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Ladies Hospital Aid Society's gala honors Starzl, others

| Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
John Altdorfer
Sarah Cook with husband Will Cook, president of UPMC Mercy, during the Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala, An Evening of Enchantment, at the Omni William Penn Hotel, October 26, 2013.
John Altdorfer
Event co-chairs Beverly Wukich and Judy Woffington during the Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala, An Evening of Enchantment, at the Omni William Penn Hotel, October 26, 2013.
John Altdorfer
Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala president Carole Kamin with LHAS executive director Dee Dee Troutman during the Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala, An Evening of Enchantment, at the Omni William Penn Hotel, October 26, 2013.

“I'm overwhelmed not at the response of you all coming tonight, but of the longstanding relationships that have been built,” Ladies Hospital Aid Society executive director Dee Dee Troutman said to a packed ballroom at the Omni William Penn.

An Evening of Enchantment represented 115 years of storied history that began in 1898 when 17 intrepid women joined forces as the Hebrew Ladies Hospital Aid Society with the simple goal of addressing the needs of the sick and poor living in their neighborhoods.

Fast-forward to Oct. 26, where 350 tireless supporters were on hand with LHAS prexy Carole (with Dan) Kamin, Lisa andJoe Gaydos, Ruby andDr. Jim Kang, Laura Penrod Kronk andClaude Kronk, UPMC Mercy prez Will andSarah Cook, Dr. Jenny Ziembicki, medical director of the UPMC Mercy Burn Center, with husband Daniel Proch, Judy andRon Linaburg, Athena Sarris, Jayme Burke, Sandy Bettor, Maggie andTom Hacke, Mary Ellen andAllan Wampler, and Dolly andJack Warwick to support the LHAS Enchanted Forest at UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center — one of only 10 burn centers in the country that cares for pediatric patients.

From an ambiance perspective, this group is known for its endless parade of gorgeous head-turners, and this year's scene lived up to all expectations. Hats off to Hens and Chicks for putting a jaw-dropping stamp on the florals that punctuated the enchanted forest vibe.

As a matter of course, glasses in the air to recognize some of Pittsburgh's finest, including honorary chair Dr. Andrew (with Debra) Peitzman, Innovation Awardees Dr. Alain Corcos and Dr. Jorg Gerlach and Distinguished Medical Educator Dr. Art Levine (accepted by Dr. Loren Roth). The Visionary Legacy Award was given posthumously to Dr. Charles Copeland and accepted by his wife, Margaret, and children, Scott Copeland and Melissa Parrucci, and the 2013 Doctor of Distinction was awarded to Dr.Thomas (with Joy) Starzl.

“I must confess that I haven't practiced medicine in the last 23 years, so thanks for the rejuvenation,” Starzl quipped.

After a delicious spread served by the white-gloves of the ever-attentive hotel staff, the unmistakable sound of Gary Racan and the studio-e band were luring guests back into the Urban Room for a lounge-inspired respite from business as usual.

“This evening, the dreams become a reality,” said Judy (with John) Woffington, gala co-chairwoman along with Beverly (with Dr. Dane) Wukich.

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

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