15th annual Spring Hat Luncheon proves a dazzling garden party

| Sunday, May 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Schenley Park looked like a glamour capital … a tented magnet and mecca for the beautiful and beautifully dressed at May 4's knockout PNC Spring Hat Luncheon. The sun shone, breezes wafted on wings of mimosas and melodies from a Pittsburgh Symphony string quartet and everyone, no matter how social or sophisticated, was rubbernecking.

And airkissing.

Proving that life is better than the movies was the parade of 600 damsels (and a few good men) in killer hats, luscious suits and flirty garden party frocks. Even if you hadn't grown up in a ball cap, how could you keep your Manolos on?

Every detail was a high-wire act in dazzlement and delight, thanks to co-chairwomen Debbie Demchak, Gabriela Porges, Annie Hanna Engel and Jessica O'Brien. Now in its 15th year and having raised $530,000, it was another blooming success for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

The Duquesne Club stood and delivered a chilled menu that was as good as it gets, while floral designer Allison McGeary turned on the fireworks with fuchsia orchids and green anthurium atop black-and-white lattice cloths. How divine.

Let's name-drop: Parks Conservancy prexy Meg Cheever with mom Mary Duplain; PNC's Eva Blum; Judge Kim Clark; Nadine Bognar; Peggy McKnight; Kiya Tomlin; Dolly and Curt Ellenberg; David Bush and Tim McVay in matching seersucker suits; Dr. Ellen Roth; Catherine Loevner; Beverly Weinstein; Judy Linaburg; Helen Hanna Casey; Marsetta Schweiger; Virginia DiPucci; Carol Shriber and Chuck Snyder; Liza Christ; Evelyn James; County CEO Rich Fitzgerald with Cathy; and Tacy Byham.

Plus Pam Chapple; Jan Wagner; Joanne Beyer; Dr. Helene Finegold; Jill Brodbeck; Diane Unkovic; Melanie Crockard; Donna and John Peterman; Nancy and Joe DiFiore; Roseanne Wholey; Emily Mack Jamison; Federica Dallavecchia; Christy Wiegand; Mary McKinney; Signe Warner Watson; Sam Badger; Jennifer Honig; Charlene Petrelli and Marva Harris.

Given the long winter that's just past, how wonderful to restore the soul with such a glorious day in the park.

— Jean Horne

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