14th March, 2009

St. Patrick’s Dinner Gala

By Jean Horne, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( original article > )

Goodness, gracious, great balls of Eire, what a dazzling sight! It was a fine night that showcased all six Super Bowl trophies at The American Ireland Fund Dinner Gala at the East Club in Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team with the most wins in NFL history.

The trophies were a magnet for some 600 of the Irish (and those wishin' they were!) who painted the town green at Pat and Dan Rooney's Hibernian foray.

The clubhouse had been transformed into a slice of the Emerald Isle with facades, murals and artifacts from the auld sod. Many of the colleens wore shades of green, and most of the lads sported green ties. As ever, there was continuous merriment (and picture taking with those trophies!) through cocktails with Larry Richert. The irresistible band, Guaranteed Irish, entertained whilst the Burke-Conroy Irish Dancers kicked up their heels in airs and jigs.

Guests wended past artists and a glass-blowing demo from Waterford, tried their luck at the Galway Races and pub-crawled on Grafton Street.

The South Fayette High Little Green Machine marching band led us into the dining area to tuck into a wonderful Celtic menu at green-napped tables centered with creamy roses. Art Rooney toasted honoree UPMC, which now has two hospitals in Ireland. Then Sputzy and the Soul Providers struck up the band for dancing. And a pint of Guiness at the Irish coffee bar afterward.

In attendence: AIF's Kingsley Aikins, Loretta Brennan Glucksman and Kieran McLoughlin; Bishop David Zubik; Penguins' prez David Morehouse and Vanessa; Diane Holder; Joe Hardy and Brooke Bartos; Ann and Marty McGuinn; Catharine and John Ryan; Kelly and Michael Mullen; Sylvia and Charlie Dietz; Kelley and John Denny; Fran and Tom Donahue; Peggy and Norm Mitry; Sue and Scott Lammie; Lisa and Jack Barbour; Polly and Dr. Greg Dell'Omo; Patti and Jim Terwilliger; Cara Ganassi and Dan Drawbaugh; and politicos County CEO Dan Onorato, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and State Attorney General Tom Corbett.

As well as Debbie and Mike Barbarita; Elizabeth and Denis McCarthy; Susan and David Matter; Janet and Dan Regan; the Rev. Sean Hogan; Sharon and Ralph Martin; Charlie Kelly; Trish Hooper and Julian Neiser; U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan and Tom; Leslie Davis and Abe Leizerowski; Margaret and Michael Hooton; Jan Wagner and Jimmy Dunn; Joanie and Sam Kamin; Ken and Pam McCrory; Caroline Barrett; Pat Griffin; Mary and Mike Ford; Brenda and Dave Roger; Leslie and Tony Quatrini; Drs. Ellen and Loren Roth; Joyce and Dan Quinn; Debra and Dr. Ronald Cypher; Andrea Carelli; and Theresa Kaufman, who coordinated the green carpet evening.