Fanfare: 53rd annual Medallion Ball is a 'source of hope'
Defining an altruistic spirit, 121 young women who collectively performed more than 23,500 hours of volunteer service during their high school years received deserved accolades from a crowd that filled the ballroom of the Wyndham Grand on Nov. 25 for the 53rd annual Medallion Ball.
"Their presence here is to be admired," said Bishop David Zubik. "And not just admired, but to be a source of hope for all of us."
Ranging from donating their time and efforts to local hospitals, churches, schools and shelters to helping build roofs and water stations in third world countries, there was no shortage of inspirational examples of how each candidate embraced a commitment to serving others.
Medallion Ball sees 121 young women presented to Pittsburgh society after performing 23,500 collective volunteer hrs throughout high school pic.twitter.com/paBraYZYOa— Kate Benz (@KateBenz) November 27, 2016
"All of these amazing girls made the world a better place," said Edyce Rizzi, president of St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind, which hosted the event.
During cocktails, candidates remained sequestered backstage and remained relatively unnerved by the prospect of being presented to 1,200 guests during a promenade and waltz.
"I've been looking forward to this since I was 12, so I'm really excited," Sophia Kartsonas said.
Meanwhile, as choreographer Cece Kapron offered some final words of wisdom about how to execute the perfect curtsy, a few admitted to having come a long way.
"They told me the first time I had to work on it," laughed Isabela Possino.
With their white-gloved escorts waiting, it was finally time to celebrate.
"Everything went really well," Shannon Donnelly said afterward.
Among those presenting were Rose Bleier, Alexandra Robosson, Ruth Carcillo, Gabriella Conley, Meghan and Paige Gennaula, Olivia Martini, Audrey Ayoob, Therese Blume, Lilly Carson, Madison Dalton, Margaretmary Doan, Claudia Lenhart, Sophia Maltese, Emily Mamula, Sydney Palmer, Theresa Ortiz, Erin Schorr, Natalie Urban, Riley Drusbasky, Ellin Fetting, Kate Foster, Caitlin Guinee, Maggie Leone, Emily Mabon, Kathryn Montgomery, Abigal Riesmeyer and Margaret Rimmel.
Co-chairs of the event were Jacinta Dvorak O'Connell and Mary Frances Dean Johnson.
Proceeds benefitted the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh.
Kate Benz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.