Some like it hot

Steppingstone Scholars

turned up the heat at the annual

Spring Salsa

, held May 9 at Sherman Mills East Falls. The event raised more than $280,000. The benefit, attended by about 300 guests, honored board member James L. Crawford, former head of Episcopal Academy. The evening's emcees, CNBC commentator Joe Watkins and NBC10's Monique Braxton, auctioned off a four-day fly-fishing trip to Everland's Club, near Big Timber, Mont. They also led a speed auction that raised $14,000 by asking guests for instant pledges up to $1,000. Steppingstone prepares talented and motivated urban school children for admission to the area's top college preparatory schools.

Green scene


Rock School for Dance Education

is going green. To tie in with the school's eco-friendly renovation of its landmark building on the Avenue of the Arts, the school's annual gala this year was the

Big Green Ball

. The benefit, held May 2 at the Independence Seaport Museum, was cochaired by Barbara and Richard Barnhart, Jaimie and David Field, and Caro and Robert Rock. The evening showcased Rock School students in a 35-minute dance performance, with a special appearance by school alum Isaac Hernandez, a company member of the American Ballet Theatre. The benefit raised more than $200,000 for the school.

Survivor's story

TV correspondent, author, and breast cancer survivor Betty Rollin, known for her 1976 groundbreaking book on breast cancer,

First, You Cry

, was honored Friday at

The Wellness Community of Philadelphia's 10th annual Evening in the Park gala

. Rollin presented the Medal of Courage award to cancer survivor Carol Fisher of Fox Chase. Held at the Suzanne Morgan Center in Fairmount Park, the benefit also honored former board chairman Jill Durovsik. The gala, attended by 300, raised more than $300,000 to support the center's mission to provide free educational programs, counseling and hope.

Over the top


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

set a new fund-raising record at its annual

Promise Ball

, held May 3 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, grossing $1.4 million, more than $100,000 over last year. The black-tie gala, attended by 500, honored Cigna. The top live auction item, a glass


made by mixed-media sculptor Tim Tate, sold twice for $41,000 each time, once to Matthew and Lea Cohn and again to Allen and Helene Apter. Other hot auction items were dinner for 10 prepared at home by Osteria chef Jeff Michaud that went for $12,500 and two power lunches, one with Mayor Nuttter and one with Gov. Rendell, which together went for $12,000.

Support in bloom


Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's annual Azalea Garden Party

, chaired by Marilyn Sifford and Bob Butera, was held May 1 in the Azalea Garden on Kelly Drive. More than 400 attended the event, which featured horse-drawn carriage rides, stilt-walkers, Dixieland music, and a view of the Azalea Garden in full bloom. The event raised more than $50,000 to support year-round pruning, planting and nurturing of the four-acre garden, which is tended by Friends of the Azalea Garden and Fairmount Park.