PHOTOS: 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala Starring Out NFLer Wade Davis

Friday—after a heated game of dodgeball with local LGBT youth on Thursday—former NFL pro Wade Davis hit up Philadelphia FIGHT‘s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala to serve as keynote speaker. Davis, who came out publicly in 2012, is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

Besides the star power, the gala was rife with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live jazz ensemble, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting FIGHT‘s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center, Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project) initiative, and the John Bell Health Center.

Freedom G Photography’s Tara Lessard was there to capture the event on digital film. Check out some of her shots below.



#MotivationMonday: 10 Awesome Photos from the 2014 Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run

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At 7 a.m. this past Saturday morning, while you were cozied up under the covers enjoying luxuries like sleep and heat, a super-inspirational (and maybe a little crazy) group of people were outside, in the cold, rainy Philadelphia-winter weather, gearing up to run the Rocky 50K. Yep, that’s right: 50K. The run, in its second year, takes the same 30.61-mile route Rocky seemingly ran in Rocky II, kicking off in South Philly and ending at the Art Museum. And let me tell you, the photos do not disappoint. So it only seemed fitting to use them as this week’s #MotivationMonday roundup. Below, a big fat dose of get-moving inspiration, courtesy of all the folks who bravely ran the Rocky 50K.

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PHOTOS: Oktoberfest at Dilworth Park

It was another beautiful Indian Summer day in Philadelphia on Saturday, and crowds flocked to many of the festivals around town, including the OctoberFest at the new Dilworth Park. The autumn event included fun activities and games, plus a beer garden hosted by Garces’s Rosa Blanca, where guests could sit at café tables or on hay stacks strewn about the roped-off area.

DJs & live music spiced up the party as some guests danced to the music. Mural Arts, The Franklin Institute and ZipCar were on hand with family-friendly activities, and guests enjoyed playing Connect Four, Jenga and Chess with oversized board games. The newly opened Great Lawn at the South End of the Park was the icing on the cake. I have photos of the afternoon below:



PHOTOS: The Mudball Costume Party at Clay Studio

The Clay Studio hosted The Mudball, a dance-a-thon and masquerade ball, on Saturday at World Café Live. The Clay Studio, located in Old City, is a nonprofit educational institution, gallery, and studio focused on the ceramic arts. 

The Mudball raised over $20,000 dollars to benefit the Studio’s educational art programs, designed to provide access to the ceramic arts to people of diverse backgrounds. Plus, it served as one of the first costume parties this Halloween season. See what guests were sporting in my slideshow below.



PHOTOS: Harry Potter Festival 2014

This past weekend Chestnut Hill turned into Hogsmeade as the fourth annual Harry Potter Festival transformed Germantown Avenue into the magical world of witches, goblins, and wizards.



Kicking off the weekend on Friday night there was a pub crawl and costume contest. Saturday morning saw the “Hogswarts Express” filled with Harry Potter characters. The trolley arrived at Chestnut Hill West for a 10 a.m. opening ceremony conducted by Professor Albus Dumbledore (Walt Maguire) and Students from Chestnut Hill Colleges’ Mask & Foil Thespian Club dressed as J.K. Rowling’s famed characters. Chestnut Hill college student Dan Lemoine played Harry Potter to a tee for the third year in a row.

After the ceremony the characters and fans, many of who came dressed as Harry Potter characters or at least sported a witches hat or scarf, enjoyed one of the last days of Indian Summer, taking in the sights as well as all the Harry Potter activities that lined the street, like wand-making, dragon fire-breating and face-painting. Chestnut Hill restaurants offered Harry Potter-inspired edibles, like Golden Snitches and butter beer.

PHOTOS: OutFest 2014 Packed the Gayborhood Again



G Philly teammates were out taking in OutFest during three parts of the day. Contributor Bryan Buttler went early, as local organizations were setting up their tents and photographers were wiping off their lenses for a full day of picture-snapping. It was a gorgeous day for a Gayborhood block party.

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PHOTOS: Midtown Village Fall Festival 2014



PHOTOS: Questlove at Uniqlo Philly Love Fest

To celebrate the grand opening of its flagship store in downtown Philadelphia, at 1608 Chestnut Street, UNIQLO hosted a community-themed event at Smith Memorial Park Playground and Playhouse in Fairmount Park.

A fusion of Tokyo and Philadelphia culture, the ‘UNIQLO Philly Love Fest’ was an afternoon of activities for guests—everything from Japanese lantern-making and face-painting in the traditional Japanese styles of anime, manga and kabuki in Philadelphia team colors to Philadelphia bucket drummers and a DJ set by The Roots drummer—and Philly native—Questlove, which was punctuated with a performance by local break dancers.

There were also lots of carnival games where guests played to win UNIQLO gift cards, food truck vouchers and other UNIQLO prizes. There were food trucks serving up delicacies influenced by both Tokyo and Philly, including SPOT Gourmet Burgers, Steaks, & Pork and Street Food Philly.

See some of my photos from the afternoon below:



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