Philadelphia Art Alliance’s ‘Spring at the Mansion’


Spring is in the air and it was very evident at the Philadelphia Art Alliance’s “Spring at the Mansion” party held Friday night in the jewel of Rittenhouse Square, The Wetherill Mansion across from the blooming park.

Black was out, and colorful dresses and dapper suits were in. Guests enjoyed a cocktail party under a tent on the closed Rittenhouse Street adjacent to the Wetherill before being led into the mansion for a delicious dinner prepared by the newly opened French bistro Le Chéri, whose rooms were decorated with springtime colors and flowers by Evantine Designs.

At 8 p.m. the Young Friends of The Art Alliance began their party under the tent. They enjoyed delicious treats from DiBruno’s and an open bar, and danced to the tunes of DJ Serop. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the preservation and restoration of The Wetherill Mansion, home of the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the oldest cultural institution on the Square. Co-chairs for the evening were Nicole Cashman and Nigel Richards.

Philadelphia Art Alliance’s ‘Spring at the Mansion’ »

Fairmount Park Conservancy 7th Annual Centennial Celebration

From left: Chris Matthews, MSNBC, Kathryn Ott Lovell, Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Mayor Michael Nutter.

From left: Chris Matthews, MSNBC, Kathryn Ott Lovell, Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Mayor Michael Nutter.

Thursday night at the Horticultural Center, the Fairmount Park Conservancy hosted its 7th Annual Centennial Celebration, and it attracted a record number of guests (475) as well as raising 45% more money than last year. There was a lively cocktail hour in the greenhouse, where we all enjoyed bright sunshine after 48 hours of record-breaking rain. Then everyone was ushered into a large tent to begin the dinner and a program.

The Conservancy honored three people this year including the President & CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, Gerald Sweeney, City Council President Darrell Clarke, and Patricia Kind who was named John K. Binswanger Park Champion. Mrs. Kind wasn’t in attendance so her oldest daughter, Laura Kind McKenna, accepted on her behalf. The emcee for the evening was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who grew up in nearby Hunting Park and recalled childhood memories of playing in the park.

Fairmount Park Conservancy 7th Annual Centennial Celebration »

LIFT Philadelphia’s upLIFTing Leadership Award Celebration


Last night, 300 people came out, hell or high water, to support LIFT Philadelphia’s “upLIFTing Leadership Award” celebration at World Live Café. LIFT is an organization that helps people get out of poverty.The national organization with locations in five U.S. cities was co-founded when Kirsten Lodal, then a student at Yale, saw that there wasn’t a single organization that took care of the needs of people in poverty, and that as a result the impoverished often had to go to several different organizations to get the help they needed. Today, Lodal’s vision is realized as LIFT, a national nonprofit working to “lift” people out of poverty for good.

Last night Drexel University’s president John Fry was presented with the “upLIFTing Leadership Award” for his visionary leadership and commitment to civic engagement. Fry told the guests that LIFT was the perfect partner for Drexel, as he attempts to instill similar values — that they must help others to achieve success — in his students.

Jill Aschkenasy, a Haverford resident and founder of Our Closet, a pop-up shop for free clothing, was presented with the “upLIFTing Community Award” for her innovative approach to providing struggling community members access to free, high-quality clothing during times of crisis.

The recipient of the “upLIFTing Commitment Award” went to LIFT member Tyrone, who has benefitted over the years from LIFT services to help him get back on his feet again.

LIFT Philadelphia’s upLIFTing Leadership Award Celebration »

The 2014 Philadelphia Antiques Show


The 2014 Philadelphia Antiques Show took place this past week, kicking off Friday night with its annual preview party. Founded in 1962, The Philadelphia Antiques Show is one of the longest running antiques shows in the country. The preview party hosted about 1,000 who dined on delicious food, enjoyed an open bar, and mingled.

For years the show was held at the 23rd Street Armory until it outgrew the space. In its new home at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, it’s organized more like visiting a grand home with different rooms filled with the most exquisite items. One of the finest shows of Americana features more than 50 exhibitors offering a vast selection of furnishings and decorative arts for both the period and the modern American home.

The proceeds from the show benefit the Penn Medicine University of Pennsylvania Health System, and will support the Penn Center for Human Performance.

2014 Philadelphia Antiques Show »

Brownstein Group 50th Anniversary


Brownstein Group celebrated 50 years in business with friends, clients, and co-workers Thursday at the Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden. Guests dined on delicious food from Garces Catering (including stations from Amada, Distrito, and Chifa) and enjoyed specialty cocktails. Brownstein Group is a brand communication firm located in Center City Philadelphia. Founded in 1964, they specialize in brand strategy, digital, advertising and design, public relations, and social media. Clients include Ikea, CHOP, The Philadelphia Auto Show and Comcast, to name but a few.

Brownstein Group 50th Anniversary »

20 Years of Nicole Miller Philadelphia


The paparazzi were out in force last night as the beautiful women of Philadelphia packed the Shops at the Bellevue as designer Nicole Miller (above, left) and Mary K. Dougherty (above, second from right) celebrated 20 years of dressing Philadelphia at their Center City store. Mary K Dougherty, owner of Nicole Miller Philadelphia with stores in Center City and Manayunk, and designer Nicole Miller posed for photos with their guests, and thanked them for coming during the 3-hour event.

The overflowing crowd spilled into the hallway, but when I finally made it into the store, it was decorated with balloons, streamers, and many of the women were wearing Nicole Miller through the decades. Lauren Collabelli was wearing the outfit she wore on the night she met her husband, John, several years back; Linda Swain wore a vintage ’90s Nicole Miller Grateful Dead jacket; and Lynsie Solomon wore a current black-and-white Nicole Miller dress. There was a light buffet from The Palm restaurant, spirits, and a gorgeous and delicious cake created by Sweet T Bakeshop.

20 Years of Nicole Miller Philadelphia »

Project HOME 25th Anniversary Gala and Jon Bon Jovi Soul Homes Grand Opening


Last night, Project HOME celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a gala event at the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia. Co-chairs Dorothy and David Binswanger, Pam Estadt and Ira Lubert, and Frannie and James Maguire were on hand to honor Leigh and John Middleton with the 2014 Golden Heart for their eight years of philanthropic work with Project HOME. (They have given more than $30 million to Project H.O.M.E. to fight homelessness.)

Earlier in the day, the Middletons were on hand for the grand opening of the JBJ Soul Homes with namesake Jon Bon Jovi. The 55-unit building, which will also have offices and retail spaces, opened in the Francisville neighborhood after about 18 months of construction. Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation provided the lead gift for the $20 million project in a partnership with Project H.O.M.E. When you enter the building there’s a quote from a Bon Jovi song — “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” — welcoming homeless and low-income residents.

Project HOME 25th Anniversary Gala and Jon Bon Jovi Soul Homes Grand Opening »

Pennsylvania Wines Spring/Summer “The Chores Can Wait” Campaign Launch at Davio’s


Thursday night, Pennsylvania Wines held a wine tasting and launch party at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse to celebrate their new branding and a mobile-friendly website that encourages users to “Plan your weekend in wine land” and to use the #PAWineLandWKND hashtag. Invited guests included representatives from Pennsylvania wineries, media, and friends. Guests dined on executive chef Chris Tavares’s spring menu including shrimp, cheesesteak spring rolls, and crab.

The new Mobile-friendly website works on smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers, and includes tools for travelers to plot their trip through the countryside’s wineries. To plan your next weekend in wine country, go to

PA Wines

Curtis Institute Honors the Lenfests


On Sunday, April 13th, at the Kimmel Center, the Curtis Institute of Music honored Curtis board chairman H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest and Curtis overseer Marguerite Lenfest for their transformational contributions to Curtis.

After eight years as board chairman, Mr. Lenfest steps down at the end of the school year in May. He has been an important contributor of knowledge and funding to the Curtis Institute, playing a pivitol role in the opening of Lenfest Hall in 2011, in addition to the completion of the faculty chair challenge which added $34 million to the endowment, and the launch of Curtis on Tour, which brought performances by Curtis students and faculty overseas.

– Curtis Honors the Lenfests »

Philly Tech Week 2014 Signature Event


Philly Tech Week’s Signature Event was held at the Comcast Center on Friday, April 11th. It was part cocktail party, part local tech expo, and part demo party. It was a great event to network and served as a great capper for another successful year of Philly Tech Week. Food was provided by DiBruno Brothers and Shake Shack. Local beer (and open bar) was provided by Yards.

Philly Tech Week 2014 Signature Event »

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