As a child growing up in the Highland Park neighborhood, Pitt alum and Board of Trustees Chair Eva Tansky Blum looked forward to joining her siblings, parents and classmates for an annual trip to Kennywood amusement park.
While those visits have become birthday celebrations with her family, this year was her first attending the park as part of Pitt Day at Kennywood.
“It was so wonderful to share a day of food and fun at Kennywood with so many people who do so much for Pitt,” Blum said.
Hundreds of employees attended the June 29 event. Half-price park admission came with a buffet barbecue lunch of hotdogs, chicken and pulled pork, as well as complimentary raffle entries. Gift baskets included Pitt apparel in athletics’ new colors, coloring books and tickets to Panthers football games.
In pavilion five, a DJ spun hits, Pitt Police officers offered water bottles and Be Fit Pitt staff challenged attendees to visit specific park destinations for mini-workouts to make the day as healthy as it was fun.
Friends and family from far and wide
Andy Stephany, associate administrator in the School of Medicine, attended with his wife Laura and daughter Audrey.For Stephany, who is also president of Staff Council, the annual outing is one of his favorite University events.
“It’s great to see the Pitt community come to enjoy spending time outside of work with our colleagues at the park,” he said. “We really enjoy spending the day with our extended Pitt family for Pitt Day at Kennywood.”
Participants came from near and far. Alum Quentin Metzgar and his wife, Angela, drove from Maryland to join his father, Roger, who works in grounds at Pitt–Johnstown.
Brian Root, assistant director of housing residence life and Pitt–Greensburg, had double duty at the park: In addition to serving as a Staff Council volunteer and collecting raffle money for chances to win one of myriad gift baskets on offer, he was also on “uncle duty.”
“My nephew and I enjoyed a few rides and shared some Potato Patch fries. On the way home, I couldn’t help but smile when my niece continued to sing the chorus to 'Sweet Caroline,' a song she was previously unfamiliar with,” Root said. “Everyone had a blast.”