Sounds of NYC, elegance highlight show

| Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The 23rd annual UPMC McKeesport Invitational Fashion Show brought the sights and sounds of New York City to Youghiogheny Country Club on Saturday.

With elegant place settings to enjoy “Big Apple” chicken and New York-style cheesecake, a crowd gathered to watch UPMC staff, families and community supporters model the latest fashions in sportswear, casual dress and elegant formal wear presented by Gals On and Off the Green, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohl's and the Exquisite Bride.

The foundation's executive director Michele Matuch shared her excitement over 36 years of hosting the Invitational.

“We have been honored to work with both the hospital and the community on raising funds that have helped support the most important programs, services and projects that benefit you,” Matuch said. “Every cent raised in the foundation is put to good use. We are accountable and we receive the most value for every dollar the foundation supports.”

Matuch thanked hospital staff and community members for their confidence in the foundation's work.

Fashion show committee co-chair Cheryl Como, who serves alongside friend and colleague Judy Haliko each year, thanked guests for making the festive gala an annual success.

“Our theme — A New York State of Mind — is a testament to belonging, to feeling a part of something special,” Como said. “So it is with us — from creative ideas to bringing a theme to life; from elaborate raffle baskets to beautiful runway models. An undertaking such as this requires the gracious support and selfless dedicated efforts of so many individuals and organizations.”

Como thanked weekend Invitational sponsors including the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Edwin R. Crawford Trust, Elizabeth Carbide Die Co., Family Home Health Services, Lovorn Engineering, Riverside Care Center, Senior Care Plaza, Volpatt Construction, UPMC, UPMC HealthPlan and the luncheon-sponsor UPMC medical staff.

“All of these generous benefactors — and indeed all of you who so graciously support our event — embody the theme of belonging,” she told guests. “With your presence, you demonstrate that you feel part of something special, the healing mission of UPMC.”

UPMC McKeesport president Cynthia M. Dorundo referenced Billy Joel's song, “A New York State of Mind.” Written as a tribute to his hometown, Dorundo said, Joel's lyrics carry a time-honored message that no matter where life may lead, there is always something that brings you home.

The 23rd annual fashion show, as part of the 36th annual Invitational, inspired a “UPMC McKeesport State of Mind” with an emphasized commitment to the hospital and its healing mission.

Dorundo asked for a moment of silence to remember the late Hugh Coughanour and Dr. Usman Ahmad.

“(They) had been two legendary leaders who shared tirelessly of their time, talent and caring on behalf of our hospital, our foundation and our community,” she said. “Both served as co-chairs of our Invitational event. Both provided leadership and vision for our hospital and foundation. Both helped to make our hospital a source of pride and inspiration in our community.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

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