Donors Are Heroes Party

Gift of Life Donor Program hosts its annual bash at the Four Seasons.

Donors are Heroes and Gift of Life Donor Program hosted the 11th Annual “The Party” at the Four Seasons on April 26th. It’s a must on my list of parties to attend yearly. I call it “the party of friends,” as the founders, Don and Renee Freeman, are always so welcoming to anyone they come in contact with, which is why they have a hard-working committee that volunteers year after year to work with them to get the word out about organ donation and dispel myths surrounding the life-saving opportunity. This is the thank-you party for the year-long awareness program. The 2013 event honorees this year were Tamar & Stephen Olitsky. The Olitsky foundation had been very generous over the years in supporting this great cause.

Below: Jan Weinstock, co-chair of the evening, and Frank Staves (right) clap as emcee for the evening, Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick greets the guests, as Jen Fisher looks on. Jen received a heart transplant from a 12-year-old boy when she was 17. The funds raised from the event go toward public awareness programs, school summits and teaching initiatives—all geared to educate people about becoming an organ donor and the need for life-saving, life-enhancing transplants.

Below: John and Colleen Pyne, with Mike Haberman and JP Lutz. On Thursday, Mike saved the day with the last $1,000 donation to meet the sponsor goal of raising $100,000 before the start of the party.

Below: Robert Stoop and Patrice Bendig work at the Gift of Life Family House, which provides temporary lodging and support programs for organ transplant patients and their families. They have a kitchen that’s staffed by volunteers who come in and prepare meals daily for the residents. The program is called “Home Cook Heroes.”

Below: Susan Pincus, volunteer at the Gift of Life Family House and double transplant recipient, Michael Chobert, and Barbara Katz Chobert enjoyed the dazzling party.

Below: Congratulations to Ron and Dana Donatucci who became parents of a baby girl four weeks ago.

Below: Tara Williams and Allsa Harris spent a good part of the night on the dance floor dancing to the tunes of a DJ who brought along a drummer and a guitarist.

Below: Claire Rose, Taylor Campitelli, Bernie Spain, Joanne Spink and Jan Weinstock.

Below: Lee Pike and Adam Funk, with Miss Pennsylvania USA, Jessica Billings, who will compete in the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas in June. Earlier in the evening we were at a reception at the Bluestone Gallery in Old City, where a tile mosaic dress sculpture she wore in the Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant, created by artist Shelly Hamill, was unveiled. It will be on display with the rest of Hamill’s sculptures through the end of May.

Below: Alisa Frederico, with Craig Spitzer and Erin Elmore, who are due to become parents any day now. That hasn’t stopped Erin from appearing on QVC as a spokesmodel for Heys Luggage.

Below: Joe Weiss and fashion standout of the night, Sharon Pinkenson, who’s wearing a beautiful Blumarine dress with an eye-catching bag from Vietnam, and Louboutin shoes.

Below: Stephanie Clark, Michele McVeigh and Bucky Clark. Stephanie is looking forward to a summer of marathons with more determination than ever having just returned from the Boston Marathon where she ran a 3:33, finishing about 50 minutes before the tragic bombings.

Below: Joan Pileggi, Cliff Martel, Mark Baumgardner, Marisa Guaglione-Stevens and Glenn Stevens. Joan tells me she’s very excited about the possibility of Bloomingdale’s coming to Center City, “It’s the perfect middle-level department store, with lots of exclusive items that everyone enjoys.” Let’s hope the rumor is true.

Below: CBS 3’s Erika von Tiehl and Chip Kincaid.

Below: Tina Lamsback and Joel Durinka were having a great time partying for a good cause.

Below: A stylish bunch! Tuesday Gordon, manager at Joan Shepp, Rose Parrotta, manager at Serafina, Lauren O’Leary, Nicole Cashman, and Julia Somers Morley.

Below: Susan Day and Richard Goldberg.

Below: Beth Shak, Nikki Donze and Andrea Simonini paused for a moment so I could get this shot of them on the dance floor.

Below: Alisa Jackson, with mom Barbara Jackson, and La Shawna Darty. Alisa is going in for a kidney transplant surgery on May 14th, and her donor is mom Barbara. They’d love it if you could send prayers and warm thoughts on the big day to help them through it. Thanks.