I know harsh title, but after going to events yesterday and people asking me why Diner en Blanc didn’t have a charity component, and then yes I was sad about the negative articles that came out about Diner en Blanc from people who never attended, and the one poor sad sap who didn’t have the gonads to tell his girlfriend he found the whole thing boring, but one posting on FB where a publisher of a magazine wanted to know where the money went, is the one that really affected me (surprised he doesn’t know how much it costs to run an event, it’s not free.) I am biased, I love the event, they are my clients, and I also donate time to the event. All I really know about life is we are here for a short time, I really want people to live and love, and I don’t understand negativity. I posted a little thing on FB. I got a feedback, good, disagreeable but not nasty, which is really the way it should be – C’est la vie. Oh wait there was one negative response from a Trump supporter who was mad I maligned him. We’re still friends though, it’s only the hypocrites I can’t stand. Near the end is where the Natanya DiBona statement on the charity work Philly Diner en Blanc does through out the year, and the volunteer hours that go into putting on an event as large as Diner en Blanc, with its 5,000 attendees this year: My favorite response was Yo Philly, is more like Oy Philly
I included a few responses to my posts
Alexandra Golaszewska I’ve never gone to Dîner en Blanc, mainly I don’t want to haul my own furniture and plates to a dinner. But I don’t get why so many people are saying it needs to be fundraiser. I understand that they’re using public space, but so are all of the restaurants that have sidewalk tables, and I don’t hear the same criticism of them.
Cassie Hepler I said the same thing Hugh E Dillon as in why not get all uppity about the Eagles not donating to charity? Certainly those tickets and salaries are ridiculously overinflated as in millions not just $200K.
HughE: Although all the sports teams do a lot of charity, the ticket holder is not getting a charity deduction for the price of the ticket, so that
Jacqueline Peccina Kelly Hugh E Dillon I have to agree 100% with what you said – I am disappointed in these naysayers. Is it because it is 2 women who are in charge? Or is it because they are jealous? Ignorance? I applaud Natanya and Kayli for orchestrating, what I think has been the party of the year. They brought 5000 strangers together who became friends for a night – no violence, nothing stolen, and a good time was had by all!
Brigid McGrath Stasen First allow me to say that I am not a “schlepper”. I like to sit at tables donning white tablecloths and linen napkins with the best of them. Truth be told, I don’t even like buffets. If I’m going out to dinner I enjoy being served. That being said, I think the concept of Diner en Blanc is fun and fabulous. Did I want to go? No. Did I feel a bit of FOMO last night as I watched the videos and enjoyed the photos everyone was posting on FB? Yes. It looked like so much fun and I loved seeing all of my friends that were there enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, the trash etc… left behind is surely not worse than any number of parades in our fine city. If DEB folks paid for the clean up. Good for them. They should. Would it be nice to know if there was a charity angle? Absolutely. It’s a creative and fun event that allows all whom wish to participate to have a wonderful evening under the stars. Loved seeing everyone dressed in their white finery, their fabulous table settings, fun hats and ensembles. Will I be going to DEB 2017? No. Will I again have FOMO? Yes. But that’s okay. My friends had a blast.
Sarah Doheny We’ve gone the first two years they both were magical evenings. The first year will was by far the best, all the sparklers lite at the same time, napkins waving …the fountain ..
It’s a choice and not everyone will be pleased and not everyone wishes to schlep…
Mary Anne Keenan McDevitt I love DEB and I have carted my table, chairs, food and drink up and down subway steps, walked miles and ate dinner in the rain and will continue to attend for many years to come. Our group, last night, met across from the Franklin Institute and we walked to the Art Museum. The police stopped traffic as we started our trek, but for the remainder of the walk we obeyed traffic signals and only crossed the street on green. I can not comment on the mess that is left. I know that when we broke down our tables and chairs, last night, there was nothing left behind. (Have you ever seen the parking lot after a Kenny Chesney Concert?) We enjoy the evening and look forward to it.
Bernnie Visalli How can anyone say something negative about a civil party all dressed in white with sparklers. Saw some coverage of that and it looked amazing.
People complain about everything now.
Second of all do you entertain? First of all Natanya DiBona and her friend Kayli do an amazing job planning and coordinating such a memorable evening. Do you realize what all of the buses entertainment and all of the other things go into creating this special evening. I don’t know if you went or not but it was a night to remember. Philadelphia is so lucky to have such talented people like Natanya and Kory Aversa putting together this amazing night.
Philadelphians should be thanking them for their generosity to helping to keep Philadelphia the world class city that it is.
It may not go to charity but if me and my husband choose to go to dinner and spend $100 to eat at a restaurant with sidewalk seating…what is the difference? I dont see people yelling and accusing others of anything nasty (such as not caring about other world issues) because they went to dinner anywhere else.
You seem like a super nice person hugh…people are nasty and jealous and mean. Keep on being you and dont let the naysayers get you down:)
Natanya DiBona While we are unable to officially partner with a particular charity, we have given MANY free tickets to non-profits throughout the years (with a wide range of missions- from red cross to fringe arts and the vetri foundation) to auction off, we raised funds for Fairmount Park Conservancy through an event this year in honor of our first location, Logan Circle, we’ve auctioned off paintings done at the 2014 event to benefit PAFA and the Avenue of the Arts and we had 65 of our volunteers assist with #popupphilly, the first pop-up dinner party for the homeless. And actually, Hugh E Dillon, while i do understand what you are saying and I appreciate the sentiment, we would not do anything just to quiet noise- I believe we are authentic and genuine in everything we have done since 2012.
Kayli, myself and an 8 person team dedicate 4 months planning this event unpaid and this year we were assisted by another 155 volunteers who helped us execute it….all for the love of planning a great event in the city we love. The city is the beneficiary of all of those thousands of hours we donate of our time to make this event happen (as a small example of the time it takes, threading each of the wristbands that our participants wore took 52 man hours- just imagine what went into planning the whole event). Everyone else does get paid though…the venue (“public space” does not mean free), the city, police officers, street cleaners, portapotties sound and lighting professionals, tent companies, insurance providers, bus companies, Septa, and yes, performers like the fabulous Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret, Victor Fiorillo. The very reasonable ticket price makes all of that possible.
JW: You should know by now that Philadelphians hating on anything positive that goes on in Philadelphia is the most Philadelphian thing you can do. I think it’s up there with the citywide special — $3 PBR and a shot of Jim Bean — as quintessential Philly.