2013 Liberty Medal Ceremony for Hillary Clinton

The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state received the honor at the National Constitution Center.

Former Secretary of State, US Senator and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton received the 2013 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center last night at a well-attended ceremony. Many notables were in the audience as Clinton affirmed the National Constitution Center’s mission, stressing the need for “active citizenship” and debate that “sometimes can get pretty noisy.” Action News anchorman Jim Gardner hosted the live broadcast of the ceremony on WPVI-TV/6ABC, which kicked off with 50 performers from the Bright Hope Baptist Community Singers of Philadelphia and the Princeton Girlchoir singing “I Believe I Can Fly.” The choirs were joined by Washington, D.C.-based saxophonist Brian Lenair, who has performed with Billy Paul, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington Jr., Peabo Bryson and George Benson.

Before the ceremony was a cocktail reception attended by many notables, including some of the evening’s speakers, such as (below, from left) William R. Sasso, Esq., chairman of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, Gov. Jeb Bush, chairman of the National Constitution Center Board of Trustees and National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen.

Below: Mickey Rowley, owner of Top of the Tower, and Rina Cutler, deputy mayor for transportation and public utilities.

Below: the Haydinger brothers, who recently bought the Woodcrest Country Club (Matt, Richard III and Michael, second, third and fifth from left), with Barry Gutin, principal and founder of GuestCounts Hospitality  (left) and chef Jean-Marie Lacroix (in white) of GuestCounts Hospitality, who catered the event.

Below, from left: Leslie Stiles, board president of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, Afaf Melies, dean of University of Pennsylvania Nursing, Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell and Anne Ewers, CEO, Kimmel Center.

I ran into Beka and Jesse Rendell (below), who tell me they’re expecting another little Rendell in March. Congratulations! (Their son Dean Rendell turned 1 in June.) On Thursday Beka and Jesse are co-hosts of 2013 Audi Feastival. It’s always a fun food event down on the Delaware River. I hear there are a few tickets still available.

Neil Shah, president and COO Hersha Hospitality Trust, and Juhi Saigal-Shah. I’d just run into Juhi the evening before at the Garces Foundation sponsor party at Tom Knox’s house. The Garces Family Foundation’s second annual gala will be held at the Kimmel Center Thu.,Oct. 3. Tickets still available.

Nicole and Charles Paloux (below) were looking forward to hearing what Hillary Clinton had to say about her political future. Nicole tells me that everyone should come out to the second annual King of Prussia Beerfest Royale on Thursday, Oct. 3, and Sat., Oct. 5. It’s the largest, outdoor beer festival in the greater Philly suburbs.

On my way to shoot the ceremony I spotted the very fashionable Janet and Rubin Benson who were excited to enjoy the evenings festivities.

Mayor Michael Nutter talked about how he met Hillary Clinton, and has watched her amazing career in public service, especially where human rights and women’s rights are concerned. He then acknowledged the dozen or so loud protestors across the street from the ceremony who were yelling everything about everything from Syria, to the Benghazi attack, to “Where’s Monica?” Nutter said, “Everyone has a right to their freedom of speech, and that is a good thing in the United States of America.”

Below: After receiving the Liberty Medal from National Constitution President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen (seated), Hillary Clinton highlighted many of her achievements and her future desires. There was no mention of a possible run for president in 2016, but both Mayor Michael Nutter and University of Pennsylvania president, National Constitution Center board member, and chair of the Liberty Medal Selection Committee Dr. Amy Gutmann mentioned it to the delight of the audience, putting a smile on Madam Secretary Clinton’s face. She thanked former Gov. Ed Rendell, who was in the audience, for his help in getting the National Constitution Center built and added a special thank you to Gov. Jeb Bush for his commitment to the National Constitution Center.

The ceremony also featured a performance of “Save Me” by popular singer-songwriter Aimee Mann (below), who was accompanied by guitarist Ted Leo.