On the Town with Hughe Dillon

Dancing with Philadelphia Stars, Young Variety’s Celebrity Bartender Night, and an award for Tasty Baking CEO Charlie Pizzi

New York City has nothing on this town. Since my last post, I’ve attended more than seven events (and missed countless others because I had to sleep). Thursday night I stopped into Public House to attend Young Variety’s Celebrity Bartender Night. The Variety Club is a children’s charity that’s been serving children with physical and developmental disabilities since 1935.

A few of the celebrity bartenders included Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy, 6ABC’s Ali Gorman and Mara Webb, NBC10’s John Clark, and CBS3’s Doug Kammerer (who is now doing the morning weather and getting used to waking up at 4 a.m.). Lauren Labella and Donna Ferry, from the Philadelphia Passion Lingerie Football League team, are pictured below with Russell Ohneck. Lauren and Donna made the Pro Team, which is the equivalent to the All Stars, and will head to Monterrey, Mexico on June 10th to go up against the league’s west coast players. The next LFL season kicks off toward the end of summer, and after playing their home games at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton this past season, the Passion will now be at the Wachovia Center.
Friday night I stopped by for a hot minute at the Hyatt at the Bellevue ballroom for the 2009 William Penn Award as my friend Justin Pizzi‘s dad, president and CEO of Tasty Baking Company Charles P. Pizzi received the award, which is given for outstanding contributions to the Greater Philadelphia region, professional accomplishments and commitment to charity and the community.

NBC10’s Justin Pizzi, FoxSports.com’s Slice of Pizzi host Chris Pizzi and Wharton student Keith Pizzi. Those Pizzis are a successful bunch. Rounding out the family was mom Elyse, brother Gabe and aunt Marie Bonner in the VIP room. (Missing was dad at the moment of my visit.) Also enjoying the festivities were past William Penn Award winners…

William Avery, retired chairman and CEO of Crown Cork & Seal Company, Gerry Lenfest, founder of the former Suburban Cable, now part of Comcast Corporation, and Aqua America CEO Nick DeBenedictis with Girard College President Autumn Adkins. For me, meeting Gerry Lenfest was such an honor as he’s one of the most philanthropic people in the nation and he’s been an inspiration to me. Speaking of Autumn Adkins, she is featured in the May 2010 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine as one of 10 “Women on the Rise.

Then it was upstairs to 19th floor for the Donors are Heroes soiree called “THE Party” in support of the Gift of Life Donor Program. Co-chairs for the event were Eric Allen, Four Season Catering and Steffi Freedman. Pictured here are Renee and Don Freeman, Freeman Interiors—Don Freeman was the lucky recipient of a new heart 10 years ago—Andrea Helfrich, Miss Philadelphia 2010 and Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick. This annual event celebrates National Donate Life Month.

Hyatt Regency Penn’s Landing was sizzling last night as more than 300 people packed the ballroom to watch the Philadelphia version of Dancing with the Stars, appropriately called Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars to benefit Sickle Cell Disease Association of Philadelphia. Mistress of ceremonies was Jaymyra Perry, producer for 98.1 WOGL’s Ross Brittain & The Breakfast Club. Participants included Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, food & wine consultant Brian Freedman, Emmy Award-winning host of t.v. series Christina Cooks Christina Pirello, socialite philanthropist Dana Spain, Wired 96.5’s co-host G-N Kang, Maxx Stoyanoff Williams, lead singer of Black Landlord, founder of Mothers in Charge Dorothy Johnson Speight, Jason Evenchik, owner of Time, Vintage, and Bar, and socialite and GPTMC finance and budget coordinator Sabrina Tamburino Thorne. After eight weeks of dance rehearsals, and agonizing over costume choice, three of the dancers came out on top. Pictured, left to right: 2nd Runner Up Blondell, 1st Runner Up Sabrina and Winner Maxx Stoyanoff Williams who with his partner Katie Wilcox (not pictured) danced the merengue. On the right is Zemoria Brandon, SCDAA administrator. Other dance instructors included Nik Pavloc, Audrey Julienne, Tim Cartlidge and Nodari Teruashivily.

Judges included LaDeva Davis, director of dance at Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Shawn-Lamere Williams, artistic director of Eleone Dance Theater, Susan Glazer, director of dance at University of the Arts, and Senator Larry Farnese. Special thanks were given to Megan Smith of Brownstone PR for conceptualizing the event last year. Sickle cell anemia disease affected her family, and she wanted to create an event to raise awareness and help find a cure.

Thanks for reading me today, and for more about what’s going on around town, especially the Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars event, check out my blog today at www.PhillyChitChat.com or follow me on Twitter @iPhillyChitChat I’ll be back Thursday with more On The Town with Hughe Dillon