Sky's the limit

The $500 million

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Comcast Center

, Philadelphia's newest and tallest office building (975 feet), opened to much fanfare on Friday. More than 500 business and civic leaders attended the event, including Comcast founder Ralph Roberts, Comcast chairman Brian Roberts, the building's architect Robert A.M. Stern, and William P. Hankowsky of Liberty Property Trust. Also in attendance were chefs Georges Perrier and Chris Scarduzio, who have opened Table 31 there. The 58-story building boasts enough green technology that it is expected to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S Green Building Council. It is jointly owned by Liberty Property Trust and the German firm CommerzLeasing und Immobilien, which has a majority interest.

Honor roll

The

Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists' third annual Banquet of Honors

was held Saturday at The View in North Philadelphia. Michael Days, the first African American editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, and Beverly Williams, former CBS3 anchor, each received the association's Trailblazer Award for breaking barriers in print and broadcast journalism. Fox29 anchor/reporter Joyce Evans was honored as Broadcast Journalist of the Year while Inquirer Metro columnist Annette John-Hall was recognized as Print Journalist of the Year. PABJ presented Vince Hill, KYW Newsradio business and finance editor, its Lifetime Achievement Award, and attorney Michael Coard, cofounder of the Avenging the Ancestors Coalition, its Community Service Award.

Cops for kids    

The

Police Athletic League's annual award dinner

, held May 12 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel, was one for the record books. For the first time ever, the event grossed more than $1 million. PAL honored David Montgomery of the Phillies, Steve Madva of Montgomery McCracken, and Christine Baron of Verizon Wireless. Top auction items included two tickets in the press box to the Penn State vs. Michigan football game that went for $2,500, and two tickets to

Oprah

with airfare to Chicago ($1,800). PAL provides free educational and sports activities for 26,000 youngsters at 27 centers in Philadelphia.

Stargazing

It was a starry, starry night on May 22 when actress Jane Seymour dropped in unexpectedly at the

Mural Arts Program's Wall Ball 2008

, held May 22 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. (

The Wire

), who presented a new documentary that he narrated about the program, was also turning heads among the 250 guests. A power breakfast with Mayor Nutter went for $7,200 during the live auction, up from $3,600 when he was only a candidate. The benefit, which raised more than $200,000, honored Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe, Rabbi emeritus of Har Zion Temple, and William P. Hankowsky of Liberty Property Trust.

Pet project    

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and his wife, Jennifer, have a new cause - to prevent cruelty to animals and fund nonprofit organizations that are active in the fight against animal neglect, pain and suffering. Their first fund-raiser, Utley All-Star Animals Casino Night, held May 29 at the F.U.E.L. Collection, raised $200,000 for the Pennsylvania SPCA. On deck to lend a hand at the blackjack table were Phillies players Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard. The benefit was attended by 300 guests.