Franklin Square Gala

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On May 26th, Parx Casino joined Historic Philadelphia Inc. in presenting the 7th annual “An Evening in Franklin Square” to benefit efforts to sustain the celebrated park. Guests dressed in garden-party attire, participated in the silent auction and enjoyed cocktails. One of the highlights of the cocktail hour was when guests participated in the Parx Square Derby, a carousel race, that was narrated by racing announcer Keith Jones. The race was followed by a dinner, live auction, and plenty of dancing.

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2016 Ball on the Square

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The Friends of Rittenhouse Square’s annual Ball on the Square was held Thursday, June 16 at the Square. The Ball is arguably the most glamorous party of the spring season and among the square’s most important fundraising events of the year, raising much needed funds to support the beautification and restoration of the popular park. Co-chairs of the Ball Robyn Lewison and Faith Weiss headed a committee of volunteers to create a magical evening. More than 500 guests enjoyed a cocktail party, dinner by Stephen Starr Events, and the Eddie Bruce Band kept the dance floor filled into the wee hours of the night. Evantine Design captured the beauty of summer with the decorations and also added a touch of rainbow color to the tents to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando shootings earlier in the week. The Young Friends of Rittenhouse enjoyed a party of their own at the Stotesberry Mansion, before heading across the street to join the main party at The Square at 10:30PM. Co-chairs for the Young Friends party were Jennifer Laurel Brown, Peter Dilsheimer, Victoria Johnston and Cory Siegfried.

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Chestnut Hill Celebrates the Woodward Family

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Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood noted for its history, design, and preservation. The Woodward and Houston families have been a big part of all three. They created the first planned residential developments in the neighborhood and helped start some of its most important institutions – Chestnut Hill Academy, the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Last week, Chestnut Hill celebrated the Woodward family with “The Woodward Celebration 2016.” Events began on Wednesday, June 8, and ran through Sunday, June 12, featuring more than a dozen events in Chestnut Hill honoring the contributions the Woodward family has made to the neighborhood. On Saturday, the Chestnut Hill Community Association renamed the Chestnut Hill Community Centre at 8419 Germantown Ave in honor of Gertrude Woodward, who had given the building to the community in 1916; the center will now be known as “The Woodward Community Centre.” After the dedication, a community picnic was held behind the centre complete with a delicious BBQ, entertainment by The Original Hobo Band, and trolley tours of Chestnut Hill. Even the Phillies Phanatic stopped by to say hello.

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Bring Philly HOME 2016 Young Leaders Event at PAFA

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On June 2, 2016 over 400 young professionals from the Philadelphia area attended Project HOME’s annual fundraising “Bring Philly HOME” 2016 Young Leaders Event at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Historic Landmark Building. In its ninth year, the Young Leaders Event was co-chaired by Ursula Henwood Keating, Comcast and Kate Hagedorn, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, over $100,000 was raised at the event, which helps support Project HOME’s mission to end and prevent homelessness in Philadelphia. Brian Taff, 6ABC anchor, was the emcee of the evening’s events and talked about why the issue was near to his and his wife Mara’s hearts. Every person is important, and we all matter. Kate Hagedorn spoke on behalf of Ursula Keating and herself, as Ursula was hosting another big event in her life — the birth of her child. Kate spoke about making a difference and working towards ending homelessness, as well as treating the homeless that we come across every day in Philly with respect; buy them a coffee or something to eat when asked, if you can. We don’t know really know their back-story, but we can make their day a little easier. Then a young man, Joseph Hills Cole, spoke about his homelessness, living in foster care and how Covenant House and then Project HOME helped put him on the right path, connecting him with helpful programs. Now, he lives in one of Project HOME’s residences and attends college. It was a very uplifting evening, filled with a lot of hope.

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25th Anniversary of Old City’s First Friday Fête

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Tonight marks the 25th anniversary of Old City’s most popular event: First Friday. Local galleries have been keeping their doors open late night for the past quarter century to welcome art patrons, students and anyone else looking for something different to do on the first Friday of every month. Earlier this week, a celebration reception was held at La Peg to mark the 25th anniversary. Several owners of art galleries that have been partaking in First Friday since its beginning celebrated the occasion and posed with Old City District Executive Director Job Itzkowitz, Councilman Mark Squilla, and Sheila Hess, city representative, with a city citation. Each of the owners received a copy for themselves. “Through the efforts of those individuals who helped organize the first First Friday and the Old City Arts Association, Old City, 25 years later, is now Philadelphia’s premier arts district,” said Job Itzkowitz, executive director of Old City District. Guests then enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres and a delicious cake by Swiss Haus, which was decorated with the new First Friday logo.

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Mural Arts 2016 Wall Ball

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The Mural Arts Program’s 2016 Wall Ball was held Thursday night at the Fillmore Philadelphia. Presented by Citizens Bank, Wall Ball drew nearly 500 art patrons to the fundraiser, which helps support the Mural Arts’ mission: to create powerful and engaging public art projects that transform our spaces, communities, institutions and individual lives. The highlight of the evening was Dawan Williams discussing the Philadelphia Restorative Justice Mural Arts Program. Inmates in the prison system participate in Mural Arts projects, which helps them pass their time in prison in a meaningful way. Dawan worked on a mural alongside his son; he spoke about how he was able to reconnect with him as they worked on the project together. Jane Golden, executive director and founder of Mural Arts Program, always stresses that it isn’t just about paint and paint brushes — it’s about building a community.

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The Arts & Business Council Annual Awards Celebration

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The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted its annual awards celebration Tuesday night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ten awards were given out to notable individuals and business that have made a difference in Philadelphia.

Institutional honors included the PNC Arts Alive Award for Innovation in honor of Peggy Amsterdam which was given to Blackstar Film Festival and the Business & Arts Partnership Award: Large Business with an Arts & Cultural Organization awarded to Century 21 Department Store and Moore College of Art & Design.

Individual honorees included Frances Sperling Feldbaum, CPA Principal, St. Clair CPA Solutions (Business on Board Volunteer Leader of the Year), Edward P. Pazicky, principal of E*P*P Consulting (Business Volunteers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award ), former governor Edward G. Rendell and Honorable Marjorie Rendell (G. Fred DiBona Jr. Individual Leadership Award), and The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence). During Trotter’s acceptance speech, he thanked the bullies that picked on him in South Philly when he used to walk to the subway to attend the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, stating that they helped motivate him become the artist he is today.

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86th Annual Radnor Hunt

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Despite the prediction of rain, several thousand horse fans came out to support the 86th annual Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern on Saturday, May 21st. Six exciting races featured horses galloping over hurdles and timber fences for purses totaling $180,000. Guests wore their rain-derby best and enjoyed tailgate picnics with friends and family. All proceeds from the Radnor Hunt Races benefit the land and water preservation programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

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Cancer Support Community’s Evening in the Park

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The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia celebrated it’s 18th annual Evening in the Park on the grounds of its headquarters last night, The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland in Fairmount Park. Guests enjoyed fabulous food and cocktails by Joshua’s Catering, a live auction led by Jeff Hammond who helped raise nearly $100,000 from the very generous crowd, and a silent auction, all to benefit CSCGP.

Event co-chairs  Susie Sargent and Sharon Bozentka were on hand to greet guests and make sure everything ran smoothly. Honorees last night included: the Ann Silverman Award: Corey J. Langer, MD, director of thoracic oncology and professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; the Gilda Radner Award: The Chavez-Theiss Family; the Courage Award: Joseph W. Robbins, the Inspiration Award: Iliana Strauss; the Community Impact Award: BP Business Solutions, Inc. During the dinner program, CEO Kelly Harris shared stories about the caring programs available at Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia (all free), especially the programs for children going through cancer or with a parent going through cancer, including the popular summer camp. The programs connect the children with others, as well as any counseling they need. The emcee for the evening was Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 health reporter and longtime supporter of CSCGP.

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Opera Philadelphia’s Young Professionals Group VIVACE Attends The Elixir of Love

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Opera Philadelphia’s young professionals group VIVACE attended the final showing of The Elixir of Love, which closed out the season. During the intermission, VIVACE held a champagne reception upstairs in the ballroom at the Academy. After the show, the young friends and some of the cast members headed to the Logan Hotel’s Urban Farmer for a post-reception party. Friday, September 23, 2016 will be the next time VIVACE gathers. It’s also the opening night for Opera Philadelphia’s Turandot at the Academy of Music. Afterwards, there will be an opening night gala at Dilworth Park.

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