The PNC Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Spring Hat Luncheon celebrated its 15th anniversary Saturday with spectacular weather and a view to match. Schenley Park's Overlook was the tented setting for the luncheon -- it rotates among the five city parks the conservancy supports -- and nearly 600 guests in feathered finery turned out for this annual rite of spring.
From homemade to haute couture, there were hats of every persuasion with outfits to match. Dressing for the day has become a lovely tradition but not an idle one. More than $531,000 was raised to fund the restoration work the conservancy has undertaken in many parts of the city. Through the years 10,000 people have attended the luncheons, and the benefit has generated $5.5 million. Bringing the parks back as an essential component of a vibrant community is a goal that continues to resonate, thanks in part to the vision of conservancy founder and president Meg Cheever.
Giving her an assist on Saturday were luncheon chairs Debbie Demchak, Annie Hanna Engel, Gabriela Porges and Jessica O'Brien, along with board chair Dan Booker and founding luncheon chairs Ritchie Battle and Audrey Hillman Fisher. WTAE's Sally Wiggin was given the impossible task of quieting a roomful of women before a welcome from Ms. Cheever, PNC Foundation head Eva Blum and county Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
A cold luncheon of poached halibut and steamed vegetables made way for something worth the calories -- a chocolate mousse chapeau -- all served by the Duquesne Club. Allison McGeary Florist brought spring to the tables with pretty flowering plants that went home with guests to bloom another day.
First Published May 7, 2013 4:00 AM