“The Party”: Donors Are Heroes Gala 2015

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The Four Seasons ballroom was filled to the brim on Friday night for the 13th Annual Donors are Heroes Gala otherwise known as “The Party,” a title it richly deserves. As soon as you walk in the door you are swept up with the smiling faces of friendly people, some whose lives have been saved my an organ transplant — like co-founder of The Party Don Freeman (his donor’s mother was in attendance) — others who have donated organs to save a life — like Mary Pat Kessler who gave her sister a kidney — and others who are simply aware of the benefits of choosing “yes” to organ donation on their drivers licenses, and putting those instructions in their do-not-resuscitate documents. That’s where the funds raised at this party go to: maintaining public awareness programs, school summits and teaching initiatives, all of which are geared toward educating and dispelling the myths surrounding becoming an organ donor and emphasizing the need for life-saving, life-enhancing transplants. Guests at The Party enjoyed fine cuisine (Four Seasons, City Tap House Logan, Serafina, Brown Betty and Night Kitchen, to name a few) and spirits, during their break from the real party which was happening on the dance floor to the sounds of Eddie Tully and songstress Jessy Kyle.

Photos after the jump »

Red & White Ball for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Philadelphia

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On Saturday night, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania held their 2nd annual Red & White Ball at the Westin Hotel in Center City. More than 500 well-dressed attendees wearing the colors of the night — red and white — walked the red carpet and posed for photos, before joining the cocktail party and checking out the silent auction items ranging from trips, to experiences to sports outings. There was also a raffle to win a brand new 2015 Mercedes-Benz SUV.

At 8 p.m. guests headed into the dinner in the Grand Ballroom to honor a courageous young woman, 15-year-old Karlee Hofmann, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) as a child and lost the use of her legs, but with treatment beat cancer. She attends Council Rock High School, has lots of friends, participates in many activities and is a remarkable cheerleader. (You can make a donation in her honor here).

Photos from the Red & White Ball after the jump »

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Annual Gala and Concert

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Friday night The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) organization hosted its annual gala and concert, an evening of music, art and dining at the Union League in Center City. Board chair Frank Giordano and president and music director Louis Scaglione were on hand at the cocktail party where they greeted guests who dined on light bites and checked out the art show and sale by the prestigious Studio Incamminati artists, many of who were on hand for the event.

After the cocktail party, guests headed into the Grant Ballroom for dinner. It was there that Mayor Michael Nutter was presented the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Support of Arts, Culture and Education in the City of Philadelphia by Giordano and Scaglione. After dinner the guests headed upstairs to Lincoln Hall for the 75th Anniversary concert by the The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

Photos from the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra gala after the jump »

Third Annual United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Masked Ball

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On Friday night, Philadelphia hosted its 3rd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The UNCF provides scholarships for 60,000 students attending 900 colleges and universities. It also provides financial assistance to 38 higher-education schools in its network, all of which are historically black colleges and universities. The Masked Award (Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams) honorees this year were Craig L. Adams of PECO, who was the co-chair of the inaugural gala, Joseph M. Casey, SEPTA General Manager, and former school superintendent Dr. Constance Clayton. There were several notables in the audience, including legendary singer Billy Paul, Tuskegee Airman Pierce Ramsey, Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller, First Lady of Philadelphia Lisa Nutter, Mayor Michael Nutter, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF, and Stephanie Humphrey, QVC host and mistress of ceremonies for the evening’s ceremony.
Photos after the jump »

Philadelphia Flower Show Black-Tie Gala and Afterparty

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The 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show opened on Friday, February 27, 2015, with a black-tie gala. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail party under a marquee of beautiful flowers while surrounded by Caribbean pirates, playful rats, princesses, and chickens in the barnyard. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Movies,” and as you may have guessed, there’s a large contingent of displays inspired by Disney movies as well as Hollywood classics. After the cocktail hour, dinner took place among the floral displays. As dinner ended at 10 p.m., guests joined the afterparty where DJ Montone and DJ Jason Weiss kicked off dance party which continued well after midnight. The Flower Show runs through March 8, with a schedule full of special events, celebrity appearances, and lots and lots of beautiful flowers and shopping.

More photos from the Flower Show Gala after the jump »

Cheers for CHOP Featuring Salt-N-Pepa

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On Saturday, February 28th, the 2nd Annual Cheers for CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) was held at the Valley Forge Casino. This year the event was moved from the dance club to the ballroom to accommodate the 700 guests on hand. Philadelphia Event Planners gave that cavernous ballroom a night club atmosphere with reserved tables for 10, high tops and a communal table that ran the length of the dance floor; lining the walls were semi-private cabanas with their own servers.

The dance floor’s LED spelled out Cheers for CHOP, and to kick off the night the 1990s rap group Salt-N-Pepa (with DJ Spinderella) got the groove going by singing some of their biggest hits. DJ Bizz kept the party going by spinning till midnight, as guests enjoyed a banquet of food and dessert as well as specialty cocktails.

This year’s event raised $675,000 for CHOP’s Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy program — one of the first programs in the country to recognize the therapeutic value of play for hospitalized children. The evening’s special guest was 19-year-old CHOP patient Tom Gillin — who became Internet-famous last year with the Jay Z-inspired “Bald So Hard,” which he performed with Mike Mahoney. Photos from Cheers for CHOP after the jump »

Young Friends of the Art Museum’s Black-Tie Winter Gala

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The Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art annual black-tie Winter Gala lived up to its name Saturday evening thanks to blanket of freshly fallen snow. Young professionals endured Uber surcharges and wait times, and slow roads in the name of charity, but were rewarded with beautiful art, music and culture in the magnificent setting of the Museum’s Great Stair Hall.

Guests were also invited to enjoy the new showing of Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano, the first exhibition in the United States to explore the artistic excellence of the Kano, one of Japan’s most influential schools of painting. The Young Friends event was co-chaired by Elizabeth Lampen Kim and Jacqueline Cassidy who took to the stage after the performance of the Japanese drum group Kyo Daiko to express their thanks to the supporters of the art museum. The mission of the Young Friends is to support Museum acquisitions and education as well as to fund educational field trips that bring more than 750 elementary school students to the Museum for literacy-based gallery lessons. Photos from the Young Friends Winter Gala after the jump »

Simon’s Soiree to Benefit Simon’s Fund

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Simon’s Fund was established in 2005 in memory of Simon Sudman, son of Phyllis and Darren Sudman, who died of a heart defect called Long QT Syndrome. Simon was one of thousands of kids — ranging from babies to high school athletes — to die of sudden cardiac arrest in 2005.

In Simon’s memory, the family started an organization that provides free heart screenings to children in the Philadelphia area, sponsors medical research projects, hosts awareness events, works with major medical institutions and promotes legislation.

Nearly 500 people turned out for the 5th Annual Simon’s Soiree at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel. The evening began with a cocktail party, and a silent auction. Then the guests entered the ballroom for an awards program, dinner and dancing to The Nerds.

Additional funds were raised in a live auction featuring auctioneer Josh Katz. Emcee for the evening was Michael Barkann. The 2015 Protect Your Heart Award Honorees were Frank Marchilinski MD and Allan Chaney, whose promising basketball career was ended by a heart defect. Melissa Fair, who had attended a Simon’s Fund heart screening for students where it was discovered she had a Partial Anomolous Pulmonary Venous Return and Atrial Septal Defect, was also there. She had open-heart surgery on January 24, 2008, exactly two years after Simon died. The Simon’s Fund screening saved her life. Photos from Simon’s Soiree after the jump »

Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate 2015

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Nearly 4,000 people came out to enjoy “A Night to Remember at the 2015 Philadelphia Auto Show’s Black Tie Tailgate” on Friday, January 31st. Guests got a first look at nearly 700 vehicles from more than 40 car manufacturers in a 700,000 square-foot space at the Pennsylvania Convention Center while dining on Garces Catering delights and desserts and dancing to the sounds of Jellyroll. Returning again this year was the very popular Camp Jeep where an indoor off-road driving test takes place in a 25,000-square foot exhibit that gives auto show attendees a chance to experience the off-road capabilities of Jeep vehicles without leaving the show floor.

The event raises money for the division of neonatology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. Since 1986 the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia and its Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation have donated $5.8 million to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Auto Show opened on Saturday, January 31st, and runs through Sunday, February 8th. On Saturdays and Sundays, the show opens at 9 a.m. and on weekdays, at noon. Chairs for the gala were Mr. and Mrs. Donald Franks, William W. Fox, M.D. and Laurie Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

Photos after the jump »

The 24 Top Philanthropists in Pennsylvania

Clockwise from top left: John (Jack) Drosdick, Michael and Wendy Saltzburg, Ben Roethlisberger, Henry Hillman, Brook Lenfest, Nydick, Keith and Katherine Sachs.

Clockwise from top left: John (Jack) Drosdick, Michael and Wendy Saltzburg, Ben Roethlisberger, Henry Hillman, Brook Lenfest, Robert L. Nydick, Keith and Katherine Sachs | Photo illustration: Alyse Moyer

“No one has ever become poor from giving,” wrote Anne Frank in her diary. That is certainly true of these immensely wealthy Pennsylvanians, who collectively handed out hundreds of millions of dollars in charitable donations in 2014. Here, a look at some of the biggest individual donations, the recipients of the largesse, and the people behind it all, with data provided by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Read more »

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