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By anyone's estimate, December is a heavy-hitting month on the social calendar. The weekend of December 14th and15th, The Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts opened its doors to Philadelphia royalty and loyal subjects, with celeb concerts by Elton John, singers Denyce Graves and Frederica von Stade, cellist Yo Yo Ma, pianist Emmanual Ax, violinist Itzhak Perlman and of course, our own beloved Philadelphia Orchestra. On Friday, after Elton John belted out the last song in his hour-long showcase, the Kimmel Center was open for everyone's perusal. There were scrumptious buffet stations set up all through the vast hall and circular corridors. On Saturday, post-concert and pre-dancing, we sat down to a spectacular four course dinner with wine pairings. The must-see of the weekend, other than the women's luxurious dresses, the soaring expanse of the concert hall and the rushing hither and thither of the guests, was the rooftop garden under the stars. The giant glass dome reaching over the top of it makes one feel as though they might be plucked from their table by the Man in the Moon at any moment.
 
Richard Keaveney and James Brown held a fundraising reception to benefit MANNA, a non-profit group that helps individuals living with AIDS in Philadelphia. The two generous men opened their house to over 70 caring people on December 10th. Their plush and capacious apartment was decked with festive holiday trimmings and plenty of bubbly to go around. Thanks to Richard and James, and their altruistic friends, a total of $10,000 was raised for MANNA.
 
The Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (or as we say, the YF of PMA) held their 2001 Holiday party at the Philadelphia Club, December 7th. The lively bunch nearly doubled their numbers from last year's party. That, combined with the music, crackling fire, and open bar made for one of the merrier holiday parties around.
 
Luminaries, local and international, celebrated the 300th anniversary of religious freedom in America, and contemporary humanitarian heroes on Tuesday, November 13th at the annual Spirit of Liberty gala in the Crystal Tea Room. Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest and Suzanne and Norman Cohn were honored as community leaders. Celebrants included, John DiIluio, John Street, Ed Rendell and many other of Philadelphia's active citizens.
 
Philadelphia Magazine hosted a party on November 12th for our Smartest Philadelphians at the Franklin Museum. Sponsored by Infiniti and Johnnie Walker Black, the guests milled about at the feet of the enormous Benjamin Franklin statue sipping wine and partaking of the delicate and plentiful appetizers. Conversational topics ran the gamut from Cognitive Psychology to Public Policy Law to Sculpture.
 
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