Three Rivers Youth 2019 Nellie Leadership Awards Gala (Debbie’s Lifestyles Photos July 17)

T.R.Y. HONOREE, JACK & JILL OF AMERICA PITTSBURGH CHAPTER—Adam Smith, Peggy Harris, Alexis Steals and Daria Crawley

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

The theme of the 2019 Three Rivers Youth (T.R.Y.) 2019 Nellie Leadership Awards Gala was “Champs on the Champs-Elysees.” The well-planned event was held on May 31, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Hotel. Peggy Harris, President & CEO of T.R.Y., said the Champs-Elysees is one of the grandest avenues in the world where cultures intersect, languages collide and where diversity—in all of its glory—is celebrated.

The gala celebration was threefold, said Harris. First we celebrate the thousands of youth and families, second we celebrate the champions whose lives have been exemplars for racial equity, economic parity, youth, family and community development. Third we celebrate the Pittsburgh community for reminding us with your presence that the battle is not just ours, but it belongs to us all.

This year’s honorees included: Larry Davis, Ph.D., former Dean of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh; Valerie Njie, former executive director/senior vice president of Bidwell Training Center; Jack and Jill of America, Pittsburgh Chapter and the Poise Foundation (Mark Lewis). The cocktail reception allowed more than 200 guests to “shop” for flowers, bread and wine on the unique Champs-Elysees using shopping bags provided by T.R.Y. Guests also had the opportunity to enjoy French pastries and get a complimentary portrait just as they would do in France.

Robert Hill, former vice chancellor, University of Pittsburgh, Office of Public Affairs, served as emcee. Hill is an extraordinary publisher, editor and writer. The program included a beautiful performance by the Hill Dance Academy Theater and a video on T.R.Y. by Emmai Alaquiva. Rajay Childs was the recipient of the Charles and Nancy Adreon Scholarship. Childs will attend Lincoln University.

The evening concluded with a presentation to Adam Smith, T.R.Y. Board of directors chair and honorary chair, Roseanne Wholey.


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