Philadelphia History Museum’s First City Social

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A beautiful Indian Summer evening greeted guests Tuesday at the Philadelphia History Museum’s (PHM) first City Social fundraiser which was held in their garden.

Formerly the Atwater Kent Museum, the PHM opened two years ago after a renovation and a name change for the museum that holds the city’s treasures and history. Since that time more than 40,000 people have visited, including 3,000 school children, to learn about Philadelphia history through the art, objects and artifacts in the collection.

At the first City Social, the board of trustees honored Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter for their contributions to the city. During the evening’s program, the museum gave the couple a beautifully framed copy of the Lenape Wampum Belt (the original is on display in the museum). Philadelphia’s first couple gifted the museum with the signed Taney Dragons t-shirt and cap that the mayor wore this summer during the Little League World Series, as well as his 2008 Phillies World Series Ring. Funds raised from the event will help maintain and acquire more artifacts for the museum, as well as support the new interactive exhibits which will be installed this year.

Photos from the Philadelphia History Museum’s City Social after the jump »

Second Annual Wigs and Wishes Gala With Paula Abdul

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The 2nd Annual Wigs and Wishes Gala was held at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin, New Jersey, on Sunday, October 5th. It was created by celebrity stylist and salon owner Martino Cartier to raise awareness and funds for the non-profit organization Friends Are By Your Side (FABYS). Proceeds will help provide wigs and hair enhancement solutions for women and children battling cancer and hair loss, as well as grant wishes for children battling cancer.

The evening began with a silent auction of the most amazing gift baskets filled with fun items and experiences created by Susan Liberta, Great Gifts and Promo. Guests also enjoyed a meet and greet with Paula Abdul, then with Tracy Dimarco-Epstein and Gayle Giacomo from Jerseylicious.

At 7 p.m., 600 guests entered the beautifully decorated ballroom for dinner and the program. A fire dancer kicked off the night, followed by a beautifully choreographed number showcasing the many wigs created by FABYS, all made with real human hair.

Martino thanked the guests and explained how the organization, since its inception four years ago, has, with 73 volunteers and offices in eight countries, recruited than 600 salons to participate.

Photos from Wigs and Wishes after the jump. »

Mike Jerrick’s Ya Gotta Try It

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Last week at Fox 29 personality Mike Jerrick’s inaugural “Ya Gotta Try It” at the Independence Visitor Center, nearly 600 people enjoyed unique dishes like “Cracker Jack Sundae” from Bridget Foy’s to “Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf” by Sugarhouse.

“Ya Gotta Try It” was created by Jerrick as a segment on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia. In the segment, Jerrick visits some of the region’s best restaurants and tries their most outrageous dishes. He thought his viewers would enjoy these dishes and came up with the idea to celebrate them with the viewers while raising money for The Second Chance Foundation, which provides financial assistance and resources to vital community-based organizations that serve “at-risk” children, young adults and families. Jerrick serves on the board of the organization.

The evening featured an extended cocktail party, a fun silent auction, and lots of meet-and-greets with Fox 29 personalities, including favorites Jennaphr Frederick, Sue Serio, and Alex Holley, who posed for photos with guests.

Photos after the jump »

Fifth Annual XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia

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Nicole Miller Philadelphia celebrated the XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia on Monday with a fancy shindig at the Hyatt at the Bellevue at the XIX restaurant. Created five years ago to be the signature event of the Philadelphia Collection, the annual event recognizes extraordinary women who are not only fashionable, but philanthropic.

Monday’s event kicked off with a cocktail party at the restaurant on top of the storied Bellevue with passed hors d’oeuvres, including highlights from the menu of XIX by Chef Richard Hebben. There were specialty drinks including “The Most Fashionable Tini” with Purus Vokda, which was very popular with the ladies.

The program begun promptly at 6 p.m., and no one can quiet a room of 100 people quicker than the mayor’s communications director, Desiree Peterkin Bell; it’s extraordinary to see. Each of the honored ladies received a beautiful tribute, and a special “Lagos Key,” which was donated by internationally renowned jeweler Steven Lagos. The 2014 recipient of the “Visionary Award” was the legendary Joan Myers Brown, founder of PHILADANCO and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, who also received a check from Mark K. Dougherty & Associates for $2,500 for her organizations. I saw several past honorees in the room including Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Sharon Pinkenson, Linda Swain, Bela Shehu and Kate Wilhelm Chimicles.

Photos from XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia after the jump »

Second Annual POPS Ball: “Pops of Gold”

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The Second Annual POPS Ball took place Wednesday night at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The black-tie gala started with an hour-long cocktail party, with passed hors d’oeuvres and souvenir photos being taken.

Governor Tom Corbett stopped by and greeted the guests. At 8 p.m. guests sat down for dinner in the Grand Ballroom where Frank Giordano, president of the Philly Pops, welcomed the guests before the Philly Pops took the stage. Maestro Michael Krajewski conducted a 45-minute Philly Pops concert that highlighted the season, with guest pianist/singer Tony DeSare performing a selection from his “The American Songbook Then and Now,” which will be performed in its entirety in March with the orchestra.

After dinner there was dancing as the 65-piece orchestra performed for another hour, featuring fun numbers like “Bandstand Boogie” and “Mack the Knife” and concluding with “In The Mood,” which had the dance floor packed. Proceeds from the evening go The Philly Pops concert series and educational programs. The emcee for the evening was Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS 3 Philly

Photos after the jump »

10th Annual Chefs’ Dinner for PAWS

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The Philadelphia Eagles were playing on the road Monday night (and they won another nail-biter!), so Philadelphia’s finest chefs took over the Linc for the sold-out 10th annual Chefs’ Dinner fundraiser for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

Chefs Chris Scarduzio, Jean-Marie Lacroix, Jason Cichonski and Tim Spinner to name a few were on hand to create a spectacular epicurean 3-course tableside food-and-wine pairing for 12 guests each. The night began with a VIP cocktail party before guests sat down for dinner. There was an impressive silent auction where cases of wine were sold, and a very lively live auction where a trip to France which sold for $12,500. After the dinner there was a party with the chefs where guests danced to the tunes of DJ Eddie Tully.

Photos after the jump »

Fifth Annual JAM Party for Cancer Research

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On Saturday night at Union Trust, JAM, a Philadelphia philanthropic movement consisting of individuals whose mission it is to support cancer research, held its 5th annual party to raise funds for those living with cancer. George Azar, co-founder of JAM, is a 14-year survivor of cancer who wanted to find a way to give back and thus created this event with John Frederick and Brie and Justin Bernstein.

The event began with a cocktail party at the newly renovated Union Trust which is now a Finley Catering event space. For two hours, guests had a chance to check out an extensive raffle auction as well as catch up with friends. A buffet was served at 9 p.m., and dancing started afterward to tunes by DJ Montone. Proceeds from the evening went to the America Cancer Society.

Photos after the jump »

Wistar Institute Opens Robert and Penny Fox Tower

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Friday night the Wistar Institute’s new, $100 million seven-story research building at 3601 Spruce Street bearing the names of two of its most committed and generous supporters, Robert and Penny Fox, opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gala. Founded in 1892, Wistar has been dedicated to improving public health, eradicating disease, and expanding the boundaries of knowledge through biomedical research and training.

The evening began with a ribbon-cutting, then guests entered the Fox Tower to enjoy a cocktail hour and program in one of the new laboratories on the sixth floor. Former Eagles coach and master of ceremonies Dick Vermeil paid tribute to his friends, Robert and Penny Fox, for their donation which will help Wistar continue as a world leader in scientific discovery. Afterward, dinner prepared by Stephen Starr Events was served in several rooms on the fifth floor, including the atrium, which is the space that connects the new building with the older building.

Photos after the jump »

Kimmel Cancer Center Jefferson Tribute Dinner

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On Friday night, September 5th, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) held the Jefferson Tribute Dinner at the Linc, honoring the Philadelphia Eagles.

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, president and CEO of TJU, spoke of the groundbreaking cancer research going on at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and the generous $110 million gift by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation which will allow them to go lighting-speed ahead toward a cure for the horrendous disease. He was also delighted to announce that now that Market Street East is called Jefferson Station, people arriving at the station will be greeted by a TJU shuttle to take them to any of the buildings on the TJU campus.

He then praised the Eagles for all they do to raise funds for cancer research, and introduced Don Smolenski, president of the Eagles organization, who accepted on behalf of the team. Smolenski was grateful for the honor, paid tribute to those he knew battling cancer, and paid tribute to Phillies president David Montgomery in his fight against cancer. After dinner and the program, guests boogied down on the dance floor to the tunes of DJ Brickhouse.

Photos after the jump »

Restoration of the Chaplain’s Office Murals at Eastern State

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Tuesday night at Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) sponsors and board members gathered to celebrate the newly restored Chaplin’s office and murals at the popular tourist site.

The murals were discovered in 1995, 23 years after the active prison stopped housing prisoners, and two years after the Eastern State Penitentiary Task Force took over the building to preserve it. Now the crumbling murals are now restored. Active fundraising began in 2007, and the work started last summer with the restoration completed this month by a team of art conservators.

From June 2013 through August 2014, the team carefully removed the protective Japanese tissue paper and wax that had obscured the paintings for 18 years while preventing the total loss of the 23 murals that line walls of the two rooms used by the Catholic chaplain. (Learn about the process here.)

The murals were painted by self-taught artist inmate Lester Smith in 1955, who signed them “Paul Martin” after his two favorite saints. When Father Edwin Gallagher, the penitentiary’s Catholic chaplain (1952-1958), witnessed Smith painting in his cell, he invited the inmate to decorate the offices where he met with and counseled inmates. Smith covered nearly every wall space with a beautiful mural. The Lester Smith family donated photos of the murals to the museum and they were used to help restore the murals.

Photos after the jump »

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