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The Art Alliance's 2002 Wetherill Ball was held Tuesday April 9, to honor Helen W. Drutt English with the Medal of Achievement and Jeffrey Gribler with the Award of Merit. Helen W. Drutt English is an internationally recognized authority in the field of contemporary crafts. Her gallery has been located in Philadelphia since 1973. For her tireless championing of the craft movement, Helen W. Drutt English has received many awards. Jeffrey Gribler has been with the Pennsylvania Ballet since 1975. More than 25 years later, Mr. Gribler retired as the Ballet's Principal Dancer, a position he had held since 1982. In his career, Mr. Gribler danced leading roles in numerous ballets by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, William Forsythe and Lar Lubovitch. Mr. Gribler danced leading roles in classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, and Romeo and Juliet.
 
Over one thousand young Philadelphia area professionals stormed the annual Red Cross Red Ball, one of the year's best Young Friends parties, on March 2nd at the Union League. This fete is done on a grand scale – from the 30 or so restaurants that provide the food, to the band, CTO, an eleven member sound system. There was the usual dancing and cavorting, but with an especially keyed up level of interesting tension since about three-quarters of the guests were attractive, single and had been enjoying the open bars and Lucy's Hatshop shots.
 
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia hosted a Black-tie, 75th Birthday Celebration on March 30th at the Rittenhouse Hotel to honor one of the towering musical figures of our time cellist, Mstislav "Slava" Rostropovich. After cocktails in the Cassatt Lounge guests sauntered upstairs for dinner and dancing in the ballroom. Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix prepared an authentic Russian feast, including caviar for all. Then, on April 2nd, Rostropovich, his fingers flying deftly over the cello strings, performed with the Chamber Orchestra at the Kimmel Center to a nearly full house. Ignat Solzhenitsyn, the Chamber Orchestra's principal conductor as well as an accomplished pianist in his own right, and Slava have had a very close friendship all of Solzhenitsyn's life, so the concert was ended with a special song that the two played, unaccompanied.
 
This year's Book and The Cook, now in it's 18th year, started with an advance preview party on February 20th at the Ballroom in Loew's Hotel, where the participating restaurants came together to prepare enticing dishes. The week officially started March 15th and ran until the 24th with around 100 different dinners, luncheons, brunches and cooking demonstrations from area restaurants such as, the Sansom St. Oyster House, Jake's, Dilworthtown Inn, Django, Zocalo, Avenue B, and Philadelphia Fish and Co. Here are some highlights from a couple dinners we attended at Davio's and Opus 251.
 
Each year, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern PA honors area women who have achieved notability in their chosen field in the Take the Lead Awards. This year, at the Four Seasons on March 18th, honorees were Philly's District Attorney Lynne Abraham, Kathryn Kolbert of the the Annenberg Public Policy Center and NPR, Liz Murphy, COO of the Delaware River Port Authority, Charisse Lillie, Partner at Ballard, Spahr law firm, John Street's Chief of Staff Joyce Wilkerson, and UPenn's VP of Public Safety. After the awards were given and the girl presenters saluted the recipients, the girls sang to the crowd, showing everyone that their auction bids and support have a direct impact.
 
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