Some catching up to do as sweeps begin to wind down. I wanted to mention some recent events that work to make our area a kinder, more welcoming place. Thank you to Janelle Hall and Andrew Stockey for coming out and walking the dogs, literally, on the runway for the Humane Society fashion show, put on by Stein Mart. Janelle is just as beautiful inside as out, and has a gorgeous Weimaraner at home..She had the easiet job carrying this puppy.

Andrew Stockey was so kind to come out on a sunny weekend day, when he could be playing golf. But he loves dogs, and it was so funny when he took this big guy down the runway. The dog decided to drop to his haunches and tried to rub his gentle leader off. Guess he figured it wasn’t so gentle.

And in the same week, Hunter, standing near the kitchen of Bossa Nova, was part of the Paws and Prints auction for The Animal Rescue League. Some pretty good stuff was available. a Sidney Crosby jersey went for several thousand…By the way, later, after I took Hunter’s picture, he saw me across the street and decided he wanted to come over and say hi. Ever seen that Pedigree commercial? The one that has the dog say,”I just want to go home.” Everyone who sees it says they end up sobbing. Just reinforces the need to spay and neuter, and have responsible owners.

Talk about responsibility. The people at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, led by Meg Cheever, have made it their mission to make sure the glorious parks we have in this city are the best they can be for the public. The Spring Hat Luncheon, which was at Riverview Park this year, may seem frivolous, but it is anything but. The people who support it, have raised both money and awareness for these regional assets. Talk about going “green!” I actually like to wear hats, if they didn’t make my head ache, and leave you with bad hair when you take them off. I guess the point is, don’t take them off. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, The Luncheon, which was on the same day as the Kentucky Derby, with all of its fabulous chapeaus–including the Queen’s! But I digress (as usual).
Of course, the Mayor and his wife, Erin were on hand, and she looked quite stylish. Dan Onorato and his wife,Shelley were also there.

Also one of the great philanthropists our region, and a proud mother this day–Elsie Hillman, sitting with legislator, Don Walko and his daughter. He was showing Elsie how to use a Blackberry, and then I showed her my Treo, and she was actually considering jumping into the thick of new technology–She is ageless!

Her daughter,Audrey Hillman Fisher her husband Tim, who has been at every Hat Luncheon the past ten years, were there. Audrey and Ritchie Scaife started this and are still the Honorary Chairs. Audrey had on the most amazing hat, and you couldn’t get to close to her, lest she poke you in the eye. I loved it, frankly, but my head is way too big to wear that. They are seated with another wonderfully giving figure in the Pittsburgh non-profit landscape,and one of the chairs of the event,Ranny Ferguson. Ranny, Lynne Davenport, Dr. Helene Blodgett, and Nadine Bognar took over for Audrey and Ritchie as chairs, and now they are passing the torch. This time, the group includes women who live some distance from the city, like the North Hills and Sewickley. A message that these parks are a treasure, not just for the city, but the region. One of the new chairs is Lynn Swann’s wife, Charena,.who has barely had time to breathe, since the election, before taking on another project. And she has a doctorate, to boot. I once told Lynn that he out-kicked his coverage. He agreed.

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