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Children's Museum marks 30 years with Great Night Gala

Sunday, June 9, 2013, 10:40 p.m.

Thirty years young, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh celebrated a significant milestone in its history on June 7 with a birthday celebration that capped off its Great Night Gala.

“When we were doing the expansion, the architects told us they wanted to give us roots and wings. That's what I think this all represents,” said executive director Jane Werner (with Bob Rutkowski).

The past three decades were the source of fond memories and introspection from the likes of Great Friend of Children Award Winners Henry Gailliot (with Lou), Ron Wertz (with Ann) and Becky Torbin (with Herb), who accepted the honor on behalf of the Junior League of Pittsburgh.

“We fully expected someday to take over the Post Office,” Gailliot said, referring to the museum's humble beginnings. “It was always a dream. To say ‘expected' is too strong a word. ‘Hoped,' maybe.”

As the tented cocktail lounge quickly swelled to maximum capacity, the arrival of event chairs Greta and Art Rooney II (with daughters Mary and Annie) signaled the official start to the evening, while Gov. Tom Corbett's cameo marked it as signed, sealed and delivered.

Ambiance-wise, Bob Sendall of All In Good Taste Productions went with an “adult birthday party” theme complete with a three-tiered floral cake, while inside, darling table linens that had been painted in happy hues by children stole the show. After dinner, the “alter egos” of John Dick, Patrick Adamson, Matt Bahr, Mike Delligatti and Mike Gleason took the stage as Moscow Mule and carried on their tradition of donated performances.

Among the crowd were Jeanne Berdik, Carol Heppner, Thea Stover, Beth Wainwright, Ann Shuman, Janet Chadwick and Ann Gabler (all Junior League volunteers who had opened the museum), board prexy Jen and Brooks Broadhurst, Anne Lewis and James Zeszutek, Ralph and Ruth Anne Papa, Evan Rosenberg, Penny Zacharias and Kirk Burkley, Bill Nelson (in from Kansas City), Alan and Susan Bicker, Barrett Donovan and Nora Minahan, Michael Duckworth and Tracy Howe, Adam and Marcia Kelson, and Heather and Jim McBrier.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-380-8515.




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