Archive for November, 2008

A Helping Hand for Animals And Owners In Need
November 28, 2008

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I want to thank everyone for coming out November 18 to the first fundraiser for the Animal Care And Assistance Fund. We had a Celebrity Bartender event at SBar on the Southside, and owner, Gabe Fontana was so incredibly generous to donate ALL the food and drink. The founder of the organization is the handsome guy with the beard on the far right, Dr Kenton Rexford. He is the head of the Emergency Department at the Pittsburgh Veterinarians Specialty and Emergency Center, and the Fund is the benevolent (non-profit) extension of the Center. The Fund is designed to help out people who qualify, under its criteria, for assistance in paying for emergency or extensive treatment beyond routine care. 

DVE’s Val Porter, in the front of the photo, graciously agreed  to be my co-host, and the guys at Channel Four were great. Andrew Stockey , Demetrius Ivory, Bob Mayo, Janelle Hall are in this photo, with Mayor Ravenstahl, who took time out to drop by and support the K-9 officers we invited . The guy standing next to him is  Dr. John Payne, a great surgeon at the Center , and the man beside him is an Animal Control officer. 

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This is one of the Pittsburgh Police K-9 officers, with one of our board members, Celeste Kopf. The dog is gorgeous, only 20 months old, and several of my friends there remarked that he looked just like my Quino, who died over a year ago. The dog is German-bred, and one of the results of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. Way to go, Ben.  dsc_0074

Kelly Frye was amazing. She,  Erin Kienzle and Janelle were actually serving drinks, and Kelly was like a whirling dervish back there. I used to work in my ex-husband’s bar a loooooong time ago, but I was worthless. 

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And kudos to these two people–Michele and John Bozic. They have been instrumental in helping Kenton start the organization. John is our Secretary/Treasurer, and Michele, the director of programs, pulled the event together, with the special help of other board members, like Laura and Charles Aftosmis, and Jamie Sarris, who put together great raffle baskets, took these photos, and filled the bar with supporters. Michele got Jim Rooney to give us an autographed, authentic game ball to auction off. This was from the 11-10 San Diego game, and I think it was signed by Willie Parker. A great night, thanks again to the never-ending generosity of the people of Pittsburgh.

Thanks for Myron–An All-Star Turn-out
November 26, 2008

It was a triumphant evening for Myron, one of many after the legendary broadcaster retired from the Steelers radio booth. Today, the day before Thanksgiving, Steelers President Art Rooney II headlined a group of speakers who paid tribute to Myron’s contributions to the city and region that so loved him. Art talked about how we tend to move on too quickly in our society, and forget those we have lost. And he talked of how Myron had brought the players to the fans, in a way that no one else could.  The speakers also included Myron’s daughter, Elizabeth, still grieving, only nine months after Myron’s death. She reminded us all of that  Thanksgiving Day a year ago, when he entered the hospital, and really never recovered.

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She is shown here, being interviewed by Stan Savran and Guy Junker, who did their ESPN show from the Heinz Field Club Lounge,  the site of the luncheon. 

The event was hosted by the Pittsburgh chapters of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and benefitted Myron’s beloved charities–The Autism Society and Allegheny Valley School, where Danny, Myron’s son, still lives. Dan Torisky , who has been a big part of Myron’s charity golf tournament, pulled it all together, and Foge Fazio, former Pitt and NFL coach, and co-chair for the golf outing, served as co-emcee with me. Franco Harris, Randy Grossman and Craig Bingham were the former Steelers who came and regaled us with stories, along with media types like the PG’s Gene Collier (screamingly funny), Ellis Cannon, Guy Junker, Andrew Stockey, and Adam Lynch. Andrew, Adam and I joined some of the guests for the photos being taken with the fifth Super Bowl trophy won by the Steelers. It was amazing how many lined up for the chance to be close to football excellence.

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300 people were kind enough to take time out of the busiest travel day of the year, and spend several hours remembering  the little man, with the big voice, who spent his life making Pittsburgh sports such a special part of our lives. It was such a success, that they plan to do it again next year. I, for one, will be there.

A Washington Win And A Batch Of Steelers
November 24, 2008

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Boy, is this a long time ago. Seems like a lifetime. This was in the satellite parking lot, in front of FedX Field, in Landover, MD for the Redskins game on Election Eve. That is our intrepid Operations Director, Dan Henniger, who has been with Steelers Primetime, now Black and Gold Primetime, since the very beginning. 15 years. He is indispensable. JB and I were freezing at this point. But amazed at all the Steelers fans filing by, and I was just waiting for one of them to scream an obscenity on TV. But they were cool. I look like a huge banana in that coat. 

It was so interesting.  Deshea Townsend intercepted Jason Campbell, who hadn’t had an INT all season, and we interviewed him after the game. Before we went live, Deshea looked at me and asked, “This means Obama wins, right?”  History has shown that when the visiting team wins  in Washington, right before the presidential election, the party out of power wins. I think I am remembering that correctly. 

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Obama’s victory was still a big topic of conversation a week later at Charlie Batch’s fundraiser for his foundation, Best of the Batch. It is the second year for the event at Bossa Nova, and practically the whole team comes out to play poker, ping pong and pool with paying guests. I was supposed to play ping pong, but it was pretty bad. Ike Taylor and James Harrison took time out for a photo op, just a week after my interview with James, who just may get Defensive MVP in the AFC if he keeps it up. Ike is having a great year, as well. Back to James, I was a bit nervous about interviewing  him. Just because he has that glowering look that makes him seem so ominous. But he couldn’t have been more cooperative. img_0831And these guys were pretty cooperative. That is Janelle Hall and her sister, who is just as pretty as Janelle. Then the irrepressible Jimmy Krenn, his partner, Randy Baumann , another guy (I can’t remember, I should be shot) , and Ben.  Ben also donated his personal box at the Heinz Field and it went for a ton of money.  The work that Charlie has done with the youth of Homestead, and the whole region, is exemplary. Talk to anyone who is involved in mentoring, and they have nothing but praise for him.