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Fanfare: Pittsburgh Society 91st Cinderella Ball

| Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, 12:18 p.m.

Eleven young women carried on a tradition nearly 100 years in the making when they were presented to Pittsburgh society during the 91st Cinderella Ball.

“It's something that my grandma and aunts did… it's a really fun thing to do as part of that family tradition,” said third-generation debutante Lilah Hilliard.

Prior to the ballroom opening, the girls gathered in the Presidential Suite of the Omni William Penn, where Eliza Cochran and Devin Gramley uncoiled nerves by practicing their waltz and curtsies.

“I'm the first so that doesn't help,” laughed Cochran. “If I wipe out, that probably won't set a good tune.”

While a guest list tipping 350 arrived, rumor had it that Christopher Rudolf was being sequestered in parts unknown until he was formally announced as this year's Prince Charming. The Shady Side Academy senior's grandmother, Priscilla McCrady, was presented during the 1962 ball, escorted by her future husband, William McCrady. Both attended the Jan. 28 event.

With his debut made, it was time to randomly select the name of this year's Cinderella — Lilah Hilliard — from an illuminated pumpkin.

Embracing the ball's focus on social and charitable responsibility, the girls collectively spent 600 hours volunteering at this year's beneficiary, the Carnegie Science Center.

“It didn't feel like work… it felt like I was going to have fun,” said Sarah Scalise. She and Elizabeth Verbica were recipients of the Cinderella Women's Committee Scholarship for each contributing 109 hours.

Also presenting were Giovanna Elo, Katherine Davenport, Nina Johns, Alicia McMahon, Christina Recchi.

Attending were co-chairs Laura Penrod Kronk (with Claude) and Lisa Gaydos (with Joe), Dr. Jo Ellen Parker, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh president, and Samuel Badger, representing the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, the 2018 beneficiary.

Music was by the Rick Purcell Big Band. Master of Ceremonies, Leonard Marsico.

Peter Verbica presents his daughter, Elizabeth, during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Peter Verbica presents his daughter, Elizabeth, during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Cinderella Liliah Hilliard and Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Cinderella Liliah Hilliard and Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Joseph and Lisa Gaydos with Laura and Claude Kronk, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Joseph and Lisa Gaydos with Laura and Claude Kronk, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Katie and Ron Davenport, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Katie and Ron Davenport, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Nina Johns, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Nina Johns, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Kendall Thomas and Dominic Lasacco, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Kendall Thomas and Dominic Lasacco, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Devin Gramley and her father, Kurtis, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Devin Gramley and her father, Kurtis, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Christina Recchi and her father, Mark, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Christina Recchi and her father, Mark, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Fathers dance with their daughters during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Fathers dance with their daughters during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Alicia McMahon, Margaret Widdoes and Christina Recchi, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Alicia McMahon, Margaret Widdoes and Christina Recchi, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Nina Johns and Eliza Cochran, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Nina Johns and Eliza Cochran, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Elizabeth Verbica, Sarah Scalise and Liliah Hilliard, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Elizabeth Verbica, Sarah Scalise and Liliah Hilliard, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Clayton Krol sits while Sarah Woodings adjusts his bowtie, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Clayton Krol sits while Sarah Woodings adjusts his bowtie, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Clayton Krol sits while Sarah Woodings adjusts his bowtie, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Clayton Krol sits while Sarah Woodings adjusts his bowtie, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Caroline Elizabeth Hobbs, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Caroline Elizabeth Hobbs, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Samanta and Mark Recchi, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Samanta and Mark Recchi, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Joanne Bates, Allison Davenport and Judith Davenport, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Joanne Bates, Allison Davenport and Judith Davenport, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Catherine Loevner, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Catherine Loevner, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Caroline and Tiffany Verbica, 91st annual Cinderellal Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Caroline and Tiffany Verbica, 91st annual Cinderellal Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Olivia and Christina Cochran, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Olivia and Christina Cochran, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Evan Frazier Jr. with his father, Evan Frazier, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Evan Frazier Jr. with his father, Evan Frazier, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Sam Badger, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Sam Badger, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Eliizabeth Verbica, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Eliizabeth Verbica, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Christina Recchi and Alicia McMahon, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Christina Recchi and Alicia McMahon, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Co-chairs Laura Kronk and Lisa Gaydos, 91st annual Cinderellal Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Co-chairs Laura Kronk and Lisa Gaydos, 91st annual Cinderellal Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Rob Cochrane leads a parade of fathers during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Rob Cochrane leads a parade of fathers during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf selects the name of Cinderella during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf selects the name of Cinderella during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf selects the name of Cinderella during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf selects the name of Cinderella during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Zach Skolnekovich, Charles Henry and Dominic Losacco, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Zach Skolnekovich, Charles Henry and Dominic Losacco, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf  dances with Cinderella Liliah Hilliard during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf dances with Cinderella Liliah Hilliard during the 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Tanner Thomas, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Tanner Thomas, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Table setting, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Table setting, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Cinderella Liliah Hilliard and Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Cinderella Liliah Hilliard and Prince Charming Christopher Rudolf 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
Katie Davenport with her father, Ron, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Katie Davenport with her father, Ron, 91st annual Cinderella Ball, Westin William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. Jan. 28, 2017.
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