Out & About: 2018 was a year of numerous noteworthy events
In their acceptance speeches, award-winners often thank a list of people “too numerous to mention.”
So it was with the list of intriguing and influential events covered by Out & About in 2018. All deserve an extra, end-of-the-year salute — which, sadly, space does not allow.
Here are five that had wide-ranging effects for many people in Westmoreland County and beyond.
Me and My Special Guy — Feb. 10
The population of tiny Norvelt almost doubled Feb. 10 as young ladies and their dates flocked to Roosevelt Hall for a Me and My Special Guy Dance .
The third annual event, hosted by the American Cancer Society Mt. Pleasant Relay for Life team, was sold out at 350 guests for both afternoon and evening sessions.
ACS staffer Dawn Keefer said many would-be guests were turned away when singles sessions offered in the first two years quickly sold out. Organizers decided to double the fun this year, which paid off in a big way.
Dads, granddads, uncles, big brothers and other special guys came to share pizza and pop, games, crafts, photo ops and — of course — dancing with their special girls. A basket auction offered anything a little miss would need for a sleepover, movie night, playtime, arts and crafts, pampering and more.
Passionately Pink — May 5
Sponsoring a new fundraising event is a risk: will enough people turn out to make it a success?
Westmoreland Walks board members, led by Kathy Brown and Cheryl McMullen , got a resounding “yes” to that question with their inaugural Passionately Pink luncheon and fashion show, held May 5 at the Christ, Our Shepherd Center (former Bishop Connare Center) in Unity.
They couldn’t go wrong with a tasty luncheon buffet and a peek at new warm weather fashions, courtesy of The Post and Rail Men’s Shop and Betsy’s, both in Ligonier; Crossroads Boutique & Cattiva, Descendants and Miller’s Prom and Formal Wear, all in Greensburg; Simplicity Boutique in Murrysville, and Cabi, an online store.
A good cause helps too.
The group raises funds for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, sponsors an annual Spa Serenity Day for Westmoreland County women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and gives a Pink Ribbon Scholarship to a graduating senior in the county whose life and/or family has been affected by breast cancer.
“The Art of Giving” — May 12
“Of all the money I’ve donated or spent, the most enduring pleasure and reward came from buying art.”
That quote was included with artworks featured in “ The Art of Giving: Selections from the Richard M. Scaife Bequest,” a 2018 exhibition in The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg.
“I’m very happy with it,” said The Westmoreland’s chief curator Barbara Jones at a May 12 opening reception. “I think it’s very beautiful.”
The late Tribune-Review publisher donated his vast American art collection to The Westmoreland and the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Delaware County. The collection contained approximately 500 works.
The exhibition featured the first 25 pieces each museum chose from that collection, which were divided up in a 2014 round-robin selection process.
Judy O’Toole , The Westmoreland’s former Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO, called the bequest “a remarkable honor” for the two institutions, significantly increasing their holdings — and undoubtedly, their stature among the nation’s museums.
Achievement in the Arts — May 20
As a center for all kinds of artistic endeavors, Greensburg’s Palace Theatre provided the perfect setting May 20 for the Westmoreland Cultural Trust’s 20th Annual Achievement in the Arts Awards Celebration .
The program recognizes students from area high schools who have distinguished themselves in the areas of music, theater and visual arts. Awardees are selected by faculty members and advisers at their respective schools.
Previous programs have featured a sit-down dinner, but this year the format was changed to accommodate a larger number of guests, said Kelli Brisbane , the Trust’s event manager.
The theater’s intermission suite and patio provided ample room for honorees, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and others to mingle at a reception, while the theater’s 1,369 seats were sufficient for those who came to watch the onstage program in which students received commemorative pins and pens from Westmoreland County Judges Meagan Bilik-DeFazio and Jim Silvis .
Greater Latrobe Art Gala — Nov. 1
On Nov. 1, the Greater Latrobe School District Art Conservation Trust hosted its annual Art Gala to reveal works by 19 area artists that students voted on to be considered for the district’s special art collection.
From two pieces purchased in 1936, the collection has grown to about 200 works that line the high school halls.
Student docents chose the featured works from pieces included in juried exhibitions at the Latrobe Art Center, Greensburg Art Center and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley.
The 500 gala guests had the opportunity to vote for their favorites, just as a comparison to the student picks. They agreed with the students on four of five pieces.
Special guest for the evening was Corinne Bollinger , 100, who graduated from Latrobe the year the collection was established.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @shirley_trib.