Keeping promises

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary at its annual Promise Ball, held Saturday at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Nearly 650 guests attended the black-tie event, which netted $1.3 million for the foundation. The evening honored Lee Ducat, who founded the nonprofit in 1970 and was its president until 1976. The top live-auction item was dinner for 10 prepared by chef Tony Clark at the Center City penthouse apartment of Suzanne and Norman Cohn that went for $7,000 three times. Other live-auction items included two VIP passes to the MuchMusic Video Awards on June 20 in Toronto ($6,000); poker lessons for eight with poker champion Annie Duke in Las Vegas ($4,000); and lunch for four with film producer Daniel Dubiecki (Up in the Air) in Los Angeles and the chance to be an extra in a future film ($3,750).

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A healthy celebration

Bryn Mawr Hospital's Gerhard Society held its third

annual Spring Thing Celebration for prospective members April 29 at the St. Davids home of Susan and Michael Selverian. Bryn Mawr Hospital neurologist Dr. Christopher Reid spoke to the nearly 70 guests about heart health in his talk, "Stroke Smarts: It's Not Just About Age." Founded in 1979, the Gerhard Society has 343 members who annually contribute about $3 million to the hospital.

Making a difference

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson hosted the first fund-raiser for the DeSean Jackson Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer May 14 at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel. Jackson, 23, and his mother, Gayle Jackson, started the foundation after Jackson's father, William Jackson, died of pancreatic cancer May 14, 2009. Among the more than 200 guests were eight Eagles players including Juqua Parker, Jamaal Jackson, and Todd Herremans. The gala honored Dr. Craig B. Thompson, director of Abramson Cancer Center at Penn, and Dr. Joseph B. Straton, chief medical officer of Penn Wissahickon Hospice.

Rock on

The Rock School for Dance Education held its annual Scholarship Benefit May 1 at the Independence Seaport Museum. The evening featured the premiere of a collaborative work between the Rock School and the Curtis Institute of Music. Curtis student Ya-Jhu Yang composed an original score, Elements, that was choreographed by Servy Gallardo of the Rock School. Students from both schools performed the music and the dance. The gala for 400 guests, chaired by Donna Slipakoff, Babette Snyder, and Randi Zemsky, raised $190,000 for Rock School scholarships.

State of the art

The Philadelphia Art Alliance held its 70th annual Wetherill Ball April 30 for nearly 175 guests. During the cocktail reception at the Art Alliance, Mayor Nutter dedicated the newly renovated space on the third floor to Carole and Joseph Shanis. The space can now accommodate 100 people for lectures, performances, family workshops, and special events. The evening, which continued with dinner at the Rittenhouse Hotel, honored the Shanises and Sharon Church, studio jeweler and professor of crafts at the University of the Arts. The gala, chaired by Ellen Lee and David Benton, raised more than $160,000 for the nonprofit.