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Fanfare: 53rd annual Medallion Ball is a 'source of hope'

| Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Madison Dalton and Colson Polucci wait in the green room for the grand waltz during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Madison Dalton and Colson Polucci wait in the green room for the grand waltz during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Caroline Ciocco, Audrey Ayoob and Ruth Carcillo reflected the excitement of the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Caroline Ciocco, Audrey Ayoob and Ruth Carcillo reflected the excitement of the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Tyler Matthew Clark escorted Faley Bulazo during the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind  at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer | for the Tribune-Review
Tyler Matthew Clark escorted Faley Bulazo during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Bishop Donald Zubik presided over the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind  at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Bishop Donald Zubik presided over the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind president Edyce Rizzi, Bishop David Zubik, and Medallion Ball co-chairs Jacinta Dvorak O'Connell and Mary Frances Dean Johnson during the 53rd Annual Medallion Ball held Nov. 25 at the Wyndham Grand, downtown.
Roseanne Wholey | Submitted
St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind president Edyce Rizzi, Bishop David Zubik, and Medallion Ball co-chairs Jacinta Dvorak O'Connell and Mary Frances Dean Johnson during the 53rd Annual Medallion Ball held Nov. 25 at the Wyndham Grand, downtown.
Kate Foster waited in yhe green room before the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Kate Foster waited in yhe green room before the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Knights of Columbus Dan Tereck, Robert Corcoran, Denny O'Connor, Rich Seman, Andrew Rodgers, Mike Conroy and Joe Hrason served as honor guards during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Knights of Columbus Dan Tereck, Robert Corcoran, Denny O'Connor, Rich Seman, Andrew Rodgers, Mike Conroy and Joe Hrason served as honor guards during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Meghan Gennavia waited in the green room before the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Meghan Gennavia waited in the green room before the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Emilio Jared Weber escorted Audrey Ayoob during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Emilio Jared Weber escorted Audrey Ayoob during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Alicia McMahon attended the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Alicia McMahon attended the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Joe Panetta and Melina Vivino attended the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Joe Panetta and Melina Vivino attended the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Maria Catalane and U.S. Naval Academy midshipman Greg Arnold wait in the green room for the grand waltz during the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Maria Catalane and U.S. Naval Academy midshipman Greg Arnold wait in the green room for the grand waltz during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Olivia Martini, Alexandra Robosson and Isabela Possino were among the young women presented during the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Olivia Martini, Alexandra Robosson and Isabela Possino were among the young women presented during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Beth Bittner and Kate Blackwell played paparazzi during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Beth Bittner and Kate Blackwell played paparazzi during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Sophia Kartsonas waited in the green room before the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Sophia Kartsonas waited in the green room before the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Caroline Benec and Zachary Coughlin wait in the green room before the grand waltz during the 53rd Medallion Ball  to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Caroline Benec and Zachary Coughlin wait in the green room before the grand waltz during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
Cam Haley and Sean Witte were among the escorts during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind  at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Cam Haley and Sean Witte were among the escorts during the 53rd Medallion Ball to benefit St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 25, 2016.

Defining an altruistic spirit, 121 young women who collectively performed more than 23,500 hours of volunteer service during their high school years received deserved accolades from a crowd that filled the ballroom of the Wyndham Grand on Nov. 25 for the 53rd annual Medallion Ball.

"Their presence here is to be admired," said Bishop David Zubik. "And not just admired, but to be a source of hope for all of us."

Ranging from donating their time and efforts to local hospitals, churches, schools and shelters to helping build roofs and water stations in third world countries, there was no shortage of inspirational examples of how each candidate embraced a commitment to serving others.

"All of these amazing girls made the world a better place," said Edyce Rizzi, president of St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind, which hosted the event.

During cocktails, candidates remained sequestered backstage and remained relatively unnerved by the prospect of being presented to 1,200 guests during a promenade and waltz.

"I've been looking forward to this since I was 12, so I'm really excited," Sophia Kartsonas said.

Meanwhile, as choreographer Cece Kapron offered some final words of wisdom about how to execute the perfect curtsy, a few admitted to having come a long way.

"They told me the first time I had to work on it," laughed Isabela Possino.

With their white-gloved escorts waiting, it was finally time to celebrate.

"Everything went really well," Shannon Donnelly said afterward.

Among those presenting were Rose Bleier, Alexandra Robosson, Ruth Carcillo, Gabriella Conley, Meghan and Paige Gennaula, Olivia Martini, Audrey Ayoob, Therese Blume, Lilly Carson, Madison Dalton, Margaretmary Doan, Claudia Lenhart, Sophia Maltese, Emily Mamula, Sydney Palmer, Theresa Ortiz, Erin Schorr, Natalie Urban, Riley Drusbasky, Ellin Fetting, Kate Foster, Caitlin Guinee, Maggie Leone, Emily Mabon, Kathryn Montgomery, Abigal Riesmeyer and Margaret Rimmel.

Co-chairs of the event were Jacinta Dvorak O'Connell and Mary Frances Dean Johnson.

Proceeds benefitted the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh.

Kate Benz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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