Epilepsy Foundation's Mardi Gras Gala



"I want people to feel as though they are partying in New Orleans," said Judy Painter, CEO and president of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania.

The foundation's 20th annual Mardi Gras Gala at the Westin Downtown came very close, taking 700 guests down a Bourbon Street filled with jugglers and other costumed performers, waiters offering chocolate martinis and a candy bar. (County Executive Rich Fitzgerald wasn't the only one tempted to cheat on his diet.) The Ray Ryan New Orleans Riverside Band led the crowd into a ballroom decorated with 6,000 colorful balloons.

Cindy and David Shapira, retired CEO of Giant Eagle, were crowned king and queen. "This is very meaningful to both David and I, as we deeply care about this cause that helps those with disabilities," said Ms. Shapira. Guests settled in for a gourmet dinner of filet mignon and chocolate mousse while emcee Jim Roddey's blinking glasses got guests giggling. "I'm 81 years old. I can say anything I want to," he joked.

Setting the SEEN: Weekend galas, fashion accessories

The PG's Natalie Bencivenga and Sara Bauknecht welcome you to "Setting the SEEN," a webcast highlighting local party events, fundraisers and the latest fashion trends. (Video by Andrew Rush; 3/7/2014)

Seen dancing to the John Parker Band were Highmark's Deb Rice-Johnson and Blair Johnson, former Steeler Charlie and Latasha Batch, UPMC's Scott and Susan Lammie, CEO of Oxford Development Anne Lewis, Dr. Loren and Dr. Ellen Roth, state Rep. Mike Turzai and Dr. Lidia Turzai, and Bill and Vivian Benter.


First Published March 10, 2014 12:00 AM

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