Family House Gifting Gala

The Annual Family House Gifting Gala raised $118,000 for their Family Assistance Fund.

Three hundred guests attended an elegant dinner dance Saturday, April 9th for this heartwarming cause.  The event was held in the ballroom of the Omni William Penn hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.  Entitled an “Evening of Perennial Celebration,” the guests were surrounded by spring flowers from “Blooming Dahlia.”  Dance music was provided by Protege’.

The Gifting Gala Committee

Left to Right: Christie Knott, Angie Longo, Laura N. K. Miller, Tracy Weigand, Diana Bills, Jeanne Vallano, Kathy DiBiase, Erin Burger, Jayanne Newcaster Matthis

The Family House Gifting Gala kicks off the 2011 Family Assistance Fund Raising Effort to provide a “Home Away From Home” for the families of patients suffering from serious illness and seeking medical care and our city’s hospitals.  The Family Assistance Fund benefits individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

Event Co-Chairs Maris Ann Bondi and Jeanne Vallano

Maris and Jeanne wish to thank  UPMC Life Changing Medicine, the Platinum Sponsor, for their ongoing support.  Elias/Savion Advertising, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, RR Donnelly Hoechstetter, UPMC Health Plan, United States Steel Corporation, Fedex Ground and Hefren-Tillotson were additional sponsors.  “Though the generous support of our sponsors, volunteers and the Pittsburgh community, Family House is able to provide a place of respite, understanding and support for more than 10,000 guests each year.”  Created in 1983, Family House has provided affordable, supportive and safe lodging for families and patients facing long-term or acute medical treatment by its “home away from home.”

Holly and Matt Bulvony

Holly, Director of Communications and Outreach for Family House, expressed her thanks to the guests who so generously contributed to the success of the evening.

“Everyone at Family House is so very grateful for the support shown at the Gifting Gala.  The 10,000 families we help each year are also appreciative of the generosity of our community.  It is an honor to be part of Family House and work each day to fulfill our critical mission.”

 “We are pleased to be able to support Family House in providing economical accomodations to patients and their families during times of great stress.”

Steeler great Andy Russell, his wife Cindy and Fritz Heinemann, President/CEO of Economics PA, joined Susan Krol for an enjoyable evening of dining and dancing that greatly benefited the efforts of this important non-profit organization.

“We are proud to represent Family House and the Family Assistance Fund.  Please visit to make a donation to this worthy cause.”

18th Annual Relay for Life Comes to Moon Township

The 18th annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life® has walkers lapping around the clock in the battle against cancer. Teams of residents & students will gather at Robert Morris University on April 9th & 10th, 4 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Relay For Life is held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at Walton Stadium with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track at all times. This year the entire community is invited to come to the CARNIVAL and play games, eat food and celebrate the progress being made against cancer! Local companies, Total Equipment Company, Dick’s Sporting Goods and UPMC Cancer Centers are serving as sponsors of the event.

“Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease,” said Melinda Fulton. “We are joining with the American Cancer Society’s efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” Fulton added.

Cancer Survivors and their caregivers are invited to come to a special dinner provided for them starting at 6 p.m. Saturday night. They will then walk a victory lap around the track, demonstrating that cancer CAN be beaten and is regularly being conquered.

Relay for Life’s Luminaria Ceremony takes place at dusk, honoring the community’s cancer survivors and remembering those lost to the disease. The “Fight Back” Ceremony, challenges participants to commit to new healthy habits as community leaders share their own inspiring healthy lifestyles.

To learn more, to register or to find out more about the ceremonies please call 1-800-227-2345 or visit