Orchids create atmosphere for Ladies Hospital Aid Society gala

| Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

“They're one of my favorites to work with,” said Doctor of Distinction honoree Dr. Vonda Wright (with Peter Taglianetti). “I love being surrounded by smart, savvy women.”

If ever there were a bumper crop of women of such notoriety, it is the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, effortlessly living up to their reputation as a force to be reckoned with during its Orchids in the Moonlight gala Aug. 23.

Held at the Fairmont, 280 guests, including society prexy Carole andDan Kamin, executive director Dee Dee Troutman, co-chairs Laura Penrod Kronk, Mary Novick, June Yonas, and Marcia Weiss, Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh owner and Compassion awardee Debbie Mancuso, Innovation awardee Dr. Lanie Francis, Ruby andDr. Jim Kang, Nadine Bognar, Joe and Lisa Gaydos, Joanie andSam Kamin, Charlie and Latasha Batch, Deb Wheeler, David andGina Pferdehirt, Lou Guarino,Hon. Robert Gallo, Drs. Loren and Ellen Roth, and Anne Lewis andJim Zeszutek, indulged in an evening that skipped the warm-up in favor of going full tilt.

A sight to behold inside of the ballroom came courtesy of the decorating acumen of Tim Komen and exquisite florals from Hens and Chicks, while Gary Racan and the Studio-e Band unleashed an infectious energy that kept (almost) everyone out of their seats.

“You'll never see me out there. I know better,” Marc Giosi said, eyeing the dance floor.

Much later, it was honorary chair and Doctor of Distinction Dr. Stanley Marks who ushered in a rare moment of hushed stillness with a modest acceptance speech that left the room swooning.

“I'm humbled. How could I not be? I join an impressive list of colleagues,” he said before acknowledging his wife, Nikol, “My soulmate,” and sons Joshua and Jordan. “In a life full of so many blessings, I look at you two as the greatest,” he added.

The evening raised $100K.

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

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