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.