Pittsburgh is filled with passionate people dedicated to charitable and non profit causes. Looking back on 2015, it was a year filled with fabulous events! From Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Rainbow Gala, to Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Ball, and all of the events between, volunteers, board members, and employees help these causes raise the money necessary to continue each charity’s mission.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations 23rd Annual Rainbow Gala Pittsburgh 2015
The Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh was the setting of the 2015 JDRF’s (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations) Annual Rainbow Gala. On Saturday, April 18th, over 700 impeccably dressed guests attended the sold out event, which raised more than $1.7 million.
One of the most impressive factors of the evening were the volunteers.
Baron Batch, along with junior honorees created a fabulous painting during the event, which raised $50,000 during the live auction.
Over 30,000 people are diagnoses with T1D each year in the United States. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle, and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. JDRF is working toward a goal of turning type 1 diabetes, into “Type None” diabetes, with a ultimate goal of finding a cure.
For more information and to donate please visit www.westernpa.jdrf.org
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 17th annual Spring Hat Luncheon
It was a picture perfect day for a sold out event at Riverview Park, for the 17th annual Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy spring hat luncheon, which raised over $500,000 toward park improvements. The luncheon, traditionally held on Derby Day, took place Saturday May 2. With over 675 guest in attendance, this event is an essential part of fundraising.
(Pictured Roseanne Wholey in a stunning sheath dress with organza hat.)
The Park Conservancy was founded in 1996 by a concerned group of citizens, who set out to counteract the deteriorating condition of Pittsburgh’s city parks. To date the Parks Conservancy has raised nearly $84 million. For more information or to donate please visit PittsburghParks.Org
Emmaus Pittsburgh 8th Annual Kentucky Derby Gala
The Fairmont Hotel Pittsburgh was the backdrop for the Emmaus 8th Annual Kentucky Derby Gala, Saturday May 2nd.
As the Kentucky Derby played on several large screens throughout the venue, hats and fashion seemed to be more important to most of the woman. Although there was a thrill as American Pharoah crossed the finish line.
Emmaus, which was established 26 years ago, is dedicated to providing residential homes for person with developmental disabilities and promoting public awareness of their need. The goals of the organization are: To maintain the highest quality of care in residential homes, To create an environment where everyone can use their abilities and live to their fullest potential, To education the community about the needs of persons with developmental disability , and To provide short term respite opportunities for families and individuals.
To donate or learn more about Emmaus, visit www.emmauspgh.org
Pittsburgh goes red for American Heart Association luncheon
The Westin, Convention Center Pittsburgh was the setting for this years Go Red For Women Luncheon, on Thursday, June 4. Over 400 guest convened to celebrate recoveries and learn how to prevent and manage heart disease.
The emcee for the afternoon, Susan Koeppen of KDKA TV,shared a bit of her personal fight against heart disease. Others shared similar stories and stresses the importance of regular physicals for prevention. A shopping market, book signings by Dr Ellen Roth, and breakout sessions concluded the day.
The event concluded with networking, wine tasting, and guests leaving with knowledge that could save their lives.
To donate to the Go Red for Woman, American Heart Association, please visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/
These boots are made for dancing, the 60th Annual CLO Guild Ball
Saturday, June 6th the William Penn Ballroom was transformed For the 60th Annual CLO Guild Ball. In keeping with the theme of the evening “Kinky Boot” centerpieces featuring real footwear, were the concept of Christine Mattarochia and designed by Karen Brewer, Chris Puhlman Flowers.
Over 250 guest mingled during cocktail hour and tried their chances on the little pink boxes. Each box contained a gift worth at least $50 a concept which goes back to the the inaugural event in 1955.
Some notable outfit from the evening, Joe King’s sparkling sequined red jacket and Sam Badger’s very James Bond black and ivory satin jacket.
Pittsburgh’s glamorous Catherine Loevner stunned in a strapless red satin gown with a daring ruffle slit. Always elegant, Laura Penrod dazzled in a black caged neck gown with black and red shawl.
The evenings guest of honor, Tony Award winner and Pittsburgh native , Billy Porter, performed several song and graciously allowed guests to be photographed with him throughout the evening.
“Proceeds from tonight’s event will help keep musical theater thriving in our community, and for that we are excited and grateful to you.” was the message from Patti Matty Blenco and Krisen Matty Lane, Chairman of the Board and Guild President.
To donate to the guild, please visit http://www.pittsburghcloguild.org
Diamonds & Denim, Market Square sparkles for Children’s Hospital fundraiser
Saturday, June 20, Market Square was transformed to a South Beach style club for the second annual Diamonds and Denim. Guests were greeted at the door for one of the warmest of Pittsburgh’s social events. Patrons mingled and enjoyed a variety of hor d’oeuvres and a dessert section that was not to be missed. DJ Zimmie, kept the crowed on the dance floor throughout the night.
The interpretation of “Diamonds and Denim” resulted in a eclectic mix of cocktail dresses, jeans, and overall sparkle. Catherine Loevner wowed in shades of shimmery beige and light blush. Joe King, did not disappoint with his ensemble featuring a glittering Snoopy theme
Opting for denim options, Rebekah Mazariegos , Ashley Bauer, and Natalie Bencivenga were notably among the best dressed.
Lou & Veronica Guirino of Louis Anthony Jewelers, generously donated a $20,000 gift card with a raffle limited to 100 participants. Cigars and champagne were favors for those guest who purchased the chance to win.
To learn more about the Hillman Pediatric Transplant Department of Children’s Hospital, or to donate please visit www.chp.edu/CHP/transplant
Western Pennsylvania Humane Society Best Friend’s Ball
The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society Best Friend’s Ball welcomed a group of cats, dogs, rabbits and over 200 people to the Fairmont Hotel on Saturday, September 12th.
Event chairperson, Melanie Crockard, was stunning in a black satin and illusion lace gown, paired with the best accessory, Jackson, whom she adopted from The Humane Society. Always wanting a chihuahua, she was excited to receive Jackson Stanley Crockard, her Best Friend with matching red hair!
This years event raised nearly $250,000 to help the Humane Society continue its service to the community. In addition to offering the opportunity to adopt your best friend, The humane society also offers low cost spay and neuter surgeries, as well as educational resources
Facilitating over 4000 adoptions annually, The Western PA Humane Society, operates in a large part by donations, which can be made by visiting https://www.wpahumane.org/
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh 125th Anniversary Gala
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center was transformed for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation black-tie gala last night in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Over 900 supporters were in attendance, including celebrities, athletes, business and government leaders. The event celebrated all of the community support that has enabled Children’s Hospital to maintain its mission since 1890.
“This celebration recognizes 125 years of caring by our community and the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have given their time and support to ensure that every child in this region has access to the care they need and deserve,” said Greg Barrett, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
The honorary chair for the evening actor and Pittsburgh native, Joe Manganiello, expressed his passion to support Children’s Hospital. Other celebrity guests included former Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel and Troy Polamalu; Mario Lemieux, (with Nathalie ), founder, Mario Lemieux Foundation; and Baron Batch, former Steeler and accomplished artist.
During the event, it was announced that $11.9 million has been raised to date during the anniversary year campaign, to help continue Children’s Hospitals dedication to the regions Children.
To donate to The Children’s Hospital Foundation, please visit:
11th Annual W.G. Tomko “A Night on the Town”
It was an evening of hope Friday, October 9th, as more than 450 guests came out to support the 11th Annual W.G. Tomko “A Night on the Town” at the Sheraton Station Square benefiting Surgicorps International and Batten Disease Support & Research.
Dr. Jack Demos, the founder of Pittsburgh based Surgicorps International, greeted guests and shared success stories of Surgicorp’s 21 years of missions and accomplishments. With medical missions to Bhutan, Guatemala, Zambia, Vietnam this year alone, Surigicorps provides free surgical and medical care to those in need in developing countries.
“We were here until 3 am this morning organizing the silent auction item,” according to Sharon Tomko who devotedly supports these charities. “ It is a labor of love” along with her daughter Sheree Waskowiak .
Last year’s event raised $90,000 which went directly to the charities.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters” stated Debra Tomko Kollet. “ Gift baskets and auction items were being dropped off until immediately before the event.”
The evening’s entertainment included, emcee courtesy of Bubba, of 100.7 Star, Capa Jazz Quartet, and D.J. Digital Dave.
During the cocktail hour, guests mingled and viewed the silent auction items, which each features a success story of Surgicorps.
To donate please visit Surgicorps International, at: www.surgicorps.org and curebatten.org/
Salvation Army Caring Center Fourteenth annual Garbage Bag Gala
On Friday October 30h, the Fairmont Hotel Pittsburgh was the setting for this year’s Garbage Bag Gala to benefit The Salvation Army’s Family Caring Center. The concept was created from the philosophy that rather than spending money on an expensive gown, a stylish outfit could be created from trash bags and recycled materials, and the perception “that everyone and everything deserve a second chance to be something great.”
As patrons enjoyed the Asian cuisine buffet provided by the Fairmont , the evening’s emcee Katherine Amenta, welcomed Major Deborah Sedlar, Divisional Commander, for The Salvation Army, Western Pennsylvania Division, to the stage to speak about the accomplishments of the Family Caring Center before launching into the main event, the Fashion show, featuring couture inspired gowns, by local designers constructed primarily of garbage bags and recycled materials.
The show got off to an amazing start with designs by Alexis Meeker featuring a stunning evening gown with geometric detail paired with a men’s suit constructed from trash bags with matching geometric pattern. Tierney Smith modeled a sheath style dress with gold caged bottom designed a by Tierney and Bailey Miller.
Michael Anthony created a gold strapless dress with electrical tape design and fringed skirt which looked more like a couture cocktail dress, than something created from trash bags. Sofiya Mosley went more with a whimsical creation of multi -colored trash bag rosettes.
A masterpiece of rosettes and leaves was created by milliner and designer Gina Mazzotta, and modeled beautifully by Melanie Crockard. Kate Minton Colussy’s sixties inspired mini dress featured chain like trim constructed from slides, and Jamie Miller created a couture inspired evening gown for her model, Bambi.
Sam Ruby designed with a wedding theme in mind, putting her model Anna in a braided bodice wedding gown, and Mackenzie Smith in a Lavender trash bag rosette flower girl dress. Beth Shari modeled her own Victorian inspired creation constructed of magazines, vertical blinds, and trash bags.
A show stopper for the evening , Bradford Mumpowers’s backless halter dress, featured a ruched bodice and a structured double tiered skirt. The dress was accessorized with a vogue magazine and duct tape handbag.
Two sisters, Ashley Stark in a stunning V- neck newspaper cocktail dress with ruffled skirt and Kelsey Stark, dressed in a one shoulder lavender tiered evening dress, rounded up the show in style with their creations.
Always inventive, Lana Neumeyer created a dress from environmental disposal trash bags, orange fencing and plumes which won the judges votes for Garbage Bag Gala winner of 2015. Each designer exhibited great creativity and style.
Over 150 guest , many dressed in their own interpretation of garbage bag chic, came together to support and raise money for the Salvation Army Family Caring Center, To donate to the Family Caring Center, please visit www.salvationarmy-wpa.org
Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Ball
The Westin Convention Center was the setting for this year’s Ronald McDonald House, Red Shoe Ball on November 14th. The evening began with a VIP reception followed by cocktails, hors d’oeuvers, and silent auctions.
The focus of the evening was to support Ronald McDonald House, which allows families to be at their children’s bedside as they face life saving medical treatment.
Patrons gave generously, surpassing the events goal of $30,000, within minutes, as the evening’s emcee, Steve Blass, described that a $5400 donation provides housing for one year for a family at the Ronald McDonald House.
The evening concluded with Casino style games and entertainment.
To donate and learn more, please visit: www.rmhcpgh.org