Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation grossed $675,000 for childhood cancer research at its fifth annual Lemon Ball, setting a new fund-raising record for the event. Held Jan. 15 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, the benefit for 840 was chaired by Liz and Jay Scott, whose daughter Alex died of cancer at age 8 in 2004, and Stacey and Lou Pellegrini. Among the auction items were a guitar signed by Paul Simon that went for $5,000, and tickets and transportation by private jet to the Duke vs. University of North Carolina basketball game Wednesday ($13,000). The evening honored Jim Rudolph, chief executive officer of Rita's Water Ice, Shira Rosenwald, and the family of Maureen and Richard Huscroft of Kent, Ohio.
In celebration of its production of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, the Opera Company of Philadelphia held a benefit gala, L'Amour & Couture, Saturday at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The event featured a fashion show of the costumes that were designed by students from Drexel University, Moore College of Art & Design, and Philadelphia University for the new production, which tells the tale of rival fashion houses. Soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello, the stars of Romeo et Juliette - who are married in real life - were the evening's guests of honor. The gala's 265 guests raised more than $125,000 for the Opera Company.
Nearly 3,400 guests attended the Philadelphia International Auto Show's Black Tie Tailgate Preview Gala Jan. 28 at the Convention Center. Attendees checked out more than 700 cars and trucks from 40 manufacturers, including a 2011 Bentley Mulsanne for $321,000; a 2012 Audi A7 for $60,000; and a Chevrolet Volt, the new electric car for more than $40,000, named by Motor Trend magazine as the 2011 Car of the Year. The Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation raised about $250,000 for the Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The Central Committee, a volunteer committee for the Philadelphia Orchestra, hosted a party Jan. 29 at Tiffany & Co. in Center City to toast the Academy of Music's 154th Anniversary Concert and Ball, held the same night. Chaired by Nicole Cashman, the event for 120 guests raised $5,200 for the orchestra.