ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ broadcasts live from Pittsburgh |

ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ broadcasts live from Pittsburgh

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
A “Good Morning America” sign is placed along the North Shore Riverwalk on Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Pittsburgh.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Fans line up on steps along the North Shore Riverwalk before the live broadcast of ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
“Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee sets up for a live shot on the North Shore Riverwalk in Pittsburgh on July 25, 2019.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Marlene Ordonez of McKeesport (left) and her co-worker and friend Patty Kolesar of West Mifflin were first in line for the live broadcast of Good Morning America in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Leanne Natale of Munhall made a sign with her daughter Gina Natale for the live broadcast of Good Morning America in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Kate McVay, her brother Mike McVay and her friend Annamarie Pacione – all students at Hempfield High School – were part of the audience on the North Shore dock for the live broadcast of Good Morning America in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Lauren Ferragonio of Plum, a guard on the Pittsburgh Passion women’s football team joined her teammates aboard the Gateway Clipper’s Empress on Thursday. They were invited by Good Morning America, to be part of a live broadcast in Pittsburgh on the North Shore.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Bobbie Jo Belus of Aliquippa sports her Pittsburgh pants which features iconic spots in the city for the Good Morning America’s live broadcast in Pittsburgh on the North Shore.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Megs Yunn, (center), founder and executive director of Irwin-based Beverly’s Birthdays, which gives homeless children and those in need birthday celebrations, was presented a $10,000 check from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh which Good Morning America coordinated. She and her team were honored during the live broadcast of Good Morning America on Thursday on the Gateway Clipper’s Empress on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

The first fans lined up on Pittsburgh’s North Shore at 4:45 a.m. Thursday for an opportunity to board the Gateway Clipper’s Empress boat and join the “Good Morning America” live broadcast with Ginger Zee, T.J. Holmes and Tory Johnson.

Friends Patty Kolesar of West Mifflin and Marlene Ordonez of McKeesport were the first in line. They work together at Costco in Homestead.

“This is exciting,” an overjoyed Kolesar said. “We love the ‘Deals and Steals’ segment. They always have great stuff and I buy those products. I’ve even bought some socks. I’m wearing them right now.”

Ordonez carried a tray of cookies from Pastries A-La-Carte in Pleasant Hills with the “GMA” emblem and capital Pirates “P.”

“These are to feed the celebrities,” she said.

More than 250 people cheered as they lined up on the steps from Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36 to the North Shore Riverwalk as anticipation built for the 7 a.m. start time. Security guards said some fans arrived as early as 2 a.m. and waited in their cars until a line was formed.

As the show’s brigtly painted motorhome pulled up to the raucous crowd they were greeted by cheerleaders from the University of Pittsburgh and mascots from the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and Riverhounds.

At 7:40 a.m., GMA meteorologist Ginger Zee left the boat and greeted cheering fans on the river walk.

“I love the spirit, definitely the spirit,” she said, when asked about the Pittsburgh reception. “We couldn’t have had a better morning,” she said. “I could feel the energy from the people of Pittsburgh. It was so nice to meet the people in person who we ‘talk’ to every morning (on television).”

Zee said the road tour of various cities has been a great experience.

“Usually when we travel it is for something horrific,” she said. “It is so nice to be in Pittsburgh and to celebrate Picklesburgh. Thank you Pittsburgh for having us.”

Mike McVay, his sister Kate McVay and her friend Annamarie Pacione – all students at Hempfield High School – joined the audience on the North Shore dock. The three stayed up all night so they could make it in time for Pacione’s birthday.

“We went to three different spots before we found it,” Mike McVay said. “When my sister, asked me, I thought, ‘Why not? Let’s do it.’”

The Good Morning America team reached out to the Pittsburgh Passion women’s professional football team and invited them to come aboard.

“This was super cool to be on a live talk show,” said Plum resident Lauren Ferragonio, a guard who played on two championship teams and the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team. “It’s not every day you get to do that.”

Ferragonio is a Plum High School graduate.

The show featured a video segment on local charity Beverly’s Birthdays, which provides birthdays for needy children.

The organization’s founder, Megs Yunn, was on hand to receive a $10,000 check from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to help fund future parties.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald also read a proclamation on behalf of the county and the City of Pittsburgh declaring July 25 “Beverly’s Birthday Day.”

“This is surreal,” Yunn said after the show. “I couldn’t believe it was really Good Morning America when they called me. This money can help so many children have birthday parties.”

Leanne Natale of Munhall made a sign with her daughter Gina Natale that said “Yinzers (heart) GMA.”

“I really wanted to do this for the experience,” Leanne Natale said. “I watch the show all the time. We wanted them to feel welcome here so that’s why we made the sign.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop and Tony LaRussa are Tribune-Review staff writers. Contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter @JHarrop_Trib. Reach Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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