Philadelphia

THE WALL BALL 2008: MURAL ARTS FUNDRAISER

One of my favorite groups in the city, the Mural Arts Program, had their big fundraising gala, The Wall Ball, a few weeks ago at the Loews Hotel. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP) started in 1984 as a component of the Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN), a city-wide initiative to eradicate destructive graffiti and address neighborhood blight. The Wall Ball celebrated the Mural Arts Program, as well as, honored two of its outstanding supporters: Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe, Rabbi Emeritus of Har Zion Temple and William P. Hankowsky, Chairman of Liberty Property Trust.
It was an amazing turnout, and I was reminded once again that I need to drop about 50lbs to navigate around this thin people, especially Sharon Pinkenson who is greeting actor, Isiah Whitlock, Jr from The Wire; looking on is Joseph Weiss and another hero of mine, Jane Golden, founder of the Mural Arts Program.
Isiah Whitlock, Jr was on hand to introduce a short film on the Mural Arts, that he narrated; and Jane Golden.

Guests included Sandra Paul and Susie Pesin

Bruce and Claudia Hinlein

The famed social photographer Carol Springer, who teaches me a little something every time I cross paths with her. Something I need to constantly learn is to get people to write down their names on my pad. I may see them out a lot, or know their first names, but I have a lot of junk in that head of mine and when I finally sit down to write about the event well it could be a week or two since said event, 1AM and heck I am in a tad of a hurry so I sometimes just recall names. So here goes, I have no idea who that nice women is. I have met her twice, and well I can’t recall. Next to her is Chris Mullins who’s family owns McGillin’s Ale House, a true Philadelphia Institute, then there’s my other favorite girl Laura Burkhardt and Bill Gerhman. Bill has really done alot for the GLBT business community and for tourism to the City in general.
a few folks participated in their own mini mural projectHere we find Michael Zuber and Linda Rice Dailey looking fine and feeling fine. Great smiles, that’s what I like to shoot.

The outpouring of love not only was in abundance with the attendance, but also came through with the amazing amount of items donated to the Silent Auction and later you will hear about the live auction.
a Ryan Howard signed baseball
Gladys Shubin, Harriet Soffa, Cantor Vogel, Rabbi Jay Stein and his wife Rissy Holly and Christa from Cashman & Associates. It takes a good PR agency to pull an event like this together. MAP Public Engagment reps Nancy Davis and Alex Morigi with MC KYW3’s Jim Donavan. Jim is also a volunteer tour guide on the popular Mural Arts Tours http://www.muralarts.org/tours/
Leslie Kozloff, Sabrina Tamburino, Lauren Grossman and Adama OrduEmily and Judy with the Mural Arts Education ProgramWXPN’s Roger LaMay does the live auction and does it well as a weeks stay in Tuscany goes for $5,500 and dinner with Mayor Nutter goes $500 better. I had lunch with a friend the other day who criticized the mayor for going to too many social functions and not creating policy. Well I think the policy will come along, but the MAN’s got a lot to live up to and right now he is righting which was wrong with the last administration and that was to be the people’s mayor and get out and greet the people. Look at this impromptu line that formed at the Wall Ball to greet him.
Did I mention that Jane Seymour stopped by. She had been staying in the hotel and was invited to attend the ball. She was very down to earth, making sure that the guest of honor shined. She was in town as she was doing a showing of her own work at Ocean’s Galleries in Stone Harbor NJ (They used to carry my photo greeting cards years ago before I got into this celebrity business), anyway she was moved and said that in the future she will be involved in the Mural Arts Program in anyway Jane needed her. It really was inspirational and generous. She’s pictured here with Rabbi Gerald Wolpe, who was one of the honorees of the night and his wife of 54 years, Elaine Wolpe, who herself is a humanitarian. After suffering a stroke 22 years ago, she founded a program at Moss Rehab that assists other stroke patients. I was definitely walking among hero’s this night.