The buzz about the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Pittsburgh Chapter hat luncheon had reached all the way to Eons on Ellsworth Street.

The ladies who attended the 65th Anniversary Hat Luncheon Jan. 30, at the Omni William Penn Hotel wore beautiful hats. Many had been purchased at Eons and had a vintage flair.

LOVING THESE HATS— Melissa Pickett, Denise Hayes, Pamela Young and Marsha Thomas.

More than 100 members of Jack and Jill and friends gathered in The Bob and Delores Hope Room for an afternoon filled with great auction items, sweet music and a tasty lunch. A portion of the luncheon proceeds went to the Afro-American Music Institute and the Jack and Jill Foundation. James Johnson, Ph.D., AAMI executive director, remarked that “we” are a musical people and a wide variety of students attend AAMI for many reasons. Johnson appreciated the fact that the historic organization was investing in “our future.” Johnson said that students come to AAMI for many reasons. Several students have attended for voice lessons so they can propose to their spouse in a unique way.


The luncheon music was provided by Robert Edwards Jr. on a very cool 71-year-old saxophone with selections by Jaron Harris on piano and a vocal selection sung by Dorian Gooden. All three gentlemen are products of the Afro-American Music Institute.

Former Jack and Jill member and KDKA personality, Lynn Hayes- Freeland served as mistress of ceremonies. Gail M. Johnson, Jack and Jill of America national vice president, spoke to the group via cell phone. The snowstorm in Maryland prevented her trip to Pittsburgh.

KQV’s Elaine Effort, a past member of Jack and Jill, was the guest speaker and spoke of the cherished memories of Jack and Jill. Effort reminisced about the sleepovers and the cotillion balls and the friendships that were created between the children and the mothers.

A video presentation by Brian Cook told a portion of the Jack and Jill story while Martha Vasser, event co-chair, said, “The Pittsburgh Chapter has always been proud of the legacy that has been left for our children by mothers who have served it well. In this spirit, Jan. 30 marks the momentous occasion of a new associate chapter installation for the Pittsburgh Chapter. The associate chapter will become a vehicle for support to current members and of course a network for those who want to “share their history with others.” The Pittsburgh Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc. is the fourth oldest in the nation.

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