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At the third annual Pumpkin Ball on October 26th, in keeping with the spirit of Halloween, nearly every single person was wearing a costume. The event, the most successful to date, was hosted by the Pumpkin Patch for Kids Foundation, founded by local, young professionals. The PPKF raises money for the Palliative Care (end of life) Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. All were in high spirits at this good-hearted event, dancing and enjoying the nibbles and drinks.
 
Twice a year, for 16 years running, the Smith and Wollensky Group hold a national Wine Week in big cities across the country. Philadelphia is one of the lucky places that participates, in our very own Smith and Wollensky's on the square. Imagine, for only $10 above the cost of the meal, you get unlimited wine with your lunch! Not just any old house wine either – we're talking Trefethen Vineyards, Far Niente Winery, Moet and Chandon Champagne, and the like. Our very favorite of all the wines served on Friday, October 5th, was the Trefethen 1998 Merlot.
 
It was worth the trek to the Millenium Center in Conshohocken for the The Foundation for Architecture's Halloween Beaux Arts Ball on Saturday, October, 26th. The ball was preceded by a buffet dinner, and afterward, everyone with full bellies, came rolling into the huge white tent to dance off the calories. Only about 15 percent of the 2,500 guests actually arrived in costume, but there was face-painting and silly hats for sale for those who wanted to get into the spirit of Halloween. By two a.m. only the diehard dancers were left and we threw in the towel to the sounds of the band singing a Michael Jackson song.
 
The Rittenhouse Hotel was the place to be on Thursday, October 25th, if you love French food. The March of Dimes held a delicious fundraiser called An Evening in Lyon, complete with four of the world's master French chefs. The gracious and lovely Honorable Daniele Thomas-Easton was the emcee and charmed everyone with her melodic French accent. A reverential hush came over the room when the food was served as people tried to maintain decorum while devouring the sinful fare.
 
On Monday, October 22nd The Marian Anderson Award was presented to musical genius Quincy Jones. Marian Anderson was one of the most celebrated African-American contraltos of the twentieth century. She was born in Philadelphia in 1897, and became a beloved symbol of the triumph of talent over prejudice and bigotry. Eleanor Roosevelt herself was a high-profile supporter of Marian Anderson and engaged her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. The award presented to Quincy Jones was preceded by tributes at the Academy of Music by the Philadelphia Orchestra, opera singer Grace Bumbry, legendary trumpeter John Faddis and a blow-out, sing-along with Stevie Wonder.
 
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