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3-generation wedding gown from Lower Burrell to be featured on ‘Today’ show |

3-generation wedding gown from Lower Burrell to be featured on ‘Today’ show

The Associated Press
| Tuesday, February 10, 2015 9:00 p.m
Jason Bridge | Trib Total Media
Helene Grzywinski wearing a wedding dress that her daughter and granddaughter would eventually wear.
Jason Bridge | Trib Total Media
A picture frame containing photos of (L-R) grandmother Helene Grzywinski, mother Cynthia Kost, and daughter Jackie Fiterman wearing the same wedding dress. Photographed on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.
Jason Bridge | Trib Total Media
A photo of Cynthia Kost in a wedding dress that her mother wore and her daughter would eventually wear. Photographed on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.
Jason Bridge | Trib Total Media
A wedding photo of Jackie Fiterman in her wedding dress that her grandmother and mother both wore on their wedding days as well. Photographed on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.
(From left) Cynthia Kost, her mother Helene Grzywinski, an daughter Jackie Fiterman, with NBC's 'Today Show' reporter Jenna Bush-Hager at Platinum Ridge Center for Rehabilitation & Healing in Brackenridge, where Grzywinski lives. She is holding a framed picture that hangs in her room of all three women wearing the same dress on their respective wedding day.

When Cindy Kost of Lower Burrell married her husband, Dennis, in June 1975, her mother offered Kost the wedding gown she wore a few decades earlier, when Helene Grzywinski married Kost’s father.

Grzywinski — now 93 and a resident at Platinum Ridge Center for Rehabilitation & Healing in Brackenridge — pulled her dress, which she wore when she married Chester Grzywinski in 1947, from a cedar chest and offered it to her daughter.

The mother said she would buy Kost a dress if she didn’t want to wear the old one. But there was something magnetic about her mother’s dress, Kost says. “The more I thought about it, I thought, ‘My mother has a beautiful gown.’ ”

And the tradition continued in the third generation, when Kost’s daughter — Jackie Fiterman of Annapolis, Md. — wore it to get married in 2010.

“Never did I think in my wildest dreams down the road that my daughter would be wearing it,” Kost says.

The family’s story will be featured Feb. 12 or 13 as a sweet Valentine’s Day story on NBC’s “Today” show.On Jan. 30, a filming crew visited Grzywinski, a widow since 1998, and Kost and Fiterman. The women view the dress as a good-luck charm, of sorts, because Grzywinski was happily married for 51 years, and Kost will be celebrating her 40th anniversary this year.

The women’s hand-me-down tradition is not only sentimental but also cost-effective, Kost says. And the dress is very well-preserved, thanks to its storage in a cedar chest, she says.

“Today” producers found the family from a blog entry Fiterman wrote at about the three-generation gown.

All three women were practically the same size on their weddings days, so the dress needed no alterations. If Fiterman has a daughter who marries someday, Kost says, the girl might wear the gown again and keep the tradition going.

When Grzywinski entered the room where the camera crew was waiting, “she was so surprised, her face was just priceless,” says Hillary Butts, administrator at Platinum Ridge.

“It brought tears to the eyes of everyone who was there to see it,” she says.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7824.

Categories: Fashion
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