It's exciting to celebrate new events and venues, comforting to acknowledge the staying power of others and bittersweet to say goodbye to one old friend, but that is what we must do as we celebrate the top five Out & About events of 2015:
WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART GRAND REOPENING CELEBRATION
For two years, our curiosity grew as the museum was transformed at the top of Greensburg's Academy Hill. So great was the anticipation for a peek inside that the reopening gala was sold out practically before the ink dried on the invitations. Partygoers were not disappointed, as Cello Fury played for guests browsing the galleries, an outdoor catering tent pulsated with an electronic dance party and performance artists wended between the two. “It was so much worth the wait,” said Judith O'Toole, Richard M. Scaife director and CEO. “We're over the moon.” Hands down, this was THE party of the year!
WESTMORELAND/FRICK HOSPITAL FOUNDATION STARLIGHT BLACK TIE BINGO
“Forget Me Not” was the theme as the foundation bid adieu to its longtime president, Jennings Womack, who passed away in January 2015; to advancement coordinator Carole Blair, who was set to retire in April; and to the bingo event itself, as an exciting, new black-tie fundraiser will make its debut in March. Organizers knew that Womack, who was involved in bingo planning from its inception until the end of his life, wouldn't have wanted a somber occasion, and guests obliged by engaging in a friendly but spirited competition, along with dinner, in the Westmoreland Country Club.
WESTMORELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA HAT LUNCHEON
Every top party list should have at least one event where the ladies don fabulous hats and frocks and sip mimosas at tables overflowing with spring flowers, and this is that party. The annual luncheon at Greensburg Country Club, in its 14th year, helped “carry on the legacy of the WSO, a vital part of the culture of Westmoreland County,” according to board president Ellen Piper. It also gave the ladies a chance to coo over Leo Meyer, son of the symphony's artistic director Daniel Meyer and his wife, Mary Persin. Young Leo made his appearance in a red-and-blue-striped beach hat.
WINNERS' CIRCLE AWARDS PROGRAM
Helen Reddy's “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” became an anthem of female empowerment in the 1970s and still reverberates in the prestigious business awards presented by Seton Hill University's E-Magnify women's business center. The 20th annual luncheon in a standing-room-only Greensburg Country Club recognized the efforts of individual women and supporters who share resources, serve as mentors and advocate for women in business and service to their communities. The 2015 awardees were Sherrie Dunlap, April Kopas, Faye Rosatti and Deborah Thackrah.
It sounds like a backwoods bacchanalia cooked up by a rowdy bunch of Pennsylvania frontiersmen, but it was a decidedly more genteel evening, as guests sampled spirits from area distilleries at the inaugural, sold-out fundraiser at West Overton Village and Museums in East Huntingdon. West Overton board president Rob Ferguson also announced that the museum will begin distilling its own Old Farm Pennsylvania Pure Rye in 2016, using rye grown on the property, just as original owner Abraham Overholt did in the 1800s.