Innovators Dinner at Volver

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Last week SEI Investments Co. and Philly Mag hosted a cocktail party and dinner for invited guests at the Kimmel Center and Jose Garces’ Volver restaurant to hear David Bookspan discuss “The Art of Innovation.” Bookspan is one of the founding partners of DreamIt Ventures which helps startups achieve their next market milestones. SEI sponsors the Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center, with art exhibitions and lectures; currently they’re displaying “Folding Deck Chair” in the Commonwealth Plaza at the Kimmel Center. (Please don’t climb on it, a fan already “sat” in the chair to take a selfie and they had to have it cleaned.)

More photos from the Innovators Dinner at Volver after the jump »

Fifth Annual XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia

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Nicole Miller Philadelphia celebrated the XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia on Monday with a fancy shindig at the Hyatt at the Bellevue at the XIX restaurant. Created five years ago to be the signature event of the Philadelphia Collection, the annual event recognizes extraordinary women who are not only fashionable, but philanthropic.

Monday’s event kicked off with a cocktail party at the restaurant on top of the storied Bellevue with passed hors d’oeuvres, including highlights from the menu of XIX by Chef Richard Hebben. There were specialty drinks including “The Most Fashionable Tini” with Purus Vokda, which was very popular with the ladies.

The program begun promptly at 6 p.m., and no one can quiet a room of 100 people quicker than the mayor’s communications director, Desiree Peterkin Bell; it’s extraordinary to see. Each of the honored ladies received a beautiful tribute, and a special “Lagos Key,” which was donated by internationally renowned jeweler Steven Lagos. The 2014 recipient of the “Visionary Award” was the legendary Joan Myers Brown, founder of PHILADANCO and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, who also received a check from Mark K. Dougherty & Associates for $2,500 for her organizations. I saw several past honorees in the room including Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Sharon Pinkenson, Linda Swain, Bela Shehu and Kate Wilhelm Chimicles.

Photos from XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia after the jump »

2014 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards

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On Saturday, September 20th, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Mid-Atlantic Chapter held its annual Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards at the Philadelphia Hilton Hotel on City Avenue. More than 500 members of the chapter attended the sold-out black-tie event to honor the professional accomplishments of their peers.

The evening began with a cocktail party before the guests were seated in the main ballroom where dinner was served. The ballroom also hosted the program during which 76 Emmys were handed out in categories ranging from on-air talent to videography. The nominees came from across the state and Delaware. There were also college awards handed out: Penn State’s Matthew Strohmier won for The Centre County Report, April 19th, 2013.

David Solomon, NATAS Mid-Atlantic Chapter president, opened the show by thanking everyone for coming, and for all their hard work, noting that 791 Emmy entries were received, marking yet another increase and the highest number of entries in three years.

More photos from the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards after the jump »

Second Annual POPS Ball: “Pops of Gold”

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The Second Annual POPS Ball took place Wednesday night at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The black-tie gala started with an hour-long cocktail party, with passed hors d’oeuvres and souvenir photos being taken.

Governor Tom Corbett stopped by and greeted the guests. At 8 p.m. guests sat down for dinner in the Grand Ballroom where Frank Giordano, president of the Philly Pops, welcomed the guests before the Philly Pops took the stage. Maestro Michael Krajewski conducted a 45-minute Philly Pops concert that highlighted the season, with guest pianist/singer Tony DeSare performing a selection from his “The American Songbook Then and Now,” which will be performed in its entirety in March with the orchestra.

After dinner there was dancing as the 65-piece orchestra performed for another hour, featuring fun numbers like “Bandstand Boogie” and “Mack the Knife” and concluding with “In The Mood,” which had the dance floor packed. Proceeds from the evening go The Philly Pops concert series and educational programs. The emcee for the evening was Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS 3 Philly

Photos after the jump »

10th Annual Chefs’ Dinner for PAWS

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The Philadelphia Eagles were playing on the road Monday night (and they won another nail-biter!), so Philadelphia’s finest chefs took over the Linc for the sold-out 10th annual Chefs’ Dinner fundraiser for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

Chefs Chris Scarduzio, Jean-Marie Lacroix, Jason Cichonski and Tim Spinner to name a few were on hand to create a spectacular epicurean 3-course tableside food-and-wine pairing for 12 guests each. The night began with a VIP cocktail party before guests sat down for dinner. There was an impressive silent auction where cases of wine were sold, and a very lively live auction where a trip to France which sold for $12,500. After the dinner there was a party with the chefs where guests danced to the tunes of DJ Eddie Tully.

Photos after the jump »

Fifth Annual JAM Party for Cancer Research

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On Saturday night at Union Trust, JAM, a Philadelphia philanthropic movement consisting of individuals whose mission it is to support cancer research, held its 5th annual party to raise funds for those living with cancer. George Azar, co-founder of JAM, is a 14-year survivor of cancer who wanted to find a way to give back and thus created this event with John Frederick and Brie and Justin Bernstein.

The event began with a cocktail party at the newly renovated Union Trust which is now a Finley Catering event space. For two hours, guests had a chance to check out an extensive raffle auction as well as catch up with friends. A buffet was served at 9 p.m., and dancing started afterward to tunes by DJ Montone. Proceeds from the evening went to the America Cancer Society.

Photos after the jump »

Wistar Institute Opens Robert and Penny Fox Tower

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Friday night the Wistar Institute’s new, $100 million seven-story research building at 3601 Spruce Street bearing the names of two of its most committed and generous supporters, Robert and Penny Fox, opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gala. Founded in 1892, Wistar has been dedicated to improving public health, eradicating disease, and expanding the boundaries of knowledge through biomedical research and training.

The evening began with a ribbon-cutting, then guests entered the Fox Tower to enjoy a cocktail hour and program in one of the new laboratories on the sixth floor. Former Eagles coach and master of ceremonies Dick Vermeil paid tribute to his friends, Robert and Penny Fox, for their donation which will help Wistar continue as a world leader in scientific discovery. Afterward, dinner prepared by Stephen Starr Events was served in several rooms on the fifth floor, including the atrium, which is the space that connects the new building with the older building.

Photos after the jump »

Kimmel Cancer Center Jefferson Tribute Dinner

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On Friday night, September 5th, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) held the Jefferson Tribute Dinner at the Linc, honoring the Philadelphia Eagles.

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, president and CEO of TJU, spoke of the groundbreaking cancer research going on at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and the generous $110 million gift by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation which will allow them to go lighting-speed ahead toward a cure for the horrendous disease. He was also delighted to announce that now that Market Street East is called Jefferson Station, people arriving at the station will be greeted by a TJU shuttle to take them to any of the buildings on the TJU campus.

He then praised the Eagles for all they do to raise funds for cancer research, and introduced Don Smolenski, president of the Eagles organization, who accepted on behalf of the team. Smolenski was grateful for the honor, paid tribute to those he knew battling cancer, and paid tribute to Phillies president David Montgomery in his fight against cancer. After dinner and the program, guests boogied down on the dance floor to the tunes of DJ Brickhouse.

Photos after the jump »

Restoration of the Chaplain’s Office Murals at Eastern State

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Tuesday night at Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) sponsors and board members gathered to celebrate the newly restored Chaplin’s office and murals at the popular tourist site.

The murals were discovered in 1995, 23 years after the active prison stopped housing prisoners, and two years after the Eastern State Penitentiary Task Force took over the building to preserve it. Now the crumbling murals are now restored. Active fundraising began in 2007, and the work started last summer with the restoration completed this month by a team of art conservators.

From June 2013 through August 2014, the team carefully removed the protective Japanese tissue paper and wax that had obscured the paintings for 18 years while preventing the total loss of the 23 murals that line walls of the two rooms used by the Catholic chaplain. (Learn about the process here.)

The murals were painted by self-taught artist inmate Lester Smith in 1955, who signed them “Paul Martin” after his two favorite saints. When Father Edwin Gallagher, the penitentiary’s Catholic chaplain (1952-1958), witnessed Smith painting in his cell, he invited the inmate to decorate the offices where he met with and counseled inmates. Smith covered nearly every wall space with a beautiful mural. The Lester Smith family donated photos of the murals to the museum and they were used to help restore the murals.

Photos after the jump »

Opening Night at the New Joan Shepp

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Wednesday night Joan Shepp officially opened her new store at 1811 Chestnut Street. The trailblazing Shepp’s flagship store was on Walnut Street for nearly two decades before it was chased from Philadelphia’s Rodeo Drive by rising rents. Joan Shepp then headed for the posh Shops at Liberty Place; although it was very lovely, she yearned for a storefront with the glorious window displays that we’d all grown to love. She’s found that in the beautiful new 9,000-square-foot showroom she now calls home.

Joan and daughter Ellen Shepp attract a fashionable crowd to their store, which carries both men’s and women’s clothing, and houses an array of designer labels including Moschino, Balenciaga, Jil Sander,  Rick Owens and Phillip Lim. The crowd at the opening night party was just as eclectic and fabulous.  There were live models in the window facing Chestnut Street, and earlier in the night Mike Jerrick, and new co-host Alex Holley from Fox 29 modeled.

Food was provided by all the Starr restaurants, and over a 1,000 macarons were made by Parc restaurant’s pastry chef. Denise Fike created a mural of guests who attended the soiree, as models roamed the store’s three rooms and outdoor space with the latest fall collections.

Photos from Joan Shepp’s Opening Night after the jump »

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