Sr. Rosanne Oberleitner, left, with Charlie and Jackie Ferrara.
#SEENBestDressed: Sarah Fair.
Tammy Swoager with Shelby Wong.
Hoddy Hanna, lelft, with Mike Clark.
By Natalie Bencivenga / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
#HappyBirthday: Girls Hope Pittsburgh celebrated 25 years of service with its first black tie gala at the Omni William Penn Hotel on Saturday night. “The first fundraiser we ever held was in our backyard ... tacos and margaritas. We’ve come a long way since then,” said Dana Hanna looking around the ballroom that was filled with colorful, cheerful floral arrangements by Hens & Chicks. Her husband and board chair Duffy Hanna added, “We’ve helped just a handful of girls compared to other big organizations in the city, but watching them complete college and get out of the cycle they were in is very impactful to us.” Girls Hope is a private organization that houses, educates and supports girls from ages 10 and up who live in residential homes together. “For me, it’s special because I see them realize that they can make something of their lives, while having a positive impact in their community and beyond,” said executive director Tom Wiese. The event raised more than $288,000.
#MovingOn: For alumni of the program such as Shelby Wong, 22, Girls Hope has had a profound impact on her life. “Since I was 11, they have offered me a supportive system. There are times where I could have given up, but they never gave up on me.” She is attending Carlow University and would like to join a corporation like UPMC working in health management services. “The program is a lot more than just emphasizing education,” added alumna and speaker Annisa Gilbert, 25. “They help you become a well-rounded individual by living up to your potential and broadening your vision of the world.”
#SEEN: Event co-chairs Charlie and Jackie Ferrara, Lou and Gina Astorino, Carol Massaro, alumni Tammy Swoager and Tiana Smith, #SEENBestDressed: Sarah Fair, emcee Mike Clark, Rob and Bonnie Bagay, Bart and Alison Brush, Jay and Mary Cleveland, Matt and Annie Johnson, David and Louisa Shin and Hoddy Hanna.
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