Pony up for an Equestrian-themed benefit for babies


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In a season filled with benefits, The Twenty-Five Club of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC decided to try something different. Its "Cradle Will Rock" event will be held on Sept. 15 at Keepsake Arabians Equestrian Center in McDonald, thanks to its owner and Twenty-Five Club member Faye Sampson. As a teenager, Ms. Sampson admired Arabian horses in a neighbor's field. She followed her dream to breed Arabians and her state-of-the-art facility has been producing Arabian and Half Arabian horses that are consistently winning at the regional and national levels.

Ms. Sampson volunteered the facility when the group was searching for a more relaxed way to fundraise and will chair the evening with Rona Dane. "This will be an unusual event with some good ole fashioned western fun, featuring cocktails, dinner, and dancing," says Dani Greco, who is chairing the silent and live auctions of decorated and autographed rocking horses.

A rocking horse signed by John Glenn along with a picture of him signing it will be a big draw, as will horses with signatures by Fran Drescher (it traveled all the way to California to get it!), chef Mario Batali, the 2012-13 Steelers and Arnold Palmer. Many artists also participated including Brian McCall, whose "Rockasaurus II" is a nine-foot-long sculpture of a dinosaur built over a rocking chair and it really rocks.

Since 1939 the Twenty-Five has been supporting neonatology care and research at Magee-Womens Hospital. Its support has included major renovations to the neonatology intensive care unit and the newly created Twenty-Five Club Endowed Chair in Neonatology Research. More than 1,600 babies each year receive a new chance at life in Magee's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Tickets to the benefit are $200 each. For reservations or more information contact Rona Dane at 412-952-9699 or visit www.mwrif.org/395.

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