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Fanfare: Champagne luncheon celebrates gorgeous new library

| Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009

Back in the good ol' days when the sole function of a telephone was to make and receive calls, Saturday morning was the only time you could find cartoons on the television, and the only World Wide Web we were concerned about was the one in the garage crawling with daddy longlegs, there was nothing quite as exhilarating as signing for your very first library card as a kid.

Oh, the possibilities! A trip to the library could instantaneously provoke the feeling that we were one Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys book away from sleuthing our way to world domination. That library card was our key to unlock every mystery of the universe that we had ever dreamed of.

On Friday, 170 of us shelved our desk jockeying for a few hours and headed down to Federal Street on the North Side for a champagne luncheon to celebrate the gorgeous new $6 million-dollar edition (haha) to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh -- Allegheny , which immediately fueled a desire to turn the page on our television watching.

"This is the second gas station site that we've turned into a library, so we might be on to something here," laughed Board of Trustees chair Jacqui Lazo.

No doubt. With a spacious and breezy Reading Room, whimsically colorful Children's Room with attached terrace and special Allegheny Historic Reading Room for historyaholics, it was plain to see what a bright new chapter had been written on this beautiful day in our neighborhood. So beautiful, in fact, prexy Dr. Barbara Mistick announced that CLP had surpassed $55 million for their Capital Campaign.

Now, it isn't every day where we can enjoy the bubbly while browsing shelves filled with our favorite books, so while the whistle hadn't officially been blown on our 9-to-5ing, we figured it was happy hour somewhere.

"How many people can enjoy a champagne toast at lunch and then have to go back to work?" laughed co-chairs Art Rooney II and Greta as we raised our glasses. Before leaving, most of us had signed on the dotted line for a brand-new library card. And while the days of teen sleuthing are well behind us (well, for most of us, that is), we can't wait to begin reading our way into the next chapter of our lives.

Cancel my cable subscription; the bookworm is back.

Among those checking out this instant classic that raised $44K were Buhl Foundation prez Fred Thieman ; UPMC Health Plan prexy Diane Holder ; Camille and Harry Goern ; Pat Siger ; Joseph Wagner ; Paul Svirbel ; Dan and Joan Hilson ; Georgiana and Bill Knaus ; Tori Mistick ; Ron Graziano ; Mark Hartman ; Ken Faux ; Karen Loysen ; Sallyann Kluz ; Michael Olijnyk ; Terri Wolfe ; Henry Reese ; Lamar Bivins ; Diane Samuels ; James Denova ; Scott Izzo ; Todd Bookwalter ; Andrew Bonnewell ; Donna Goyak ; Roy Dorrance ; Bernita Buncher ; Christine Beattie ; F. Dok Harris ; George and Cathy Matta ; Dan and Katie Petronella ; David McMunn ; Chris Post ; Holly Brubach ; Rob Chambers ; Tom Eisaman ; Kate Dewey ; Scott Hudson ; Lori Guttman ; Bill Pricener ; Marge Petruska ; Dr. Ellen Roth ; and Jackie Dixon .

Can We Get an Amen?

"Despite their recent disagreements, City Council actually agreed with the Mayor for once and declared today Larry Dunn Day," announced co-chair Justin Lewis to 150 congregants gathered at the Schenley Park Ice Rink on Thursday for Amen Corner's Summer Picnic , where we lauded Larry Dunn with the David L. Lawrence Public Service Award.

Most of us mused whether this could be the sign of a new political era in the Golden Triangle, but until the votes were officially counted, there was one person in particular who offered his take on how to gracefully handle those whose opinions aren't quite on the same page as ours.

"When I disagree with a person, I like to say, 'I really respect your right to be wrong. I'm glad I live in a country where people like you can be wrong,'" declared "The Judge", aka retired Senior Judge James McGregor with a laugh as he and Thomas McCaffrey were each presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards in recognition of their 50 years of membership that both included serving as AC prez.

Lawfully showing their support were prexy Victoria Berdnik ; co-chair Rhonda Simon ; Dr. Joe Lagana ; Bob Fragasso ; Charles and Marilyn Evans ; Abraham Moosa ; Kraig Makohus ; Wes Nichol ; and John and Michele Bozic .

A Gift of Hope

"Hope you are enjoying our tropical weather here in Pittsburgh," laughed Donald Kortlandt as he and Anna Singer welcomed us to their Grandview Avenue home atop Mt. Washington on a rainy Saturday.

Dodging raindrops, more than 100 enjoyed an afternoon showing their support for the Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti , where we celebrated the recent opening of the new House of David Health Clinic in Thomassin, located southeast of Port-au-Prince.

Within a week of its opening, the clinic already had served more than 100 patients and continues to meet the ongoing health needs of Haitians. Additionally, since being founded more than 26 years ago, FLM has opened 52 Literacy Centers in Haiti and awarded more than 5,000 Literacy certificates to youth and adults.

Executive director Leon Pamphile led us in a prayer of thanksgiving before we enjoyed entertainment by artists including local jazzite Etta Cox , dishing on a tasty lunch served up by Bistro to Go that included authentic Haitian cuisine.

We spotted Russell and Kathy Bynum ; Ed Fleming ; Mary Gregg ; Cheryl and Dr. Satyananda Chakrabarti ; Doney Klug ; Diane and Chuck Powell ; Roxanne Robinson ; Cecile Saulsbur y; and Al Gordon .



Augere Auction — Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

PCA, Shadyside, 412-361-0873 ext. 302


Savor Pittsburgh — American Respiratory Alliance

SouthSide Works, 724-772-1750

Best of Pittsburgh Party — Pittsburgh Magazine

Warhol Museum, 412-622-1497

Sept. 9

Enchanted Evening Gala — Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Heinz Hall, 412-392-6070

Sept. 11

H'Art & Soul of Haiti — Friends of Hopital Albert Schweitzer Haiti

Bakery Square, 412-361-4884

Mother's Hope Foundation — Rainbow and Roses Benefit Evening

Westin Convention Center Hotel, 412-343-3516

Sept. 12

Steel City Big Pour — Construction Junction


Imani Gala — Imani Christian Academy

Sewickley residence, 412-741-8398

Family House Polo Match

Hartwood Acres, 412-647-7656

Sept. 13

Mexican War Streets House and Garden Tour


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