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Children's Museum gala raises $348K

June 12

From Garden to Table: A Gala Tribute to Thomas Keller — Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Duquesne Club, Downtown

412-444-4464, ext. 223, or

June 13

Imagination Untamed: The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Gala

Sunday, June 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

“When we started, it was just over there,” said Children's Museum former board prexy Judy Horgan, pointing to the old post office next door. “It was a great vision that came to pass.”

There was no shortage of wonderful achievements being celebrated during The Great Night Gala on June 6, where 400 guests arrived to toast one of the city's most beloved playgrounds.

“My daughter is 2 and she absolutely loves it,” said Kristen Cohen. “This is a great organization — something to be proud of tonight.”

Fond sentiments on behalf of the munchkins underscored the great admiration that adults share for not only the museum but, also, for the woman at the helm.

“The community has been so supportive of the Children's Museum, and gets we need institutions where kids can be kids,” said executive director Jane Werner.

With guests milling around the grand hall in awe of the bright and peppy space, it took some effort to usher everyone outside to the white dinner tent. There, a spread from Rania's Catering awaited while Jeff Jimerson and Airborne provided the soundtrack for the evening.

Hosted by co-chairs Lee and Susan Baierl, the event drew the likes of board prexy Jennifer and Brooks Broadhurst, museum founder DJ Hammerschmidt, Beth Wainwright and Russ Kemerer, Jamie Dixon, Anne Lewis (also a past board prexy) and Jim Zeszutek, Eva Tansky Blum (accepting the Great Friend of Children Award on behalf of PNC Bank), and Tom Sokolowski, raising a record-setting $348K.

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



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