If you were in the mood to be a part of something a little magical Saturday night, then the Dreams of Hope Absolute Sock Hop at Rodef Shalom Synagogue would have been the ticket. Dreams of Hope, established in 2003, uses the power of the arts to provide LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Allied) youth a safe and welcoming environment to express themselves as individuals and future leaders in the community.
The 170 guests were greeted with a delightful song and dance performed by the Dreams of Hope Performance Ensemble, who sang of hope and acceptance in "We Are a Rainbow." The live auction was emceed by local artist Alexi Morrissey, who roused the audience into bidding wars, all to benefit the charity. Guests could treat themselves to a gourmet macaroni and cheese bar, while perusing silent auction items.
This was also the first year that Dreams of Hope presented a Champion Award, which was given to Dr. Dena Hofkosh, pediatric residency program director at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Dr. Hofkosh brought the Dreams of Hope performers to meet medical residents she teaches in order to help open their minds to the issues that LGBTQA youth face.
The night continued with dancing to Etta Cox, one of Pittsburgh's premier jazz singers. The event was fun and lively, as multiple generations of Pittsburghers stood together to show their support for their friends and colleagues. As Mairin Petrone, Dreams of Hope board member, said, "This LGBTQA organization puts the focus on the arts, something that was desperately needed in Pittsburgh, to help empower its youth."