Bacon Brothers Headline Friends of the Rail Park Fundraiser


The Center City District and Friends of the Rail Park hosted a fundraiser in support of Phase I of the Viaduct Rail Park last night at Philly’s Union Transfer. The evening began with a VIP cocktail party offering hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, DJ Jersey Dan and a great networking crowd of Rail Park sponsors and supporters. At 8 p.m. the performances started with the evening’s emcee Pierre Robert talking about many of Philly’s treasures, how they began and where they are now, such as Project HOME and the Mural Arts Project. He then talked about the vision of the Friends of the Rail Park and where it could lead in a few years with the right support. Michael Garden, secretary for the Friends of the Rail Park, spoke more on the subject and then introduced the opening act, a solo acoustic performance by rising star Rob Grote of The Districts. The Bacon BrothersKevin and Michael Bacon, who grew up in the Rittenhouse Square area — headlined the concert.

Photos after the jump »

Simon’s Fund Annual Gala: Simon’s Soiree

Phyllis and Darren Sudman, founders of Simon’s Fund, with their children Jaden and Sally.

Phyllis and Darren Sudman, founders of Simon’s Fund, with their children Jaden and Sally.

Simon’s Fund held its annual gala, Simon’s Soiree, on Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel in Valley Forge in honor of Darren and Phyllis Sudman’s son Simon, who died suddenly of a heart defect in January 2005 at the age of 3. After Simon died, the family learned that children aren’t regularly checked for heart defects; that’s why they started Simon’s Fund with money raised from friends and Philadelphia-area businesses. The nonprofit goes to schools where it administers EKGs to students.

In the 11 years since the founding of Simon’s Fund, the organization has raised more than $1 million and provided free cardiac screenings to more than 11,000 kids. They have uncovered treatable, and in some cases potentially fatal, heart problems in nearly 100 kids. Saturday evening many of the organization’s friends and supporters came to the Sheraton Hotel to help raise more money toward their goals, as well as honor Dr. Brian Hainline, the Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA, with the Protect This Heart Award for his work recommending that NCAA sports require EKG exams.

Photos after the jump »

Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate

April and Craig Adams with Hope D'Oyley-Gay and Tony Gay.

April Adams and Craig Adams, President and CEO, PECO Energy, with Hope D’Oyley-Gay and Tony Gay, Exelon.

The Popemobile will be staying in Philadelphia. Friday night at the 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate the Fiat that Pope Francis rode in while he was in town last fall was auctioned off. The winning bid came from Michael and Kate Chapman, owners of Chapman Auto Group, at $82,000. The Chapmans will put the car on display at the dealership in Horsham.

The second Fiat used during Pope Francis’s visit was on display for visitors to view for the entirety of the Auto Show. During the Black Tie Tailgate, nearly 4,500 guests enjoyed an open bar and top-notch culinary creations, while checking out some of the world’s finest automobiles. Proceeds from the auction benefited Catholic Charities, Mercy Hospice, Casa Del Carmen, the Schools of Special Education and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The black tie event also benefited the Division of Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Photos after the jump »

Hair O’ the Dog 2016


The 22nd Hair O’ the Dog (HOD) took place Saturday night at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City. Nearly 2,000 people attended the event where a portion of the proceeds will benefit THON, Penn State’s Dance Marathon, and the largest student run philanthropy in the world which benefits pediatric cancer.

Rob Molinaro and Dan Cronin started the first party with a few friends in the weeks following New Year’s Eve; the event has since grown into a must-attend event and attracts guests from all walks of life. In the past decade Buffy Harakidas has joined the team as director of marketing for Chorus Communications and creative director for HOD. She envisioned a jungle-themed party complete with zebras, camels and tigers dotting the venue, as well as stilt walkers, break dancers and a girl on roller skates mixing with the crowd.

At the height of the party a storm of confetti fell over the dance floor, showering the nonstop dancers as drummers joined the headlining band of the evening, Go Go Gadjet, on stage. This year the event drew a very fashionable crowd, where women wore the hottest designs including the popular cutout dress and midriff top. A light buffet was served, as well as a top-shelf open bar. Bottle service areas were located throughout the venue with white lounges and lit cube tables. There were also several photo booths, and the event’s title sponsor, SugarHouse had a “wheel of fortune” for guests to win prizes.

Photos from the 22nd Annual Hair O’ the Dog after the jump »

Diana Ross and Jason Alexander Celebrate Einstein Healthcare’s 150th


Last night Einstein Healthcare Network celebrated it’s 150th anniversary with a sold-out gala at the National Constitution Center hosted by Seinfeld star Jason Alexander and featuring a performance by Diana Ross.

Einstein got its start in 1866 as a 22-bed Jewish Hospital. Today the Einstein Healthcare Network has nearly 9,000 employees and operates three acute care hospitals — Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery — along with MossRehab, two physician companies, and a series of outpatient centers throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

Guests enjoyed delicious food by Brulee Catering, and danced to the sounds of Honey & Vinyl, as well as enjoyed performances from the UArts’ Vocal Performance Department including a performance by Rumble, an alternative drum ensemble that marked the beginning of the program where Lawrence S. Reichlin, chair of the board of directors, and Barry R. Freedman, president and CEO of Einstein Healthcare Network, welcomed the guests. Chairpersons for the gala were Alison and Marc Feldman, Susan and Leonard Klehr, Jill and Jon Powell and Nancy and Marc Shrier.

Photos after the jump »

6th Annual Shining Star Awards for the March of Dimes


Tuesday night Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia hosted the 6th Annual Shining Star Awards benefiting the March of Dimes. The evening started off with a cocktail party with special guests Zachary “Zach” Pfeffer of the Philadelphia Union, former Phillie and current Phillies broadcaster Larry Andersen, Flyer Brayden Schenn, Eagle Cody Parkey, Sixer Richaun Holmes, the Phillie Phanatic and Sixers mascot Franklin all mingling with the guests as well as the young shining stars: Anna and Kate Quirus, John Dowling, Carter Powell, Isiah Toledo, and Hope Jacobus. Tina Sloan Green, co-founder of the Black Women in Sport Foundation, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the community. The gala dinner, hosted by Ron Burke, has raised over $1.2 million for the March of Dimes in five years.

Photos from the Shining Star Awards after the jump »

Mayor Jim Kenney’s Inaugural Block Party


Monday night Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney celebrated his installment as the 99th mayor at an inauguration party at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. It wasn’t your normal Inaugural Ball: It was billed as an invite-only “block party” with nine food trucks, picnic tables and every sports mascot in the city dancing on stage with DJs Jerry Blavat and Patty Jackson to the tunes of the Sounds of Philadelphia. Before the general admission block party, the new mayor held a fundraiser on the terrace level where guests paid $5,000 each to attend, with proceeds going to the Fund for the School District. It was announced at the event that $650,000 had been raised so far.

Photos after the jump »

Darren Sproles Empowered Youth Fundraiser


Darren Sproles, running back for the Philadelphia Eagles, and his wife, Michel, co-founders of Sproles Empowered Youth hosted a fundraiser for their foundation at the new Center City eatery Fine Palate at 231 S. 15th Street. The foundation helps teens learn essential life skills: resume building, managing money, applying for jobs and essentials to become responsible and successful adults.

There are also football camps and fitness classes for girls. The Sproles are hands-on in these activities, guiding and educating the teens along with trained professionals. The event was consisted of a cocktail party, with lite bites prepared by executive chef Vince Joseph. In addition to the ticket sales to the sold out event, there was a silent auction with trips to the Grammy’s, The Espy Awards and even the MTV Music Awards, auctioned off to raise more funds for the charity. A short video was shown depicting the activities the foundation funds, and the Sproles thanked their guests for coming and supporting a noble cause. Supporting their teammate at the event were Brandon Graham, Eagles Running Back Kenjon Barner and Seyi Ajirotutu.

Photos after the jump »

13th Annual Jefferson Gala


On December 8th, Thomas Jefferson Hospital leaders and Bernie Marcus cut the ribbon on the Brind-Marcus Center of Integrative Medicine at Jefferson ( 789 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA), made possible with a $14 million donation by the co-founder of The Home Depot and the chairman of the Marcus Foundation, Inc. Later in the evening guests gathered at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown for the 13th Annual Jefferson Gala to celebrate. The night started off with a cocktail party, where guests could meet and hear about the latest technologies being used in integrative medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. During dinner, Dr. Stephen Klasko, president and CEO Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, honored Bernie and Billi Marcus and Dr. Leonard G. Gomella for their contributions to healthcare and medicine at Thomas Jefferson Hospital.
Photos after the jump »

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Gala


On November 14, 2015, The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) honored me(!) with the 2015 Humanitarian Award for my advocacy in promoting AFSP’s overall mission: to end the silence and reduce the stigma around mental illness and suicide.

When Garden Wellington (PR for the AFSP) approached me a few years back, asking me to get involved in the organization by photographing the Out of the Darkness Walk, I turned her down. I told her I was too busy. But the truth was that I didn’t want to face my past. She persisted, and a few months later asked me again, saying the organization could use a little HughE love on a subject, that at the time rarely was covered in the media. I told her I’d get back to her.

I realized I could help others by telling my story, when I struggled with the issue in my 20s. I then told my story on my blog and on social media. They tell me that with my help over the past three years they have double the number of people who come to their annual walk, held in October; this past year 5,000 walkers participated.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. The 350 guests who attended enjoyed dinner, dancing and the most amazing silent auction from generous sponsors. Thanks to everyone who supported the event by attending, or making a donation. We’re saving lives.

Photos after the jump »

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