Pittsburgh Northside Fire Concert


On Saturday, January 10, a husband and wife team threw a charity concert to help the victims of a recent Northside Fire.

More than 70 residents from all over the Northside opened their ears and their wallets to the fire relief fund set up by the Allegheny West Civic Council and the Northside Leadership Conference to help the victims of the Western Avenue New Year’s fire.

Each person who donated got a red rose from Kerry Kennedy, the florist whose business was destroyed, alongside the Modern Café and Styles by Thomas and Thomas. The nearby Little Deli was also closed temporarily.

The jazz concert, by Tom Roberts and Susanna Ortner Roberts and hosted by the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church on North Avenue drew more than 70 people.

The Roberts’ said that Kerry Kennedy’s Floral Shop was one of the first places they visited after Susanna traveled overseas from Germany. Kennedy also made the bouquet for their wedding. And that after the fire they realized they had to do something.

“We drove by Kerry’s place New Year’s Day and saw what happened,” Susanna said, “It was terrible. He provided so much beauty and charm in the area.”

John Canning, from the Allegheny City Society, opened the concert by thanking everyone for coming and showing their support.

“It’s wonderful for me to see faces from all over the Northside,” Canning said. “It seems like we never watch the news without seeing someone lose their home or business.”

Canning thanked Tom and Susanna Roberts for their efforts to help the victims of the fire.

“We’re fortunate in this neighborhood to have lots of very talented people,” Canning said.

The Roberts, on a piano and clarinet, played an eclectic mix of jazz music with samplings from all over Europe. The concert lasted for more than an hour.

Contributions can be made to Western Avenue Fire Relief Fund, c/o NSLC at 4 Allegheny Ctr Suite 601, Pittsburgh PA 15212.

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