Actor David Conrad hosts Millvale party to benefit conservation of Vanka murals |
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Parish pastor Fr. Dan Whalen joins actor David Conrad during the Cocktails & Conservation reception at St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale. March 6, 2015.

St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church welcomed a sold-out crowd of conservationists and the curious March 6 for the second annual Cocktails & Conservation party.

Hosted by the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, the evening furthered its mission of restoring, cleaning and lighting the 22 Vanka Murals painted by the Croatian artist between 1937 and 1941.

“I was overwhelmed by the content and the free speech as well,” said the society’s prez Page Thomas. The bold social commentary is completely atypical of the artwork adorning most churches.

Guests included host David Conrad, Clear Story’s lighting team members Rob Long, Chris Craychee and Chris Michaels, conservationists Rikke Foulke and Teresa Duff, Mark Kempic, and the parish priest, the Rev. Dan Whalen.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at [email protected], 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

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