The first fete

Caroline and Sidney Kimmel hosted the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson's Inaugural Ball Thursday at the Please Touch Museum. More than 450 guests attended the benefit, which raised more than $500,000 for the center. The evening, chaired by Anne and Matt Hamilton, featured a dinner menu of roasted filet mignon, seared sea bass, and asparagus prepared by Max and Me, and music by the Renaissance Orchestra. The event honored the American Cancer Society and Sen. Arlen Specter, who accepted the award by prerecorded video. Sidney Kimmel has donated a total of $500 million to cancer research and treatment in Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and San Diego.

Celebration in Venice

About 60 Philadelphia Museum of Art supporters celebrated the museum's success at the Venice Biennale June 6 at the Palazzo Nani Bernardo on the Grand Canal. After drinks in the garden, dinner was served upstairs in the 16th-century palace, where glasses were lifted and speeches were made honoring donors, board, and staff who helped to create "Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens," which won the Biennale's Golden Lion award for best national pavilion.

- Peter Dobrin

Sweet talk

The Battle of the Berries at Brandywine was fought on May 20 at the Brandywine Health Foundation's annual Garden Party at HouyhnhnM, home of Jeff Seder and Nina Burnaford in Coatesville, where seven restaurants went toque-to-toque for best dessert. The winning confection, voted on by 400 guests, was a triple berry bread pudding from the Blue Cafe in Downingtown. The party and the Strawberry Festival, held May 28 to 31 on the grounds of the Brandywine Hospital, raised more than $170,000 for the foundation. The proceeds will support nonprofit agencies that offer medical, dental, and mental-health services to the uninsured and underinsured in the greater Coatesville area.

Champion for the cause

Roger Ballou of CDI Corp. was honored at Gaudenzia's 11th annual Gustave G. Amsterdam Community Champion Award Dinner and Auction, held May 20 at the Sheraton Society Hill. The event for 300 was chaired by Denis O'Brien of Peco and Chris Butler of Independence Blue Cross. More than $110,000 was raised for Gaudenzia, which has opened 66 drug and alcohol treatment facilities in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland since its founding in 1968. Among Gaudenzia's 111 programs are specialized services for people affected by HIV/AIDS and co-occurring disorders.

Field of dreams

Bethesda Project held its 12th annual Auction and Party May 5 at the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park. Among the auction items was dinner for four with Phillies president David Montgomery in the executive dining room at Citizens Bank Park and seats on the Hall of Fame level that went for $3,700. A baseball signed by Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels went for $400. The evening for 320 raised $141,000 for Bethesda Project's 12 shelters and residences for homeless men and women in Philadelphia.