On Monday night, at the Rittenhouse Hotel, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Preview Party previewed many of the eateries that will be participating in the popular annual street festival that closes Walnut Street from Broad Street to 19th Street. The preview party honored Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC, for her promotion of all things great in Philly. Pictured with her: Corie Moskow, Gloss PR, and Evan O’Donnell, GM AKA Hotel.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance debuted its reimagined annual gala, "Spring at the Mansion," formerly known as the Wetherill Ball, last Friday night, May 3, with music and merriment. Proceeds benefit the preservation and restoration of the historic Wetherill Mansion, the oldest cultural institution on the Square, and the home of the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Rittenhouse Tavern. Pictured: Nicole Cashman, event chair, Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Carol Tamburino, Alisa Frederico and Ed Rendell.
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.
Last night at Union Transfer, the Ommegang Hop Chef Competition held its 2013 Philly event. Participating chefs included Eli Kulp, Fork; Nick Macri, Southwark (the Judges' Winner who will represent Philly in the national competition in Cooperstown, New York); Lucio Palazzo, La Calaca Feliz; Mike Deganis, Vetri; Yun Fuentes, JG Domestic (the People's Choice Winner); and Pat Szoke, The Industry. Also pictured: Marisa Magnatta, WMMR, announces the winners.
For the annual Please Touch Museum's Storybook Ball on Saturday, families were encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook characters, and many of them did this year, which delighted the kids. It was an evening of enchantment with entertainment, family-friendly cuisine like hot dogs and juice boxes, and for dessert, there was ice cream and Rita's water ice. Kids enjoyed rides on the carousel and theatrical and musical performances, including live music by The Plants. Storybook Ball is presented by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation and Hyperion Books. It's always a fun event to shoot with the kids and their parents playing dress up, and the place is filled with squeals of delight. Pictured: Neil H. Shah, of Hersha Hospitality Trust, and Juhi Shah, with kids Arhan and Simrin, prepare for a sunset horse and carriage ride through Fairmount Park with driver Kim.
Last night at the 5th Annual Dancing With the Philadelphia Stars, nine Philadelphia notables put on their dance shoes for the annual competition that benefits the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter. Artis and Barbara Ore, Stanley A. Simpkins, executive director of SCDAA/PDVC, and Marie Simpkins. Mr. Simpkins tells me this SCDAA/PDVC provides services and programs to children, adolescents and adults with sickle cell in Philadelphia and the surrounding five counties.
On Sunday night, after the 1983 Sixers were honored at the Wells Fargo in a celebration of their championship season, Julius "Dr. J" Erving was honored by his family at a private party held at the Stratus Lounge at Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. Family and friends flew in from around the country to celebrate this special night. Pictured: Moses Malone, Stedman Graham, Dr. J, Reggie Johnson, and Clemon Johnson. The Johnson brothers were excited to be back in Philly and feel the love of the great Philadelphia fans. The first thing they did when they got to town was to run to the Reading Terminal to eat a cheesesteak.
Saturday night was more than just alright as the city shined with at least five charitable galas, including Coaches vs. Cancer BasketBall Gala, the 5th Annual Little Smiles Monte Carlo Night, the 2013 PA Lung Cancer Partnership Crystal Ball and Cooper University Hospital's Cooper Foundation Red Hot Gala, but none was as sparkly as the Art After Dark: All That Glitters gala benefiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art's education and public programs. During the gala, "Fear No Ice" created an ice sculpture of Saint Gaudens' Diana in the Great Stair Hall.
More than 540 people attended the 6th Annual Spruce Gala on Saturday night at the World Cafe, raising nearly $60,000. The Spruce Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides funding and consultation to charitable groups serving at-risk youth in Philadelphia. Here with event emcee Maria Papadakis and Spruce Foundation co-president Brittni Devereaux are some of those who received this year's Foundation grants, Alex Gilliam and Stephanie Michel, both of the North Fifth Street Revitalization Project, and Rudy Flesher, of Here's My Chance.