Bacon Brothers Headline Friends of the Rail Park Fundraiser

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The Center City District and Friends of the Rail Park hosted a fundraiser in support of Phase I of the Viaduct Rail Park last night at Philly’s Union Transfer. The evening began with a VIP cocktail party offering hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, DJ Jersey Dan and a great networking crowd of Rail Park sponsors and supporters. At 8 p.m. the performances started with the evening’s emcee Pierre Robert talking about many of Philly’s treasures, how they began and where they are now, such as Project HOME and the Mural Arts Project. He then talked about the vision of the Friends of the Rail Park and where it could lead in a few years with the right support. Michael Garden, secretary for the Friends of the Rail Park, spoke more on the subject and then introduced the opening act, a solo acoustic performance by rising star Rob Grote of The Districts. The Bacon BrothersKevin and Michael Bacon, who grew up in the Rittenhouse Square area — headlined the concert.

Photos after the jump »

Hair O’ the Dog 2016

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The 22nd Hair O’ the Dog (HOD) took place Saturday night at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City. Nearly 2,000 people attended the event where a portion of the proceeds will benefit THON, Penn State’s Dance Marathon, and the largest student run philanthropy in the world which benefits pediatric cancer.

Rob Molinaro and Dan Cronin started the first party with a few friends in the weeks following New Year’s Eve; the event has since grown into a must-attend event and attracts guests from all walks of life. In the past decade Buffy Harakidas has joined the team as director of marketing for Chorus Communications and creative director for HOD. She envisioned a jungle-themed party complete with zebras, camels and tigers dotting the venue, as well as stilt walkers, break dancers and a girl on roller skates mixing with the crowd.

At the height of the party a storm of confetti fell over the dance floor, showering the nonstop dancers as drummers joined the headlining band of the evening, Go Go Gadjet, on stage. This year the event drew a very fashionable crowd, where women wore the hottest designs including the popular cutout dress and midriff top. A light buffet was served, as well as a top-shelf open bar. Bottle service areas were located throughout the venue with white lounges and lit cube tables. There were also several photo booths, and the event’s title sponsor, SugarHouse had a “wheel of fortune” for guests to win prizes.

Photos from the 22nd Annual Hair O’ the Dog after the jump »

Diana Ross and Jason Alexander Celebrate Einstein Healthcare’s 150th

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Last night Einstein Healthcare Network celebrated it’s 150th anniversary with a sold-out gala at the National Constitution Center hosted by Seinfeld star Jason Alexander and featuring a performance by Diana Ross.

Einstein got its start in 1866 as a 22-bed Jewish Hospital. Today the Einstein Healthcare Network has nearly 9,000 employees and operates three acute care hospitals — Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery — along with MossRehab, two physician companies, and a series of outpatient centers throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

Guests enjoyed delicious food by Brulee Catering, and danced to the sounds of Honey & Vinyl, as well as enjoyed performances from the UArts’ Vocal Performance Department including a performance by Rumble, an alternative drum ensemble that marked the beginning of the program where Lawrence S. Reichlin, chair of the board of directors, and Barry R. Freedman, president and CEO of Einstein Healthcare Network, welcomed the guests. Chairpersons for the gala were Alison and Marc Feldman, Susan and Leonard Klehr, Jill and Jon Powell and Nancy and Marc Shrier.

Photos after the jump »

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Gala

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On November 14, 2015, The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) honored me(!) with the 2015 Humanitarian Award for my advocacy in promoting AFSP’s overall mission: to end the silence and reduce the stigma around mental illness and suicide.

When Garden Wellington (PR for the AFSP) approached me a few years back, asking me to get involved in the organization by photographing the Out of the Darkness Walk, I turned her down. I told her I was too busy. But the truth was that I didn’t want to face my past. She persisted, and a few months later asked me again, saying the organization could use a little HughE love on a subject, that at the time rarely was covered in the media. I told her I’d get back to her.

I realized I could help others by telling my story, when I struggled with the issue in my 20s. I then told my story on my blog and on social media. They tell me that with my help over the past three years they have double the number of people who come to their annual walk, held in October; this past year 5,000 walkers participated.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. The 350 guests who attended enjoyed dinner, dancing and the most amazing silent auction from generous sponsors. Thanks to everyone who supported the event by attending, or making a donation. We’re saving lives.

Photos after the jump »

Big Brothers Big Sisters 100th Anniversary Gala

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The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania held their 100th anniversary gala last night.

Guests walked the purple carpet and posed for a handful of paparazzi, then continued into the purple-themed Kimmel Center where they enjoyed several cocktail parties. Upstairs on tier two, guest performers Vanessa Williams, Macy Gray, Stephan Jenkins, Marlon Wayans and Shontelle mingled with VIPs. Meanwhile, downstairs in Commonwealth Plaza another cocktail party was going strong in the beautifully designed area decorated on a grand scale by Petah Bashano Event Décor and Design and food by Garces Catering.

Since its inception in 1915, the Big Brothers Big Sisters has offered mentoring to thousands of boys and girls by reaching out and believing positive adult role models make a difference. And they do, many of the speakers during the program said.

Several people and organizations were honored during a program in Verizon Hall, including Comcast, The Bentley Family, Dr. Wilson Goode, Fox Rothschild, and two long time volunteers, Tom McElvogue and Joan Tishgart. The goal for the evening was to raise $1 million dollars; that goal was exceeded, but there is still an opportunity to raise even more funds to help mentor a child.
Photos after the jump »

Marc Vetri Hosts Annual Great Chefs Event at Navy Yard

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More than 1,200 guests attended the 10th annual Great Chefs Event on Tuesday, June 9th. The yearly eating party thrown by Philadelphia super-chef Marc Vetri was held at Urban Outfitters in the Navy Yard, with proceeds going to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand fight 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 and desserts, and features both a live and a silent auction — which included clothing, lavish trips, sports tickets and experiences — that raises nearly $100,000 every year.

This year the after-party was held just a few blocks away, under a white tent in front of Vetri’s restaurant Lo Spiedo, with Questlove spinning at the bash again. 

Photos after the jump »

85th Annual Radnor Hunt Races

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The Radnor Hunt Races celebrated its 85th Anniversary on May 16th during the spring tradition of steeplechasing at the Radnor Hunt. Six exciting races featured horses vying for purses totaling $180,000. Guests dressed in fashionable derby party outfits, with many of the ladies wearing hats of elegance and style. They enjoyed tailgate picnics, buffet luncheons in the sponsored tents and just took in the fresh air while watching the races along the fence 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. BNY Mellon celebrated 31 years as lead sponsor of the Radnor Hunt Races.

Photos from the Radnor Hunt after the jump »

Fairmount Park Conservancy 8th Annual Centennial Celebration

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More than 500 park supporters attended the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s 8th Annual Centennial Celebration held at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center last night. This year’s honorees included John Crowe, president and CEO of, Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations, for corporate leadership; Kathleen McGinty, chief of staff to Governor Tom Wolf and a longtime environmentalist, for civic leadership; and Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC (which includes a tree planted in his honor at Belmont Plateau), as the John Binswanger Park Champion. Crowe’s Saint-Gobain is one of the main sponsors of The Oval; it will kick off the summer season and commemorate the company’s 350th anniversary with a never-before-seen global exhibition, “Future Sensations,” which will make its only U.S. tour stop at The Oval from May 30th through June 6th.

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent, was a great master of ceremonies, filling in for Andrea Mitchell, who was on the Hillary Clinton trail. Welker was grateful to be back in her hometown with her mother and among friends in the park where she played softball as a kid.

Photos from the Fairmount Park Conservancy Gala after the jump »

The First Annual Rad Girl Rad Awards

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Last year Leah Kaufman founded Rad-Girls.com, a digital platform that celebrates innovative and inspiring women making a difference in Philly. This year they hosted their first ever awards ceremony and celebration to honor local inspiring female leaders in the fields of technology, media, culture and business.

The Rad Awards were held at The Dreaming Building in Northern Liberties, an innovative co-working space for artists and young entrepreneurs. The venue was “rad” itself as the building filled with many of the nominees and supporters, allowing just a sliver of a stage for the awards to be given out.

The focus of the evening was on networking and celebration. The spirits flowed with speciality cocktails from Bluecoat American Dry Gin and light fare from Rouge (who knew they catered?). Music from DJ Diamond Girl kept the crowd grooving before and after the ceremony.

Photos and the full list of Rad Award winners after the jump »

Red & White Ball for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Philadelphia

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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 »

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