Pittsburgh Promise Gala

#PromisingNight: Tony award-winning actor Leslie Odom Jr. of “Hamilton” fame was in Pittsburgh for “A Night of Promise,” the 2019 Pittsburgh Promise Gala, on Saturday.  The event, which is held every three years, filled the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh hotel ballroom with 810 guests  looking forward to Mr. Odom’s performance while supporting scholarships for high school graduates from Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The evening began with a VIP reception in the sky lounge on the 24th floor. Mr. Odom mingled with Pittsburgh Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril, board chairman Franco Harris and his wife, Dana, as well as Donna and Vince Delie, CEO of presenting sponsor First National Bank.“There is nothing that means more to me than education,” said Mr. Odom, a graduate of Philadelphia public schools and Carnegie Mellon University. “I have my teachers to thank for my successful life. ... I know Pittsburgh Promise does wonderful work.”

A Champagne reception was also held in the Kings Garden room before the Pittsburgh Allderdice Marching Band announced dinner and marched everyone into the ballroom. Former superintendent and Promise founder Mark Roosevelt, with his wife, Dorothy, was the evening’s honorary chair. “It has been a wonderful journey for the Promise,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for anything more with all these people here supporting it because when we started it, it was an idea and I knew it was going to be a long haul. ... When UPMC stepped up with $100 million, that was huge.” Mr. Ghubril announced that $4.8 million had been raised for scholarships.

#SEEN: Development committee co-chairs Debbie Demchak with her daughter Sydney and Anne Lewis with Jim Zeszutek, Peggy and Max King, Wallis Katz, John and Caddy Harper, Debbie Dick, Susie Wean, Mayor Bill Peduto, Kiya Tomlin, Cynthia and Steve Lackey, Dave Malone, Christopher Lee, Barbara and Dan Eichenlaub, David and Darlene Motley, Vivian and Bill Benter, Alex and Chris Scott, Eva Blum, Joshua Devine, Abby Lutton, Michael Warren and Mary Lou McLaughlin.


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