A crowd of 225 alumni, friends, students, faculty, and staff gathered in the campus? Student Community Center on Saturday, November 10, 2007 for the Advisory Board of Penn State Greater Allegheny?s fourth annual ?All That?s Jazz? scholarship fundraiser. In just four years this event has raised more than $158,000 for student scholarships.(View photos from the event.)
At the close of the evening, Master of Ceremonies Sheldon Ingram of WTAE-TV announced that the event had raised $46,870. The total continues to climb each day as additional gifts are added to the fund. ?Everyone who worked on this event should be extremely proud,? said Chancellor Curtiss E. Porter, Ph.D. ?We are going to help many students at a time when help is even more necessary and appreciated.?
Two student speakers Christopher Curtis of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Bradley Baldwin of McKeesport, Pa., told the crowd about how scholarship support helps take away some of the financial burden of attending college and allows them to concentrate on their studies and the co-curricular experiences offered on campus.
The highlight of the evening was the performance of jazz guitar greats John ?Bucky? Pizzarelli, and Joe Negri. A musical quintet made up of David Pellow, Benny Benack, Jr., Craig Davis, Lenny Pruszynski and Benny Benack III, also wowed the audience with their performances on the William A. Seifert, Jr. Stage. Tom Roberts entertained guests on keyboard in the Robert and Elizabeth Ostermayer Room.
The Student Community Center was transformed into a sophisticated jazz nightclub. Featuring stunning flower arrangements and elegant table decor designed by The Tim Condron Design Group. Tabletops were adorned with candlesticks with blossoming fresh flowers. The Ostermayer room featured a dramatic centerpiece flower arraignment on a pedestal table that nearly touched the ceiling while cascading to the buffet table below. Spectacular flower displays decorated the entire building. Guests enjoyed delicious cuisine prepared by the campus? Housing and Food Services staff. A lavish display of hors d?oeuvre and delicacies were enjoyed by all. A live auction featuring autographed sports memorabilia, a new theme silent auction and the Blue and White ?mystery? auction netted nearly $9,900 for the scholarship fund.
Assisting Event Chair Jacob Skezas, Advisory Board president in leadership roles were: Sponsorship Co-Chairs Joseph M. Hohman, Nancy Traina, and Clifford Wise, along with Host Committee Co-Chairs Mary Del Brady, and Pastor Earlene Coleman. They were joined by Nicole Lobaugh, chair of the Auction Committee, and Nancy Seifert and David Pellow, Entertainment co-chairs. These volunteers are supported by Advisory Board members, community leaders, alumni, friends, and faculty and staff, all working to make the event a success.
Honorary Committee members supporting the event included: Arthur L. Baldwin, Suzy and Jim Broadhurst, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Davenport, Sr., Franco Harris, Tom Hollander, The Honorable Dan and Shelly Onorato, Brandon Short, Bill and Rose Strickland, and William E. Trueheart and Carol A. Word.
All That?s Jazz underwriters included: Entertainment and Decorations Underwriter Nancy Seifert, and Supporters at the Patron level include Caseys Materials LLC, Directed Electronics, Gulf Materials, LLC, Ruth Hunt, and Nancy and John Traina.
Members of the Chancellor?s Circle included: Lou Anne Caligiuri, Dorothy and Ed Datemasch, Eat?n Park Hospitality Group, Ford Business Machines, Inc.-James M. Garlow, Mark R. Gruskin, Curtiss E. Porter, H.B. South Printers, Patty and Vic Orler, RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc., Resource Development Management, Inc., Margaret L. Signorella, UPMC McKeesport, Pat and Jay Winter, and Clifford and Barbara Wise.
Sponsors also include event Ambassadors: Mrs. Nadine E. Bognar, Tom and Judy Bruney, Jendoco Construction Corporation, E. Carter Jones, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Kutsenkow, Nicole Lobaugh, Ross J. Nese, David J. Pasternak, Jill and Brian Pepka, Penn State Greater Allegheny Faculty and Staff Fund, The President?s Discretionary Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Sharon and Gary L. Thomas, Tube City IMS Corporation, and Kirk and Charlene Urey.
All proceeds from the benefit will be added to the Penn State Greater Allegheny Scholarship fund. Currently 80% of students enrolled at the campus depend on financial aid (mainly loans) to pay for their education.
?The event was successful in raising awareness of the importance of providing more scholarship assistance to our students,? said Pat Quinn Winter, director of development. ?We are grateful to all our supporters who helped us reach our goal and are providing our students with the gift of education.?
Anyone interested in donating to the Penn State Greater Allegheny Scholarship Fund can learn more by calling the Office of Institutional Advancement at 412-675-9048.