Veterans of battlefields and football fields, former Steelers Rocky Bleier and Andy Russell acted as honorary chairs for the annual Cannon Ball at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Saturday night.
They greeted guests during a VIP reception on the stage where active duty men and women mingled with retired vets. The nearly 350 who gathered to support the museum and memorial hall also experienced a night when the museum came alive.
Re-enactors took on the roles of some of the individuals portrayed in the exhibits. They included a Civil War soldier, President Abe Lincoln and a World War I doughboy, among others. Drinks and food stations kept everyone fueled while strolling through the annals of military history. The 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops Drum Corps marched all into the ballroom for dinner and the official program. President of Soldiers & Sailors, John McCabe, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support before presenting the honorary chairs with the Friend & Patriot of the Year award. Among those saluting them were Col. Charles Booth with Trudi, Gene and Karen Pash, Sgt. Maj. Mark Baylis, Caroline McCabe, Joe and Rosemary Mendel, Sgt. Michael Vano with Julie Andrews, Lt. Col. Andrew Loeb with Tricia and museum curator Michael Kraus.
The party ended with dancing to the Finesse Band. Mission accomplished.