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