Chestnut Hill Celebrates the Woodward Family

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Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood noted for its history, design, and preservation. The Woodward and Houston families have been a big part of all three. They created the first planned residential developments in the neighborhood and helped start some of its most important institutions – Chestnut Hill Academy, the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Last week, Chestnut Hill celebrated the Woodward family with “The Woodward Celebration 2016.” Events began on Wednesday, June 8, and ran through Sunday, June 12, featuring more than a dozen events in Chestnut Hill honoring the contributions the Woodward family has made to the neighborhood. On Saturday, the Chestnut Hill Community Association renamed the Chestnut Hill Community Centre at 8419 Germantown Ave in honor of Gertrude Woodward, who had given the building to the community in 1916; the center will now be known as “The Woodward Community Centre.” After the dedication, a community picnic was held behind the centre complete with a delicious BBQ, entertainment by The Original Hobo Band, and trolley tours of Chestnut Hill. Even the Phillies Phanatic stopped by to say hello.

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Bring Philly HOME 2016 Young Leaders Event at PAFA

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On June 2, 2016 over 400 young professionals from the Philadelphia area attended Project HOME’s annual fundraising “Bring Philly HOME” 2016 Young Leaders Event at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Historic Landmark Building. In its ninth year, the Young Leaders Event was co-chaired by Ursula Henwood Keating, Comcast and Kate Hagedorn, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, over $100,000 was raised at the event, which helps support Project HOME’s mission to end and prevent homelessness in Philadelphia. Brian Taff, 6ABC anchor, was the emcee of the evening’s events and talked about why the issue was near to his and his wife Mara’s hearts. Every person is important, and we all matter. Kate Hagedorn spoke on behalf of Ursula Keating and herself, as Ursula was hosting another big event in her life — the birth of her child. Kate spoke about making a difference and working towards ending homelessness, as well as treating the homeless that we come across every day in Philly with respect; buy them a coffee or something to eat when asked, if you can. We don’t know really know their back-story, but we can make their day a little easier. Then a young man, Joseph Hills Cole, spoke about his homelessness, living in foster care and how Covenant House and then Project HOME helped put him on the right path, connecting him with helpful programs. Now, he lives in one of Project HOME’s residences and attends college. It was a very uplifting evening, filled with a lot of hope.

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Mural Arts 2016 Wall Ball

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The Mural Arts Program’s 2016 Wall Ball was held Thursday night at the Fillmore Philadelphia. Presented by Citizens Bank, Wall Ball drew nearly 500 art patrons to the fundraiser, which helps support the Mural Arts’ mission: to create powerful and engaging public art projects that transform our spaces, communities, institutions and individual lives. The highlight of the evening was Dawan Williams discussing the Philadelphia Restorative Justice Mural Arts Program. Inmates in the prison system participate in Mural Arts projects, which helps them pass their time in prison in a meaningful way. Dawan worked on a mural alongside his son; he spoke about how he was able to reconnect with him as they worked on the project together. Jane Golden, executive director and founder of Mural Arts Program, always stresses that it isn’t just about paint and paint brushes — it’s about building a community.

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The Arts & Business Council Annual Awards Celebration

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The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted its annual awards celebration Tuesday night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ten awards were given out to notable individuals and business that have made a difference in Philadelphia.

Institutional honors included the PNC Arts Alive Award for Innovation in honor of Peggy Amsterdam which was given to Blackstar Film Festival and the Business & Arts Partnership Award: Large Business with an Arts & Cultural Organization awarded to Century 21 Department Store and Moore College of Art & Design.

Individual honorees included Frances Sperling Feldbaum, CPA Principal, St. Clair CPA Solutions (Business on Board Volunteer Leader of the Year), Edward P. Pazicky, principal of E*P*P Consulting (Business Volunteers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award ), former governor Edward G. Rendell and Honorable Marjorie Rendell (G. Fred DiBona Jr. Individual Leadership Award), and The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence). During Trotter’s acceptance speech, he thanked the bullies that picked on him in South Philly when he used to walk to the subway to attend the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, stating that they helped motivate him become the artist he is today.

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Cancer Support Community’s Evening in the Park

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The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia celebrated it’s 18th annual Evening in the Park on the grounds of its headquarters last night, The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland in Fairmount Park. Guests enjoyed fabulous food and cocktails by Joshua’s Catering, a live auction led by Jeff Hammond who helped raise nearly $100,000 from the very generous crowd, and a silent auction, all to benefit CSCGP.

Event co-chairs  Susie Sargent and Sharon Bozentka were on hand to greet guests and make sure everything ran smoothly. Honorees last night included: the Ann Silverman Award: Corey J. Langer, MD, director of thoracic oncology and professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; the Gilda Radner Award: The Chavez-Theiss Family; the Courage Award: Joseph W. Robbins, the Inspiration Award: Iliana Strauss; the Community Impact Award: BP Business Solutions, Inc. During the dinner program, CEO Kelly Harris shared stories about the caring programs available at Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia (all free), especially the programs for children going through cancer or with a parent going through cancer, including the popular summer camp. The programs connect the children with others, as well as any counseling they need. The emcee for the evening was Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 health reporter and longtime supporter of CSCGP.

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Opera Philadelphia’s Young Professionals Group VIVACE Attends The Elixir of Love

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Opera Philadelphia’s young professionals group VIVACE attended the final showing of The Elixir of Love, which closed out the season. During the intermission, VIVACE held a champagne reception upstairs in the ballroom at the Academy. After the show, the young friends and some of the cast members headed to the Logan Hotel’s Urban Farmer for a post-reception party. Friday, September 23, 2016 will be the next time VIVACE gathers. It’s also the opening night for Opera Philadelphia’s Turandot at the Academy of Music. Afterwards, there will be an opening night gala at Dilworth Park.

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Global Tastes: Nationalities Service Center 95th Anniversary Party

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Nationalities Service Center (NSC) hosted its annual Global Tastes celebration at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center on May 3rd. NSC is a non-profit organization that provides social, educational and legal services to immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area. The evening began with a cocktail party where John Chou, executive vice president and general counsel of AmerisourceBergen, was honored with the 2016 Nationalities Service Award. The honor is given to a leader in the community who has demonstrated qualities that exemplify NSC’s mission, including a commitment to diversity and inclusion and support of immigration causes. Judge (Ret.) Renée Cardwell Hughes and the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania were honored with the 2016 Margaret Harris Award for their service and in-kind support of the NSC’s interpretation and translation efforts in training many individuals in medical interpretation skills at the Red Cross’ state of the art facility. Afterward, guests enjoyed food, where judges Mina “SayWhat” Llona, Drew Lazor, Ronnie Polaneczky, Juliana Reyes and Lari Robling chose their favorite dishes from local restaurants. Mayor Jim Kenney also stopped by to wish the NSC well as they celebrated their 95th year of helping immigrants in Philadelphia.

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“Blingo” at the Logan Hotel

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On Saturday night, The Logan Hotel was the scene of a lively bingo game. It wasn’t just an ordinary fire hall bingo-playing crowd, though. The 250 guests were playing for major bling; prizes included luxe jewelry, hotel stays and dinner at the finest Philadelphia restaurants. The night was called “Blingo,” and the proceeds from the evening went toward finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare and fatal disease that afflicts only young boys by the age of 5, most of whom die once they reach their 20s.

The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Fox 29’s Jenn Frederick who assisted in the Blingo games with local celebrity John Bolaris, comedian Joe Conklin, Marisa Magnatta from the Preston & Steve Show on WMMR, and former Gov. Ed Rendell, who called out numbers. Jesse and Beka Rendell, along with Sonal and Manu Gambhir, were co-hosts of the gala. During the program, the Gambhir’s 15-year-old son, Yuva Gambhir, who has Duchenne and is in a wheelchair, spoke about how the disease affects his daily life.  Photos after the jump »

Bank & Bourbon’s Second Annual Bourbon Bash

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Bank & Bourbon at 1200 Market Street in the Loews Hotel celebrated its two-year anniversary by hosting another Bourbon Bash. The celebration was held on Tuesday, April 26th. Chef Tom Harkins was on hand, presenting the most popular dishes from Bank & Bourbon’s first two years in business, including appetizers, entrees and desserts by executive pastry chef Amanda Kaewvichien. You have to try her rhubarb ice cream sandwiches. Bourbon Master Paul Zuber was also on hand serving his favorite spirits. Not only did guests enjoy good food, spirits and fun, but it was all in the name of charity as well; Bourbon Bash proceeds benefit DonorsChoose.org, which supports educational needs and programs in the Tri-State area. Last year’s inaugural event raised over $35,000 for the organization.

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Boys’ Latin “Night of Fashion”

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The 3rd annual fundraiser benefiting Boys’ Latin was held at Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia on Wednesday, April 20th. “Night of Fashion,” formerly known as “Old Bags Night Out,” featured fashion designer Derek Lam who presented his latest collection with Neiman Marcus senior vice president and fashion director Ken Downing as emcee of the fashion show. This year’s event honored Susan Buckley and Susan Burch, supporters of Boys’ Latin since its inception in 2007. Both women became the 2016 recipients of the Ultimate Mentor Award for their dedication to providing educational opportunity to children in need. More than 300 guests, mostly fashionably dressed women (some wearing vintage Derek Lam) dined on Capital Grille fare and bid on fabulous silent auction items. In previous years, there was a designer bag silent auction, but this year featured different items. After the show, there was a meet-and-greet with Lam and Downing, as well as a pop-up Lam boutique where guests could buy his latest fashions with a percentage of the sales going to Boys’ Latin.

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