Hearts and flowers
The American Heart Association held its annual Heart of Philadelphia gala Feb. 12 at Urban Outfitters' headquarters at the Navy Yard, raising $1 million for local cardiovascular and stroke research. The black-tie event, attended by 575 guests, honored former Gov. Ed Rendell with the Heart of Philadelphia Award and Dr. Andrew S. Wechsler of Drexel University's Drexel College of Medicine with the Edward S. Cooper, M.D. Award. Among the top auction items were a trip for four to the Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia that went twice for $5,500, and 16 tickets to a Phillies game in the Day & Zimmermann suite at Citizens Bank Park ($4,000).
Life is a cabaret
The Wilma Theater held its first Theater Lovers Fete benefit Feb. 11 at the Doubletree Hotel. The 150 guests enjoyed a cabaret performance by the Bearded Ladies, danced to Leroy Hawkes and the Hipnotics, and tried their luck at blackjack, roulette, and poker. The event, chaired by Mary Rucci of Aramark, honored former Gov. Ed Rendell with its Wilma Star Award. The Parisian-themed gala raised more than $60,000 for the theater.
Year of the Rabbit
In celebration of the Year of the Rabbit, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. hosted its annual Chinese New Year banquet Feb. 11 at the Ocean City Restaurant in Chinatown. The occasion, with its theme of "Looking Back, Looking Forward," marked the 45th anniversary of PCDC, founded in 1966 by Cecilia Moy Yep, George Moy, and Anthony J. Wong to preserve, promote, and protect Chinatown. Citizens Bank regional president and CEO Daniel K. Fitzpatrick received PCDC's community service award. The evening's 480 guests raised more than $100,000 for the nonprofit.
Spotlight on the Smuklers
Connie and Joe Smukler were honored Feb. 15 at the Kimmel Center at a dinner and tribute performance presented by the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia. The evening, which began with cocktails and dinner for 400 guests, featured "The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater," a production performed by conductor and narrator Michael Tilson Thomas, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and four Broadway actors before an audience of 2,000. The evening recognized the philanthropic contributions the Smuklers have made to the local and worldwide Jewish community for the last 50 years.