Athlete, others share inspirational stories at unWINEd benefit for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
A sold-out crowd of 350 might have been ready to raise a glass during unWINEd: A Toast to Hope for a Cure on Aug. 4, but that didn't mean everyone was ready to go high-octane.
“I'm on lemonade patrol tonight,” mused Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation prez Greg Barrett with his wife, Kelly Gates.
With all proceeds benefiting t he Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, it took mere seconds before guests began uncorking the accolades.
Early on, oncology patient Ryan Harkleroad scored with a shot of inspiration, having endured nine weeks of chemotherapy and three months of radiation without missing a single football or basketball game for Upper St. Clair.
“I wouldn't be where I am today without Children's Hospital,” he said before emcee Mike Clark used him to incentivize the crowd during a reverse auction.
“Ryan said if you don't donate tonight, he's going to personally tackle you,” he jested.
Later, co-chairwomen Tiffany Casarcia (with Dan) and Debbie DePew (with Bill) shared both the triumphant and heartbreaking experiences they've had with pediatric cancer.
Thanks to Children's, DePew said, her daughter Ella has been in remission for almost nine years.
And although Casarcia's best friend, Stacey Parsons, lost her battle, she didn't hesitate to identify exactly what Children's Hospital represents to the many patients and families that it treats.
“Hope,” she said.
Committee members included auxiliary chair Brooke Mullin, Melissa andLarry Andrews, Matti Bonura, Meredith Carabin andTom Ravotti, Christine DuBois, Jake George, Jennifer Noro and Maxine Shangold. Also spied were Debbie andJim Campbell, Dr. Peter Shaw, Jimmy andPriscilla Bromley, and Dr. Dinakar Golla.