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The barefoot guy running up the stairs of the Chamounix Mansion to his bunk didn't seem to notice or care that there was a party going on to celebrate the building's 200th anniversary. The birthday took place on February 23rd. He was a guest at the Mansion – a historic hostel. It wasn't always a place for backpackers and adventurous travelers though. The Plumstead family used it as a seasonal retreat at the turn of the century (1802, that is) and from there it was used variously as another family's home, a restaurant, boarding house, clubhouse and picnic site until 1964 when a group searching for a youth hostel rescued and refurbished it.
 
To kick off Black History Month The African American Museum in Philadelphia held a gala reception in artistic style, Thursday, January 31. The event, hosted by the Multicultural Affairs Congress, begins a two-day celebration of Black fine arts, featuring the Hennessey commissioned works of renowned artist, Leroy Campbell. Leroy Campbell is recognized for his depiction of early 1900's rural southern life and smoky ‘40s and ‘50s jazz club performances with his Neck Bones and Jazz Classics series.
 
La Grande Dame of the Social Calendar, the Academy of Music Ball, arrived in style, as usual, on Saturday, January 26th. Some guests made the whirlwind rounds of private pre-party cocktail receptions, while others gathered in the opulent rotunda bar at the Ritz-Carlton to meet up with friends also attending, and to indulge in a glass of two of the lady Veuve before heading over to the concert at the Academy. Once all were seated (the house was packed, not only with Philadelphia notables, but people from all over the country), we were treated to an absolutely splendid concert by the always impressive orchestra. Renowned violinist Joshua Bell performed to the delight of all. Later, we spotted him after the formal dinner at the Hyatt Bellevue, dancing up a storm, twirling his bow tie (and managing to swing it on tempo too). The glamorous flock hopped from one dance floor to another and sipped champagne and wine in all the different rooms. By 1 am, when the bulk of the party had departed, late night revelers, determined to make the night last, clustered in the smoky library or headed upstairs to one or all of several post-parties, some with bouquets of the huge white lilies that had adorned the dinner tables.
 
Save Homeless Animals Group (S.H.A.G.) threw a fundraising bash for area animal lovers in January at the Rittenhouse Sheraton. SHAG supports pet adoption by raising money for local animal shelters and rescue groups.SHAG is an all-volunteer group that works year round to aid our furry friends in need. If you'd like to lend a helping hand too, visit their website at www.phillyshag.com.
 
One year ago, Philadelphia Magazine launched a brand new annual tradition for the region's calendar of must-attend events, with the first Philly Cooks! This year, to raise money for MANNA (a volunteer-driven food program for those with AIDS) we once again put the culinary creations of 34 of the regions top restaurants in the spotlight at the Second Annual Philadelphia Magazines Philly Cooks! On Wednesday, January 16th, at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia. The restaurants represented virtually all areas of the community, from city to suburbs, and a wide range of culinary diversity. In a competition for both artistry and taste, Philly Cooks! highlighted the skill and talent of the areas best restaurants as they unveiled theirDish for 2002. Participants provided displays and tastings of their epicurean delights, and a panel of celebrity judges, Chef Georges Perrier and Esquire Magazines John Mariani,to name just two, judged the dishes by category and pronounced the winners.
 
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