“Only in America” Gala

Stephen and Toby Strogatz with Stephen Kerzner.

The National Museum of American Jewish History celebrated its fifth anniversary with a gala to honor the stories of Jews who have made their homes in this country. On November 18, more than 350 donors gathered as a community and connected to the stories of hope and courage, leadership and service at the 5th Anniversary “Only in America” Gala. The gala reflected on the successes of the last five years at their historic Market Street home and celebrated the next generation of leaders at the Museum. Gala chairs were Gennifer and Elijah Dornstreich. Decor was done by Pencora and event production was by Fred Stein.

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Cancer Support Community Fashion Show

Margie Honickman, Joanne Wurzak, Ellen Churchill and Liesa Steinberg

Cancer Support Community (CSC) Greater Philadelphia hosted their annual “In Fashion” luncheon and fashion show on Thursday, November 19 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bala Cynwyd. Designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon from Baja East, showcased their fall and spring lines to the ladies who lunch.

The day started at 11 am. with cocktails, conversation, and a chance to browse through Baja East’s laid-back collection of designs. Saks donated 10 percent of the sales to CSC. There was also a live auction conducted by Jeff Hammond, which raised additional funds for the CSC programs including the Cancer Support Community’s Kid Support Camp, where teens and kids whose lives have been impacted by cancer attend a camp with kids in the same circumstance. The mission of the Cancer Support Community is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Gala


On November 14, 2015, The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) honored me(!) with the 2015 Humanitarian Award for my advocacy in promoting AFSP’s overall mission: to end the silence and reduce the stigma around mental illness and suicide.

When Garden Wellington (PR for the AFSP) approached me a few years back, asking me to get involved in the organization by photographing the Out of the Darkness Walk, I turned her down. I told her I was too busy. But the truth was that I didn’t want to face my past. She persisted, and a few months later asked me again, saying the organization could use a little HughE love on a subject, that at the time rarely was covered in the media. I told her I’d get back to her.

I realized I could help others by telling my story, when I struggled with the issue in my 20s. I then told my story on my blog and on social media. They tell me that with my help over the past three years they have double the number of people who come to their annual walk, held in October; this past year 5,000 walkers participated.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. The 350 guests who attended enjoyed dinner, dancing and the most amazing silent auction from generous sponsors. Thanks to everyone who supported the event by attending, or making a donation. We’re saving lives.

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Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

Marta Adelson, Robert and Penny Fox with John Binswanger

Marta Adelson, Robert and Penny Fox with John Binswanger

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show kicked off its 39th year with a glitzy gala on Wednesday night. Ellen Caplan, chair of this year’s show, welcomed guests to the event before introducing Timothy Rub, the museum’s CEO. He presented the 2015 Craft Show Awards to 10 of the outstanding artists participating in the show, determined by a panel of judges. Each winner received $1,000 from the sponsor of each individual award, with the Best of Show winner — Agnieszka Winograd, a jewelry designer — receiving $1,500. Presented by The Women’s Committee and The Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the craft show is the single largest fund-raiser for the museum. More 1,000 applicants apply to show at the annual event, but only 195 are chosen. Proceeds from the show support educational programs and exhibitions and fund purchases of art and contemporary crafts for the permanent collection. To date, the committee has raised over $10.9 million for the museum. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through Sunday.

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WATCH: Mayor Elect Jim Kenney Sings “The Animal Song” at Philly Zoo Gala

Philly mayors like to sing (see here, for instance), and Mayor Elect Jim Kenney is no exception. Last night, he attended the Philadelphia Zoo’s annual Global Conservation Gala, where he treated the audience to a talk/sing rendition of “The Animal Song.” The tune appeared in zoo commercials around the country in the early 1960s promoting a Zoo Key program for kids.

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2015 Marian Anderson Award

The 2015 Marian Anderson Award was held last night at the Kimmel Center. Wynton Marsalis — trumpeter, composer, teacher, music educator, and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City — was this year’s recipient. Guests were welcomed by Nina Tinari, board chair, and the event was hosted by Soledad O’Brien.

Marsalis was honored with performances by Kim Burrell, Lalah Hathaway, Misty Copland,  and Robert Garland, as well as local performers, then was joined on stage by the Wynton Marsalis Septet at the conclusion of the event. The Marian Anderson Award is given to entertainers who have contributed to society, which exemplifies what Marsalis has done in his lifetime. After Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis helped create a star-studded concert to raise much needed funds for his hometown of New Orleans and it’s residents.

The evening began with a cocktail party, and guests dined on a delicious dinner by Garces Catering in Commonwealth Plaza decorated by Evantine. The Gala Dinner Chair was Carol B. Tinari, with sponsorship from Wells Fargo, City of Philadelphia and PECO.

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Career Wardrobe’s 5th Annual Tea & Fashion Show


Career Wardrobe’s 5th Annual Tea & Fashion Show was held Sunday afternoon at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The annual event welcomed women from across generations to support Career Wardrobe while enjoying an afternoon spent together enjoying tea, tea sandwiches, desserts and a fashion show featuring clothes from The Wardrobe Boutique (19th and Spring Garden streets) and Revivals Boutique (Narberth).

There was also bidding on fun items in the silent auction, raffles, empowering speeches and then shopping at a pop-up boutique for fabulous fashions as well as discounted designer shoes. The Career Wardrobe has outfitted nearly 70,000 women since December 1995. They provide dressing consults, resumé review and interview coaching, as well as lessons in beauty basics to women trying to get back into the workforce.

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aspireLIFE’s JAM 2015 for the American Cancer Society


On Saturday night at the Palomar Hotel, aspireLIFE’s 6th annual party, JAM 2015, took place. Nearly 300 people packed the top two floors of the Kimpton hotel where its ballrooms are, as they enjoyed light bites, specialty cocktails, bought raffle tickets by the arm length, and danced into the wee hours of the night.

Hosting the evening was George Azar, co-founder of JAM. He is a 15-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. Proceeds from the evening went to the America Cancer Society.

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Hope Gala at the Crystal Tea Room

Shawn Standen, Stephanie Lee, Thomas McCann and Megan Yarnall

Shawn Standen, Stephanie Lee, Thomas McCann and Megan Yarnall.

On Saturday, Devereux — a leading national nonprofit behavioral healthcare organization — hosted its annual Hope Gala at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia with the theme “Into the Woods,” making a mystical Halloween evening.

The event was a masquerade black tie ball, but if you didn’t have a mask you could have it painted on by Cait’s Faces, and many people did. Proceeds from the Hope Gala benefits Devereux’s programs which serve more than 3,500 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges in southeastern Pennsylvania. The black-tie event included a cocktail reception and a sit-down, buffet dinner by the Finley Catering. After dinner the young friends of Devereux enjoyed an “Enchanted Forrest” afterparty with DJ Jasmine Chess. The gala’s decorations were amazing, with trees, weeping willows and the most magnificent table decorations by Hoffman Design Group, Inc.

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Blitz, Bowties, & Bourbon

Emily Hassinger, Michelle Finley, Margo Rose, and Stacey Mullen.

Emily Hassinger, Michelle Finley, Margo Rose, and Stacey Mullen.

The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hosted the second annual Blitz, Bowties, & Bourbon fundraiser at Union Trust last night. Guests enjoyed local cuisine from Finley Catering, Sbraga, Bank & Bourbon, Palladino’s, The Farm and The Fisherman, Le Castagne, Capital Grille, Roman Restaurant Group, and Tradestone Confections.

Money from the fundraiser goes to expanding the foundation’s youth programming in Philadelphia. Current initiatives focused on the health, safety, and well-being of the city’s young people include “Get Ready Fest: Feeding Philadelphia” and the “No PHLY Zone Challenge,” dedicated to educating youth athletes and their families on health and safety issues through the foundation’s Youth Sports Safety Initiative.

Photos after the jump »

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