By Rachel Jones | Photographs by Charlie Magovern

WHO: A sold-out crowd of 555 guests, including chairs Dr. Christopher Howard, president of Robert Morris University, and Barbara Noble Howard

WHAT: Sponsored by People’s Gas, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT)’s largest annual fundraiser garnered $630,000. The upcoming company premiere of West Side Story Suite inspired the evening’s theme and paid tribute to the 2018 centennial celebration of Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein, the show’s creators.

WHERE: Westin Convention Center

HIGHLIGHTS: Since the event took place on Veteran’s Day, dinner was served alongside bottles of Purple Heart Wine. Proceeds from the vino support the Purple Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving military men, women, and families. Guests were also treated to performances by company dancers and next-generation dancers of PBT School, including excerpts from Swan Lake, In the Night, and of course, West Side Story Suite. The evening capped off with a rousing live auction, emceed by Pittsburgh native and Emmy-nominated actor Billy Gardell.

“This year, our guests contributed an overwhelming $100,000 toward our Community Youth Scholarship Program, which invests in talented young dancers who might not otherwise be able to afford training. It is an incredibly impactful event for the art we put on stage and the artists who dance with us.” — Harris Ferris,
PBT executive director

Event photos are available for purchase in the WHIRL Photo Vault:
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