Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," Humphrey Bogart said in "Casablanca." Many of the 400 guests at the Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala felt the same way.

"Here's Looking at You, Kid" took its Moroccan theme from the movie, but its heart came from recognizing the accomplishments of the pediatric plastic surgery department at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. A check for $150,000 was presented to its director, Dr. Joseph Losee, and longtime Children's board member Hoddy Hanna and his wife, Mary Anne, served as honorary chairs for the evening.

But the other business of the night was fun, and it began the moment the doors opened into the Westin Convention Center ballroom. Bonnie Walker Events had converted the cavernous space into a glowing confection, tenting the room in pink silk and filling it with birdcages, towering florals and Moroccan-style vases.

The fab Gary Racan and the studio e band played almost nonstop for a crowd that was clearly ready to party after a long hot summer. When dinner finally arrived, it was delicious, from the mango Stilton salad to the blue cheese-encrusted filet mignon and a vanilla creme brulee.

                                                                                                                                                                                              - Ladies Aid Society

Diamond Horseshoe Ball

One word from the Pittsburgh Opera's special events manager Samuel Badger and all of the last-minute behind-the-scenes mayhem in the grand ballroom of the Fairmont Pittsburgh came to an immediate halt as the curtain officially rose on the 57th annual Diamond Horseshoe Ball on Saturday evening. "I needed elegant but crazy," explained Bill Chisnell of his ooh-la-la centerpieces; tall, sterling-silver candelabra dripping with crystals and adorned with ridiculously lush roses, hydrangeas and a whimsical plume or two.

Meanwhile, not a chance that dinner was going to start on time with Gary Racan & the studio-e band taking the stage, whose only problem (if you would even call it that) was in no way, shape, or form being able to coax people off of the dance floor once they've been enticed onto it." I was very impressed with your dancing skills!" commented Music Director Antony Walker to the crowd.

                                                                                    - Kate Guerriero, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

SEEN:  Auld Lang Syne III

Luscious lace was the fashion statement of the night during Auld Lang Syne III: Vienna in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Opera's New Year's Eve Gala and Concert Saturday. 

A lively cocktail party on the balcony quickly moved to the music hall foyer when Gary Racan and the studio e band kicked into high gear...
                                                                                                                                            - Rosa Colucci, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pointe in Time Ball, Omni William Penn

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre took a Journey to Neverland Saturday for its 26th annual Pointe in Time ball. The gala at the Omni William Penn was one of its most elegant and profitable in years.

Gary Racan and the studio e band kept the dance floor packed with an energetic crowd that included PBT executive director Harris Ferris with Janet, artistic director Terrence Orr with his wife, ballet mistress Marianna Tcherkassky, board chair Shelley and Jim Taylor, Colleen and Denny Travis, Mary Anne and Hoddy Hanna, Colleen and David O'Brien, Cindy andMurry Gerber...

                                                                                                                              - Marylynn Uricchio, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Ballet Gala

By celebrating its 40th Anniversary, this event reached maturity...with party pro Bonnie Walker and Gary Racan and the studio-e band with its irristable music where the crowd refused to stay seated!

                                                                                                                              - Marylynn Uricchio, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette