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Sunset at the Barn guests enjoy rain-free evening in Unity

Kim Stepinsky | for Trib Total Media
(from left), Fr. Francois Diouf, of Senegal, Pat Shaffer, of Murrysville, Fr. Olivier Sarr, of Senegal, and Fr. Pierangelo Muroni, of Sardinia, gather for a photo at the annual Sunset at the Barn, hosted by the St. Benedict Education Foundation, held at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at St. Vincent College in Unity Township on Saturday evening, August 16, 2014.

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Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When your major annual fundraiser is held outdoors, the changeable Western Pennsylvania weather might be a major concern.

Having connections of a higher order can bring peace of mind, as it does to Father Benoit Allogia, president of the St. Benedict Education Foundation.

The foundation held its fourth annualSunset at the Barn on Aug. 16 on the grounds of the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Unity and, for the fourth year, the evening was clear, calm and comfortable. Event organizerCarmen Eisaman said she's the one who keeps a weather eye out, “but Father Benoit says ‘don't worry,' and he's always right.”

The evening opened with Mass and continued with a reception featuring a generous buffet and bar, silent auction and music by saxophonistJames Boggs.

Funds raised provide scholarships to Sant' Anselmo, the international Benedictine university in Rome. Recipients are Benedictine sisters and monks from economically disadvantaged communities and nations.

Special guests at the reception were Fathers Francois Diouf and Olivier Sarr, both of Senegal, and Father Pierangelo Muroni of Sardinia, all of whom have studied at Sant' Anselmo.

Eisaman said attendance this year was 160, double the inaugural attendance of 80.

Among patrons and guests: Pat Shaffer, Jack andMaryAnn Cherubini, Karl Eisaman, Richard and Joanna Stillwagon, John andMalinda Sherid, George Shaner andMichael Philopena, Chuck and Nancy Anderson, Terry Graft and Linda Brown, Dr. Clement andDonna Guarlotti, Anita Manoli, Royce and Tuesday Stanley, Richard and Johnette Seecof, Carmen and Paula Pedicone, Dr. Angelo and Pam DeMezza, Kay Rowe, Jo Smart, Loretta Shabella, Mike andCarolyn Backus, Nat and Melanie Pantalone and Brother Norman Hipps, president of neighboring St. Vincent College.

— Shirley McMarlin

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