner, Karen Broadhuhn, Dennis and Cindy Gilfoyle, Mike Vallano, Bruce and Monica Gay, Ron Hudak, Melissa Affolter, Daisy Zerega and Jeff Christy.

-- Patricia Sheridan

High Hopes

Ed Linder, Mike Deaver and Dr. Abraham Twerski. (Doreena Balestreire, Post-Gazette)

If it wasn't clear already, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's dance with the addiction demon should have made it crystal. Substance abuse via addiction is democratic. And in Mike Deaver's case, Republican. As former deputy chief of staff and presidential adviser during the Reagan administration, Deaver also battled alcoholism and continues to keep the beast at bay, which is why he was asked to speak Wednesday at Gateway Rehabilitation Center's annual gala "Hope Has A Home." "Everybody has heard about the dark side of addiction, we are here to celebrate the successes," said Ed Linder, honorary chair of the event with his wife, Karen, at the Hilton. Getting a chance to chat before the program at a VIP reception hosted by Elsie and Henry Hillman were Gateway's founder Dr. Abraham Twerski, board chair Bob Carter (with Carol), Charles and Susie Franklin, Jan and Dick Pagliari, Jay and Carol Passavant and Tom and Jamee Todd.

-- Patricia Sheridan

Legendary Trees

Carrie Barmen and Diane Gerlach. (Pam Panchak, Post-Gazette)

The Carnegie Museum of Art Women's Committee headed by Janet Hunt hosted the annual Preview Party Wednesday for its Christmas Trees display in the Hall of Architecture. The theme this year is American Legends, and though the number of giant conifers was reduced to four, each sparkled with history and style. Trees decorated to reflect the lives of Johnny Appleseed, Mike Fink, Man of Steel Joe Magarac and Lewis and Clark were the highlight of a highly social evening of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres made by committee members. For many, the night serves as the unofficial start of the holiday season, and the 600 or so guests in a festive mood included party chairs Carrie Barmen and Diane Gerlach, tree chairs Myrna Hackney and Sue McLaughlin, MOA director Richard Armstrong, Tom and Audrey Hilliard, Gordon and Kenny Nelson, Susan and John Block, Lucy and Ian Rawson, Sara Scaife, Bill Guttman and Kristina Rigopulos, Sue Barnes, Jim and Suzanne Wilkinson, Susie Katz, Tracey Reading, Henry Hillman, Bill Bodine, Stephanie Flannery, Paul and A.J. Jenkins, Steve Webster, Joan and Peter Stephans and Bill and Cynthia Cooley (who created a terrific Tree With Personality, one of 10 on display in the lobby that will be raffled on Dec. 14). The American Legends trees are on view through Jan. 12.

Across Town archives

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