Charity Event

Around Town With HughE, Uncategorized

Scene: Bourbon Bash Kicks Off Fall Social Season

September feels like a New Year. The Fall Social Season is in full bloom. I am booked through October, people are excited to be out.   I haven’t seen any trees changing colors yet, but just as the door closed on summer, in a matter of moments the leaves will be falling, sweater season will be here, and Halloween. Which brings me to today’s event. The Loews Hotel 6th Annual Bourbon Bash in Center City, where I asked several guests if they’re in the fall mood yet…

Executive Chefs, Thomas Harkins and Joe Thomas (c) and their staff of Bank and Bourbon at the 6th Annual Bourbon Bash inside Loews Hotel Philadelphia, Wednesday, September 07, 2022.

Executive Chefs Thomas Harkins and Joe Thomas’ prepared some of his signature dishes including Corn Cakes with Tomato Marmalade, Beef Tartare on Crispy Fingerling Potato, west coast oysters; dry-aged steak; blackened Sixty South Salmon and Crab Fritters with Spicy Remoulade.

Proceeds from Bourbon Bash benefit DonorsChoose.org, an organization that supports educational needs and programs in the Tri-State area. Over the 5 years, Bank & Bourbon has donated over $50,000 in supplies to our local school teachers and students to improve the quality of education and touched over 15,000 students!

Jabari Cherry, Jasmine Armstrong and Sheryl Brown of Visit Philly

Alicia Dannibale, admitted that she is ready for the cooler weather and has put out pumpkin decor in the home as a first step, and Chris Angelis

Greg and Rachel Georges were looking forward to enjoying another Bank & Bourbon meal. Rachel told me she is ready for the autumn season and when September 1 arrived she put out her pumpkin candles.

Trinh and Troy

Welcome Andrew Kozak to Philly. He started this past week as the new meteorologist.

Ready for Pumpkin season!!

Featured bourbons will be from Beam-Suntory and include brands such as Bakers, Bookers, Old Overholt Bonded, Basil Hayden, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Maker’s Mark 46, and Knob Creek, among others.

Josh Moore (Josh East Philly )and Tom DeStefano. Not only have they had multiple pumpkin spice coffees, but the duo already have strung the holiday lights at their new home.

The Peanut and Butter Jelly Crunch Popsicle are ones I will be dreaming about….

Bank & Bourbon features an innovative barrel-aging program for house-aged liquors and creative cocktails under the guidance of our experienced Bourbon Masters, and an inherently American menu by Chef Joe Thomas that offers creative, seasonal interpretations of classic dishes – all in a comfortable, relaxed setting.


Support Me In Raising Money As I Dance for Character at CITRS – 3/19/22

Help Me Dance My Way to A Lot of Fun, I love to dance but I have to say learning professional dancing is not an easy feat. Fun though.

I’m super excited to participate in the Dance for Character presented by CITRs charity event on March 19. I’ve worked with the folks at CITRs over the years, learned about their program, which is very unique. They have programs to re invigorate teachers suffering burnout. The workshops tap into the reasons they chose this field. It also helps them with the tools they need to convey to the students to help them build character to grow into productive adults. You can learn about their programs here

You could attend the event and cheer moi and my fellow dancers on to victory, or just fun.

You could attend the event, or vote for me with a donation HERE


Philly To Do

RHD’s Main Line Wine Gala Returns Al Fresco!

Get ready for the most festive social event of the year! Resources for Human Development
(RHD) will host the highly anticipated Main Line Wine Gala, following COVID-19 guidelines, on
Thursday, September 30 th at the beautiful Appleford Estate in Villanova, PA.
The Main Line Wine Gala showcases the world’s most exclusive winemakers in an event that
benefits RHD’s innovations in human services. RHD is a national human services organization
that creates effective, quality services in person-centered, trauma-informed programs across the

RHD reached a milestone in 2020 and turned 50 years old! It continues to celebrate 50 years of
delivering the highest quality services to people of all abilities, in a values driven environment
built around the respect for the dignity and worth of the people it supports.
Each year, RHD supports tens of thousands of adults, children, and families in need. The
people served rely on the generosity of supporters who believe that every person should be
treated with dignity and be given the opportunity to develop their fullest potential.

Your support of this year’s Main Line Wine Gala will benefit The Center for Creative Works, La
Casa, and future RHD initiatives that impact the communities they serve. The Center for
Creative Works is a unique art studio focusing on developing creative workplace potential and
cultural identity for people with intellectual disabilities. La Casa provides safe, transitional
housing for at-risk young adults who are experiencing homelessness and mental health

Main Line Wine Gala Goes Al Fresco!
Thursday, September 30 th at 6:00 p.m.
Appleford Estate
770 Mt. Boro Road
Villanova, PA 19085
Cost – $400 per person
For More Information & Tickets: https://www.mainlinewinegala.com/tickets-2.

COVID-19 Regulations & Guidance
Resources for Human Development (RHD) will continue to follow all current State of PA and
CDC guidelines to maintain the safety and well-being of our event guests, staff, and volunteers.
Any changes in COVID-19 protocols will be communicated directly to guests.
Torrina M. Bennett-Michael, RHD Director of Development, 267-279-4295 or


Akoma Rites of Passage Mentoring Luncheon

Local restaurateur Tony Rim, owner of 1225 Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge, hosted an afternoon luncheon for Akoma Rites of Passage – a city-wide youth mentoring program. Mr. Rim partnered with Yvette Rouse, Executive Director of Philadelphia Health Services, Inc. (center) and a group of successful panelists to educate, empower and encourage the participants on their journey to success. They were joined by some of their supporters and sponsors, which included members of the Alliance of Black Social Workers and local entrepreneurs. 

Akoma is a program for young girls and boys aged 9 to 16. It helps young girls enhance their self esteem. It is under the Philadelphia Health Services, Inc.

Check out their Facebook page for more info


Photos: Devon Horse Show A Decade of Ladies Day

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse show in the country. Celebrating its 124th year, the 2020 Annual charity horse show will be virtual this year. “Virtual” Devon, starts today May 21and runs through May 31, and includes the fabulous Ladies Day on Wednesday May 27, an event I have attended over the years. I’ve compiled some of my favorite fashion shots from the past decade for you to enjoy today.

Hostess with the mostess, annual judge Carson Kressley with co-judges and winners at the annual Ladies’ Day Tea and Hat Parade at the Devon Horse Show. (Photos from left to right 2016 and 2013)

The Art Gallery at Devon is pleased to welcome you to our Virtual Art Gallery experience for this year’s Devon Horse Show & Country Fair. Although it’s not the same, we hope this virtual experience will bring you beauty and happiness to your day.

Virtual Ladies Day Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 5:00 PM Info
One of the largest volunteer run fundraising efforts in the country with proceeds benefiting Bryn Mawr Hospital. 6ABC has a more in-depth report about this years virtual event.


Photos: GlobalFit Anywhere Teams with Revel Ride for Unite for Her

Last month Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and GlobalFit teamed up to offer GlobalFit Anywhere. GlobalFit Anywhere connects Independence members to fitness studios, gyms, and trainers in the Greater Philadelphia region at the best possible prices.

On Sunday, GlobalFit Anywhere hosted a charity ride with Revel Ride on South Street which benefited Unite For Her.

As of January 1, 2020, Independence individual and small group members can access this affordable and flexible option. Independence employees with the company’s health insurance also have access to GlobalFit Anywhere

“Independence is proud to be the first insurance carrier to offer GlobalFit Anywhere to its members,” said Jonathan Stump, Independence vice president of Product Services. “We are committed to helping our members use their benefits in the way that works best for them. With GlobalFit Anywhere, our members are just one click away from exploring a new activity or getting back into their fitness routine.”

GlobalFit Anywhere lets consumers browse, book, and pay for fitness classes, gym workouts, and training sessions across multiple fitness providers. GlobalFit Anywhere negotiates discounted fitness class rates and passes the savings to the member. Instead of paying full price, Independence members can find exclusive discounts on classes and times that fit their schedule.

Benefits of the GlobalFit Anywhere app:

  • Flexibility to book a workout based on individual preferences
  • Considers location, activity preference, and budget
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • No cancellation fees
  • No monthly membership required

About GlobalFit
GlobalFit’s health and wellness technology solutions accelerate wellness program engagement, leading to improved population health. With over 25 years in the corporate wellness space, GlobalFit connects wellness with rewards through its fitness, mindfulness and nutrition applications that include GlobalFit Anywhere, Gym Network 360, GlobalFit Rewards, WalkMyMind and Charge. Over 70 million people have access to GlobalFit solutions as part of their worksite wellness program or health plan. For more information, please visit, www.globalfit.com. Check out additional photos on CBSPhilly.


The Always Fashionable Academy Ball

For decades, the Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball has been among Philadelphia’s most highly anticipated charity events. On Saturday, January 25, 2020, acclaimed performer John Lithgow joined Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra to celebrate the 163rd Anniversary of the Academy of Music ( Academy Ball Philadelphia 2020 ), as well as some Philly royalty. Lithgow mentioned that Gritty was unable to attend, as he was stepping back. He’s now the Prince Harry of Philadelphia.

Thanks Andre Flewellen for this fabulous photo.
Nicholas Perugino, Dr. Thanuja Hamilton, Sheila Hess, and Moi
View this post on Instagram

Fun table #theacademyball163 @academymusicphl

A post shared by Philly ChitChat (@phillychitchat) on

I’ve enjoyed all the Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball I’ve attended, and they were all very special, but this year was extra special. My tux finally fit perfectly, thanks Men’s Wearhouse and Will Speed over there on Chestnut Street. The friends who filled my table were perfect, thanks Lynsie Solomon for fitting them all at my table. The event went swimmingly, the event planners did an awesome job. The cocktail party, the concert, the entertainment along the promenade to the Bellevue and the BELLEVUE was spectacular. The prettiest it ever has been. It was a night to remember and I can’t wait to go back again. Everyone looked fabulous.

Tiffani Howard, Liz Baker and Dixie James,
Jude Tuma and Aronte Bennett
The Anniversary Concert and Ball benefits the Academy of Music Restoration Fund and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Tickets are available at www.theacademyball.org
The night can seem long when you learn it starts at 5pm and ends at 2am, but it goes by fast and is enjoyable at every turn. It’s starts out with the very popular white-tie celebration at 5 PM with the Chair’s Pre-Concert Reception at the Academy of Music.
Gianni DiMezza, Giovanna Tripodi, Lynsie Solomon, wearing Missoni and Evan Solomon, co-chair of the Young Friends
Best ensemble: Jason and Rachel Cevera , Chris and Teresa Kenny, and Ralph and Stephanie DeVito
Fashion Standout, another gorgeous green dress
Kimmie Ragone wearing Marchesa Notte Dress and Alexandre Birman shoes (of course we can only see her fabulous pedicure)
Kyle Scott and Elizabeth Scott, co-chair of the Young Friends
BTW I appreciate this couple so much. I have met them a thousand times, when I see them I know I know them, but as most of you know I have a very bad memory and I can never remember their names; They are always so gracious about it and I thank you.

Senator Larry Farnese and Annie McCormick wall to wall smiles is always the best look.

The evening continued with the concert in the Academy auditorium at 7 PM.

The post-concert celebrations begin with the traditional promenade up the Avenue of the Arts from the Academy to the Bellevue Hotel, where guests enjoyed an evening of spirited music, dinner, and dancing. 

If you look closely on the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust you will see a scrim on the Locust street side. Anyone can come and pose for a selfie and it looks like you are on stage under the chandelier looking out into the audience. 

Along the promenade walking up Broad Street and inside the Bellevue Hotel, guests enjoyed entertainment by the Philadelphia Handbells and Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir

The ballroom, and all the rooms the Ball fills were beautifully decorated making each one special and unique. If you’ve never been I really encourage you to go at least once. You will fall in love with the enchanted evening, but most importantly you will learn why it’s an essential fundraiser to maintain the beautiful jewel on Locust Street, The Academy of Music. It really is a special building and you can see the restoration it’s undergone over the past decade.
The bell of the ball, and a mighty fun dance partner – Teresa Nino Kenny in her fun and fancy free Oscar de la Renta gown. Thank you for such a fun time on the dance floor, as well as Paula McDermott, Kimmie Ragone and Janet Guthart. So many more photos will be in Philly Style Magazine, Philly Mag and Philly Tribune in the coming days. Check out CBSPhilly for additional photos.
Till next year Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball !!

Photos: Help Hope Live’s 3rd Annual Crab Fest

On Saturday, August 4 at St. Christopher’s Church in Gladwyne, PA, a diverse crowd gathered to celebrate the power of community and a local nonprofit’s far-reaching impact at Help Hope Live’s 3rd Annual Crab Fest. Highlights included all-you-can-eat fresh steamed Maryland blue crabs, outdoor fun on a gorgeous summer day, an exclusive tasting from craft beer partner and West Chester sensation Levante Brewing, and attendance from several Help Hope Live patients with incredible stories. Transplant recipients and spinal cord injury survivors shared their gratitude for the nonprofit’s fundraising help and attested to the power of community support to lift hearts and minds. The nonprofit was founded in Philly 35 years ago by a heart transplant surgeon and his wife, a nurse, to help patients cover the out-of-pocket costs of critical medical care. Follow Help Hope Live’s impact or attend a future event by visiting www.helphopelive.org and following @helphopeliveorg on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Logo for our 3rd Annual Crab Fest to benefit the nonprofit Help Hope Live (photo by Sonny Mullen)

All-you-can-eat fresh steamed Maryland blue crabs (photo by Megan Anderson Gregory)

All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Help Hope Live (photo by Sonny Mullen)

Charity raffle (photo by Megan Anderson Gregory)
Facepaint and fun for kids (photo by Sonny Mullen)
Official craft beer sponsor Levante Brewing out of West Chester, PA (photo by Sonny Mullen)
More facepaint (photo by Sonny Mullen)

Middle Photo: Help Hope Live client and heart transplant recipient Linda Jara (left) with friend (photo by Sonny Mullen) Bottom: Help Hope Live ambassador and heart transplant recipient Bill Soloway (center) (photo by Sonny Mullen)

Help Hope Live spinal cord injury clients Jeff Harris and Lauren Shevchek (photo by Sonny Mullen)
The staff and board of directors of Help Hope Live, a Radnor-based national nonprofit (photo by Megan Anderson Gregory)

Thanks to helphopelive.org for sending the photos. I was unable to attend as I was down the shore. Save the date! Celebrate another impactful year for our nonprofit with delicious food, an open bar, an exciting auction, our signature Wine Pull, and the Help Hope Live Awards. Philly Chit Chat will be covering this event.


Playbrawl Is A Knockout Fundraiser

I hope you had a magical weekend, creating those memories I mentioned on Friday. It’s catch up time. Social Season is winding down to about 4 events a week, which will allow me to post events you might have seen photos for elsewhere, but now I’ll be able to go into a little more detail. For the 2nd year in a row Philadelphia Theatre Company has held PlayBrawl, a very clever fund raising event. It’s fun too, for the “actors” who are all notables, or ahem Philebrities, as well as the audience who are their friends, or fans.

Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) celebrated another successful battle in the ring with the one-two punch with the inventive theatre benefit called Playbrawl. In the vein of Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, PTC’s Play Brawl took place on Friday, May 10th with local celebrities and stars living out their dreams on stage alongside professional actors.

Instead of standard speeches and silent auctions, the competitors will act their hearts out while audience members vote for the winning performance through tax-free donations on a mobile bidding app. Very clever. Most “actors” received over $1,000 worth of votes, with the winners receiving over $5,000 worth of votes. Just as important, it was a lot of fun. The night began with a cocktail party, and after the show, a dessert night cap.

This year’s line-up includes a who’s who from the local media, business and non-profit community – including Marcus Allen, CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region in “The Pursuit of Happyness”, Michael Smerconish (Host, SiriusXM/CNN), Joseph Watkins (White House Aide and MSNBC), David Yager (University of the Arts). That’s Smerconish with HAIR (ok a wig) doing a scene from “Network.”

Joe Zarett (Zarett Rehab and Fitness) and Marc Brownstein (The Brownstein Group) doing a scene from Rocky (above), Bill Golderer (United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey),

Ray Didinger, Author, Journalist, Broadcaster, and Emmy Award Winning Writer and Producer of NFL Films in Hoosiers

Shaina Humphries, Anchor Fox 29 News in “My Cousin Vinny.”

Carol Saline, Journalist, Broadcaster, Author, and member of the PTC
Board of Directors in “When Harry Met Sally”

Emily Zeck, Philadelphia Theatre Company and Paige Price, Producing Artistic Director with the trophy.

And the winner’s are – Marc Brownstein and Joe Zarett for their scene out of Rocky!!

Proceeds from this year’s Gala will support PTC’s upcoming programming!!