December 6, 2014: Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation Annual Enchanted Holiday Luncheon
Pat and Beth Friel with Isabelle Zeiger.
The Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation is named after the Philadelphia singer/songwriter who wrote one of the world’s favorite tunes made famous by Whitney Houston, “The Greatest Love of All.” Creed died of breast cancer in 1986. I never met her, but her songs touched my life. I've been photographing their annual fundraiser, a luncheon, for the past eight years.
November 13, 2014: Philadelphia Zoo's Fifth Annual Global Conservation Gala
Philadelphia Zoo Board Chair Jay H. Calvert, Jr., Esq., Conservation Impact Award recipient Joanna McNeil Lewis, Global Conservation Prize recipient Gerry Ellis, and Philadelphia Zoo President and CEO Vik Dewan.
This event raises money for global conservation and Philadelphia Zoo‘s effort to preserve habitats and endangered species around the world. They also honor individuals who have done extraordinary things in the name of conservation. The gala is conceived and produced by an internal team of employees working at the zoo and is headed by Mary Love. The room is always breathtaking with creativity, from being in the middle of a jungle to experiencing a safari with animals created out of recycled material. One year, they had a gorilla created entirely of forks—that was amazing.
November 17, 2014: 12th Annual Jefferson Gala
Sidney and Caroline Kimmel with Dr. Doris Day and Dr. Michael Ghalili
Ever since Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, came aboard, the 190-year-old hospital profile has been on a meteoric rise. At the 12th annual Jefferson Gala they honored Sidney Kimmel, after he generously made a $110 million donation to the university, which will rename its medical school the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Bringing the glamour was Caroline Kimmel who looked stunning in Alexander McQueen and spoke of her husband, calling him a renaissance man who would always consider Philadelphia his home—it’s where he grew up, where they met, and where many of their good friends live.
January 24, 2015: The Academy of Music's 158th Anniversary Concert & Ball
Al Pacino and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The Academy of Music's ball is the highest social gala of the season where men must wear white tails, and it's almost mandatory women in beautiful, glamorous gowns, to wear white gloves. The ticket price is in the stratosphere, upwards of around $500 a person, but the proceeds go to the simplest amenities that all who use the Grand Old Lady of Locust Street can benefit from, like installing a new HVAC system. There are many traditions associated with the gala, but in recent years, they have tweaked the schedule to accommodate a more modern society like adding a lower ticket price for "Young Friends."
March 21, 2015: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania's Second Annual Red & White Ball
Rosemary Connors, Ben Cross, Jillian Mele, Taylor Koebele, and Sheena Parveen.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania has really great fundraisers all year long, but recently they started having a gala called the Red and White Ball. When I first attended the event, I thought it would be an easy shoot, in and out, as I didn't expect too many people to attend the first year. I was pleasantly surprised as the place was packed, and people were wearing red gowns. Another fun aspect of the Red and White Ball every year—and this will be the third year—they raffle off a brand new Mercedes-Benz by selling tickets at $100—and only 2,000 are sold. Sounds like good odds.
April 29, 2015: Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School's Second Annual Old Bags-Night Out Fundraiser
Old Bags-Night Out 2015 co-chair Mellen Vogt, co-chair Helene Van Beuren, former Ultimate Mentor Award recipient Anne Hamilton, CEO and co-founder of Boys' Latin of Philadelphia Charter School David P. Hardy, co-founder of Boys' Latin Charter School Janine Yass, board of director Marianne N. Dean, and Angela Hudson.
There are several, what I call "ladies who lunch" gatherings where society women get together to raise funds for great causes. The event's centerpiece is a fashion show at either Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus. I love attending all of them as I get to photograph the Mainline women who always bring the fashion with perfectly coiffed hair, and are very generous in their philanthropy ranging from making life easier for animals, preserving land, arts and culture endeavors, and my favorite—raising funds for undeserved children. The photo above is from the second annual Old Bags-Night Out hosted by Boys' Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, where they honored Anne Hamilton for her philanthropic work, including her support for the organization since its inception.