Great Night Gala celebrates Children's Museum 30th birthday

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Not every event lives up to its name, but the 30th Birthday Celebration for the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh was indeed a Great Night Gala.

More than 335 guests turned out Saturday for the birthday-themed benefit, and the consensus seemed to be that time really flies. Many became involved with the museum when their children were young, including chairs Art and Greta Rooney, who brought grown daughters Mary and Annie along. Although a new generation has stepped up to bat, starting with board chair Jen Broadhurst (with Brooks), many of the folks who made the museum what it is today were there to celebrate. Former board chairs Anne Lewis, Judy Horgan, Evan Rosenberg, Tom Mole, Dave Payne, Bill Nelson and Becky Torbin all came, with Mrs. Torbin accepting a Great Friend of Children Award on behalf of the Junior League of Pittsburgh, which gave an initial grant to open the museum. Also honored with Great Friend of Children Awards were Ron Wertz, former president of the Hillman Foundation and an early supporter of the museum, and board member emeritus Henry Gailliot, retired from Federated Investors.

Bob Sendall and All in Good Taste designed the party with help from the children who decorated the canvas linens that covered long dining tables. Cocktails in the balloon and flower-filled tent set a festive tone for the evening, with remarks from Gov. Tom Corbett among others. A dinner of duck consomme, roasted Barramundi and petite desserts made way for dancing to Moscow Mule. The fun crowd included Children's Museum director Jane Werner (in a fabulous party dress she made herself) with husband Bob Rutkowski, Henry and Elsie Hillman, Dave and Brenda Roger, Jim and Suzy Broadhurst, Bob and Renee Denove, Penny Georgiadis, Junior League president Gretchen Smathers, North Side neighbors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk from the Mattress Factory, Rikki and Larry Berger (love that "Saturday Light Brigade"), Tom Sokolowski, Enrico and Federica Dellavecchia and Scott Baker. The gala raised $250,000.

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First Published June 11, 2013 4:00 AM


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