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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), April 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

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There's nothing black and white about Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that affects more than 3 million Americans. With no known way to prevent or cure the disease, there's a vast gray area being explored by scientists with the help of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. To that end, an impressive $1.95 million was raised during XOXO, the 20th annual Rainbow Gala held Saturday. Everything was black and white in the Westin Convention Center ballroom, thanks to the generosity of event planner Bonnie Walker. (Her son has T1D and she donated much of the evening.)

Glamour reigned supreme, from the contrasting linens to the towering black and white arrangements that anchored each table. And then there were the 720 guests in black tie and fab gowns, perusing the extensive silent auction and dancing to Gary Racan and the studio-e Band (with Point Park intern Karina Fernandez a standout). Smartphone BidPals made it possible to follow the auction during a wonderful dinner of spring greens, filet mignon and triple chocolate mousse cake, and then it was time for Jim Jungers to start the live auction.

Welcoming guests were JDRF executive director Paula McWilliams, board chair Dusty Elias Kirk (with Bill Caroselli), gala chairs Carol and John Oxenreiter (his brother Alby Oxenreiter served as emcee) and co-chairs John and Cindy Paul and Dr. Dave and Maria Metro. Also on hand were corporate chairs Dr. Stanley Marks (with Nikol), PNC's Jim Rohr and Reed-Smith's George Stewart (with Sue), who chaired the corporate committee. Nan DeTurk, president and CEO of Highmark, represented Highmark as this year's gala honoree.

Helping to find a cure were Anne and Rob German, Tom and Bonnie Van Kirk, Donald and Jan Rea, Lou and Jean Astorino. John and Holly Mascaro, Dr. Dennis and Susan Phillips, former gala chairs including Kitty Gleason and Sue Zitelli, Julia and Calvin McCutcheon, Dan and Shelly Onorato, and Rep. Jason Altmire with Kelly.

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The Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society held its 50th Anniversary Gala on April 15, with WQED's Jim Cunningham and Andres Cardenes, former Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster, as the honorary co- chairs. The event was held at Pittsburgh Opera's headquarters in the Strip and featured a special performance by pianist Christopher O'Riley, cellist Matt Haimovitz and soprano Lisette Oropesa. Many longtime supporters were present to celebrate the organization's rich tradition of bringing internationally acclaimed chamber music artists to Pittsburgh. Thanking patrons was the society's executive director, Annie Mollova, and board chair Darlene Berkovitz.

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Supporters of The Neighborhood Academy gathered at the home of Susan and John Robinson Block on Wednesday for an elegant Patron Reception. Guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a tour of Mr. Block's rare book collection along with remarks from the head of school the Rev. Tom Johnson. The evening served as a kickoff for A Joyful Jubilee, the Neighborhood Academy's annual benefit that will be held at the school on May 19. Kitty Hillman, who is chairing the event, was joined by John and Lucy Douglas, Sandy Levis, Jim and Francine Abraham, Peggy and Steve McKnight, Elizabeth Hobbs, Debbie Dick and Art Stroyd, Eliza Brown and many more. Call 412-362-3001 for information. …

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