2014 Chairman's Award winner McCullough speaks at American Ireland Fund Gala
The waters were parting within the East Club Lounge of Heinz Field on March 19, indicative of the legend who was making his way inside.
“He got me into history,” said Marlon Ferguson. “He's wonderful. I want to get a photo with him even more so than the governor.”
The “he” was none other than Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough. Recipient of the American Ireland Fund Gala's 2014 Chairman's Award, he was also at the helm of a VIP mix-and-mingle with gala co-chairs David Malone and Sy Holzer, dinner chairs James Rohr, Art Rooney II (with Greta) and Ambassador Dan Rooney (with Pat), Gov. Tom Corbett and first lady Susan, American Ireland Fund chairman John Fitzpatrick, World-Wide Ireland Funds prez Kieran McLoughlin, and Tony Quatrini. Afterward, it was elbow-room-only for 500-plus guests who were finding themselves in the midst of a party that seemed to start an hour before it officially began.
“We embrace what's great about Ireland and turn it up a notch,” said event planner Theresa Kaufman.
With no shortage of Guinness in sight, guests soaked up the scenery — which this year, included two distinct nods to the guest of honor; an impressively large replica of the David McCullough Bridge (nee 16th Street Bridge), and a library theme with hundreds of books.
Once seated and appetites satisfied, the Rev. Paul Taylor offered a better-late-than-never prayer, “Tonight, the blessing is retroactive,” he laughed, before handing things over to McCullough, who was not short on praise for his beloved hometown.
“My books are about accomplishments — worthy accomplishments by people who faced roadblocks but never did give up. The American spirit is vibrant in this magnificent city. The way you were raised really matters — to have certain values and to approach problems a certain way. Let's hope we never lose that.”
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.
- Preview party kicks off Pizzazz shopping weekend
- Flash!: High Energy Hoedown; Amachi Hachi Pachi
- Pittsburgh Opera artists entertain guests at 60th Diamond Horseshoe Ball
- Animal Rescue League unveils drive to build new center