Medallion Ball celebrates 121 debutantes and their charity work
Beautiful young women dressed in white dresses mingled in the Swan Room. They admired each other's gowns, giggled and snapped pictures of each other. This was an experience they wanted to savor for a long, long time.
And rightly so. These leading ladies worked hard to get to this night — the annual debutante ball hosted by St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind — in which they were honored for hours upon hours spent enriching the lives of others.
As the ladies took center stage Friday evening at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, Downtown, for the 49th annual Medallion Ball, young men in black tuxedos and white gloves lined up to accompany them. The mission of St. Lucy's is to encourage a lifetime commitment of volunteer service in young women.
“It's fun,” saidJohn McConnell, who escorted his younger sister Madison McConnell from Oakland Catholic High School. “It's not every day you get to dress up in a tux and bow tie.”
Each of the 121 honorees, high school seniors who compiled an amazing 24,319 volunteer hours to charity, was rewarded with a Joan of Arc Medallion from the Most Rev. David Zubik, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. “The women in this room are heroes to us,” Zubik said. “There are so many people whose lives are richer because these women cared.”
Receiving top honors was Natalie Kindler, who volunteered 749 hours. Second was Anna Lucas from Upper St. Clair High School with 668 hours.
“Volunteering is really like my everything,” said Kindler, from Mt. Lebanon High School. “I can't imagine not volunteering. It is not just for this event. It's a lifelong journey.”
The couples performed a promenade and waltz as the 1,250 black-tie guests encircled the dance floor to catch a glimpse.
The night was exceptional thanks to the dedication of ball chairwoman Jan Kubiska with Peter and co-chairwoman Beth Brunins with Edward; as well as St. Lucy's prexy Patty Orringer withRobert; and dame of St. Gregory Katherine Freyvogel with Knight of Malta Tighe Freyvogel.
Also among the attendees was Roseanne Wholey; Elisa Bosilovic, wearing a stylish animal print gown by Rachel Zoe; Stephanie Lemieux with parents Nathalie and Mario; WPXI sports director Alby Oxenreiter with Karen and sonOliver, one of five cousins involved in the event, who was an escort to Mary Nicholas; Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Catherine with daughter Mara; Dennis andAnnie Cestra; Annie Engel and Gus; Steven andHelen Hanna Casey; twins Janet Donahue andJoanne Fallon and daughter Molly; mistress of ceremonies Sally Wiggin; Stephanie and James Rooney with Sarah; Douglas and Carol MacPhail with Mary; Antoinette Ferraro (a former medallion girl); Jennifer Petnuch, who followed in the footsteps of four sisters — Elizabeth, Laura, Maria and Kathleen — and their mother, Susan, with Ron.
Also spotted wasEd and CeCe Kapron, who has choreographed the event for 14 years.
— JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.