The Friends of Rittenhouse Square held its 28th annual black-tie dinner dance June 16, netting $165,000 for the Friends' latest project to upgrade and install new interior lighting in the six-acre park. The Ball on the Square was attended by 435 guests, including 85 Young Friends of Rittenhouse Square who joined the party for dessert and dancing. The benefit, held under a tent, featured dinner by Stephen Starr Events, decor by Evantine Design, and music by the Eddie Bruce Band. The evening was cochaired by Nicole Cashman, Barbara Eberlein, Audrey Claire Taichman, and Richard Vague.
Michael Collins, Ireland's ambassador to the United States, and his wife, Marie, were among the 130 guests who attended the Rosenbach Museum & Library's 23d annual Rosenbacchanal, held June 15 at the Trinity Center for Urban Life. The event, chaired by Lenore H. Steiner, raised $70,000 for the museum, which houses the original handwritten manuscript of James Joyce's Ulysses. On June 16 Collins read aloud excerpts of Ulysses at Bloomsday, the museum's annual outdoor celebration that features dramatic readings of the Irish author's iconic novel.
The Washington, D.C.-based SS United States Conservancy celebrated its February purchase of the SS United States at a fund-raiser Friday at the Corinthian Yacht Club. H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest and Dick Vermeil were honorary cochairs of the black-tie gala, which had a '50s theme in keeping with the ship's heyday. In July, Lenfest donated $5.8 million to the conservancy to buy the ship for $3 million, allocating the remaining $2.8 to maintenance of the ship in its current berth in Philadelphia. The conservancy has until August 2012 to either raise additional funds to develop plans, establish partnerships, and begin restoring the ship as a waterfront attraction, or face selling the 1952 ocean liner for scrap.
The Smith Memorial Playground, a nearly seven-acre playground in East Fairmount Park that features a 24,000-square-foot historic mansion for imaginative play and the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide, held its annual fund-raiser June 8 at the playground. The Eagles Youth Partnership received Smith's Ida Newman Magic of Play Award in recognition of the 15 local playgrounds the partnership has built in the last 16 years. The event raised more than $35,000 for children's programs at the playground.