Dan Gross: Povich donates $1M to Penn

"IT TOOK A lot of paternity tests to make this gift," talk-show host Maury Povich jokes about the $1 million he donated to the University of Pennsylvania's Kelly Writers House to establish the Povich Fund for Journalism Programs.

Povich, who graduated from Penn in 1962, and journalist wife Connie Chung, have previously funded journalism efforts at Penn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW).

"I was an undistinguished graduate. It only took me five years, and a summer to graduate," Povich said yesterday. "I had been in a single-sex school for many years, and I had never seen girls before I came to Penn," he said.

Povich, who returned to Philadelphia in the early '80s to work at Channel 3, said he ended up at Penn because "My brother went to Yale, but I didn't get in."

He credits Al Filreis, director of CPCW and faculty director of the Kelly Writers House, for getting him involved in donating to the university. He credits his late father, Washington Post sportswriter Shirley Povich, with teaching him about journalism.

"I think my father would be proud of what these kids are doing," Povich said. Though known for his television work, he says he's always supported writing.

Rendell with Bill Maher on Friday

Ed Rendell will be in Los Angeles Friday, part of the political roundtable on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

The former governor-turned-Daily News contributor will join "Juno" and "Inception" actress Ellen Page, Wayne native and New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Daily Beast founder Tina Brown. The show airs live at 10 p.m.

Building, not bar, for sale

Fear not, patrons of Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front). While the popular Fishtown rock/dance club is for sale, asking price of $650,000 according to real-estate listings, that's only for the building and the bar will remain, says a representative for the club.

Rescue Ink aid

Al "Alley Cat" Chertoff and his tattooed colleagues from Animal Planet's "Rescue Ink" will be working with the Pennsylvania SPCA tomorrow to investigate the October murder of Chico, a husky who one or more savages tied to train tracks near Bustleton and Haldeman avenues.

The guys won't be filming tomorrow since the show is not in production.

For more info on the group, visit rescueink.org.

Vetri, Solomonov to be Bearded?

Chef Marc Vetri's Italian destination Vetri (1312 Spruce) is up for an outstanding-U.S.-restaurant award from the James Beard Foundation at its May 9 ceremony at New York's Lincoln Center.

The prestigious culinary foundation is also considering Michael Solomonov of Zahav, Percy Street and Xochitl for best mid-Atlantic chef. Delaware's Sam Calagione of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, is a finalist for the outstanding-wine-and- spirits award.

Charitably minded

Tickets to "Live with Regis and Kelly," a signed Carlos Ruiz bat, passes to sit in on the 610-WIP morning show with Angelo Cataldi and Co. are among auction items at Saturday's Cooper Red Hot Gala at the Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing. The gala honors Cooper University Hospital Chairman George Norcross and his wife, Sandy, and raises money for the hospital's Simulation Laboratory.

Tickets are available at cooperhealth.org/site/redhot or by calling 856-963-6704.

* Frankford-raised Saints lineman Jahri

Evans and state Rep. Tony Payton host the Black Ties to Save Lives fundraiser Saturday for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The event, staged by E&J Promotions, takes place at Le Meridien (1421 Arch). Tickets are $50, with VIP tickets for $125. For tickets visit tinyurl.com/stjudegala or call 215-806-3999.

* Filmmaker Tom Walton hosts a fund-raiser from 7 to 11 Saturday night at St. Laurence Church (30 St. Laurence) in Upper Darby for the Diabetes Foundation and for his upcoming film "Dreams." Walton's dad, George, of Upper Darby, needs a kidney transplant. The beef-and-beer costs $25 at the door. Delco rockers Loaded will perform. The film, which Walton plans to star in and direct, was co-written by Kevin Cain, and deals with four strangers all struggling to make it in the entertainment business.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, see www.philly.com/DanGross.