Rainbow Gala raises whopping sum to aid in fight against juvenile diabetes
“What an evening this is going to be.”
Emcee Larry Richert's promise of good things to come arrived signed, sealed and delivered for a sold-out ballroom filled with 780 guests of JDRF's (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Rainbow Gala.
The first inkling of wonderment came via Bonnie Walker and her namesake events company, who had swapped out the ordinary for an old-world circus that playfully slapped the happy on everything.
“It's elegant and whimsical at the same time,” she said.
It was hard to pinpoint whether the red-and-turquoise pipe and drape that swathed the entire space, 900 feet of globe string-lights, gold leaf mirrors, cabanas, or the marquee light-bulb sign was the sweetest piece of eye candy, until guests caught a glimpse of the fish bowl centerpieces ... goldfish included.
“Each year she continues to outdo herself,” offered Western Pennsylvania chapter board prexy Nan DeTurk (with Steve).
Par for the course, cocktail hour somehow morphed into the main event, where Gary Racan and the Studio-e Band hit the first note and immediately filled the dance floor. Meanwhile, plates came with much-appreciated precision as honoree and past Western Pennsylvania chapter prexy Maureen Breen Barunas was welcomed to the stage in part by her adult son, Ryan, whose heartfelt introduction caused a few teary eyes, including those of his mom.
“We are all here tonight because of people like her who believe we can win this fight,” he said.
The fight is aimed at delivering a KO to Type 1 diabetes, believed to affect 3 million Americans — the majority of which are children and young adults. If there was ever any question as to how dedicated this group is to finding a cure, perhaps the whopping $1.4 million raised to help support efforts to find a cure will put any lingering doubts to rest.
Among the VIP list on April 20 were event chair Robert German (with Anne), co-chairs Maria Metro (with Dr. David) and Cindy Paul (with John), Mary Beth Allegretti, Tom and Bonnie VanKirk, Morgan and Kathy O'Brien, Dave and Kathy Sharick, Dr. Stanley and Nikol Marks, Roseanne Wholey, Debbie and Mike Barbarita, Jodi Palamides (her son, Jay, was a Junior Ambassador), and Lawrence and Constance Manypenny.
Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-8515.
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.
- 18 debutantes carry on tradition at Pittsburgh’s Cinderella Ball
- Pittsburgh Opera rings in 2015 with grand party at Carnegie Museums
- ‘Mourners’ turn out in style as Pittsburgh’s Chatham Baroque marks 300th anniversary of Louis XIV’s death
- Pittsburgh Film Office warms up with pre-Oscar party
- Beatlemania rocks Jefferson Hospital gala held on Pittsburgh’s North Shore
- Flash!: Big Brothers Big Sisters; Triple Indulgence