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Borough of Irwin celebrates 150th anniversary

| Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Rebecca Emanuele | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
(left) Mayor Dan Rose, borough council members, Phylis Theim, Joanna Jordan, and borough manager, Mary Benko, gather during the Borough of Irwin 150th Anniversay Gala, held Friday evening, August 8, 2014, at Stratigos Banquet Center, Irwin, PA.
Rebecca Emanuele | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
'A 1989 ticket for the Irwin Quasquicentennial Ball, held at the Lincoln Hills Country Club alongside ticket to the evening's event, the 150th Irwin Gala Anniversary. Numerous memorabilia was on display for guests.

A gala was held Aug. 8 in celebration of Irwin's 150th anniversary at Stratigo's Banquet Centre, off Route 30 in North Huntingdon.

Mayor Daniel Rose said Irwin's buildings exude charm and character, and it's the kind of place where merchants sweep the sidewalks in front of their stores. Families out for a stroll take the time to smile and say hello.

“It's a great place to be,” Rose said. “How could you not love Irwin?”

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy gave the borough a proclamation and an American flag that had been flown over the Capitol. He presented Irwin Volunteer Fire Department with a check for $35,340.

Westmoreland County Commissioners Chuck Anderson, Tyler Courtney andTed Kopas talked about the past, when Irwin prospered from coal mining and railroads. And they were enthusiastic about its future, because of its proximity to thriving regional businesses.

Kopas remembered going to Irwin to play basketball, buy baseball cards and see movies at the Lamp Theatre. The Lamp closed in 2005, but after renovations, it is projected to reopen in December as the largest entertainment venue between Greensburg and Pittsburgh.

“We're celebrating what we are today,” Kopas said. “And what we're going to be.”

Welcoming comments from Robert Garritano and an invocation by the Rev. Clifton Suehr of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church were followed by dinner and dancing to swing-era music by the Wayne Macuga Band.

Gala committee members were Mary Benko, Sandy Daugherty, Peggie O'Neal, Betty Lou Sullivan and Gail Macioce. During the evening, Macioce was recognized with fellow Irwin council members Robert Wayman, Peggie Watson, Joanna Jordan, Deborah Kelly, Phylis Theim and John Cassandro.

Also at the gala: State Rep. George Dunbar, April Kopas, the Rev. James Reiter, Rick Reiter, Emily Angelcyk, John and Karen Glass, Mike Pochan and Jack and Janet Naughton.

— Dawn Law

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