Fanfare: Record setting crowd toasts a hope for a cure at Narcisi Winery
Glass half full? Sure... as long as they uncork the right bottle.
“I'm allergic to red, so if that's all they have I'm stone cold sober tonight,” joked Sean Gray with Nicole Blodgett. “I love chardonnay.”
Welcoming discriminating palettes of every variety, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation saw a record-breaking crowd of 400 guests (100 more than last year) head out of the city and into the suburbs on August 1 to raise a glass for the 6th annual UnWINEd: A Toast to Hope for a Cure soiree at Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia.
“Every year they amaze me,” said president Greg Barrett of co-chairs Tiffany Casarcia and Debbie DePew. “It's such a fun event and you see people coming back year after year.”
So much so that ten minutes into the festivities and not a single parking space was left for the taking, although deterring no one as they made use of a grassy area off to the side.
Meanwhile, guest speakers Lacie and Jim Spagnolo were watching their seven-year-old son, Jimmy, charm the pants off everyone as he made the rounds introducing himself. “Jimmy was diagnosed with a brain tumor at four months and has been a patient for seven years,” said Lacie. “We adore Children's Hospital. It's the way they make my son feel when he walks in the door. He doesn't look at it as a hospital.”
It's a sentiment that rang true to Debbie's heart, too.
“My daughter Ella is a 10 year survivor of cancer. When I asked if there was a cure, they said it was treatable. When another parent has to ask that same question, I want the answer to be ‘Yes, there's a cure.'”
Shelley Duffy and Paul Alexander co-emceed. Committee members included auxiliary chair Brooke Mullin, Larry Andrews, Melissa Andrews, Danielle Bonura, Matti Bonura, Dan Casarcia, Bill DePew, Christine DuBois, Sarah Griffith, Sarah Heres, Melanie Modaffari, Emily Parsons, Nicole Pifer, Amanda Rhoten, Angelina Savage, Tiffany Shento, Carla Thompson.
The event raised over $200K for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.