Annual Rittenhouse Ball on the Square


Last night, Rittenhouse Square held its annual Ball on the Square. Nearly 370 well-dressed guests attended. The dress was jackets for guys and gowns for women enduring the near summer heat and humidity for a good cause.

The annual celebration brings much-needed funds for the maintenance of the popular square; last night it was especially sweet as the Friends of Rittenhouse Square met their goal for the One Million Dollar Preservation Campaign. The campaign started under last year’s ball chairs Mary Parenti and Lynn Schecter, and was completed with the efforts of the 2014 ball chairs Janice Birenbaum and Nina Stanley and the ball committee.

Today, walking through the park you can see the improvements: increased lighting, security cameras, the restored and cleaned balustrade, and the illuminated guardhouse and lion. Next up: The restoration of the fountain.

Rittenhouse Ball on the Square »

Opening Party for Icon 1616 Apartments


The ICON 1616 apartments opened with great fanfare on Tuesday night. The party at 1616 Walnut Street featured flappers welcoming guests to the newly renovated 25-story apartment building (it was built in 1929), songs from the enchanted era sung by Jessy Kyle, and small-plate dishes by Brulee catering.

Over the years the building has housed the offices of a few of Philly’s well heeled, then in the aughts it housed Temple University’s Center City campus. In 2013 it underwent a $50 million redevelopment with 220 luxury smoke-free apartments, a sky deck, gym, media and billiards room, bike storage, 160 parking spaces and 23,000 square feet of retail, which includes a Theory clothing store, Santander bank and Town Home jewelry store.

Now it’s ready for residents who want amenities and close proximity to many of the most desirable stores in the area as well as Rittenhouse Square.

Opening Party for Icon 1616 Apartments »

Barnes Foundation’s The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne Trustee and Supporter Dinner


Last week the Barnes Foundation hosted an intimate dinner party for their trustees and supporters of their new exhibit “The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne” which opens at the Barnes on Sunday, June 22nd, and runs through September 22nd. The show features 21 borrowed works from museums and private collections from around the world.

The exhibit was curated by Judith F. Dolkart — the Barnes curator who has since departed from the museum to become director of the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusettes — and Benedict Leca, director of curatorial affairs at the Hamilton art gallery.

The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne »

Marc Vetri’s 9th Annual Great Chefs at Urban Outfitters


More than 1,200 guests attended the 9th Annual Great Chefs Event on Tuesday, June 10th. The yearly eating party thrown by Philadelphia superchef Marc Vetri was held at Urban Outfitters in the Navy Yard, with proceeds going to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand eradicate childhood cancer, and to the Vetri Foundation for Children. Neuroblastoma took Alex Scott’s life when she was eight, and her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, carry on her goal of helping doctors find a cure for the disease.

The event attracts four dozen top chefs from the U.S. and Italy who created delicious dishes that people raved over all night long. The event featured a live auction that brought in $80,000 and a silent auction — which included clothing, lavish trips, sports tickets and experiences — that raised nearly $100,000.

Later that evening I headed over to Vetri’s restaurant on North Broad, Alla Spina, for the after-party. There I found many of the volunteer chefs, sponsors and ticketed guests enjoying a delicious spread by the Vetri Family, and friends including Sweet Box Bakery, Debragga meat, Nomad Pizza to name a few. Behind the turntables was The Roots’ Questlove, who appears at the after-party annually and packs the dance floor from start to finish. It’s always a highlight of the evening.

Marc Vetri’s 9th Annual Great Chefs at Urban Outfitters »

Philadelphia Public School Notebook’s 20th Anniversary Gala


Tuesday as the weather raged outside, inside the University of the Arts the Philadelphia Public School Notebook celebrated its 20th anniversary with a party. The Notebook started out as a handout at supermarkets and community meetings, one chock-full of information on what was going on in the city’s public schools, how the school board was dealing with issues, and what concerned parents and community members could do.

These days it’s grown into a full-blown, highly respected journal which the public relies on for information on the education of children in Philadelphia. Even though schools superintendent William Hite has been the target of criticism in some of the articles written in The Notebook, he still took time out of his schedule to make an appearance at the party, and wish them well on their continued success.

Philadelphia Public School Notebook’s 20th Anniversary Gala »

Career Wardrobe’s 18th Annual Gala: “A Perfect Fit: Empowering 18″


Last week the Career Wardrobe hosted its 28th Annual gala, “A Perfect Fit: Empowering 18,” at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City.

The evening started with a cocktail party where guests enjoyed buffet stations of delicious appetizers and dinner. During the cocktail party guests were able to participate in an extensive silent auction. This year there were many more items, as they no longer do the signed pocketbook live auctions during the dessert portion of the evening. I did spot one purse on a table signed by Colin Farrell which was left over from last year.

At around 7 p.m., guests were ushered into the grand ballroom for dessert, coffee and the program, which included the very popular fashion show with local news reporters, notable Philly businesswomen, and former clients if the Career Wardrobe. The proceeds from the event go toward helping ease the transition of women from welfare to work via education, empowerment programs and what to wear to make entering the workforce as easy as possible.

Did you know you can pick up decent second-hand clothing from the Wardrobe Boutique store at 1822 Spring Garden Street?

Career Wardrobe’s 28th Annual Gala »

Philadelphia FIGHT Honors Françoise Barré-Sinoussi


Last night at the Independence Visitor Center Philadelphia FIGHT hosted its kickoff party for AIDS Education Month, a series of  classes, awareness events, and parties throughout the month, featuring a free hip-hop performance by Wale at the Trocadero on National HIV Testing Day, Friday, June 27th.

At last night’s event, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Ph.D., a French virologist and director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Division at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, was presented with the 2014 Kiyoshi Kuromiya award. Dr. Barré-Sinoussi, who also serves as president of the International AIDS Society, received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the co-discovery of HIV.

Check out photos of Philadelphia FIGHT’s honoring of Françoise Barré-Sinoussi »

The Voice Foundation’s ‘Voices of Summer’ Honoring Bootsy Collins and Roberta Flack


The Voice Foundation “Voices of Summer” was held Friday night May 30th, at the Westin Hotel. The Voice Foundation (1721 Pine Street ) is a non profit organization that provides funding for research on voice disorders, new clinical techniques, technology, and educational outreach on voice care. After a weeklong symposium, doctors, scientists, voice coaches, and other voice professionals from around the world gathered at the gala to network, mingle, and dance.

During the dinner portion honors were bestowed on individuals who have made a difference in the world. This year the board honored Denyce Graves with the Voice Education Research Awareness (VERA) Award, while the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award went to Roberta Flack and Bootsy Collins.

The Voice Foundation’s ‘Voices of Summer’ Honoring Bootsy Collins and Roberta Flack »

Wistar Institute Honors Allan ‘Bud’ Selig


The Wistar Institute honored Allan “Bud” Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, as the 2014 recipient of Wistar’s President’s Award on Wednesday, May 28th, at a luncheon at the Diamond Club at Citizen Bank Park. The President’s Award recognizes a public figure who has been personally touched by cancer, and who advocates for improvements in cancer education and research.

In 2004 at the age of 70, Selig was diagnosed with level-4 melanoma when a skin legion was discovered as part of a routine yearly examination. After it was removed, he was given a clean bill of health. During his acceptance speech, he talked about how this life-changing event inspired him to become a cancer ambassador and spread the word about melanoma and getting regular dermatologist checkups.

He also spoke about how proud he was that the MLB has embraced his cause, as well as many charity causes where players and owners give back through their good works. No one does a better job than the Phillies, he said, and he listed many of the players’ charity organizations. He spoke about Phillies co-owner David Montgomery, who is dealing with his own cancer diagnosis right now. Selig went on to say that there was no better man you could meet than David Montgomery, whom he described as compassionate, kind, and honorable.

Wistar Institute Honors Allan ‘Bud’ Selig »

International House’s Global Gala: Colors of Brazil


International House of Philadelphia held it’s 53rd annual Global Gala: Colors of Brazil, on Saturday, May 17th.

Guests enjoyed a lively and colorful cocktail party with Samba girls, an extensive silent auction, light bites by Modern Palate Catering Company and danced to the tunes of the much in-demand Afro-Brazilian Funk & Groove Dendê & Band. Guests were then ushered into the dining room with a drum corps and Brazilian dancers. Global cuisine inspired by Brazil was served during a short program with speeches by State Sen. Anthony Williams; Mr. Paul Thomas Johnson, honorary consul to Brazil, who discussed the asset the IHP is to students and to Philadelphia; co-chair Eileen Mijlin, who discussed her experiences in Brazil and it’s culture; and Tanya Steinberg, CEO/president of International House Philadelphia (IHP), who celebrated the long history of IHP and the services and housing it provides to the foreign students who call Philadelphia home during their attendance at universities in our area.

Proceeds from the event go to support IHP’s residential services and arts and humanities programming. After dinner there was dessert, then a lively dance party till 2 a.m.

International House’s Global Gala: Colors of Brazil »

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