"THOSE OF YOU who pay attention tonight will have better sex for the rest of your lives," proclaimed Dr. Ruth Westheimer on Friday evening, taking the microphone to accept her Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mazzoni Center.
The organization, which helps LGBT youth, honored the famed sex therapist at its Elixir: The Cure for the Common Gala event at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
Dr. Ruth answered anonymously submitted sex-advice questions from the audience and chatted with the event's emcee, Carl Capotorto, who played Little Paulie on "The Sopranos." Capotorto grew up in the Bronx a close friend of Dr. Peter Mazzoni, the local AIDS activist who died from the disease at age 31 in 1990.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes accepted the Walter Lear Award, which he received with his wife, Sheryl Lee Ralph, an actress and AIDS activist who could not attend as she is filming in L.A.
Along with serious remarks, Hughes referred to Dr. Ruth as a "hot little number."
For more info on Mazzoni, visit mazzonicenter.org.
Earlier Friday, Dr. Ruth toured the beautiful new home of the National Museum of American Jewish History, with Josh Perelman, deputy director of exhibitions, programs and collections, as her guide. Dr. Ruth's family was killed during the Holocaust, and she later joined the underground Israeli army Haganah, serving as a sniper. Really.
CBS 3's Barnett expecting
Congratulations to CBS 3 and CW Philly anchor Susan Barnett and her husband, Dr. Greg Persichetti, who are expecting a baby girl in September. The couple have two sons, Steele, who will be a year old in July, and Blase, who is 4.
Happy Anniversary, Ukee
Speaking of CBS 3, anchor Ukee Washington celebrates his 25th anniversary on Eyewitness News on Wednesday. "Talk Philly," the noontime lifestyle show Washington co-hosts with Pat Ciarrocchi, will celebrate his milestone, as will the morning-news program that Washington co-anchors with Erika von Tiehl.
Onetime local wins 'Top Model'
Congratulations to former Wilhelmina Philadelphia and Reinhard model Brittani Kline, who won Tyra Banks' "America's Next Top Model" last Wednesday night.
Kline, 19, was raised in Beech Creek, Pa., in Clinton County, and began modeling at age 7, working for Kelli Walters, who signed her again in 2009 when Walters opened Wilhelmina Philadelphia. Kline worked for a year locally, walking in the inaugural Philadelphia Fashion Week as well as doing days of shooting with local photographer Christopher Gabello.
Kline also was represented locally by Reinhard after leaving Wilhelmina, but had to give up representation to compete on "Top Model."
Out and about
_ Comedian Pauly Shore stopped by Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom) to catch Steve Rannazzisi, of FX's "The League," and headed to the Continental Midtown (18th & Chestnut) afterward. Shore performed his own show Thursday night at the Trocadero (1003 Arch), along with Steve Simeone.
* British band Arctic Monkeys hung out at Gunners Run at the Piazza after their Electric Factory show Wednesday night.
_ TV sports reporter Steve Bucci's new book, Drinking Coffee with a Fork: The Story of Steve Carlton and the '72 Phillies (Camino Books), is in stores this week. Jamie Moyer wrote the foreword of the book, which Bucci wrote with Dave Brown. It focuses on Carlton's first season as a Phillie, in which he posted a 27-10 record for a team that went 59-97, and earned the first of his four Cy Young Awards. The book is also available on CaminoBooks.com and Amazon.com.
Bucci is now freelancing for CBS 3 and also writing for PhillySportsDaily.com.
* Nelson Johnson, whose book Boardwalk Empire is the basis for the HBO series, is the keynote speaker at the 62nd Annual Philadelphia Writers' Conference, June 3 to 5 at the Holiday Inn (4th & Arch). The three-day event features short-story, nonfiction, memoir, screenwriting and other workshops among other resources for writers. Author and former Daily News columnist Solomon Jones speaks at the opening session. For more information or to register, visit pwcwriters.org.
Local guy on 'Millionaire' today
Havertown native Greg Shelton, a graduate student studying education at Temple, is a contestant on today's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (12:30 p.m., 6ABC). Shelton, 26, a Haverford High grad, and his fiancee, Danielle, are both vegans and hope to have a vegan wedding reception, which he is hoping to fund - along with a move to California - with a big win on "Millionaire."
Chef on 'Chopped'
Judson Branch, chef at Thirteen inside the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, will compete on tomorrow night's episode of "Chopped" on the Food Network. It's on at 10.
Varga calendar needs pinups
Varga Bar (10th & Spruce) is searching for local women to pose as pinup models for its third-annual calendar. The 2012 calendar, like the previous two, will feature local amateurs, not professional models, in sexy poses. Hair, makeup and wardrobe is provided. To apply, email three photos - at least one full-body shot - and three reasons you want to be a Varga Girl to Vargadollface2012@gmail.com.
Deadline for submissions is Aug. 15. Dollface Studio's Siobhan Edwards and Darah Renee Groce will shoot the calendar, which will be sold at the restaurant, where each model's photo will be blown up on its wall.
A portion of proceeds from calendar sales benefits the Liberty USO. Interested candidates can be photographed at the Varga Bar Block Party on June 4, which chef Evan Turney and owner George Anni are hosting in conjunction with Philadelphia Beer Week. Eating contests and a dunk tank also will be part of the festivities.