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Fanfare: American Ireland Fund's Green Tie Gala at Heinz Field

| Sunday, March 20, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Michael and Kelly Mullen were among the guests attending the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Michael and Kelly Mullen were among the guests attending the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch and his wife, Latasha,  were wearing the green during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch and his wife, Latasha, were wearing the green during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Ret. U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Todd McIntyre joined his wife Karla during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Ret. U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Todd McIntyre joined his wife Karla during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Jennifer Susco was trophy worthy during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Jennifer Susco was trophy worthy during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Rita Heberle was a wild Irish rose fashion-wise during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Rita Heberle was a wild Irish rose fashion-wise during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Danielle Downey and Blake Ragghianti waited barside during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Danielle Downey and Blake Ragghianti waited barside during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Aaron and Ashley Basmajian were figuratively beside themselves during  the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Aaron and Ashley Basmajian were figuratively beside themselves during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Brianna Cobbey stood at attention with other members of the Burke Conroy Irish Dancers as Johanna Loughran sang the Irish national anthem in Gaelic during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Brianna Cobbey stood at attention with other members of the Burke Conroy Irish Dancers as Johanna Loughran sang the Irish national anthem in Gaelic during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Cindi Smock proved it's easy to wear green during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Cindi Smock proved it's easy to wear green during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Christie Regula made a colorful entrance during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Christie Regula made a colorful entrance during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
Don and Audrey Heberle stood on an upper level of Heinz Field during  the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Don and Audrey Heberle stood on an upper level of Heinz Field during the American Ireland Fund Gala at the Heinz Field UPMC Club on the North Shore. March 17, 2016.

Heinz Field saw its signature colors being sidelined thanks to a swarm of guests who arrived en masse March 17 for the American Ireland Fund's annual Green Tie Gala.

“I'm glad that they had these,” said Bill Seven of his lanyard of beads, “because I didn't have a green tie.”

VIPs arrived as soon as their 9-to-5 had ended, filling the upper lobby for a special reception with Worldwide Ireland Funds prez Kieran McLoughlin, co-chairs DavidMalone (with Nancy) and Sy Holzer and honorary co-chairs Art Rooney II and Ambassador Dan and Pat Rooney. All eyes were on UBS Americas chairman and philanthropist Bob McCann (with Cindy) as he was bestowed with the Chairman's Award — created from 6,000-year-old Irish Bogwood and sculpted at the Celtic Roots Studio in Ballinahown, County Westmeath.

With the formalities completed, it was time to move downstairs. There, 700 guests were already pledging their allegiance.

“Well, I'm one-quarter Irish, so I guess I'm just Irish for tonight,” quipped emcee Larry Richert.

As the people-watching began to intensify, fashion statements were punctuated with a fair share of exclamation points.

“This is actually my Ireland Fund Gala tux,” said Don Heberle (with Audrey) of his green-and-blue plaid jacket.

Elsewhere, great debates over the color orange were raging, the hue typically associated with the Irish Protestant Orangemen's loyalty to King William III of Great Britain.

“His favorite color is orange — the entire ceiling of his man-room is painted orange!” laughed Hallie Lundon.

“But my father is 100 percent Irish,” countered her husband,Mic.

On the list were Chuck Bogosta, Mike Denove, Tom Miller, Michael Mullen, Tony Quatrini, Brian Tarquinio, David Morehouse, Tamara Rodenberg, Greg Jordan and Father Thomas Burke.

The evening raised $1.3 million.

Kate Benz in a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Send news to Fanfare@tribweb.com.

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