David Swisher and event chairs Sarah McKean, Michelle Bartlett and Cindy Russell
Stephen Zappala Jr. and John Weinstein.
Leslie and Scott Baker.
By Kevin Kirkland Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Animal lovers certainly clean up well. For the 16th version of its Black Tie & Tails gala, Animal Friends brought more than 525 of its volunteers, donors and friends to the Ohio Township shelter for a two-night party under a lavishly decorated tent. On Friday, Rock Bottom Brewery provided craft beers, and honorees Kate and Tim Benz joined the John Parker Band in dancing, munching and live and silent auction bidding. For Saturday's formal gala, they flipped the tent for a sit-down dinner catered by Andora and entertainment by Etta Cox. Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein and District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. were the honorees and Susan and Gov. Tom Corbett were surprise guests. Among those doing double-time this weekend were shelter CEO David Swisher, events chairs Michelle Bartlett, Sarah McKean and Cindy Russell, host committee chairs Gina Carlos and Virginia Hebert, and board member Howard Ash, who again matched every donation for spay/neuter and humane investigations programs, raising $145,000. Overall, the gala raised a record-breaking $525,000.