HughE Dillon: Philly snubs Jay Mohr?

Plus: MANNA's supper soiree ... and who wants to buy a $1.9 mil Old City condo?

Last Wednesday, I attended the First Annual MANNA Nourish Awards 2010 at the 23rd Street Armory. (The Armory also housed the “extras” from The Dark Fields, filming a block away, and sometimes the extras would wander into the party.) The lively event, dubbed “a deliciously lively supper party,” was not your grandparents’ party. People were dancing, and there wasn’t even a designated dance floor; smiles and lively chatter filled the huge venue. Brian Kappra of Evantine Design and Scott Barnes of Stephen STARR Events were the producers for the event, for design and culinary respectively.

Many contributed to the party, with design themes distinguished by color: Purple by Evantine Design was a stunning display of peonies and cala lillies, and a Parc-inspired, breakfast-for-dinner menu. Teal by Table Art had an El Vez-inspired Mexican taqueria menu that was afloat on a plexi pond filled with sea glass, with floating candles finished with protea. Orange by Jamie Rothstein Floral Decorators was a Jones-inspired, comfort-food station with hundreds of Gerber daisies and tulips. Green by Lamsback Florals was a Buddakan-inspired Asian noodle bar bedecked with green cymbidium orchids.

When the honorees were given their awards, there were no long speeches by board members/hosts discussing the mission of MANNA. There was, however, a moving short video on two MANNA clients, which was donated by Nancy Glass Productions and produced by Cindy Connors. Each award recipient stood on their own round platform. As their names were announced a spotlight shined on them. They were given the award by a former executive director of MANNA, made a quick speech—most explaining how nourishment is very important in their fields. Then they were finished. The whole awards ceremony lasted maybe 20 minutes; the party raged on.

Honors went to:  Nancy Manhon, Esq., Sr. VP of M•A•C AIDS Fund and M•A•C Cosmetics; Dr. John Glick, VP of Penn Medicine, the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine; and R. Duane Perry, Founder, The Food Trust.

ABOVE: Jeannine Pulito, Kelly Pennoni, Nicole Linehan (Co-Chair), Kate Linehan, Candice Linehan and Miranda Schwelm. BELOW: Nancy Glass.

The lighting, draping and audio were donated by Peter Guerin of ProVision. Classic Cakes and Bobby Bennett donated delectable desserts. DJ Jon Gill spun tunes gratis as well. Cashman & Associates did PR outreach. Most of the guests’ $250 tickets went right to MANNA to nourish the mind, body and spirit of clients, volunteers and supporters alike. I think it was one of the best events I have ever attended in the three years since I started covering events.

ABOVE: Scott Mandel (scaring up some bids for the silent auction), Heather Steiner, co-chair silent auction, and Dr. Sherri Edelman. The auction items were impressive. High-end art work sold, sometimes for more than the asking price, and many pieces for more than $1000. One of the biggest items of the night was “7 nights at your own villa in Tuscany.” The guy who won was so ecstatic, high-fiving all around him.

Seen on the scene: Winston Justice, Anna Sorenson, Kevin Boyle, Mary Pat Kessler, Tiffany and Sergio Bucciarelli, Rosemary Barth, Alan Sandman, Stephen Carlino, Joann Jordan, Corraine Giimblett, and David Wagaman.

Then Thursday I attended the Where Guest Book launch party at the Palomar Hotel in their grand ballroom on the 25th floor. A guide to popular tourist attractions and restaurants, the Where Guest Book is found in most Philadelphia hotels.

ABOVE: Photographer Christopher Gabello, Rob Wasserman, owner of Rouge and 500 Degrees, Laura Burkhardt,Where Magazine publisher, executive chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson of Sampan, and Alp Aktan, VP/GM at Delilah’s.
ABOVE: Marcie Turney, chef/co-owner, and Valerie Safran, co-owner, both of Bindi, Lolita, Barbuzzo, Grocery, Open House and Verde; with Dr. Krista Gabello (middle). I’m a big fan of Marcie and Valerie and was so excited to meet them for the first time at the party. I’m excitedly waiting for the next vacant store on 13th Street to see what these two are going to come up with.


Paparazzi Shots

Last Saturday, I attended a party in Old City in a condo at 3rd & Chestnut. Spotted at the party: Philadelphia-born, New Orleans Saints football player Jahri Evans and his agent and local Voorhees, NJ guy Jerrold Colton. The condo was more like a party palace as the first floor had a full-size bar, fireplace, huge sitting area and a swimming pool, too. It’s more likely to appear on MTV Cribs than in Metropolitan Home. Also at the party was the Flyers’ Mike Richards, Jimmy and Johari Rollins, music producer Duvell Bottoms, movie producer David Bond (Alfa Dog and The Notebook), and Recess’s co-owner Ryan Dorsey. The condo is for sale—a steal at $1.9 million says host/OCF Realty agent Joshua Villwock. If Jahri Evans needs a party palace, it would be chump change for him. On May 5th he signed a seven-year, $56.7 million contract with the New Orleans Saints, making him the highest-paid interior offensive lineman in NFL history. Girls: He’s single too!!

Last night I went to Borders Center City to catch actor/TV star, Gary Unmarried, Jay Mohr‘s book signing for No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad. Only four people showed up for the signing. I don’t know where everyone was considering Jay’s engagement at Helium’s Comedy Club was sold out weeks in advance. Jay took it all in stride and got on the PA system and announced his own book signing, plus mentioned that Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Donovan McNabb would join him when they were done dinner. Then he went into his Tracy Morgan impersonation and a few more trickled in, but then he scared them away with his Christopher Walken impersonation. He did a short, spontaneous stand-up for us, and I could see why his show sold out; he’s a funny guy.

UPDATE On twitter today Jay Mohr writes: @jaymohr37 Thank you CBS for keeping me employed for over 5 years…Gary Unmarried. [canceled today]


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