Cheers for CHOP


On the evening of Saturday, March 1st, Friends of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia hosted Cheers for CHOP at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia.

The event began with guests walking the red carpet into a cocktail reception where there was an expansive silent auction underway as well as butlered hors d’oeuvre and carving stations. Guests had the opportunity to bid on gift certificates to nearly every notable area restaurant you could think of, as well as spa treatments and sporting experiences.

After the cocktail hour, guests were whisked into the two-level dance floor of Seven The Nightclub where DJ Bizz from CTO Soho entertained the crowd — with the exception of a surprise performance by Rob “It Takes Two” Base, who sang his biggest hits backed by Kyle Rifkin.

The proceeds from the evening went to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, and the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care.

More of HughE Dillon’s photos from Cheers for CHOP after the jump. »

The Second Annual Bubby’s Cook-Off


Lubavitch of Bucks County held Bubby’s Cook-Off at Vie Wednesday night where Philly’s best chefs competed for the title of Best Kosher Dish. Proceeds from the event went to The Friendship Circle Foundation and Lubavich of Bucks County. The Friendship Circle serves families of children with special needs.

The chefs included:

  • Laura Frangiosa, co-owner and proprietress of the Avenue Delicatessen, who made a delicious chopped liver arancini with hearts of palm, celery and schmalz-aioli;
  • Patrick Szoke, executive chef of Alla Spina, a Vetri family restaurant, who created a brisket stuffed cabbage;
  • Sonny Pache, executive chef of Ocean Prime who made his veal and porcini mushroom kreplach;
  • Rich Berardi, chef de cuisine of Rat’s Restaurant, a Stephen Starr property, who made a lamb shoulder with white bean puree, pickled beet salad and pistachio pistou;
  • Jae Shin and Sterling Reitzel of Citron & Rose who made their pomegranate braised lamb shank.

Two top chefs competed in the Best Jewish Dessert, which took place on stage and was judged by the area’s most influential Bubbies, Rebbetzin Meriam Shemtov, Sharon Pinkenson co-chair (along with Joe Weiss), Hope Cohen and Marciarose Shestack. Master of ceremonies was’s Michael Klein.

More of HughE Dillon’s photos from Bubby’s Cook-Off after the jump »

The Red and White Ball


On Saturday night, February 22nd, more than 400 guests attended the inaugural Red & White Ball benefitting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The evening began with a festive cocktail reception and an extensive silent auction, featuring items ranging from trips to Africa, personal stylist consultations and a Terrell Owens signed football.

At 8 p.m., guests headed to the Millennium Ballroom for dinner and the program, which was hosted by Erin O’Hearn from 6ABC. The evening’s honoree was Bob Levis, who shared his incredible story of survival after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2002. During the past 12 years, Bob had undergone various treatments and trials, including a trial involving modified t-cells in 2013. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helped fund the cutting-edge research by Dr. Carl June and his team. Today Bob Levis’s blood work is normal, and Saturday night was a celebration for everyone.

More of HughE Dillon’s photos from the inaugural Red and White Ball after the jump »

Philadelphia Auto Show 2014 Black Tie Gala


Nearly 4,000 people came out to enjoy the 2014 Philadelphia Auto Show’s annual Black Tie Gala. Guests got a first look at nearly 700 cars while dining on Garces Catering delights, desserts and dancing to the sounds of Jellyroll. The event beneficiary is the neonatology division of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Auto Show runs from February 8th to February 16th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on 1101 Arch Street.

See more of HughE’s photos after the jump »

The Academy of Music’s 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball with Jill Scott and the Bacon Brothers


The 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball, Philadelphia’s annual white-tie gala, celebrated the Academy of Music’s 157th birthday on Saturday, January 25th.

Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra along with host stars the Bacon Brothers and special guest artist Jill Scott entertained attendees during the concert. Nézet-Séguin told the audience that he had been a long-time fan of Scott’s and when he found himself in his dream job of conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, he just had to perform with the home-town girl. He called it a dream come true.

The night began with an open house reception before the anniversary concert at the Academy of Music where guests dined on delights by chef Jose Garces. During the concert portion, newly installed Adele Schaeffer, chair of the board of trustees of the Academy of Music, told the audience that the evening’s funds would be used to restore the building’s HVAC system, which dates back to 1966. After the concert, guests made the annual trek up Broad Street to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel. The ball included dinner and dancing to the music of six bands, including The Eddie Bruce Band, in the Grand Ballroom.

See HughE Dillon’s photos from the Academy Ball after the jump »

Are Charity Balls Really, Y’Know, Necessary?


For most, winter in Philadelphia means cold weather, snow, bad basketball and hot turkey bowls at Wawa, which are delicious. For many others, winter is all about balls. I’m talking about charity balls, parties and other fund raising events. There’s certainly no shortage of them this time of year.

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Hair o’ the Dog 2014


Philadelphia’s swanky Hair o’ the Dog celebrated its 20th year on Saturday, January 18th, at the Sheraton Center City. The festivities kicked off with a VIP preview party with gourmet hors d’oeuvres in the Scarlett Lounge sponsored by Cheerleaders. Nearly 1,800 people packed the grand ballroom after primping all day for what some people call Philadelphia’s adult prom. Each lovely lady dresses to the nines in an attempt to outdo the competition.

This year’s gala benefited The Claddagh Fund, which supports community-based non-profits, with a focus on children and veterans organizations and programs that support alcohol and drug rehabilitation in cities across the country and around the world. The party ended at about 1 a.m., and then headed over to G Lounge for dancing till dawn.

See HughE Dillon’s Hair o’ the Dog photos after the jump »

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s 2014 Lemon Ball


Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer, hosted the Eighth Annual Lemon Ball, presented by Northwestern Mutual, Toys R Us and Volvo on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

The event, took place nearly 10 years after Alex Scott set a goal to raise $1 million through her front-yard lemonade stand, and every year in just one night raises nearly a $1 million for the fight against childhood cancer.

The evening started  with a cocktail party and a very extensive silent auction covering sports, restaurant meals and experiences.Then the party moved upstairs for dinner, an awards ceremony and dancing. Liz and Jay Scott, the parents of the late Alex,  co-chaired the gala with longtime foundation supporters Susie and John McCaughey. The evening also featured the presentation of the Alex Scott Crystal Cup to Jocelyn Hillman, who has supported the foundation since its inception and first learned of the foundation’s mission when her daughter, Carly, fought cancer alongside Alex . Jocelyn has served on the Foundation’s Board for several years and currently holds the position of Vice Chair.

More of HughE Dillon’s Lemon Ball photos after the jump »

The 2013 Rutgers/LEAP Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship Fundraising Gala

From left: Chef Michele Pastorello, Quinton Aaron, actor from The Blind Side, Sara Manzano-Díaz, director of the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau, Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, LEAP founder and board chair, and the honorable Nelson Diaz.

From left: Chef Michele Pastorello, Quinton Aaron, actor from The Blind Side, Sara Manzano-Díaz, director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, LEAP founder and board chair, and the honorable Nelson Diaz.

On Friday, December 13th, at the Curtis Center, the Rutgers/LEAP Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship held its fundraising gala. The gala is an annual event that raises money to support graduates of LEAP Academy University Charter School who are attending Rutgers University. The scholarship was established in 1999 by CLC Director Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago in loving memory of her husband Alfredo Santiago and with the goal of increasing the number of children in Camden who attend college. Each year the gala raises thousands of dollars for the scholarship through corporate and individual donations, ticket sales and proceeds from a silent auction.

More of HughE Dillon’s photos after the jump »

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