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Fanfare: Rock the Boat fundraiser for Tickets for Kids

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Eric Pozzuto, Giuliana Pozzuto and Ben Maguire at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Barbara & Scot Gordon attended Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Meghan & Rob King at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Gregory Unatin & Brendan Lupetin at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Jen Brocious at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Ben Petchel | for the tribune-review
Nick & Jennifer Levitan attended Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Bruce & Susan Weiner joined Rich Fitzgerald at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Ryan Reczek joined Joyce Phillips and Jen Brocious at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.
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Craig & Katie Conaway at Rock the Boat: Tickets for Kids at Gateway Clipper docks in Station Square. August 4, 2016.

With the dock party in full swing and the Gateway Clipper waiting to set sail, there was only one thing that could have possibly put a damper on happy hour.

“Oh, she’ll get motion sickness for sure,” said Nick Levitan of his wife, Jennifer.

“I do get it,” she admitted. “So it’s probably a great idea that I’m about to get on a boat right now.”

Ahead of a sunset cruise along the Three Rivers, guests ofTickets for Kids enjoyed a cocktail hour that included co-founders Susan andBruce Weiner.

“Twenty-two years ago, we were at a Pitt basketball game at Mellon Arena and noticed some empty seats,” Susan Weiner said. “We thought, ‘Why not start an organization that provided tickets to people to put some cheer into their day?’ Then Bruce turned to me and said, ‘And you’re the one who will do it.’ ”

Two decades later, the organization is still going strong, dedicated to its mission of enriching the lives of low-income and at-risk children and families by providing tickets for them to enjoy cultural events and other community activities. The idea is that such participation will encourage growth and inspire change.

As for any fears that guests of the Aug. 4 cruise would suffer from sea sickness, all bases had been covered.

“Sure, there’s a safety plan,” teased director of development Meryl Hellring. “They go to the railing and lean over.”

Spied were executive director Jason Riley, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Jan Dofner, Barbara and Scot Gordon, Jess Ansel, Rob and Meghan King, Katie and Craig Conaway, Ryan Reczek, Joyce Phillips, Jenn Brocious, Todd and Alisha Hipwell, Brendan Lupetin, Greg Unatin, Ben Maguire and GiulianaPozzuto, Eric Pozzuto, and David Shrensky, who generously donated the use of the boat for the evening.

Kate Benz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Send party news to [email protected].

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