Aspinwall woman helping to create party to benefit park

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A May 24 River Rocks party at the Fox Chapel Golf Club is sure to offer a good time while raising money to benefit the Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

One of three chairwomen, Diane Walsh, has been working and learning how to make an impact on her community while having fun.

“It's not an invitation-only party. It's more about making people aware of what the community is doing,” Diane said.

The Emerson Avenue resident said the riverfront property is purchased through community efforts.

Along with the marina, the park will feature a sand bar — the real kind — where children play, and other family-friendly attractions.

The party, however, will be geared toward adults.

The third annual River Rocks event will feature a Roaring 20s theme.

Walsh is encouraging those who attend to don a zoot suit with wingtips or a sheath dress with fringe finished off with a boa and headband.

Imagine the black-and-white-tile elegance of the Fox Chapel Golf Club combined with a cigar bar and a VIP Peacock Club.

Vintage cars will set the style at the club's entrance.

The Great Gatsby motif is a new take on the annual party.

Diane attended last year's bash but this is her first time helping to plan the idyllic event.

“It's like a wedding. You don't know how much work it is until you've been through it,” Diane said.

“It's my first time working on anything this big. It's more like Sarah (Tuthill) and Amanda (Carvelli) are leading the way.”

Her cochairwomen have experience with planning the annual party.

They have brought Diane up to speed.

The three young women met twice a week, on days Diane has a babysitter, to get things on track.

One time they all went for a pedicure while planning, brainstorming and bonding.

“They're easy-going but professional. It's fun to work with people you really like,” Diane said.

Volunteering has provided many perks for Diane who grew up in Dayton, Ohio and moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago to work as an assistant buyer with American Eagle.

However, she decided to become a full-time mother and even earned a master's degree in education.

Now she spends a lot of her time volunteering, and says she enjoys it.

“I like to learn new things,” she said. “It's good to get my brain working in other ways.”

Diane also enjoys spending time with her daughter, Catherine, 18 months.

They have begun cooking together. Catherine has her own little apron, and they made banana-nut muffins last week.

Soon, the Diane and Catherine will have another cook in the kitchen as Diane and her husband, Charlie, are expecting a second child.

The demands of motherhood and being an active volunteer can take their toll, but Diane is ready to begin the summer with a roaring start at the River Rocks party.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media.

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