One way to make sure a surprise party will work is to wait a year or more after the fact to have it. Former Steeler Hines Ward was delightfully baffled and honestly surprised Friday night when the Rivers Casino decided to throw him a retirement party in the ballroom. "It wasn't easy keeping it a secret," said Lindsey Georgalas, his fiancee. "I had to keep running off to the grocery store to make phone calls and send emails." Helping to get him to the casino under the guise of a meet-and-greet with some high-rollers in the Wheelhouse was his lawyer and manager, Andy Ree. "This is the official retirement party since he never had a proper send-off," Mr. Ree explained. More than 200 of his friends and family milled around in the ballroom waiting for his entrance. "Oh wow, so many people," said a stunned Mr. Ward, as black and gold streamers were shot out of a cannon as he entered the room. Among the well-wishers were the Casino's Andre Barnabei and Bob Green, TiAnda and Mel Blount, former teammate Aaron Smith, Franco and Dana Harris, Dan Gilman, KDKA's Bob Pompeani with Lisa and daughter Celina, FOX's Alby Oxenreiter and WTAE's Sally Wiggin.
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