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Pittsburgh nightclub Heaven reopens for one night for charity event | TribLIVE.com
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Pittsburgh nightclub Heaven reopens for one night for charity event

Kate Benz
| Sunday, June 14, 2015 9:00 p.m
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Anna Ciaccio loved the night life during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Kelsey Keller entertainrf high above the crowd during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Rich and Cindy Engler crash the VIP lounge during the Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Heaven wasn't missing any angels as Mike McKenzie and Jeff Dreyer perched above the crowd during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Christine Zummick struts her bad girls stuff during the Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Metromix DJ John Hohman kept the boogie oogie oogie beat strong all night long during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Hoyt Emerick is so excited during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Disco Steve Simon was stayin' alive during the Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Jaylee Lemon enjoys the celebration during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Lauren Lietzke and Sean Brannon dropped a bomb on the dance floor during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Christa Tapert and Jim Bruno didn't stop until they got enough during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Syma and Tim Gaber bypassed the YMCA for Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Donna Rowe Heaven proves it's ladies night during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Rhonda Zegarelli enjoys the good times during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Cindy Niedcappuccio and Kathy Mazei party like it's 1979 during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Chelsea Strub and Nomi Leasure point the direction to Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Donna Sherer, Lora Oblack and Michael Scappetrua got down Thursday night during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Leah Pistella enjoyed the rapture during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Jackie Harrison and Stacy Burks-Kilson slipped outside the pearly gates during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Aerialist entertained during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Shawna Ealy and Amy Roos stepped into Funky Town during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Shannon Berti and Bethany Montecalvo stayed till the last dance during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.
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Lisa Stackpole and Shawna Ealy caught night fever during Heaven Returns to Pittsburgh — the Global Day of DISCOvery benefit for the Community Liver Alliance at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. June 11, 2015.

It seemed like everyone had been buzzing about it. Tickets sold out weeks in advance. Panicked calls were made, begging for a way in. Final count clocked in at 700, plus a few more who came from as far away as Texas, California, and Florida.

And when the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel re-opened the pearly gates for one night only, there simply was no coming back to earth.

“I’m spending all night in Heaven!” said Helen Wylie.

This was an urban family reunion decades in the making. The celestial Downtown nightclub, infamous by any standard, had reigned supreme as a must-go in the early ’80s with a second run a decade later.

“I lived here every weekend for five years,” said Robin Hebert, who flew in from Dallas.

Within minutes, MetroMix DJ John Hohman — one of the originals — filled every inch of the dance floor. Males wearing little more than six packs and angel wings appeared. An authentic disco ball began to spin. Aerialists dangled over a crowd that swelled by the minute.

“I’m gonna dance until my hair falls,” said Rebecca Whitlinger.

VIPs took full advantage of the luxury of migrating upstairs, perched with the perfect view of the delicious melee unfolding beneath them. And although the walls refused to talk, at least a partial glimpse at past debauchery began to unfold.

“Oh, we were angelic,” assured Cindy andRich Engler.

Spied were Renaissance GM Paul Newmaster, event producer Ronda Zegarelli of Acrobatique Creative, Frank Murgia, David Sedelmeier, Bob Davis andJohn Klein, Mark Wells, Courtney andBob Crawford, Richard Parsakian, Clint Pohl, Kelli Burns, Roy Tucker, Len Semplice, Norman andGail Childs, and Heaven’s original owner, Rick Stein.

The event benefited the Community Liver Alliance.

Kate Benz is the society columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

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