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Pep Boys Auto Service Celebrates 100 Years

On Sat., Sept. 25, 2021, Pep Boys Auto Service, one of the nation’s largest repair and
maintenance providers, brought its Centennial Road Trip Celebration to the Company’s
hometown of Philly with the ultimate tailgate party that included a live DJ, classic cars, family
activities, local food trucks and prizes all along Citizens Bank Way before the Phillies game.

This epic Pep Boys branded bus is celebrating with the customers and team members across
the nation who have made 100 years of Pep Boys possible.

In celebration of Pep Boys’ centennial, President and CEO Brian Kaner awarded a $10,000 scholarship to an aspiring
automotive technician, part of a commitment to give $100K to students in the skilled trades,
thanked the hundreds of Pep Boys Team Members in attendance for their commitment to the
Company, and led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday – all before throwing out a perfect first
pitch!

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It was A Beautiful Night at The Main Line Wine Gala 2021

Thursday night I attended the Resources for Human Development (RHD) annual Main Line Wine Gala on the beautiful outdoor grounds of Appleford Estate in Villanova, PA. The weather was gorgeous, the grounds were beautiful, it was a perfect setting for the gala. This year’s Main Line Wine Gala will benefit The Center for Creative Works, La Casa, and future RHD initiatives that will impact the communities we serve.

Marco Giordano, Chief Executive Officer Resources For Human Development, emcee for the evening Jennaphr Frederick, FOX 29 and Honorary chair Marc Nelson, Groth Vineyards & Winery

Sue Daugherty is the executive director of Manna and tells me that it’s that time of year! Never too early to get your pie orders in for Thanksgiving https://mannapies.org/seller/hq/sue-daugherty/

Charles Lynch, Karin Annerhed-Harris and Marco Giordano , Chief Executive Officer Resources For Human Development

Appleford/Parsons-Banks Arboretum is a non-profit arboretum and country estate located at 770 Mount Moro Road, Villanova, Pennsylvania. Appelford began in 1682 with William Penn’s grant of 100 acres to James Moore. In 1728 Robert Jones erected a one-story stone farmhouse on the site, parts of which still stand.

Joseph Blevins and Tanya Leshko review the silent auction featuring artwork from RHD’s Center for Creative Works & Outside the Lines art studio for people with intellectual disabilities. A staff of mentor artists teach professional materials and techniques with the goal of developing participants as artists, artisans and designers. These programs foster individual expression and skill development.

I like how they had these video screens to tell you which table you were sitting at, saving paper.

Marc Nelson , Groth Vineyards and Winery, co-chair of the Main Line Wine Gala. During cocktail hour and between courses he would tell the guests the wine they were drinking, and why it went with that particular dish.

It was great to see Steve Katz do his magic as auctioneer, a volunteer gig he enjoys on the side of his full time career as the head of a private investment fund specializing in commercial real estate property, which he owns with his son Joshua, another fun auctioneer.

La Casa is a Philadelphia youth safe haven and provides safe, transitional housing for emerging young adults who are experiencing homelessness. La Casa is dedicated to teaching young adults life skills, building around evidence-based practices that will help them reintegrate back into the community of their choice. Find out more about RHD’s La Casa program for at-risk youth.

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The 3rd Annual BELIEVE GALA 2021

Dr. Kiplee Bell-Morris, CEO of the KJM Memorial Foundation with Swoop at The 3rd Annual BELIEVE GALA 2021 at the Philadelphia Marriott Old City. The KJM Memorial Foundation is named after Colonel Kevin John McAleese who was diagnosed with the terminal brain tumor, Glioblastoma. Taken way too soon, the Foundation was created to honor his legacy and provide support to families with a loved one fighting brain cancer. The Foundation also provides scholarship funds to women in the State of Pennsylvania seeking higher education.

According to a Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Kevin John McAleese had been active in the Miss America Pageant as a volunteer. In the early 1990s, Mr. McAleese was called to escort some Miss America contestants in the Philadelphia area.

It was through his work with Miss America that he became interested in reviving the Miss Philadelphia pageant, which had gone dormant in the mid-1980s, colleagues said.

He brought the contest back in 1996 and served as executive director, enlisting the help of sponsors, volunteers, and others, colleagues said….”His vision is essentially what kept the pageant alive,” said Kiplee Bell, who was Miss Philadelphia in 1998 and is now a physician. “And Kevin was committed to providing scholarship dollars and access to education for women who might not necessarily have that opportunity.”

The Believe Gala was held on Sept 25th, 2021  at the Marriott in Old City Philadelphia.  Tickets are $150 which includes open bar, cocktail reception, three course meal and dessert reception.  It was a masked, socially distanced black-tie event benefiting Glioblastoma patients + families as well as scholarships for women. 

Guests enjoyed lite bites and cocktails on the patio outside the ballroom as well as the cocktail area, where they also checked out fabulous auction items.   

There was a Keynote Speech from Dr. Bookvar from Netflix’s series Lenox Hill, performances from local Philadelphia talent, celebration of this year’s KJM honorees, and a silent auction.

Amanda VanAllen joined the PHL17 team in April of 2021 and wife Kira Rivera
Fun fact, Amanda used to work at the same station as her co-anchor Nick Foley.
Bobbie Biddle, Deborah Butcher, Brintcha Caspa and Tim Fenner

In an effort to carry on this important work that Kevin can no longer do personally, the Kevin John McAleese Foundation conducts an annual scholarship essay contest to award financial assistance towards college tuition or associated expenses. Past KJM Scholarship recipients are applying their awards to degrees in the fields of law, medicine, journalism, business and entertainment. Stay tune for information on next year’s gala and hope you can join us. Have a great day and enjoy the return of fall.

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Spotted: Billie Eilish, Adam Sandler, Ashley Graham and Robert Duvall

Happy October. Wow this past week was so busy, and I still managed to see Adam Sandler, which was great. He is the nicest celebrity who has filmed in Philly in the 15 years I’ve been shooting movie sets. I’ll be writing more on him when he wraps this week. Originally I thought the final day was Friday, but now it’s sometime this week. Let’s check out who was spotted where, and what’s good to know for water cooler chit chat.

Congratulations to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City team member’s fundraising efforts garnered more than $90,000 of the $126,000 total funds raised for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s Atlantic-Cape Out of the Darkness Walk held Saturday, Sept. 18. Hard Rock Atlantic City’s fundraising team was the top performing team in New Jersey and has helped elevate the Atlantic-Cape walk as a top performer in the region.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide.

Billie Eilish flew into Philly late Wednesday night the night before she performed at Firefly on Thursday. When I posted this photo from my anonymous sender, I misunderstood and thought it was her departing. She’s with her controversial boyfriend Matthew Tyler Vorce, which irritated some of her young fans who think she’s single or would never hold hands in public, and thought this photo was fake or something. I got lots of DMs and didn’t answer them, but thanks for writing.

While checking into the Four Seasons for the night, Billie Eilish stopped to for a photo with Team Derek: Michael Grey and Jimmy V. It turns out the Four Season still attracts the stars, especially since your so much closer to the stars while sipping cocktails and grabbing a bite at JG Sky High. I’m told Jean Georges is looking to open by the holidays, hopefully that means Thanksgiving.

Interesting enough I was at an intimate reception meeting the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia new general manager Cornelia Samara earlier that evening, and no one let on of Billie’s arrival or I would have been there to greet her. Only kidding, in actuality I separate my paparazzi doings for those in the know. Most of my tips come from my readers, research, and intuition. I appreciate the trust my clients, and the public have in me I don’t want to trade in the trust for something I literally do for fun. It was very nice meeting Cornelia, who has worked for the Four Seasons brand for years and will continue to uphold it’s stellar reputation.

Move over Jason Segal, who filmed Dispatches from Elsewhere right before the pandemic. Jason and his co star André 3000 were definitely the most photogenic and friendliest celebs to film in Philly, up until Adam Sandler came to town. Adam makes it a point to say hello to the fans at least 3 times during a 6 hour shoot, and if he sees you out, especially at any of the dining spots he pops into, he’ll pose for a photo. A few fans have even gotten items signed by him. Now that’s friendly, he’d certainly have an excuse not too, especially in a pandemic.

In the video a fan asks for a poster to be signed. Adam tells him he’ll get to it shortly, at which point he sends his security to get the poster and Adam signed it, and it was returned. On Monday he signed two shirts for Will Helms a similar way.

The Philly food scene is going to miss Adam Sandler. The $420 million supa star, who is wrapping up the filming of his TV show, Hustle this week, could have eaten at any fancy restaurant in the City, as most visiting celebs do, but Adam really enjoyed the mom & pop places, the deli’s , food vendors, pizza spots, including Pietro’s and the occasional Steak 48 and Savona (Main Line), the latter two he visited a few times. No Wawa sightings…

Spotted Saturday by reader @knotty2fresh , model Ashley Graham and husband
, Director Justin Ervin @philadelphiazoo , as well as former Eagles player @laflamablanca95 Chris Long, who is doing a fundraiser @philadelphiaeagles for his @waterboysorg an epic tailgate party at the Eagles game. In the evening the Ashley and Justin headed to @zahavrestaurant for an epic dinner. They recently announced they’re having twins.

Earlier this week I wrote about the launch of Larry Holmes, Jr.’s new partnership with The Agency real estate in Center City. His parents were there as well as Joe Fraizer‘s daughter Weatta Frazier Collins and her husband Gary (her brother Derek Fraizer just came in 2nd on CBS’s Big Brother) . Afterwards Larry Holmes, Jr, his wife Diane and the Collin’s headed to Steak 48. Thanks to Cashman & Associates for helping me arrange that visit to the very hot steakhouse. I mentioned to Larry Holmes Jr. I was heading to Dolce (Hi to my friend Lynn Rinaldi and Drew Carballo), which just opened in the W Hotel. and he, his wife Joelle Holmes, and friends headed there for dinner. These are photos from the Philadelphia Tribune which ran them. Thanks!!

Thanks as always to my readers who tip me off, tag me and send me photos. I really appreciate it. We really appreciate it. Have a great day…

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All Aboard CCTC Cruise for the Kids

Children’s Crisis Treatment Center held it’s annual Cruise for the Kids on Friday, September 17, 2021 at the Moshulu and the event is being co-chaired by Peri Silverman and Gregory Muller.

Peri Silverman addresses the crowd as CCTC Executive Director Tony Valdes looks on. Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC) is a private non-profit agency that specializes in delivering behavioral health services to Philadelphia’s children and their families.

CCTC is dedicated to addressing the impact of child abuse, neglect, traumatic events, and other challenges to early childhood development, and to assisting children in reaching their full potential within their homes, community and society.

For over 40 years, CCTC has used innovative, research-based methods to help children and their families heal from traumatic experiences and renew their sense of hope for a brighter future. We meet children and families where they are, offering services at our center, in schools and in the community to create a widespread and diverse web of care. CCTC collaborates with other agencies, social and cultural organizations and community programs across the city** in the belief that strengthening a family’s local resources is integral to the work we do.

Children’s Crisis Treatment Center is celebrating its 20th Annual Roundup on Friday, November 12, 2021 at The Westin Philadelphia Hotel. The evening will feature a live auction, cocktail reception and dinner and dancing. This year’s honorees are Natalie and Jim Hennessy. It’s always a fun time, for a good cause, diner and a dance party. Check out previous coverage here on PSM, PCC and Philly Mag.

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The Agency Real Estate Announces Next Gen Partnership

RE Agents at The AGENCY Christopher Werley, Larry Holmes Jr. and Matthew Loebsack with Lisa Silveri

On Wednesday, September 8, 2021 I attended a red carpet event at the Laurel announcing the formation of the next iteration of the AGENCY Real Estate Partnership… the Evolution of Luxury Real Estate for the Philadelphia Marketplace! For years the award winning licensed Broker/Realtor in Pennsylvania and New Jersey Lisa Silveri has owned and operated the successful AGENCY with an extensive background in selling high end residential and commercial properties. During the pandemic she thought, what is next, what should I be doing. She’s stepping back just a bit, and stepping up is her new partners, a young dynamic team which will complete The AGENCY’s Real Estate Christopher Werley, Larry Holmes Jr. and Matthew Loebsack 1518 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 990-3159

Larry Holmes, Jr, partner at The Agency, Joelle Holmes, Diane Holmes and legendary boxer Larry Holmes, Sr.

The Agency understand the nuances of the the Philadelphia real estate market and have the ability to serve buyers and sellers with various needs and desires.

Gran Caffe L’Aquila was the caterer. I just had dinner there last Thursday, and it was delicious. I had their Restaurant menu, and everything was perfect, but the Cannoli was something to write home about.

Although Lisa is still the president, this young, new generation of real estate agents will be taking the reigns of The Agency for all your needs. Another thing about these three, friends for years, growing up in and around Easton, Pa. Christopher Werley, Larry Holmes Jr. and Matthew Loebsack.

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What a Ball at the Philly Pops Gala

Glitz, glamour and gorgeous comes to mind when I think about the Eighth Annual POPS Ball which I attended on September 16, 2021 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. This years theme was a black and white masquerade ball.

Eighth Annual POPS Ball Co-Chairs: Dottie and Frank Giordano


Honoring: Dan and Monica DiLella

There’s still time to sign up for a Philly Pops Concert Subscription

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor

Ten Pennies Florist did another amazing job with the floral decor

Broadway legend Liz Callaway got the room jumping, it was great to be out again and celebrating the Philly Pops and life!! Thanks for bearing with me this week, I’ve been shooting so many events and chasing Adam Sandler I’ve gotten behind in posting and invoicing, just in case your the dozen asking me where your invoice is. I see a slow week coming up in October. I’ll catch up. Thanks HughE

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The Stratus Lounge Re-imagined is Lit

2012 Where Traveler

In 2012 Hotel Monaco at 5th and Chestnut Street opened the next hot spot, a rooftop lounge over looking historic Philadelphia, Stratus Lounge brought us next level cocktails but no real place to dance although over the years people found room to vibe.

Shortly before the pandemic, Stratus closed to renovate and update the space at the end of 2019. For the first time in almost a year, Stratus Rooftop Lounge, the swanky rooftop venue on the 11th floor of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Old City, is once again open to the public and now vibes takes center stage. Guests can expect a robust line up of DJs, live music, a new cocktail menu courtesy of Lead Bartender Christopher Devern, and small bites and hors d’oeuvres from Chef Jonathan Dearden.

The recently renovated indoor/outdoor venue featuring two private pavilions (Mist and Vapor) is freshly fitted with posh booth-style seating, an illuminating, expansive bar, contemporary light fixtures, and a lush “green wall” encompassing the lounge, adding to a thoroughly modern, sexy scene. When renovating the space, the designers discovered a wall of windows were blocking the Mist views.

The Mist has these sweet views of Philly, making it that much nicer of a cute, unique event space with a Philly feel.

Erik Travers, Director of Operations of Kimpton, DJ Eddie Tully (who spins on Friday nights) and Daniel Olivet, GM
“We’re thrilled to be back open, and we can’t wait to welcome in neighbors and friends, as well as new guests back to Stratus,” General Manager Daniel Olivet (r) said. “The fall season is some of the best weather in Philadelphia. It really is the best time to enjoy Stratus.”
James Eib, Ashlee Favro chat with a friend

Punch Media team

The lounge is open Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday night service is expected to be added soon.

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I went to the Kimmel Cultural Campus Reopening, Saw Joy, Smiling eyes and Cool Masks

On Saturday 50+ arts organizations from across the region participated in Arts Launch 2021 with FREE performances and activities, and a FREE finale performance by The Philadelphia Orchestra mark the momentous occasion of In Person Performances returning to Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

All day a steady stream of people made their way down the Avenue of the Arts to the Kimmel Center

Matías Tarnopolsky, president and chief executive officer
of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and Anne Ewers, Kimmel Cultural Campus president and CEO paused during the busy day to pose for us (an by us I mean you, me and all my readers). At the end of the year Anne Ewers will be retiring, and Matías Tarnopolsky will step into the role of Kimmel Cultural Campus president and CEO . Anne tells me she will still sit on the board, but is looking forward to retiring, traveling more, continue in her mentoring role, and maybe write a book. I’d read it. She was very instrumental in transforming the Kimmel Center, now Kimmel Cultural Campus, into the world class arts & cultural institute it is today.

It was really a fantastic day. People were so excited to be there. To be out. To enjoy entertainment. To return to a familiar place which has always brought joy to their lives. The new normal is quite a bit different than how we used to live, but people have adjusted. They arrived with their vaccination cards, their ID and flexibility.

They also arrived fashionable dressed I noticed, and now with the latest accessory matching or nearly matching masks. As a visual guy, I enjoyed what I saw.

From the Press Release: Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Philadelphia Orchestra are elated to raise the Campus curtains once again to the Philadelphia community. The free festival-style event will once again give life to the vibrant arts organization, celebrating diversity and creative energy after a darkening of the Avenue of the Arts. The event will encourage guests to lean into the healing power of artistic performances, mark a new chapter of unity for the Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and unite the Philadelphia community.

That model was amazing, sitting there for at least 4 hours. The artists did a great job at capturing her.

Speaking of art, muralist Frank Alston was doing a piece for Mural Arts at the Kimmel Cultural Campus

How did he get in there?

KIMMEL CULTURAL CAMPUS  Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, our mission is to engage the region’s diverse communities with art through performance and education. Our Cultural Campus serves more than 1-million guests per year and includes Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music, and the Merriam Theater – representing more than 160 years of rich history for the performing arts along Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. We are home to eight esteemed Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, we are the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country.

Philadanco

The singer from band ILL DOOTS performs in the audience

The Philadelphia Ballet’s (they recently changed their name from the Pennsylvania Ballet, to the more appropriate Philadelphia Ballet.) Nutcracker tickets are on sale, and it’s sale. INFO HERE Performances Dec 10-31, 2021

Check out additional photos from the day at CBSPhilly

And I did this Instagram REEL as well. It’s cute video with the sights and sounds of the day. Just click to play and transport yourself into the audience…. have a great day. Let’s chitchat tomorrow. Thanks for your comments, I read all of them.

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Primark Grand Opening Event Today

TODAY: Thursday, September 16thinternational fashion retailer Primark will officially open its doors in the famed Fashion District Philadelphia, with some exciting opening activations. Customers will be delighted by personalized rides to the event, an all-day set by DJ Neek Nyce, creative swag designed by local Philadelphia artists, and a photobooth to document the day. President of Primark U.S., Andy Stewart will join the Primark team in celebrating the accomplishment of the highly anticipated store opening.

Tuesday night was the Preview Party Night, the Philly Chit Chat team was there including moi and photographer Andre Flewellen. These are Andre’s photos from the other night. I will post mine next week with interviews of folks on the scene. It was a fashionable soiree.

IRISH FASHION RETAILER PRIMARK OPENS AT FASHION DISTRICT PHILADELPHIA ON SEPTEMBER 16TH

The value shopping destination offering Amazing Fashion at Amazing Prices to customers will be Primark’s third store in Pennsylvania, boasting 34,200 sq. ft of retail space at the bustling corner of 11th and Market Street. The new store will also create over 350 new jobs, providing a significant boost to the local economy. Primark’s Fashion District location sits in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, in a complex that spans three city blocks across 900,000 square feet.

“We are delighted to welcome Philadelphians to our latest Northeast location in the US, where customers can shop the latest fashion trends, beauty and homeware, all with an amazing price tag” said Andy Stewart, President of Primark US. “Our Fashion District store will mark another important milestone in our ongoing expansion in the US and bringing our Amazing Fashion at Amazing Prices to more and more customers.”

I’ll be there at 11AM looking for your smiling face to photograph, especially as you leave the store with your savings. On opening day customers can look forward to exclusive swag, branded customer pedicabs and some more surprises to celebrate Primark’s arrival. See you then….