"I got to do so many things when I was a student at CMU but never once got to perform on this stage until tonight!" exclaimed Megan Hilty of the NBC series "Smash."
Engaging, genuine and talented, she entertained guests during the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's 25th Birthday Bash for the Benedum Center Saturday night. Stories about her days at Carnegie Mellon University to her audition for Broadway's "Wicked" were interspersed with songs, much to the delight of the more than 460 guests who helped to raise $575,000. Among those seated on stage for the dinner and show was Carol Brown, the first president of the trust, as well as the heads of three of the trusts performing arts institutions -- the Pittsburgh Ballet's Harris Ferris (with Janet), the CLO's Van Kaplan (with Mary Jane Brennan) and Pittsburgh Opera's Christopher Hahn (with Ron Booth).
The evening began with cocktails in a clear tent across the street from the Benedum, where event chairs Rich and Scheryl Harshman and trust president Kevin McMahon joined the evening's special honoree, Alice Jane Jenkins and her family. An endowed scholarship was established in memory of her late husband, Paul Jenkins, a founding trustee and former head of the Benedum Foundation. The boom of fireworks over the marquee and the lighting of 16-feet tall birthday candles on top signaled it was time to head inside for the main event. The Duquesne Club prepared the mouth watering espresso rubbed filets and ended the evening with slices of birthday cake topped with a lit candle so everyone could make a wish for another 25 years of trust in the arts.
Among those mingling with Ms. Hilty were board co-chair Carolyn Duronio, Lynda and Bob Jamison, Susie Katz, Steve and Judith Thomas, Judy and Ron Davenport, Bill and Debbie Demchak, Pam and Ken McCrory, Richard Rauh, Pride and Bill Winkenwerder, Catherine Loevner, Lou and Veronica Guarino, Aradhna and Grant Oliphant, Jessica and Scott Bergstein and Barbara and Bruce Wiegand.
First Published October 2, 2012 4:00 AM