A radiant Miss Wheelchair America 2012, Josie Badger, was among the 200 guests who attended the Three Rivers Center for Independent Living annual Disability Pride Dinner and Awards Ceremony. The event on Thursday at the Fairmont Pittsburgh honored organizations and individuals who empower and make a difference in the disability community.
While Etta Cox performed during cocktails, guests were welcomed by dinner chair Heather Chronis and honorary chairs Jackie Dixon and Mary Anne Papale. WTAE's Sally Wiggin served as emcee for the evening, which included a dinner of filet and halibut with a great chocolate dome dessert. Floral arrangements donated by Alex's Flowers of North Oakland set a festive tone for the program that followed -- remarks by TRCIL CEO Stanley Holbrook and a keynote address by Kate Seelman, associate dean of disability programs at Pitt. She discussed how much disability programs and advocacy have changed since TRCIL was founded more than 30 years ago.
Honored with awards were Chaz Kellem of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Start Up NY/Inclusive Entrepreneurship, VPG Autos, Miss Badger and, posthumously, William Colerman. Among the guests were Michelle Holbrook, Betsy Teti, Rosemary Cooper, TRCIL's Michala Smith, and Carlos and Courtney Diaz.