House party

The Chestnut Hill Historical Society celebrated its 40th anniversary at its annual

Preservation Potpourri

benefit Dec. 1. More than 300 guests attended the black-tie benefit, held at the West Moreland Avenue homes of Frances and Michael Jones and Joleen and John Miller. The evening raised $64,000 for the historical society. To commemorate the anniversary, the group established the Founder's Award, presented Oct. 28 to Shirley Hanson, a longtime board member, who was honored for giving her time and prodigious talent to preserving the historic buildings of Chestnut Hill since the group's founding in 1967.

Friend in a high place

Gov. Rendell received Girard College's Corinthian Award at its annual

Good Friends Gala

held Dec. 1 at the school's Founder's Hall. The award honors outstanding civic contributions made in the spirit of Stephen Girard (1750-1831), whose bequest created Girard, a boarding school for children from single-parent families with limited resources. Rendell auctioned off lunch for eight with him, followed by a private tour of the National Constitution Center. Judge William D. Bucci of the court of judicial discipline snagged the winning bid of $4,500. The black-tie gala, chaired by Carol Tinari, raised about $80,000 for the school.

American heroes

More than 600 guests attended the

Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) annual benefit dinner

Dec. 5 at the Crystal Tea Room. Independence Blue Cross and its chief executive officer Joe Frick received ADL's Americanism Award, presented by PNC regional president Bill Mills. Also recognized was Plymouth- Whitemarsh High School student Lew Bennett III, whose warning to police in October helped prevent a Columbine-like plan from being carried out at the school. Plymouth-Whitemarsh is an ADL No Place for Hate school that works with the Independence Blue Cross' Blue Crew volunteers to fight all forms of bigotry and hatred. The event raised about $610,000 for ADL programs.

Power play

Every December, a seismic power shift rocks Pennsylvania when several thousand politicians and business and civic leaders leave the commonwealth to gather in New York City for a high-profile weekend of wining and dining at events hosted by more than 30 law firms, businesses and universities. At the center of the weekend is the

Pennsylvania Society Dinner

, led by executive director Carol Fitzgerald and held each year at the venerable Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

This year, the 109th annual dinner, held Saturday for more than 1,600, honored Sen. Arlen Specter with the society's Gold Medal Award. Among those sharing the dais with Specter and his wife, Joan, were Gov. and Midge Rendell, Sen. Bob Casey, former Gov. Tom Ridge, David Girard-diCarlo of Blank Rome, Nick DeBenedictis of Aqua America, James Nevels, Fred Anton, and


host Chris Matthews. The after-parties began with the Governor's Reception and continued into the wee hours.

Social Circuit

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