South Side entrepreneur turns lemons into LemonAID


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When and Where: Sunday at the Priory Hotel on the North Side

No Refund? No Problem: South Side entrepreneur Phil Laboon, 32, was set to marry Sunday at the Priory Hotel on the North Side, but life had other plans. The wedding was called off, but the party remained. “I figured that I had already paid for the space, I should use it for something positive,” he explained.

He started researching Surgicorps International, a small nonprofit founded in Pittsburgh by plastic surgeon, Dr. Jack Demos, which provides free medical and surgical procedures to people in developing nations. “There is no difference between any of us except the roll of the dice as to where we are born. We got lucky in the U.S. Everyone Surgicorps has been able to help overseas just want the same things for their families. They just want to be functioning, happy, productive members of their society,” said Dr. Demos, who attended the benefit with wife, Cathy. Dr. Demos had been honored with a Jefferson Award for Public Service several years ago for his contribution.

Making Lemonade: Roughly 200 partygoers came to support Surgicorps by buying tickets to the event as well as the silent auction, which included raffle items like an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting with ex-Steeler Randy Grossman. “Phil’s the turnaround king,” said his best man, Ty Morse, who jumped in to help him retool the event. “He’s got the magic,” added friend Grace Kosko. “We decided to rent a limo, have a date night and come out to support a good cause,” said William Roetter with wife, Tammy Braddock.

The ’Burgh’s Most Eligible Bachelor: So now that Mr. Laboon is single again, what is he looking for this time around? “Humble. Introverted. Someone who really loves life,” he smiled. “And definitely someone who wants to give back because this is an event I want to do annually.”

#SEEN: Linda Esposto, director of Surgicorps International, which celebrates its 20th year of service this year; Dr. Akhtar Khan, Chuck and Gloria Schohn, Jamie Tattersall, Holly Rosenblatt, Lindsay Bruni, Kate Colligan, Karalyn Emrich, Sarah Flaherty, Joseph Kuznicki and Mike Quinn.


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