By Andrea Bosco
Photography: Allie Wynands
More than 700 supporters gathered for Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest Gala, held at the Omni William Penn Hotel. In its 19th year, 50 men and women were recognized for their outstanding contributions, successful careers, and fundraising efforts to exceed a minimal goal of raising $3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Honorees Jessica Kennedy and David Todd ranked as the top two earners of all time, bringing in $41,000 and $42,000, respectively! Co-sponsored by WHIRL Magazine, Range Resources, UPMC, and Mylan, the gala netted $360,000, setting the national record! Says Development Director Mark Burnett, “Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest is such an incredible group of people. Their drive and enthusiasm is a source of inspiration.” During the VIP reception, the group enjoyed the sounds of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra and was greeted by an 18-piece orchestra (compliments of Glass City Swing Band) upon entering the ballroom. Aside from the Omni’s signature menu of pasta and carving stations, three alumni honorees — Chef Jolina Giaramita of La Tavola Italiana, Pastry Chef Meghann Walsh of Cioppino, and Chef Chuck Kerber of the Allegheny HYP Club — provided salad and dessert. Benack Sound Productions, DJ Jan Jursa, and DJ Curve transformed the Urban Room into the perfect hot spot for an after party. Says honoree Nick Bonacci, “This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had to date. The gala helped to culminate all of our hard work into one glamorous evening. We saw firsthand how 50 determined people can make such a difference for CF research and education.” Congratulations!