It was only a matter of time before Three Rivers Youth (TRY) President and CEO Peggy Harris brought Paris to Pittsburgh. Harris spent a year studying at the Sorbonne in her junior year of college, she took her daughter there as a college graduation present and has frequently paid visits to the city of lights.

ENJOYING AN EVENING IN PARIS—Jay Ferguson, Ranny Ferguson (130th Anniversary chairs), Claudette Lewis (TRY board chair) and Peggy Harris (TRY president and CEO).

On April 29 at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens several hundred passengers arrived in the early evening to collect their boarding passes and board “TRY Air” to Paris to celebrate 130 years of TRY giving light to the future of our youth. The flight crew looked surprisingly familiar, much like Vince Sims, reporter and anchor for WPXI, George Miles, president and CEO of WQED Multimedia and Danielle Nottingham, weekend morning anchor for Channel 11 News.

Guests boarded the simulated “flight to Paris” and enjoyed the in flight movie “The Story of Three Rivers Youth.” Once the guests landed in Paris they strolled through the Champs Elysees and The Louvre Museum, dined on French themed foods and watched mimes perform. A Pittsburgh to Paris jazz tribute filled the air courtesy of the legendary Nathan Davis, while the incredible Ryan Patrick Parker performed during the pre-reception festivities.

Before the flight back to Pittsburgh past Nellie Leadership Award Honorees were inducted into the Three Rivers Hall of Fame in recognition of their service to youth and families in the region. The honorees were: the Honorable Max Baer, Honorable Cynthia Baldwin, Charlie Batch (Pittsburgh Steeler), Marc Cherna (director of Allegheny County Department of Human Services), Honorable Cheryl Allen, Reverend Dr. William Curtis (Senior Pastor, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church), Dr. Jerlean Daniel, executive director designate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Jamie Dixon, head coach of the University of Pittsburgh’s men’s basketball team, Murry Gerber, president and CEO of EQT Corporation, Robert Nelkin, president and CEO of Duquesne Light Holdings, Inc, Honorable Dan Onorato, Allegheny County chief executive, Pittsburgh Chapter of the Links, James Rohr, CEO and chairman of PNC Financial Services Group, David Shapira, president, CEO and chairman of Giant Eagle Inc, Chauncey Smith, director Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance/Diversity at HJ. Heinz Company and his wife Bernice, Dr. Marcia Sturdivant, deputy director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth and Families. Rachel Washington was honored posthumously. Washington was the recipient of the Three Rivers Youth Special Recognition Achievement Award in 2005, at the age of 103, for being the organization’s oldest living former client.

TRY also honored the following families: Elizabeth and Larry Castonguay, the Carol and Ben Iddriss Family, Judy O’Connor, Dr. Thomas and Joy Starzl, Nancy and Milt Washington and the Honorable Dwayne Woodruff and wife Joy Maxberry Woodruff.

Three Rivers Youth, a United Way affiliated agency, preserves and unites families, combats homelessness, enhances educational opportunities and builds life skills for at risk youth. Please visit

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