Last night, Project HOME celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a gala event at the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia. Co-chairs Dorothy and David Binswanger, Pam Estadt and Ira Lubert, and Frannie and James Maguire were on hand to honor Leigh and John Middleton with the 2014 Golden Heart for their eight years of philanthropic work with Project HOME. (They have given more than $30 million to Project H.O.M.E. to fight homelessness.)
Earlier in the day, the Middletons were on hand for the grand opening of the JBJ Soul Homes with namesake Jon Bon Jovi. The 55-unit building, which will also have offices and retail spaces, opened in the Francisville neighborhood after about 18 months of construction. Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation provided the lead gift for the $20 million project in a partnership with Project H.O.M.E. When you enter the building there’s a quote from a Bon Jovi song — “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” — welcoming homeless and low-income residents.
Project HOME 25th Anniversary Gala and Jon Bon Jovi Soul Homes Grand Opening »
Thursday night, Pennsylvania Wines held a wine tasting and launch party at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse to celebrate their new branding and a mobile-friendly website that encourages users to “Plan your weekend in wine land” and to use the #PAWineLandWKND hashtag. Invited guests included representatives from Pennsylvania wineries, media, and friends. Guests dined on executive chef Chris Tavares’s spring menu including shrimp, cheesesteak spring rolls, and crab.
The new Mobile-friendly website works on smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers, and includes tools for travelers to plot their trip through the countryside’s wineries. To plan your next weekend in wine country, go to PennsylvaniaWine.com.
On Sunday, April 13th, at the Kimmel Center, the Curtis Institute of Music honored Curtis board chairman H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest and Curtis overseer Marguerite Lenfest for their transformational contributions to Curtis.
After eight years as board chairman, Mr. Lenfest steps down at the end of the school year in May. He has been an important contributor of knowledge and funding to the Curtis Institute, playing a pivitol role in the opening of Lenfest Hall in 2011, in addition to the completion of the faculty chair challenge which added $34 million to the endowment, and the launch of Curtis on Tour, which brought performances by Curtis students and faculty overseas.
– Curtis Honors the Lenfests »
Philly Tech Week’s Signature Event was held at the Comcast Center on Friday, April 11th. It was part cocktail party, part local tech expo, and part demo party. It was a great event to network and served as a great capper for another successful year of Philly Tech Week. Food was provided by DiBruno Brothers and Shake Shack. Local beer (and open bar) was provided by Yards.
Philly Tech Week 2014 Signature Event »
Last night at Neiman Marcus, the Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School hosted “Old Bags – Night Out” at the store. But it was not frumpy as the name might suggest, as a chic crowd of ladies came out to enjoy a unique “gently used and donated” handbag auction and a Neiman Marcus fashion presentation hosted by Neiman Marcus’s trendsetting and very funny fashion director Ken Downing. The event was held to benefit the charter school, which was co-founded in 2005 David P. Hardy and the evening’s honoree, Janine Yass.
Yass said her goal was to create an environment where underprivileged boys could receive the education that seemed to be failing in the school system. There are rules and standards the boys must live up to show their commitment, one being that they take Latin for four years.
The rigorous college preparatory school boasts a 99 percent four-year graduation rate and an 84 percent college enrollment rate. Next up for Yass is creating and funding the Girls’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School.
Neiman Marcus’s Old Bags — Night Out »
Bank and Bourbon is the new restaurant in the Loews Hotel, which formerly housed the eatery Sole Food. The space is beautiful with its wood beams, low light fixtures, and exposed piping. It will remind you of visiting a farmhouse, right down to the very down-home diner-like tableware.
Located on the ground floor of Philadelphia’s iconic PSFS building, Bank and Bourbon has its own entrance, which Sole Food did not. There’s a main dining room, with two adjacent private dining rooms. During busy times, movable walls will expand the dining area into these rooms. (Inside one of these rooms is a hidden dining room behind a book shelf.) Chef Thomas Harkins, who helmed Sole Food, will also run Bank and Bourbon, but the menu is new, as is the open kitchen, which can be seen from the dining room.
Some 350 invited guests dined on samplings of the menu which included steak, pork and grits, and the most delicious salmon I’ve ever had. There were also delectable desserts and a charcuterie spread. I would be remiss not to mention the new adjacent lobby, which was carved out of the space originally used for Sole Food. It’s beautiful, comfortable, and you can also order food from the B&B menu, as well as a smaller bar menu. There’s also wifi and large-screen TVs to watch your favorite sports event. One more thing: don’t miss the butterscotch ice cream, with chocolate covered popcorn topping. It’s the best dessert in Philadelphia right now.
Opening of Bourbon and Bank at the Loews »
There’s a reason the Donors Are Heroes gala is called “The Party,” because as soon as DJ Eddie Tully puts the needle to the record, the dance floor fills up till the stroke of 11.
This year, songstress Jessy Kyle accompanied Eddie’s performance to really jazz up the night. Nearly 600 guests filled the ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia and enjoyed delicious food and spirits from 11 area restaurants and caterers.
The money raised from ticket sales goes toward public awareness programs, school summits, and teaching initiatives, all of which are geared to dispel myths surrounding becoming an organ donor and emphasize the need for life-saving, life-enhancing transplants.
Donors Are Heroes 2014: THE Party »
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, hosted a glamorous gala last night at the Ritz-Carlton to celebrate the launch of new, non-stop service from Philadelphia International Airport to Doha, connecting the Philadelphia region to Qatar Airways’ network of more than 130 destinations worldwide.
The evening began with a cocktail hour in 10 Arts, where white-gloved servers passed around delicious hors d’oeuvre and cocktails to the guests before a cirque du soleil performance. Artists entertained the crowd then led the nearly 300 guests to the ballroom below for dinner, music and the program, which ended with a surprise performance by Philly’s own Boyz II Men.
More of HughE Dillon’s photos from the Qatar Airlines Philadelphia launch party after the jump »
“I’m an eagle flying high across your sky, watch me soar” sang the 60 young women who participated in “Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow” (GTLT), The United Way’s signature program for girls in grades 7 through 12 from Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware counties.
Nearly 1,000 guests gathered at the Crystal Tea Room, for the annual celebration, which also honored Karen Dougherty Buchholz, senior vice president for Comcast Corporation who is the 2014 Women’s Initiative Award recipient. Buchholtz said it was society’s responsibility, as well as women’s, to ensure that all women have the opportunity to succeed in their lives.
More of HughE’s photos from Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow after the jump »
Saturday night at the Union League the Joel A. Gingras Jr. Memorial Foundation held its annual gala. The memorial fund has raised more than $1,400,000 for the American Brain Tumor Association since 1989.
Seventeen research fellowships have been awarded with funding provided by the Joel A. Gingras Jr. fund. These fellowships have increased research into brain tumors and have started the careers of talented and dedicated scientists. The evening began with a cocktail party and then a dinner program in the newly finished Lincoln Hall.
More of HughE Dillon’s photos from the Joel A. Gingras Jr. Memorial Foundation gala after the jump »