For folks still in St. Patrick's Day withdrawal, the American Ireland Fund kept the party going Wednesday at the Heinz Field East Club Lounge. To add to this blarney fest, Pittsburgh native and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough, recipient of the 2014 Chairman's Award, gave a memorable sit-down interview with WQED's Michael Bartley right before the gala began. Mr. Bartley's poignant questions about how the historian's time in Pittsburgh influences his work to this day were met with lyrical responses from Mr. McCullough and smiling eyes from the small audience who came early and donated more to listen in on this special interview.
"What is it about Pittsburgh? I love this place as no other. My head will never return to its original size after this heart-warming welcome as we do something so worthy for the people of Ireland," said Mr. McCullough.
The interview ended with this: "I remember saying to my daughter when she was young as we walked through an airport together: 'Honey, isn't it amazing how people say hello to me?' She remarked, 'Yes, dad, but you say hello to them first!'"
After the cocktail party, the 500 guests encountered a strolling feast of Irish favorites, a magician, founding father look-a-likes and Irish dancers. Seen chatting with John Adams were co-chairs David Malone and Sy Holzer, dinner chairs James Rohr, Art Rooney II, and Dan Rooney, master of ceremonies Andrew Stockey, as well as David Morehouse, Dan Onorato, Bill and Sandy Lambert, Patricia and Bob Gerrero, Tony Quatrini, Gov. Tom Corbett and Morgan and Kathy O'Brien.