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Polamalu’s Polynesian Luau entertains with fire dancers, auction

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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Theodora and Troy Polamalu hosted the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Athena Sarris was among the guests at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Staff sergeants Kody Garnhart, Ty Demarest, James Cavan and warrant officer Danny Devlin kneel at ease with dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Melanie and Fran Azur posted a high bid of $45,000 for a custom-built Yamaha motorcycle during an auction at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Omar and Kristen Kahn stand in front of the main stage with Sione Milford and Cindy and Rob Citrone at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Deb Wheeler joins Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and Theodora Polamalu at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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Mini Steelers helmets decorated tabletops at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
U.S. military veterans joined current members of the armed forces for a special salute at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Debi Wheeler joins Michael Barbera and Kelly Barron at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt enacts a tribal greeting on stage at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Megan Duffy, Shaina Schachter and Simone Lignelli were among the guests at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Danielle Jackson and Jovelana Muti pose for a double selfie at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Sally Wiggin and Randy Baumann were among the guests at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Paisios Polamalu waves an American flag while his mother, Theodora, looks on during a special salute to American military personnel at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Steelers defensive assistant coach Joey Porter leads an auction to sell a custom portrait of Troy Polamalu at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Troy Polamalu joins dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Dancers from the Netane Polynesian Production troupe performed at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Charles and Elisa Sander were among the guests at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.
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John Altdorfer
Chandra and Dwight Law pose for a photo at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown during the Polamalu Luau to benefit the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund. Nov. 14, 2014.

For 400 guests of Troy andTheodora Polamalu‘s Polynesian Luau, the mere sight of their beloved No. 43 unleashed the kind of excitement typically reserved for Christmas morning. By the time half the Steelers roster and a fire marshall appeared, the room ignited.

“If this is your first year here, trust me, you’re going to be blown away,” said WDVE’s Randy Baumann.

If the ballroom walls of the Westin Convention Center hotel could talk, their recount of the Nov. 14 event would become the stuff that legends are made of. Inside, Bonnie Walker Events unveiled an exotic island vibe with towering bamboo centerpieces and moody lighting that had everyone talking. Then, the call of the wild kept eyes glued to the stage for a performance by Netane Polynesian Productions that segued into a collective jaw-drop when the fire dancers appeared.

With the room buzzing, an auction inspired Ike Taylor to take over the mic as he egged his fellow teammates on to bid. “All the money in here and no one’s got $13,500 for a Rolex?” he asked, laughing, before Fran Azur upped the ante by snagging a custom motorcycle for $45K.

“I’ve never been on a motorcycle in my life,” Azur said. “I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. But I wanted to help the foundation because it was for a good cause.”

The evening raised $330K, with proceeds benefitting the Polamalu Foundation’s Fa’a Samoa Initiative and the veteran-focused Operation Once in a Lifetime.

Polamalu is “amazing on the field, but an even better person off the field,” said Sione Milford.

Spied were Rob and Cindy Citrone, Deb Wheeler, Josh andShaina Schachter, Jarrod and MeganDuffy, Athena Sarris Simms andIan Simms, Greg andSimone Lignelli, Rep. Aumua Amata, Army Staff Sgts. Kody Garnhart, Ty Demarest and James Cavan and Warrant Officer Danny Devlin.

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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