The Four Seasons ballroom was filled to the brim on Friday night for the 13th Annual Donors are Heroes Gala otherwise known as “The Party,” a title it richly deserves. As soon as you walk in the door you are swept up with the smiling faces of friendly people, some whose lives have been saved my an organ transplant — like co-founder of The Party Don Freeman (his donor’s mother was in attendance) — others who have donated organs to save a life — like Mary Pat Kessler who gave her sister a kidney — and others who are simply aware of the benefits of choosing “yes” to organ donation on their drivers licenses, and putting those instructions in their do-not-resuscitate documents. That’s where the funds raised at this party go to: maintaining public awareness programs, school summits and teaching initiatives, all of which are geared toward educating and dispelling the myths surrounding becoming an organ donor and emphasizing the need for life-saving, life-enhancing transplants. Guests at The Party enjoyed fine cuisine (Four Seasons, City Tap House Logan, Serafina, Brown Betty and Night Kitchen, to name a few) and spirits, during their break from the real party which was happening on the dance floor to the sounds of Eddie Tully and songstress Jessy Kyle.
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On Thursday night, Griesing Law celebrated its fifth anniversary with a party themed “fashion, food and spirits.” More than 200 of their friends, clients and supporters came to the firm’s offices to celebrate. Guests enjoyed specialty cocktails, a buffet which included treats from Zama, DiBrunos, and Federal Donuts. Denise Fike was on hand to personally sketch each guest. There was also a art exhibit called “City Bites”, It’s the ninth show at Griesing Law since 2010. The firm is dedicated to supporting the arts in Philadelphia with a rolling schedule of artist showcases all open to the public. Painter Mike Geno and photographer Michael Persico created art focused on Philadelphia chefs, restaurants and bakeries, The show runs from March 27th through August 31st- Monday Through Friday 9AM -5PM. 1717 Arch Street, Suite 3630. Anyone can attend for free.
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On Saturday night, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania held their 2nd annual Red & White Ball at the Westin Hotel in Center City. More than 500 well-dressed attendees wearing the colors of the night — red and white — walked the red carpet and posed for photos, before joining the cocktail party and checking out the silent auction items ranging from trips, to experiences to sports outings. There was also a raffle to win a brand new 2015 Mercedes-Benz SUV.
At 8 p.m. guests headed into the dinner in the Grand Ballroom to honor a courageous young woman, 15-year-old Karlee Hofmann, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) as a child and lost the use of her legs, but with treatment beat cancer. She attends Council Rock High School, has lots of friends, participates in many activities and is a remarkable cheerleader. (You can make a donation in her honor here).
Photos from the Red & White Ball after the jump »
Friday night The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) organization hosted its annual gala and concert, an evening of music, art and dining at the Union League in Center City. Board chair Frank Giordano and president and music director Louis Scaglione were on hand at the cocktail party where they greeted guests who dined on light bites and checked out the art show and sale by the prestigious Studio Incamminati artists, many of who were on hand for the event.
After the cocktail party, guests headed into the Grant Ballroom for dinner. It was there that Mayor Michael Nutter was presented the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Support of Arts, Culture and Education in the City of Philadelphia by Giordano and Scaglione. After dinner the guests headed upstairs to Lincoln Hall for the 75th Anniversary concert by the The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.
Photos from the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra gala after the jump »
The 13th Annual Zarwin Baum’s March Madness viewing party was held again at the Crystal Tea Room and was packed with basketball fans watching the game on large screens and enjoying a Philadelphia picnic of hot dogs, cheese steaks, pretzels and chicken wings. Photos after the jump »
Last Wednesday, Historic Philadelphia Inc honored Governor Ed Rendell, Gerry Lenfest, Karen Butler, the William Penn Foundation and PECO. The evening convened at the Historic Philadelphia Center at Sixth and Chestnut streets, at 5:30 p.m. Following cocktails, guests moved to Independence Hall, where they experienced a scene from Historic Philadelphia’s Independence After Hours tour with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams arguing about who should write the Declaration of Independence. From there, guests headed to City Tavern to enjoy Chef Walter Staib’s authentic Revolutionary-era recipes. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will be hosting its seventh annual “An Evening in Franklin Square” presented by Parx Casino on Thursday, May 14th.
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On Friday night, Philadelphia hosted its 3rd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The UNCF provides scholarships for 60,000 students attending 900 colleges and universities. It also provides financial assistance to 38 higher-education schools in its network, all of which are historically black colleges and universities. The Masked Award (Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams) honorees this year were Craig L. Adams of PECO, who was the co-chair of the inaugural gala, Joseph M. Casey, SEPTA General Manager, and former school superintendent Dr. Constance Clayton. There were several notables in the audience, including legendary singer Billy Paul, Tuskegee Airman Pierce Ramsey, Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller, First Lady of Philadelphia Lisa Nutter, Mayor Michael Nutter, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF, and Stephanie Humphrey, QVC host and mistress of ceremonies for the evening’s ceremony.
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The 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show opened on Friday, February 27, 2015, with a black-tie gala. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail party under a marquee of beautiful flowers while surrounded by Caribbean pirates, playful rats, princesses, and chickens in the barnyard. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Movies,” and as you may have guessed, there’s a large contingent of displays inspired by Disney movies as well as Hollywood classics. After the cocktail hour, dinner took place among the floral displays. As dinner ended at 10 p.m., guests joined the afterparty where DJ Montone and DJ Jason Weiss kicked off dance party which continued well after midnight. The Flower Show runs through March 8, with a schedule full of special events, celebrity appearances, and lots and lots of beautiful flowers and shopping.
More photos from the Flower Show Gala after the jump »
On Saturday, February 28th, the 2nd Annual Cheers for CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) was held at the Valley Forge Casino. This year the event was moved from the dance club to the ballroom to accommodate the 700 guests on hand. Philadelphia Event Planners gave that cavernous ballroom a night club atmosphere with reserved tables for 10, high tops and a communal table that ran the length of the dance floor; lining the walls were semi-private cabanas with their own servers.
The dance floor’s LED spelled out Cheers for CHOP, and to kick off the night the 1990s rap group Salt-N-Pepa (with DJ Spinderella) got the groove going by singing some of their biggest hits. DJ Bizz kept the party going by spinning till midnight, as guests enjoyed a banquet of food and dessert as well as specialty cocktails.
This year’s event raised $675,000 for CHOP’s Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy program — one of the first programs in the country to recognize the therapeutic value of play for hospitalized children. The evening’s special guest was 19-year-old CHOP patient Tom Gillin — who became Internet-famous last year with the Jay Z-inspired “Bald So Hard,” which he performed with Mike Mahoney. Photos from Cheers for CHOP after the jump »
Wednesday, the warmly dressed, well-heeled crowd turned up at at Century 21 department store on East Market to help celebrate the launch of LXR&Co (the go-to experts in luxury vintage that Shoppist told us about last month.) The boutique will be located permanently inside the Century 21 store at 8th and Market Streets.
Frederick Mannella, CEO and Founder, LXR&Co told me he was a collector of everything high-end vintage, and thought maybe there were other people of like minds who wanted to own vintage Louis Vuitton, Hermés, Gucci and Bvlgari bags and Rolex watches. He first started an online marketplace in 2011, then in 2012 opened a brick-and-mortar store near his hometown in Montreal, which was followed by a pop-up store in Beverly Hills, California, and then a shop in SoHo. Last year he opened a 3,000-square-foot shop at Century 21 in New York called C21 Edition, and now here he is in the hot retail city of Philadelphia at the newly opened Century 21 store.
Photos from the LXR & Co launch after the jump »