Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s 14th Annual Roundup


You might have thought the rodeo was in town had you passed the Franklin Institute on Friday night. The Children’s Crisis Treatment Center held its 14th annual Roundup to raise much needed funds for CCTC’s efforts to assist Philadelphia children and their families who are coping with the impact of behavioral health issues, traumatic events and other challenges that affect childhood development.

This year’s event chairs for the western-themed event were Lavinia and Michael Smerconish, who honored Andrea and Warren Kantor. Guests were asked to leave their tuxedos and gowns at home, and instead encouraged to wear their their best cowboy and cowgirl apparel (which many of them did) for a night of cocktails, delicious cuisine from Frog Commissary, and dancing to the tunes of EBE Entertainment. There was also an extensive silent auction with sports tickets, vacations and theater outings.

Did I mention the mechanical bull? That was a very popular spot all evening.

Photos from the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s Roundup after the jump »

Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: Melissa Cooper and Lauren Schmucker


Every Tuesday, we are featuring a recently wed Philadelphia-area LGBT couple. Today: Melissa Cooper and Lauren Schmucker, who took over The Franklin Institute for their special day. 

Lauren and Melissa dancing under a statue of Benjamin Franklin. | Photo fro Facebook

Lauren and Melissa dancing under a statue of Benjamin Franklin. | Photo from Facebook

Names: Melissa Cooper and Lauren Schmucker

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: Our wedding took place on our ninth anniversary.

When did you get married?: October 4, 2014

Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: Our wedding was a dream come true. We were married at The Franklin Institute, which perfectly reflected our individual interests in science and architecture. Our family and friends were there with us to celebrate our day. There were many memorable moments, from our ceremony under the stars in Fels Planetarium, to the cocktail hour in the new Brain Exhibit, followed by dinner and dancing in front of Ben Franklin himself. Our bridal party ended the night with a rousing rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin”” which we will never forget.

Were there any local businesses that were helpful when you prepared your wedding?:

Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!

3 Unique Film Festivals To Look Out For in October

Found Footage Festival

john johnnyThe Found Footage Festival (FFF), currently in its 10th year, is coming to Johnny Brenda’s Thursday, October 2nd for two showings at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. This special event is a guided tour through wacky and weird found VHS footage, hosted by curators Joe Picket and Nick Prueher, who provide commentary and “where are they now” stories from the videos’ stars. FFF has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and NPR.

Highlights from this year’s show include footage of the strangest home-shopping hosts you’ll ever meet: John & Johnny. As part of the festival’s 10-year anniversary celebration, Pickett & Prueher did some investigating into this crowd-pleaser from years past. Not only did they dig into old footage to find some never-before-seen John & Johnny clips, but they hired a detective to reunite the two hosts: “They’re living on opposite sides of the country, but we reunited them for the first time in 26 years,” says Prueher. “We videotaped it, so we’re showing not only the long-lost John & Johnny footage, but we’re showing the reunion.”

Read more »

PHOTOS: Entrepreneur Peter Thiel at Franklin Institute

On Monday, the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia hosted Zero to One with Peter Thiel at the Franklin Institute. Thiel is best known as the co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook. During the breakfast discussion, he chatted about why startups must pioneer unknown territories and throw away the notion of competing with anyone else but themselves. First Zack Seward,  editor-in-chief at, moderated a local panel of experts on startups and their place in Philadelphia, before doing a Q&A with Thiel. After the public session there was a private VIP meet-and-greet, where guests got their books signed and, if they were lucky, used their 30-second elevator pitch to grab the billionaire investor’s attention.

I snapped some photos of the event, which you can find below:

Next Week: Brewers Unleashed Unleashes Itself On Philly


Ok, so it’s not often that we’d bother talking to you about an event being thrown by MillerCoors (the people who brought the world Mickey’s Ice and Miller Chill), but we’re making an exception for this one.

Brewers Unleashed is a thing that the company has been doing in Chicago for the last three years–a thing which essentially started as a company party but then blossomed into a full-scale public showcase of weird, one-off beers being brewed by small-time craft brewers within the MillerCoors family. Apparently, it’s a very popular event. Apparently, it sells out all the time.

And now, for one night only, it’s coming to Philly, as part of the Franklin Institute’s “Science After Hours” program. Which, you know, just kinda makes it even cooler.

Tap list and event details, right this way

8 Things To Do In Philly This Week: Free Concert in Rittenhouse, Cruise With Yards Brewing, Dîner en Sweatpants, and More

Franklin Institute Explains How “Your Brain” Ticks in New Exhibit

Franklin-Neural Climb-edited

The newest addition to the Franklin Institute aims to challenge and explain the way we experience the world around us. Set to open in June, the 53,000-square-foot “Your Brain” exhibit is slated to be the largest of its kind in the country dedicated to our noggin. Complete with an 18-foot climbable wall of neural webbing, the exhibit aims to turn the complexities of the brain and nervous system into a fun and educational experience for visitors young and old.

More on the

9 Things to Do This Week in Philly: Clue at the Franklin Institute, Rad Girls Quizzo, Night Market in Old City and More

We recommend doing each and every one of these things this week:

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