Co-chair Beth Brunins, Bishop David Zubik and chair Jan Kubiska.
By Patricia Sheridan Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For some, it wasn't the turkey or the Black Friday sales that were the highlight this Thanksgiving weekend, it was the 49th annual Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind. Held at the Wyndham Grand Friday night, the event featured 121 young women who did a minimum of 100 hours of community service in order to be presented to Bishop David Zubik and receive the Joan of Arc medallion for their efforts.
Nearly 1,300 filled the ballroom and outer lobby after going through the receiving line where the bishop joined event chair Jan Kubiska (with Peter) and co-chair Beth Brunins (with Edward) as they greeted guests. Waiting in their separate areas were the escorts in white tie and tails and the presentees in their white gowns. Last-minute adjustments and repairs were being made in both rooms just before the bagpipers announced the march of the escorts into the ballroom. As emcee Sally Wiggin announced her name, each girl appeared on stage to be honored. Together this year's class did a total of 24,319 hours of community service. Logging the most hours was Natalie Kindler with 749.50 hours at Little Lake Theatre Company. Anna Lucas had the second most hours, working at YMCA's Camp Kon-O-Kwee-Spencer.
After the presentations, family and friends were treated to the Medallion Promenade and Waltz and the sounds of the Rick Purcell Band featuring Shari Richards. Among the onlookers with daughters being presented were County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Cathy (with daughter Mara) and Mario and Nathalie Lemieux (with daughter Stephanie). Other guests included the two Hanna sisters, Helen Hanna Casey (with Steve) and Annie Hanna Cestra (with Dennis), Alby and Karen Oxenreiter (their son Oliver was an escort) and St. Lucy's president Patty Orringer. Dame of St. Gregory, Katherine Freyvogel, and her husband, Tighe, a Knight of Malta, were among the honor guard on stage with the bishop.