Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Black-Tie Gala Celebrates 125 Years of Community Support and $11.9M Raised

October 3, 2015

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation held a black-tie gala last night in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and announced that more than $11.9 million has been raised to date during the anniversary year campaign.

The 125th Anniversary Gala was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with more than 900 supporters in attendance, including celebrities, athletes, and business and government leaders. The event celebrated all of the community support that has enabled Children’s Hospital to maintain its mission since 1890.

This celebration recognizes 125 years of caring by our community and the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have given their time and support to ensure that every child in this region has access to the care they need and deserve,” said Greg Barrett, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

The honorary chair for the evening was actor and Pittsburgh native, Joe Manganiello. Emcee for the gala was KDKA-TV anchor Ken Rice. Other celebrity guests included former Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel and Troy Polamalu; Mario Lemieux, founder, Mario Lemieux Foundation; and Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer, WWE.

The dedication, commitment and generosity of the people of Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities has been and will continue to be the driving force behind Children’s,” said Christopher Gessner, the president of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. “This tremendous community support enables our expert physicians, nurses and other staff members to provide the best pediatric health care in the world every single day.

The 125th Anniversary Gala honored Beacon of Hope recipients Eat’n Park Hospitality Group and Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, which collectively have raised nearly $20 million for the care of children. Legacy of Hope recipient John G. Rangos Sr. is a renowned business leader and member of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Board of Trustees. He has donated more than $9.5 million to Children’s, including a significant gift in 1989 that helped to found the first Children’s Hospital research building.

Denise Pampena and Ramsey Lyons, who serve as trustees of the board of Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh Foundation, co-chaired the event and helped make the Gala one of the most successful nights in Children’s Hospital fundraising history.

Music was provided by West Coast Music and featured 26 performers including a Motown vocal quartet and a 10-piece string section creating a unique sound and look for the event.

Children’s Hospital began its 125th celebration with a kickoff celebration on June 4, 2015 that launched the “Give Kids a Chance to be Kids” campaign—celebrating 125 years of caring and the important role of community support for the clinical and research advances at Children’s.

The “Give Kids a Chance to be Kids” campaign also features an interactive mobile story booth, called the “Giving Booth,” that has been traveling to special events throughout the region. The Giving Booth encourages individuals to share their childhood memories, a memory about Children’s Hospital, or to make a donation. The anniversary year will culminate on June 4, 2016, with Walk for Children’s, a new grassroots community fundraising event.

Pictures of the event and additional information are available upon request. For more information, please visit

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,