House party

The Chestnut Hill Historical Society celebrated the 25th anniversary of its annual fund-raising gala, Preservation Potpourri, Dec. 5 at Druim Moir mansion. The historic Chestnut Hill home was built in 1886 for Henry H. Houston, a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, by the architectural firm G.W. & W.D. Hewitt, which also designed the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. The black-tie evening for 250, which featured dinner by Bacchus Catering and dancing to the Scott Romig Band, raised more than $64,000 for the society's programs and preservation initiatives.

Empowerment awards

The Urban League of Philadelphia held its seventh annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Community Empowerment Awards Luncheon Dec. 4 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The event, which raised $20,000, honored Joseph A. Frick, Andrea Agnew, Sulaiman Rahman, Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation Inc., and Dilworth Paxson. Among the 400 guests were David L. Cohen of Comcast, Rosemary Turner of UPS, and state Rep. Dwight Evans.

The write stuff

The Center for Literacy honored its Literacy Champions at its Reading Writers fund-raising event, held Dec. 7 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The honorees were Hope A. Comisky of Pepper Hamilton, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Inquirer columnist Monica Yant Kinney, poet Sonia Sanchez, and IBM. Also recognized was Center for Literacy student Cornelia Briggs, who, at 57, will receive her high school diploma in June. The event for 200 raised $75,000 for the center, which provides literacy education and diploma programs through its 81 learning centers in the Philadelphia area.

Fashion fest

The Evoluer House, founded in 2004 by Cheryl Ann Wadlington to provide personal development services to at-risk teen girls, held its second annual benefit and fashion show Dec. 11 at the Painted Bride Art Center. The evening was cochaired by singer Sarah Dash of the trio LaBelle, fashion designer Loris Diran, and Dame Jennifer Smith, former premier of Bermuda. The benefit, which raised $40,000, featured the spring 2010 collections of Melani Von Alexandria, Autumnlin Design, and Bweela Steptoe.

Star power

It was a night to remember for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia when it held its kickoff event for its annual appeal campaign Dec. 8 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. The evening featured former President Bill Clinton as the guest speaker, drew more than 750 guests, and raised $3.5 million, the most ever for the federation at a single event. The benefit was cochaired by Carol and Bennett Aaron, Susan and Neil Cooper, Esther and Marc Kaplin, Joy and Bennett Keiser, and Maxine and Elliot Rosen.