Parties
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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.
 
On December 1st, the Women's Board of the American Cancer Society presented the Crusader's Ball at the Hyatt Regency at Penn's Landing. After a two-hour cocktail hour, allowing ample time for everyone to mingle throughout the different rooms and look at the auction items, guests were treated to dinner and then danced to the Joseph Claffy Band.
 
On December 19th hordes of reindeer took over Old City for the 6th Annual Reindeer Romp. The Friends United in Need Network (FUNN) threw this party (and threw in all the antlers too). Santa's best reindeer brought canned goods for Philabundance before they set out on the 3-stop bar hop. Mansure Music provided strolling musicians to help guide the partiers from the first stop, M Restaurant and Lounge, to the second, 5 Spot, and finally, the last leg, Envy Nightclub.
 
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.
 
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