The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia

Howard and JoAnne Wurzak with Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan

The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia celebrated it’s 17th Annual Evening in the Park on the grounds of their headquarters Thursday night, The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland in Fairmount Park. Guests enjoyed fabulous food and cocktails by Brulee Catering, a live auction led by Jeff Hammond who helped raise nearly $75,000 from the very generous crowd, and a silent auction, all to benefit CSCGP.

Event co-chairs Barbara Blair and Betsy Rubenstone greeted the guests and spoke about their lives which have been touched by cancer, and have benefited by the programs at CSCGP. Honorees last night included: Wendy H. Rosen, Dr. David M. Mintzer, The Stuetz Family, and  Susan Tressider. Kelly Harris, CEO gave an impassioned address sharing with the guests about all the wonderful, caring programs available at Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia (all free), especially the programs directed at children going through cancer, or a parent going through cancer. The programs connect them with others, as well as any counseling they need. We’re so lucky to have an organization like this in Philadelphia.

Photos 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 »

Old Bags Night Out

Amy Brown, Hallee Adelman and Hope Cohen, author.

The second annual Old Bags-Night Out, hosted by Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, was at Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia, PA on Wednesday April 29, 2015.

The event attracted over 200 fashionably dressed women, who enjoyed light bites from 12th Street Catering and bid on gently used, donated bags. They also enjoyed a fashion show curated by Ken Downing, fashion director and senior vice president of Neiman Marcus stores. He pulled together looks from various designers to showcase the latest styles and trends that will be gracing the social events and outings for the summer and fall. Proceeds from the event went to the Boys Latin of Philadelphia, which gives a college prep education to underprivileged boys in the Philadelphia area. Angela Hudson, Helene Van Beuren, Mellen Vogt, and Janine Yass, a founder of Boys’ Latin Charter School, were the evening’s co-chairs, they, along with an impressive list of committee member,=ps honored philanthropist Anne Hamilton with the 2015 recipient of the Ultimate Mentor Award.

Photos after the jump »

Bank and Bourbon Donors Choose Benefit

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Last night Bank and Bourbon hosted their inaugural Bourbon Bash at the restaurant. Over 300 people came out to Chef Thomas Harkin’s delicious fare, and enjoy spirits generously sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits and curated by their own bourbon master Brian Bevilacqua. Bank and Bourbon has gotten rave reviews for their menu since the Loews Hotel eatery opened a year ago, which is probably why the place was so packed last night. It was a ticketed, all-you-can-eat steak-and-bourbon party for $49, which benefited Donors Choose — a charity through which teachers request classroom materials and donors choose who to donate to. Bank and Bourbon’s GM Sean Glancy hopes to make this an annual event, attracting more people and raising more money for charity.
Photos after the jump »

Please Touch Museum’s Storybook Ball

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The Please Touch Museum held its annual Storybook Ball on Saturday April 25th to benefit the museum’s literacy programming for young children. Families were encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook characters or superhero. It was an evening of enchantment with entertainment and family-friendly cuisine, like hot dogs, burgers and pizza catered by Brûlée Catering. For dessert, there was ice cream and pudding.

Kids enjoyed rides on the carousel, and theatrical and musical performances by Baby Loves Disco. Special guest appearances included story book readings by Sarah Bloomquist of 6ABC and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, a children’s book author who read from her book Tyrannosaurus Wrecks. Magician Tom McDonnell was on hand with lots of sleight of hand, card tricks and friendly rabbits. This year there were a lot of characters roaming about including Wild Thing, Ryan Lion, Curious George, Paddington Bear, Baby Mouse, Prince Charming and of course Cinderella.

Photos from the Storybook Ball after the jump »

A Benefit for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Bob Cwenar, Caroline Donegan and John Buehler

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University held the Sixth Annual Men’s Event benefiting prostate cancer research and patient care. The event was held at the Union League in Philadelphia.

The Men’s Event was emceed by Brian McDonough, medical editor on KYW Newsradio. His honorary co-chairs were Dr. Leonard Gomella, chair of the Department of Urology, and Karen E. Knudsen, newly announced Director of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. The evening began with a cocktail party and silent auction, before guests sat down to enjoy dinner and the program. During the program Dr. Steve Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, talked about the great strides Jefferson was making in the field of prostate cancer, as well as how the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center medical team works well together in all fields with the goal of ending cancer. Stand-up comedian Billy Gardell, who currently stars in the popular TV series Mike & Molly, had the 360 guests in stitches as he took shots at the medical field, but mostly focused on marriage, children and aging parents.

Photos 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 »

BalletX Gala at Top of the Tower

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On April 16th BalletX hosted its fundraiser gala on the 50th floor at the Top of the Tower, 1717 Arch Street. Guests gathered just in time to catch the sun setting over the the city in celebration of another successful year of BalletX; they dined on a buffet from Top of the Tower catering and enjoyed specialty drinks including the XMopolitian which was made with Pravada Citron Vodka.

In nine years the company has produced more than 55 world premiere ballets exploring relevant, emotional and honest happenings of the world. During the evening several new BalletX works were performed including Edgar Anido‘s “Mis Amigos, My Friends, Mes Amis “ — with Richard Villaverde and Zachary Kapeluck, and Amy Seiwert‘s “It’s Not A Cry” — with Villaverde and Chloe Felesina. The company also honored friends and supporters Linda and David Glickstein and Jeanne Fisher.

Photos after the jump »

Gala for NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

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The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund celebrated its 75th anniversary Thursday night with a dinner and tribute program. The honorees for the evening were four central forces in the fight for racial justice, William T. Coleman, Jr., Honorable William H. Hastie, Jr., Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., and Honorable Louis H. Pollak, whose families were on hand for the celebration, held at the Kimmel Center in the Hamilton Garden.

Photos after the jump »

Blingo at the Rittenhouse Hotel

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Saturday night the Rittenhouse Hotel was the scene of a lively bingo game — except that the guests were not the blue-haired ladies  I’m used to playing with. The night was called Blingo, as every winning card won a prize that was blinged-out, with proceeds from the evening going to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare, fatal disease which afflicts only boys, usually by the age of 5, most of whom die in their 20s.

Mistress of ceremonies for the evening was WMMR’s Marisa Magnatta who assisted in the Blingo games with local celebrities John Bolaris of WeatherSavior.com, comedian Joe Conklin, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley, CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl and former Gov. Ed Rendell,who called out the numbers for Blingo. Jesse and Beka Rendell, along with Sonal and Manu Gambhir, were co-hosts of the gala. During the program the Gambhir’s son, 13-year-old Yuva Gambhir, who has Duchenne and is in a wheelchair, spoke on how the disease affects his life.

His body may be weak, but his mind is sharp, he said, and he talked about the future cure which was just on the horizon. We were all smiling through our tears during his speech.

Photos from Blingo after the jump »

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