On Saturday, the National Museum of American Jewish History held its four annual Masquerade Ball in celebration of Purim. More than 350 members of the Young Friends of NMAJH gathered in the museum’s ballroom overlooking Independence Park. Many attendees dressed in their best costumes and masks to honor the Jewish holiday. Guests danced to the tunes by DJ Royale and enjoyed light bites, desserts by Magical Sweet Shop, and an open bar during the event.
On Monday night Komen Philadelphia and SugarHouse Casino hosted “Game Changer,” a program of the Komen P.I.N. Stripes young professionals network. (P.I.N. stands for Philanthropy. Insights. Networking.) Game Changer brought together survivors of breast cancer, their supporters and leaders in the medical community as part of the Survivor Love Campaign with SugarHouse Casino. Celebrating the power of Race for the Cure, which will be held on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8th, guests enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner by the Gibsons Restaurant Group (GRG) and watched the debut of the “Share The Love” music video. CBS3’s Natasha Brown and Stephanie Stahl honored numerous hospitals and medical programs in the Philadelphia area for their excellent patient care in the field of breast cancer treatment. Over $1 million was distributed to nearly 50 different programs in the area.
The AIDS Fund held its fancy, fun and charitable 17th annual Black-Tie GayBINGO! event Saturday night at the Loews. The night opened with a cocktail party, where guests mingled and bid on great items in the silent auction. Guests headed into the ballroom for dinner and bingo games. The Bingo Verifying Divas (BVDs) dressed in glamorous drag and entertained the crowd while fund-raising for HIV and AIDS took place. At this year’s event the AIDS Fund honored several people, including their “Favorite Straight Person of the Year,” Judith Porter, “Volunteer of the Year” Robert Murray and the owners of the Woods Campground. The AIDS Fund is the producer of AIDS Walk Philly, GayBINGO and other fund-raising and awareness programs throughout the year.
The 30th Annual Madam C.J. Walker Awards Luncheon was held on Saturday, March 19th, at the Loews Hotel. After a morning of economic development seminars and networking, nearly 700 women attended the event. Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C.J. Walker, was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, regarded as the first female self-made millionaire in America. Annual luncheons are held around the country to honor Walker’s business philosophy and award outstanding women, including students in the community, with scholarships. A’Lelia Bundles, the great-great-granddaughter of Madam Walker, honored the women at the event. Mistress of ceremonies Monique Braxton of NBC10 and Mayor Jim Kenney were on hand at the luncheon. Both celebrated their 15th year attending the luncheon.
The 14th annual Zarwin March Madness viewing party was held yesterday at the Crystal Tea Room. One of the largest networking events in the city — and certainly one of the longest — the event has grown from a tiny party held at the Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. offices to a bash with more than 2,500 people stopping by throughout the day to network and watch the games in the ballroom. Guests enjoyed some of Philly’s favorite fare like cheesesteaks, pretzels, wings, hot dogs and pulled pork. This year there was also food from popular eateries like Little Lion, Vespers and Revolution Taco. The party also featured a beer garden with tastings from Bank and Bourbon, New Liberty Distillery/Millstone Spirits Group, New Liberty Distillery/Millstone Spirits Group and Golia vodka. The free event has always benefited Philabundance, but this year’s event also supported Chester nonprofit grocery store Fare & Square. There was an extensive silent auction and a live auction to raise funds, as well as a collection of canned food donations. To date, the event has raised close to $200,000 to support these efforts.
The night began with a cocktail party at which several people were honored, including Leidy Torres, 2016 Young Achiever Honoree. Torres told a moving story about how she navigated the foster care system and went on to college with the skills she obtained at VYH. Mark Aitken of Horizon Services was honored with the 2016 Individual Achiever award for his support of VYH, and Brian Cohen received the 2016 Corporate Achiever Honor on behalf of Liberty Property Trust, which has been a supporter of VYH.
Valley Youth House provides a first line of defense for troubled young people and their families. Protection from abuse, neglect, and family disintegration is achieved through a strategy involving prevention, crisis intervention, and long-term help.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosted its 3rd Annual Red & White Ball held at the Marriott Downtown in Center City Saturday, March 5th. Guests enjoyed a cocktail party with light bites while bidding on exciting silent auction prizes including trips, gift certificates and sports memorabilia. There was also a raffle for a Mercedes-Benz generously donated by local Mercedes-Benz dealers. Some 1,200 raffle tickets at $100 a pop were sold, and one lucky anonymous winner is getting ready to drive an all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC (formerly GLK) SUV. Proceeds from the evening topped $575,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Designer Nicole Miller brought her spring collection fashion show to Philadelphia for customers, tastemakers and the fashionable on Tuesday night at the Bellevue in the Rose Garden Ballroom. The 20-minute show was exactly as it was when it was first shown at New York Fashion Week, along with a fantastic break-dancing routine to open the show. Miller and Mary Dougherty, who owns the local Nicole Miller stores in Manayunk and at the Bellevue, co-hosted the event. It included a fancy VIP pre-show meet-and-greet with Miller, and an afterparty, both of which were held in the store. The event also celebrated the debut of the 2016 Nicole Miller tie and scarf, featuring local Philly partners like Di Bruno Brothers, Comcast, Jefferson Hospital, High Street, GPFO, Visit Philly and others. Ten percent of the sales will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, ESF Dream Camp Foundation and Vetri Foundation.
Friends, family and supporters of Independence Mission Schools (IMS) gathered on Saturday night for IMS’s 2nd annual gala, “Dancing for Our Future Stars.” The dance competition supports the students of Independence Mission Schools, and featured 11 dazzling performances from dancing pairs at the Crystal Tea Room, including six nuns who performed as IHM “Sister Act” — with the lead nun playing Whoopi Goldberg’s character.
Prizes were awarded to all the dance contestants, with the gigantic mirror globes going to the biggest fundraiser. People’s Choice went to construction consultant Carol Tamburino, who raised $40,000 in votes. The Best Dance Performance Mirror Ball Trophy went to Judge’s Choice winner Marcus Allen, CEO Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Southeast Pennsylvania, and his dance partner, Amber Rawls, a former dancer for the Sixers. The overall competition winner, which was a combination of judges’ votes and money raised ($28,000) was Peter Panageas and K.O. Delmarcelle. All gala proceeds go to support Independence Mission Schools, a 501c3 organization that manages a network of 15 independent Catholic schools that provide a high-quality education for 4,700 students in some of the most under-resourced communities of Philadelphia.
The 2016 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show — which celebrates our country’s majestic landscapes, rich history, cherished monuments and vibrant culture — opened with a gala preview party on March 4th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This year’s show is also celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service.
The black-tie party attracted many friends and supporters of the annual event, including Governor Tom Wolf, Director of the United States National Park Service Jonathan Jarvis, Deputy Mayor Anne Fadullon, Chairman of the Board of Opera Philadelphia Dan Meyer, and Carl and Roberta Dranoff. Legend Bill Cunningham was spotted in his signature blue jacket taking photos for the New York Times. This year’s gala chair was Leslie Anne Miller, who worked with the gala’s previous party committee to create a fun evening for all. The Flower Show opened to the public on the following day, March 5th, and runs through March 13th.