For Immediate Release

Easterseals Western and Central Pa Honors Chris Fennimore with the 2023 Partners in Equity Award at the Annual Speakeasy on November 8, 2023

October 19, 2023

Media Contact:
Lori McCann

Colleen Felentzer

Easterseals Western and Central Pa Honors Chris Fennimore with the 2023 Partners in Equity Award at the Annual Speakeasy on November 8, 2023

Pittsburgh, PA, October 19, 2023:  Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania (ESWCPA) is taking the Roaring 20s by storm with a historic and entertaining night at our annual Speakeasy event on Thursday, November 8, 2023, at KingFly Spirits.  This year we honor Chris Fennimore with the inaugural Partners in Equity Award.  Joining us as the emcees for the evening will be Pittsburgh’s former KDKA news reporter, Paul Martino and his wife Joy.  This event is in support of those with disabilities and other special needs in our local communities.

“Since 1935, Easterseals has been active in the Pittsburgh region and over the years, there have been many individuals who have worked tirelessly to help those with disabilities.  This year we decided it was time to begin to acknowledge the hard work of individuals who have represented or supported individuals with disabilities and their families,” says Colleen Felentzer, Communications and Events Specialist.  Colleen continues, “the Board and Staff are delighted that Chris Fennimore will be our first Partners in Equity award winner. “

Chris Fennimore is a Brooklyn born banjo player, TV cook, & Pittsburgh lover. Since 1993 he has produced & hosted the series “QED Cooks,” winning a James Beard Award & an Emmy along the way. He is a long-time supporter of Easterseals & recently wrote: "As a polio survivor, I know what organizations like Easterseals can do to open up possibilities in the lives of individuals and families. I am inspired by gratitude and hope."

Our 2023 Pittsburgh Ambassador Grant Cogley’s parents will be there to share Grant’s story. Grant attends our Approved Private School Program at the Cranberry Township site. He was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a severe seizure disorder, at 15 months. In addition to seizures, Grant has global developmental delay and is autistic. In just two short years at Easterseals, Grant now communicates simple everyday things like wanting a drink of water or choosing what he’d like for breakfast. Grant LOVES “schoo” as he calls it and is excited to go each day and to interact with his peers. His social growth has been remarkable. Music time continues to be Grant’s favorite part of each day. While at home, Grant loves to spend time with his siblings and his puppy, jump, swing, and swim! He is a happy, fun-loving little guy!

Speakeasy is a fundraising event to help individuals of all ages who face physical, mental, emotional, and/or intellectual disabilities, as well as their families.  Unless you have a time machine, visiting a real speakeasy in the Gatsby era is something you probably won't be able to tick off your bucket list. While you may never know the thrill of drinking questionable bathtub gin with the constant threat of a police raid, you can enjoy an evening that gives a nod to an era of hidden entrances and secret passwords. Guests will take a step back in time and will enjoy period music, engage with various thematic activities, enjoy auctions and raffles, refreshments and a free cocktail. 

Event Details

What: Speakeasy – A exhilarating celebration of the 1920s

Where: Kingfly Spirits, 2601 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA  15222

When: Thursday, November 8, 2023 – 6:00PM to 9:00PM, VIP Reception 5:30PM                                                                                                                  

How to Buy Tickets: Go to

Sponsors:  Maher Duessel, Fragasso Financial Advisors, City Paper

"At one point in our lives, one way or another, disability will touch the life of every American.  Easterseals’ purpose is to work with our clients to enhance their quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, employment, and transportation.  Our goal is to lead the way to 100% equity, inclusion and access for all people with disabilities, their families and communities,” states Lori McCann, Vice President, Development.

For more information on Speakeasy, visit

Questions?  Call 412.281.7244 ext. 1263 or email

For more information on ESWCPA and those we serve, visit  or find us on Facebook at


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