Monthly Archives

August 2017


Pixs: 2nd Annual Eagles Taking Flight for Autism Fundraiser

Happy sadly, last day of “August”. The second annual Taking Flight for Autism event was held at Lincoln Financial Field last night and raised money for the autism support programs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the research programs at CHOP’s Center for Autism Research.

Earlier in the day I was at the Linc shooting a behind the scenes piece with Carson Wentz and got this shot of the set up of Taking Flight. (I’ll fill you in in October) If you’re in Rittenhouse Square today at noon, NRG Energy and I will be giving away Carson Wentz fans, for the fans.

David Akers and Jeffrey Laurie (Custom)2017 Eagles Hall Of Fame Inductee K David Akers and Eagles ChairmanSince 2016, Jeffrey Laurie.

The event has now raised $1.6 million for CHOP, announced Philadelphia Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles Charitable Foundation (ECF) today.
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At Taking Flight for Autism, more than 600 guests joined the entire Eagles organization – players, coaches and front office executives – for an intimate dining experience at Lincoln Financial Field. Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour and dinner on the field, as well as a full program of football conversation and remarks from Lurie, head coach Doug Pederson and 2016 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee Merrill Reese. The evening’s guests purchased tables to support the cause.
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Torrey Smith with guests
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Carson Wentz with 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Merrill Reese in foreground

“Autism Spectrum Disorder is a critical public health issue that is now being recognized as one of the fastest-growing developmental conditions in the United States,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO. “Autism touches the lives of millions of people around the world, including within my family. Over the years, we have made great progress with advanced research and treatment options, but there is so much more we can learn.

“I commend the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for their progressive vision in this field and am confident that this financial support will contribute to their innovative work focused on autism research and programs.”

Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that is typically recognized by the age of three. Individuals who have been touched by autism often experience verbal and non-verbal communication challenges, along with difficulties in the areas of social interaction and cognitive function. Autism is now being identified at a rate of one in 68 births – one in every 42 boys – making it the largest developmental disorder in the world. While there is no genetic test or cure for autism, its numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate.

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Anthony Starego and Eagles …Caleb Sturgis (Custom)
Anthony Starego and Eagles Caleb Sturgis
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Christina Weiss Lurie
Dave Spado (Custom)Eagles Insider Dave Spado interviewing Eagles Coach Doug Peterson


In addition to 2017 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee David Akers, who attended the event and will be formally enshrined into the team’s Hall of Fame on October 23, a very special guest was also introduced – Anthony Starego. Starego is a Brick, NJ native who became the first varsity football player with autism in the United States to play in a high school state championship game and contribute points in the contest.

A placekicker like Akers, Starego is a 2015 graduate of Brick High School where he played football from 2009-13. Today, the 23-year-old Starego is the kicker for two minor league teams in the region, the Jersey Shore Hurricanes and the New Jersey Pitbulls. He was the leading kicker last year with the Pitbulls in extra points and set an NEAFL record seven extra points in one game.

ECF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that serves thousands of low income children in the Greater Philadelphia region every year with a focus on improving health outcomes. ECF uses its unique platform to provide children in the Philadelphia region greater access to vision care and autism research and services. For more information, please visit

Thanks to ECF for providing me with these photos. The event ended at 8PM and the boys were on buses up to NYC for tonight’s game with the Jets. Go Birds!!


#PCC10th A Decade of the Best Events in Philly

I’ve thought about this over the years, and people ask me all the time “What was the best party you ever covered?” It’s hard to narrow the best 10 over the past decade so I went with 15, here goes… PS if you were involved in any of these events by providing the decor, please write me at buzz At the time I sometimes know and like to include that info in the columns.

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These days the Fairmount Conservancy hosts a lovely gala at the Horticultural Center in Fairmount Park, but years ago they used to hold a garden party in the Azalea Garden on Kelly Drive (this shot is from 2011). I always loved it there as the gardens are so pretty and the guests dressed in garden attire. There were also carriage rides that would take guests on short rides through out the park, tea sandwiches and cocktails.


Relatively new and coming up again October 6 – The 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest by Brauhaus Schmitz
A great idea, executed with nearly no problems as far I could see. A weekend of sessions joyous with German song, dance, food, brew and smiles all around. The decor and concept was done by the folks at Brauhaus like owner Doug Hager, GM Vanessa Beahn, and Executive Chef, Jeremy Nolen. Aversa PR did the publicity.

The Philles Phanatic with Julia Sala.

The Philles Phanatic with Julia Sala at Little Stars Gala, where kids fighting cancer at area hospitals, enjoy a night of glamour and fun. Notable MC’s over the years including Erin Elmore, Alex Holley, Mike Jerrick with Stacey Kracher helping with the media and production.

Weatherman Doug Kammerer at Public House Fashion Show 12 3 08 (Custom)Before there was a Philadelphia Fashion Week, there was local realtor Jamie Reibenbach’s fashion shows at Public House in the mid 00s. Jamie was always able to recruit fun Philly notables to walk the catwalk like Doug Kammerer, former CBS3 Philly weatherman. The fashion shows were a monthly event, along with other fun events she held for charity.

Philadelphia Phillies’ All-Star Second Baseman, Chase Utley and wife Jennifer Utley team up with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts

Philadelphia Phillies’ All-Star Second Baseman, Chase Utley and wife Jennifer Utley team up with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts to fund-raise. They were the first of the Phillies of the 00s establish a foundation and to host annual soirees for them The Annual Utley All Stars, saving domestic animals. Nicole Cashman, Cashman & Assocs produced, publicized and executed their events.

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The Shane Victorino Foundation Fashion Show was hosted at Union League and was always a good time. Here’s Hunter Pence on the catwalk as Jamie Moyer, Mitch Williams and Shane Victorino look on.

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One of the best events was conceived by Megan Smith, Brownstone PR, who created Philly’s Dancing With The Stars” to benefit Sickle Cell Anemia. The event had a strong, successful run for about 4 years and was able to attract many Philadelphia notables, including  socialite, philanthropist Dana Spain, Sabrina Tamburino, GN Kang, Michael Callahan, Michael Days, Erin Elmore and so many others.

These folks had to invest serious time to learn how to dance in order to compete for the “disco ball,” The judges were very serious about determining who would win and included legendary dancer Joan Myers Brown is the founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO), Sen Larry Farnese and Thom Cardwell, man about town.  DSC_0165 (Custom)
Elizabeth Wellington, Jenice Armstrong and Jimmy Contrearas with prizes
The Annual Ritz Carlton Oscar Viewing Party was always a smashing success; judging was also fierce for fashion of the evening, but no one went home a loser if they were able to grab a gift bag before they were all gone.
In later years they set up stations where people could grab a bag and fill their own gift bag with swag
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The Barnes Opening Gala was one to remember. The who’s who of Philadelphia Society – Anne Hamilton, John Middleton, and Leigh Middleton were on hand for the fundraiser which was Emceed by Brian Williams, as the crowd enjoyed dinner and entertainment by Norah Jones. Even legendary photographer Bill Cunningham stopped by to take photos for the NY Times .

Gerry Ellis, Global Conservation Prize recipient and Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, Philadelphia Zoo Board Vice Chair

Gerry Ellis, Global Conservation Prize recipient and Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, Philadelphia Zoo Board Vice Chair – The Zoo Gala is one of the most beautiful events and they give out the most exquisite award to their honorees.

The room is always decorated incorporating elements of the zoo, as well as decor from the jungle (created and inspired by Zoo employee Mary Love, Dana Lombardo and their team). DSC_5706 (Custom)
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFAwas an ingenious idea, and we are so fortunate to have this event that happens every couple years in Philadelphia. Curated by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts,  PIFA, reappears for its fourth edition in 2018 to build on its events in 2011, 2013 and 2016.  PIFA 2018 Gala’s is 5/31/18
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PAWS Dinner, where popular restaurants in Philadelphia recreate their eatery at a gala location and serve a three course meal for guests and sponsors. I came on the scene when the event was held at the Union League, but eventually it outgrew the building and was held at the Linc.  Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society or PAWS (raising money to make Pa a no kill state.) was founded by Dana Spain. The PAWS dinner skipped a few years, but on October 2 there will be another one. TICKETS HERE

Champagne anyone?

Champagne anyone? Hair of the Dog an extension of a New Year’s Eve party.

Started by two friends  – Dan Cronin and Robert Molinaro, Metro Communications, who wanted to celebrate the new year with their friends, especially the ones they didnt spend New Year’s Eve with. It’s been going on for over 20 years, and has been held all over town even on a Missisippi riverboat docked at Penns Landing.

Buffy E. Harakidas | Director of Marketing and her team at Metro Communications. PR by Jennifer Sherlock, Jenna Communications.

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children's Book Author reads her book "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks" at the Storybook Ball.

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children’s Book Author reads her book “Tyrannosaurus Wrecks” at THE STORYBOOK BALL, they used to have it at night, but switched it to the day time so the little ones can maintain their sleep schedule.  I highly recommend this event for families, uncles or aunts to take the kids. So fun. Adults dress up as well.

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Started by Renee and Don Freeman – Donors Are Heroes is a group of dedicated friends, committed to raising public awareness for the importance of becoming an organ and tissue donor, to dispel myths and provide a means for people to share their donation wishes with family and friends. Their party is always in April, and it’s always fun. It’s a dessert, dancing and getting down with your friends event. Don’t take your organs to heaven. Donate.

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The UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Philadelphia is fabulous. I always enjoy photographing it as guests wear the most fabulous masks, and it’s for a great cause. The event draws the most fabulous of notables. I once photographed Billy Paul there ie Me and Mrs Jones, who didn’t love that song growing up. On the red carpet is Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter.

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Thanks to Mayor Michael Nutter for attracting so many great events to Philadelphia, including the Pope’s visit, the DNC, the amazing development and growth in the City we’re experiencing and one of my favorite events,
Made In America. That might come as a surprise to some people as I have complained of the driving/parking restrictions in my neighborhood, but Made in America was one of those defining events that made a difference in Philadelphia and put us on the map of being able to handle large scale events. I really enjoyed covering the event for the first 4 years, and although I could have covered it this year I realized it’s too much for me to spend the entire  day there. Up until the 5th year they allowed media to leave the festival grounds and take a break. I live across the street, it was a treat to go home and return after a few hours. I look forward to the coverage this year, and hearing if it’s going to come back again as this is the last year of the “contract.” I am giving away tickets to the weekend event if you follow directions on my instagram.


_DSC4142 (Custom)The Annual Charity Flip Cup Tournament to benefit MS and a rotating local charitable organization.
Created by Chatterblast and held at Field House every year.
It’s always a blast

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My 80s Prom Birthday and my luck 7th Annual Philly Chit Chat Anniversary Party in 2013 at Sky Garten, which raised funds for Gilda’s Club, in three years I raised $30ks in my sisters name who passed away of ovarian cancer.
Thanks to the Cabot Cheese for honoring me this year for my charitable contributions for my pro bono charity work.  American Foundation of Suicide Prevention for honoring me with the
Humanitarian Award in 2015 for my volunteer work, the Linda Creed Foundation for honoring me as Volunteer of the Year in 2014 (volunteered for nearly 10 years now) and for
Here’s Your Chance and Mayor Nutter for surprising and honoring me with the “Do Good” Award in 2012.
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The Philadelphia Library Gala – Wonderland which was produced by Fred Stein


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Both Virgin Airlines and Qatar Airlines had big fancy launch parties in Philadelphia. Virgin Airlines had their star studded party at the Palomar. Celebs including Amber Rose, Terrance Howard, Penn Badgely, Seth Green, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Sir Richard Branson walked the red carpet, as well as Boyz II Men, who also appeared at the QATAR Airways launch party held a year later at the Ritz Carolton, where they performed in front of a crowd of who’s who society and hospitality in Philadelphia. Maria Papadakis was the hostess with the mostess, and was hired to launch Qatar in a half dozen other North American cities.


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The Number One Event of the Decade is any of the Diner en Blanc’s. Thank you Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran, co-hosts of Diner en Blanc for bringing the fabulous pop up dinner to Philadelphia, and for enduring the grief that surprisingly came along with it.


Can’t wait until next year, where will you put 5400 people?


The Most Fashionable People I Photographed in the Last Decade

This was a difficult decision but here are my picks for best fashion of the decade 2007 – 2017, that I shot. Happy PhillyChitChat 10th Anniversary. I just have 2 more columns left – the Best Events of the Decade and Pivotol Points in my Career. (the later is just so I can remember when I write my book in a decade, lol)



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Sara Kelly (l) and Kharisma McIlwaine (r)

Kharisma McIlwaine, Aloysius Mcilwaine (just got back from Paris where he was paiting one of his beautiful murals), Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick of Fox 29's Good Day Philly.

Kharisma McIlwaine, Aloysius Mcilwaine, Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick of Fox 29’s Good Day Philly. – 2015

zmike and alex (2) (Custom)Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley –  2016

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Alex Holley, Fox 29

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Kate Beaver – 2014

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Kate Beaver – the dress that launched a million clicks and a media blitz -2013

James Crosby, Crosby & Co and Francesca Ruscio, PHL17, who both headed off to the Guns & Roses concert at the Linc.

Francesca Ruscio, PHL17, now with NBC10 at Philly Style 2016

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Francesca Ruscio recently signed with an agent in NYC and is about to work on a film

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6ABC’s Cecily Tynan and Adam Joseph – 2015


 The best dressed weather duo on TV  – 2016


I love shooting Rick and Flo Celender on the social scene.


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Rick and Flo Celender – 2016

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Marisa Magnatta and comedian Joe Conklin co-host CureDuchenne

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Marisa Magnatta and Maria Konopka (Papadakis)
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Trendsetter Christie Mandia and Brandon Mandia – 2016

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Craig Spitzer and Erin Elmore – 2015

Sassy and always up for fun – Erin Elmore – 2009

_DSC5267 (Custom) Danielle Hankin – 2014

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At a Mural Arts Fundraiser

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That time after the Young Friends at the PMA where I really wanted to get a photo of someone sledding down the steps, of course Danielle was up for the challenge in her Versace outfit and boots.- 2015

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Danielle Hankin is more than a socialite, she’s a philanthropist. Earlier this month she co-chair the JNFuture fundraiser at Lucy’s in Margate; She’s a Board Member and Event Chair of Philadelphia Chapter, which her brother Alexander Hankin founded. – 2017


Kristin Detterline, Editor of Philadelphia Style Magazine


Drop dead gorgeous but more importantly an amazing person and kind to everyone.

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Stacey Kracher, Christie Mandia and Kristin Detterline
on Mama Toub’s balcony on July 4, 2014

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Amber Goins and Pedro Goins – 2012

Just back from their honeymoon, Anne Nikolaus Pereira and Paul Pereira were still glowing from their March 7th wedding, with Amber and Pedro Gomes who are coming up to thier 2nd wedding anniversary.

Amber Goins and Pedro Goins – 2015 –
The cutest couple that makes you smile broadly when you see them. Adorable dancers as well.

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Donald Carter, always a dapper dresser.
For many years Donald was a Republican, a gay republican, which
got him an appearance on the Bill Maher Show nearly 2 decades ago.

Phil and Rita Harper with Hadia Tolson.

 Rita Harper always looks fabulous and wears this hat

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Stunning Buffy Harakidas – Metro Communications and event planner of Hair of the Dog with Natalie Guercio from Mob Wives who sang her new songs at the event.

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John Soden and  Sarah Doheny –
Met her in 2007, nicknamed her PRStyle Diva
Always an amazing dressed diva

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Thom Cardwell – The man of a thousand sports jackets and scarves
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Stunning Famed Fashion Illustrator Denise Fike (hire her for your parties) (You might never see her face, but her attire is always perfectly tailored and eye catching) and Lane Fike, Director of Capital Programs at Schuylkill BanksADSC_9655 (58) (Custom)
Joe Weiss, Chairman Electronic Ink and Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of Greater Philadelphia Film Office
November 2007

Sharon Pinkenson (wearing vintage Norma Kamal), Joe Weiss, and Donna Livingston at the 12th Annual Jefferson Gala honoring Sidney Kimmel at the Marriott Downtown on November 17, 2014.

Sharon Pinkenson (wearing vintage Norma Kamal), Joe Weiss, at the 12th Annual Jefferson Gala honoring Sidney Kimmel at the Marriott Downtown on November 17, 2014. Ageless, memorable, professional and kind


Anne Callahan and Charles Croce, Executive Director & CEO Philadelphia Museum

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Anne Callahan and Charles Croce –
puts a lot of thought into her dress for the Academy Ball. There’s always a great story attached to it DSC_6646 (Custom)
Andy Henning and Jill Rizen
(Timeless beauty, legs for days)

Vivian Camille at Hair of the Dog.
I see her once a year, and every year she makes my best dressed list for that year

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Josh DeMarco, hair stylist at Jason Matthew Salon in Rittenhouse, and Michelle Miller, Director of Development, BBBS Independence Region, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Subtle power couple.

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Style, grace and fun Marisa Magnatta – definitely one of my favorite photos of one of my favorite nights in the decade
The Academy Ball 2012


Brandon Morrison and Stacey Kracher


Power couple, trendsetters, ones to watch in the next decade

Brandon M Morrison and Stacey Kracher

Stacey Kracher and Brandon Morrison – Style Icons of the Decade