HughE: Scenes from the Rittenhouse Ball

Plus: The Little Friends of Rittenhouse Square Festival and the Young Friends of Rittenhouse Square

As I wrote earlier this week, June seems to be garden party month. And there is no bigger garden party then the granddaddy of them all, the prestigious 27th Annual Ball of the Friends of Rittenhouse Square. Proceeds from the ball go towards the maintenance of the popular park. The gala event was co-chaired this year by Nicole Cashman and Brian Kappra. On Wednesday, the night before the ball, theLittle Friends of Rittenhouse Square Festival attracted hundreds of families and their children; the park is turned into a festive area of fun and food with balloon jumps, clowns, hot dogs, arts and crafts, and dancing.

Hanna Shevade being held by Michael Cernek and patiently waiting for her balloon hat.

Corie and Evan Moscow with sons Matthew and Spencer (and the very popular balloon animals and swords). Jennifer Reynolds was also on hand to see that everything went smoothly at the festival and to make sure I would be stopping by the Ball the following night.

In matching hats Michele Malin Seidman and her son Jared Cole Seidman pose as they wait for the next departure of the Rittenhouse Choo Choo train.

Sarah Lewis, Fairmount Arts Center, instructs the kids on paper flower making as well as other fun crafts. Thursday night this space is where the dance floor was located for the ball.

Julie Campman with Denis Sheils and his sons Dylan and Matthew (Denis Jr was looking at the blow-up slide nearby) enjoying their first The Little Friends of Rittenhouse Square Festival.  The following night Julie and Denis would be switching out their casual clothes for a gown and a tux to attend their first ball together.

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On Thursday it was off to my first Rittenhouse Square Ball.  Over 350 guests enjoyed the delicious food of Steven Starr Events, the gorgeous decor of Evantine Design and the smooth vibes of the Eddie Bruce Orchestra.  Isn’t this room spectacular?  I wish I had a list of all of Brian Kappra’s events so I could photograph all his creations.

Hopefully Nicole Cashman will forgive me for this photo, but it really shows off the back of the dress Valerie Wilcox wore, which was beautiful. I love how Brian Kappra is checking out the dress, too.  It was just stunning.

Talk about stunning: Wendy Rosen (center) looks fabulous, and her dress reminds me of the famous J-Lo plunging neckline dress, but with a lot more class.  With her is Barbara Bondenheimer. And talk about a stunner: After 16 years as president of Friends of Rittenhouse Square, Wendy is stepping down. She will be focusing more on the membership aspect for the Friends.  She will be nominating Betsy Hummel to take her place. Betsy has been on the executive committee and has worked on four balls. Barbara Bondenheimer, who has been VP of finance for many years, is also stepping down.

Rob and Maggie Wasserman. Rob tells me that his new burger restaurant, 500 Degrees, will be re-opening on Monday after being shut for the past three weeks from what was originally thought to be an electrical fire. It turns out it was spontaneous combustion as cleaning rags were stored alongside rags with grease on them. So Monday stop by 500 Degrees, say hi to Rob, and have one of the best burgers in town. On the right are two Cashman & Associates girls, Alexis Razzno and Ellie Kosarek, who were a huge part of the behind the scenes set-up for the ball. Brian Kappra said it couldn’t have been done without all the help that Ellie did behind the scenes, which was also kindly noted in several pages in the Patron Book.

Mayor Nutter stopped by to say a few words of thanks for making Rittenhouse Square one of the most beautiful parks in the city and country; he also acknowledged  the MCs for the evening, CBS3’s Chris May and a very pregnant and beautiful Susan Barnett.  Susan and husband Greg Persechetti are expecting their second child this summer.  Susan says she’s doing great and they are very excited.  Seen on the square: Lynne & Harold Honickman, Pat Riley, Tom Duffy, Jay Federline, Sylvia Beck, Mark Focht, Dana Spain, Alan Sandman, John Pesolar, Andi Pesacov, Thomas and Cheryl George, Kate Wilhelm, Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Steve Thorne, Julie Campman and Denis Sheils, Daniel Stern, Joe Wiess and Sharon Pinkenson, Nancy Alperin Regni and Jerry Regni.

Kristen Foote and Lauren O’Dorisio open the floor to the sounds of Eddie Bruce.  Kristen recently joined the Alan Domb real estate team. And this is where I made my exit to run over to the Young Friends of Rittenhouse Square‘s event at the Prime Rib inside the Warwick hotel.

The Young Friends enjoy a buffet dinner and conversation. At 10:30 p.m. they head over to the park and join the party for dessert and dancing. It’s a lower price ticket at $125, but contributes to the overall proceeds for the Ball.  It also eases the overcrowding at one of the most sought-after parties in the city.

It was great to see my BFFs Stacey Kracher and Anne Nikolaus, escorted by Steve Schaeffer.

Senator Larry Farnese with co-chair of the Young Friends Event, Chris Chimicles.

Justin Fine, guest, Lauren Beloff and fiance Anthony Sembello. Also seen at the Young Friends party: Tiffani McDonough, Tina Tellado, Hayes Hunt, Carlyn Miluski, Micah Knapp, R.J. Cacciutti, Shipa Sood, Molly A. DeNofa, JT Christensen, Derek Freres and Ashley Nikoo

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Check out more coverage of last night’s events at my blog,; I’m off to the beach now for a little R&R and bird watching. Happy Summer Solstice, and if you have a chance check out all the goings ons at the Kimmel Center Summer Solstice Party starting tomorrow at 3 p.m. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!