Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lemons into LemonAid

We were very proud to have worked with one of our clients recently, Phil Laboon, who converted a canceled wedding into a remarkable charity event to raise funds for Surgicorps, an organization which provides surgical and other medical services to children in third world counties.  After some local media coverage, the story wen viral, hitting newspapers and TV stations across the country.  The event was a roaring success, due in no small part to the fantastic publicity that the event engendered.  We applaud Mr. Laboon for his generosity, and were very pleased to have worked with him on such a special project.

 Here's a summary of the event from Mr. Laboon's company, Eyeflow's, website.

Here's a sample of the coverage:

KDKA TV, Pittsburgh

WTAE TV, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

WESA (National Public Radio), Pittsburgh

Huffington Post

KHON2 TV, Honolulu, HA

Versions of the story appeared in outlets from Florida to California to Chicago, IL

Friday, October 17, 2014

Team Tassy Blackjack Spectacular!

My wife Suzanne and I have in the past several years become active with the organization “Team Tassy,” a 501(c)(3) organization which helps families in the poorest slums of Port au Prince, Haiti get on their feet by providing them with health care, educational support, job training  and assistance with finding jobs.  The ultimate goal is to get families to a point where they have broken free of the cycle of poverty and are sustaining themselves.  With our daughter Laura, we  traveled to Port au Prince in October 2013, and we will be heading back again this October.  During our visit, we were blown away by the graciousness and friendliness of the families Team Tassy is helping, and by the strides those families are making with Team Tassy’s assistance.  Below is a picture of Laura with Michaelle,  a girl whom we “adopted.” 

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Suzanne and I are hosting Team Tassy’s first evening fundraiser, the Team Tassy Blackjack Spectacular at our Grand Hall at the Priory.  The evening will feature  plenty of blackjack play (10 tables worth!), a routlette table for non blackjack players, live music, Haitian themed food and cocktails, and a chance to win some great prizes.  It’s a fun night for a great cause, and if you’re able to attend we would love to have you! 

General admission tickets are $50 apiece while VIP tickets are $100.  The VIP tickets feature access to an open bar and a special “Learn to Play Blackjack” cocktail hour.  The VIP party starts at 5:30 p.m., while the main event starts at 6:30 p.m.  Blackjack opens at 7:00 p.m.  Purchase tickets through Showclix here. 

Team Tassy was founded by former Survivor finalist Ian Rosenberger after he had ventured to Port au Prince after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. While there, he met Tassy Fils Aime, a teenage boy with a huge, life threatening tumor on his jaw.  Ian promised Tassy that he would bring him to the U.S. to treat the tumor, and after months of fundraising was able to do just that.  In late 2010, Tassy underwent successful surgery at Allegheny General Hospital to remove the tumor, and is now a student at LaRoche College here in Pittsburgh.  Read more about Tassy and Ian here But Ian and his team also knew that the work was not done – that there were many people in Haiti continuing to suffer, and the root cause of that suffering is poverty.  So Team Tassy was founded to help families in the poorest slums in Haiti to break the cycle of poverty.  So far, Team Tassy has assisted hundreds of people stabilize their families, and helped place many family members into jobs which will, hopefully, permanently put them on the road a healthy and prosperous future.   


Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Packages for the Fall!

We've got some great new packages for the Fall which promise to get travelers to Pittsburgh (or Pittsburghers who want to explore their own city!) off the beaten path.  I'll explain the new packages in a series of blog posts - so keep checking in on us or visit packages page at our website, thepriory.com.

First up is the Sacred Pittsburgh tour, which offers an afternoon touring two of Pittsburgh's most famous religious properties, St. Anthony's Chapel on Troy Hill and St. Nicholas Croatiia Church in Millvale.  Both are very close to our Priory Hotel, and both chapels draw visitors from around the world.  Our shuttle provides transportation to and from the chapels, as well as to dinner at the world famous Church Brew Works Brew Pub.

St. Anthony's is a small church located in the heart of an historic German residential neighborhood.  Its claim to fame is that it holds the most religious relics of any church site outside of the Vatican.  They line the apse of the chapel from floor to ceiling! The bottom two photos show the interior and exterior of St. Anthony's.

St. Nicholas was built by Croatian immigrants in the nearby town of Millvale.  St. Nicholas features the 1930's era murals of famed Croatian painter Maxo Vanka.  The murals are truly striking, and stand out among churches throughout the entire United States.  The top three photos show St. Nicholas from the outside and inside, as well as a sample of Vanka's work.

Find out more about our Sacred Pittsburgh tour here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cystic Fibrosis Wine Opener Fundraiser

We're pleased and honored to be hosting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Wine Opener Fundraiser for the third straight year.  It's a fun event that raises money for a great cause, the fight against the degenerative lung disease cystic fibrosis.

As in prior years, the Wine Opener will feature live entertainment, food stations with some of the city's hottest restaurants (including Union Pig + Chicken and the Porch at Schenley), as well as wine stations with offerings from some the region's great wineries (including Christian Klay Winery and the Strip District's Pittsburgh Winery).

Date:  Thursday, September 18, 2014
Time:  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.  
Tickets:  Are $75 apiece.  To purchase tickets, click here.  

For some great shots from last year's event, taken by NBC affiliate, WPXI, click here.  

Priory Hotel Special Overnight Package:  Our Priory Hotel is offering a special package for that night only, which includes event tickets, an overnight in a Priory Deluxe King room, and a bottle of your choice of red or white wine in your guest room.  For more information, click here, or call our Front Desk at (412) 231-3338.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Restaurant Week is Here!

Pittsburgh's bi-annual restaurant week runs from August 11 to 17, and some of Pittsburgh's finest restaurants are offering special price fixe meals for the week.  If you're here in town, by all means take advantage of this great chance to check in on Pittsburgh's burgeoning restaurant scene.  And for Priory Hotel guests, if you're destination is downtown, North Shore or Strip District, our complimentary shuttle will drop you up and pick you up from your dining venue.

Here's a story from the Pittsburgh Business Times on restaurant week.

Here's a link to the Carlton Restaurant's special Restaurant Week menu.

Here's a link to the Restaurant Week website.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brides and Families As Far As the Eye Can See . . .

It was our pleasure to host our bi-annual bridal open house at our Grand Hall at the Priory recently.  Twice a year we invite our booked bridal couples to our Grand Hall to taste our chefs Pete Phillipy and Mike Henney's various offerings, and to explore different linens and decorative themes.  We also invite some of our favorite service providers, such as Entertainment Unlimited and our own Priory Fine Pastries, to meet our clients.  It's a lot of fun and it's a great chance for me to meet and catch up with all of our brides and grooms and their families and friends.  Fourth from the top is our Priory Fine Pastries team led by our Assistant Store Manager Tiana Anderson.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Old Pittsburgh

Here's a couple of interesting shots of Pittsburgh from (a) around the turn of the (20th) century, and (b) in the 1930s.  The one shot is of downtown Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington, a much different view today.  The second shot is from our neighborhood, Deutschtown, looking west.  The church with the onion dome (characteristic of Bavarian churches -- our onion domes were removed not long after this shot was taken) in the background is our St. Mary's -- now our Grand Hall at the Priory.  The place from where the shot is taken is now buried by a highway, Interstate 279.