The beautiful Wyndham Grand Hotel was the venue for this year’s Josh Gibson Foundation, 2011 Gibson Awards (Government, Civil Service, Business, Sports, Community and Education) presented by PNC Bank and the Josh Gibson Foundation.

On Aug. 13 more than 500 guests celebrated community leaders and the centennial birthday of Negro League player Josh Gibson. Former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris and his wife, Dana, were the honorary co-chairs. Select guests enjoyed the VIP reception and relished in taking pictures with Franco Harris, special guest baseball hall of famer Reggie Jackson and members of the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates All Star Line-Up. Dave Cash, Al Oliver and Manny Sanguillen signed autographs and showed off their World Series rings.

MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS—Al Oliver, Reggie Jackson and Manny Sanguillen. (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

At the sound of the chimes guests made their way past the numerous silent auction items into the ballroom for a delightful dinner. Each received a unique favor, a replica baseball bat commemorating the Centennial Gala and “remembering the history” of the Negro Leagues.


With WPXI Sports Anchor Alby Oxenreiter as emcee and Sean Gibson (Josh Gibson Foundation president/executive director) at the podium, awards were presented to Jake Wheatley (Government), David B. Matthews Chapter of Tuskegee Airman Inc. (Civil Service), Chuck Sanders (Business), All-Minority Pittsburgh Pirates Line-Up of September 1, 1971, Dr. Jeremy Krock (Community Service), Duquesne University (Education) and Reggie Jackson (Josh Gibson Legacy Award). Scholarships were presented to Seinna Graham, Sarah Washington and Kristopher Murray.

The evening ended with a phenomenal auction of two shirts that were signed by “Mr. October,” Reggie Jackson. The final bids brought in $8,000 for the Josh Gibson Foundation.

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