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Garden Party

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An Evening in Franklin Square 2019

On Thursday, May 16th, 2019 Historic Philadelphia, Inc. hosted the 11th annual Evening in Franklin Square, presented by Parx Casino. From an initial investment of $6.5 million, Franklin Square has become an urban oasis and family play place, made possible by the involvement of individuals in the surrounding area.

Amy Needle, President and CEO – Historic Philadelphia , Almaz Crowe and Cari Feiler Bender

Guests dressed in garden-party attire, participated in the silent auction and enjoyed cocktails all in the name of raising much needed funds for the fun packed square at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

One of the highlights of the cocktail hour was when guests participated in the Parx Square Derby, a carousel race, that was narrated by racing announcer Keith Jones (l) with the winners. The race was followed by a dinner, live auction, and plenty of dancing

Former Gov Ed Rendell, Kerry Smith, Melissa Piccoli, Jesse Rendell and Trey Miller
Marc Farzetta , part of the morning sports team of “Farzetta & Tra in the Morning” on 975TheFanatic and Celeste Farzetta
The Parx Casino Team – Kristen Hallahan, Michelle McPeak, Courtney Smugar, Keegan Servati, Linh Nguyen and Codi Chancellor

The annual event coincides with the Chinese Lantern Display, which includes new lantern’s and a new layout. It runs through June 30.

Then beginning July 31, check out the new Franklin Square Fountain Show! The 180-year-old, historic centerpiece of the Square will come to life with colorful, dancing fountains choreographed to popular songs by Boyz II Men, Katy Perry and Louis Armstrong and more! Enjoy daytime and evening shows, featuring LED lighting effects after dusk and it’s free!

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Philadelphia branch of the English-Speaking Union Garden Party at Princess Grace’s Home

The Philadelphia branch of the English-Speaking Union (ESU) of the United States held their annual garden party on Sunday June 2, at The Kelly Family Home in East Falls.

In 2016, Prince Albert of Monaco purchased his late mother’s Philadelphia home. “It feels good,” he told People magazine of buying the Pennsylvania property. “I’m very happy to have saved this old family home from a near certain death or development.”

The ESU was formally organized in the United States in 1920 and arose from the conviction of its founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench and a group of like-minded American and British friends, that maintenance of the close personal and national ties forged during World War I was necessary for the preservation of peace.

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

The Kelly Family was kind enough to host this years event, which was held under a tent in the expansive backyard. Princess Grace of Monaco’s childhood home was also opened for tours on a few of the floors for all to see. It is not a museum as many thought, but a residence where family members live. Although there is access on special occasions.

Andy and Debbie Webster, Mary Darlington co-chairs, with hosts Alexandra Golaszewska and J.B. Kelly and Steve Darlington, co-chair

Princess Grace’s mother
John B. Kelly, built the six-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot home, which would later become the place where Prince Rainier III of Monaco proposed to then-actress Grace Kelly, in this very room.

Thank you to Alexandra Golaszewska, who along with J.B. Kelly I have known socially for several years, who gave me a tour of the house, even the nooks and crannies explaining all the beautiful artifacts on display.

Princess Grace’s writing desk has a photo of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Grace and her two oldest children Caroline, Princess of Hanover and Albert II, Prince of Monaco . Along with a magazine with The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the cover. Inside is also a story on the Kelly Home)
Natanya DiBona, co-host of Le Dîner en Blanc touring the house. There’s a preview party June 11, and the public is invited to attend. It’s there they will announce the date of the annual August event for Philadelphia. The event is free but you must register.
The Living Room

Prince Albert II of Monaco is very concerned about the environment and has created The Prince Albert II Foundation (Official name: Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco is a Monaco -based charity which has donated millions in various environmental projects. The Foundation was initially created in 2006 by Prince Albert II of Monaco and it concentrates on environmental protection

Some of the guests at the Garden Party

The highlight of the garden party was the singing of the National Athem, the toast to Queen Elizabeth for her 93rd birthday and a lively auction to raise additional funds for the ESU education mission.

Max Yillah discusses the National Shakespeare competition, and how he came in 2nd Place. Congrats that’s huge. Second Prize:  Scholarship and airfare to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp

Max Yillah, a Philadelphia area high school student won the annual Shakespeare contest, which allowed him to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition in NYC. High school students nationwide read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: school, ESU Branch and national.

Claire Boasi
Brian Morris and Marjorie Morris, Board Member

Look for additional photos on CBSPhilly, as well as Philly Style Magazine later this week.