Salute to Service 2014

Page 1

Meet our 2014 BLUE SAPPHIRE Award Winners OCT/NOV/DEC 2014 VOL 25_ISSUE 35_2014 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM $4.99 US

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John J. Dougherty Business Manager IBEW Local 98

Joe Volpe

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VOLUME _25 ISSUE 35_ 2014

Insidethis issue

October | November | December 2014

16_ LIFE Who is Murphy? by Dorette Rota Jackson

24_SALUTE TO SERVICE RowHome Magazine’s 2014 Blue Sapphire Award Winners John Dougherty, IBEW Local 98 / Community Service Kenny Gamble, Gamble-Huff Music / Lifetime Music Achievement Joe Volpe, Cescaphe Event Group / Local Business Success Ukee Washington, CBS 3 / Media photos by Phil Kramer makeup by Bella Angel

31_2014 WISHROCK AWARD Anything is possible if you believe in yourself Ricky Baccare Christian Carto Lea Falcione Audra McLaughlin photos by Andrew Andreozzi

50_ FASHION Sexy and the City - Think Pink! by Phyllis Palermo photography by Alexander Safdie @a.v.e.n.u.e

16 life

52_Holiday Shopping? Think outside the Box! by Kiera Missanelli

62_MUSIC & THE ARTS What about Bob? PRH Sits down with 98.1 WOGL veteran DJ Bob Charger by John Nacchio, Jr. photos courtesy of Bob Charger

84_ SPORTS World Champ Bernard Hopkins is GM at Hero Thrill Show Honors fallen police & fire heroes photos by William Z. Foster




90_ ROWHOME REMEMBERS Club Girls & Corner Boys by Tony Santini



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we E V LO K N A B N E E VA L L E Y G R

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ique understands the un “Valley Green Bank rk wo sinesses face and challenges small bu ong foundation.” with us to build a str JERRY JACKSON NAFIS, TONY AND LLC. Y CONSTRUCTION, JACKSON SYNERG 2012 CUSTOMER SINCE

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is a community “Valley Green Bank in Philadelphia’s lender reinvesting building neighborhoods and s.” stronger communitie

, LPMG COMPANIES JOHN LONGACRE 2013 CUSTOMER SINCE Mt Airy | 215.242.3550 Chestnut Hill | 215.242.1550 South Philadelphia* | 215.462.2265 Radnor | 610.995.2265 Center City | 215.569.2265 *Hours: Weekdays 8:30 to 5 and Saturday 9 to 12

VOLUME _25 ISSUE 35_ 2014


October | November | December 2014

6_FROM THE PUBLISHERS RowHome Gets Ready for AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER IX photos by Phil Kramer


10_MAILBOX PRH Readers are Famous!

46_BRIDES GUIDE A Piece of Cake by Joe Volpe, Cescaphe Event Group photo by Philip Gabriel Photography

12_NEIGHBORHOOD NOIR 20_HANGIN’ OUT PRH Readers hang out at the Jersey shore!



On the corner


Beer Nuts by Kerri-Lee Mayland

88_ON THE CORNER with Mark Casasanto A Garden Grows photos by Maria Merlino

96_PRESSED by Dorette Rota Jackson

on the cover As part of its annual Salute to Service Program, Philadelphia RowHome congratulates the recipients of its 2014 Blue Sapphire Award – presented annually to individuals whose “selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia has left an indelible mark on the culture and traditions of our neighborhoods for future generations to enjoy.” The 2014 Blue Sapphire Awards are presented during Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s Annual BlackTie Business Networking Event – An Affair to Remember - sponsored by Cescaphe Event Group. photo by Phil Kramer makeup by Bella Angel


46 brides guide

John J. Dougherty IBEW Local 98


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Joe Volpe Cescaphe Event Group Ukee Washington CBS 3

IBEW Local Union 98 Salutes Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s 2014 Blue Sapphire Award Winners:

Kenny Gamble Songwriter/Producer Lifetime music Achievement AwArd

Joe Volpe CEO, Cescaphe Event Group Business success story AwArd

Ukee Washington News Anchor, CBS 3 mediA AwArd


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Spend the night with us! With family, friends, colleagues, community leaders and celebrities. Shake hands, exchange business cards and celebrate our city. No breakout sessions, No keynote speakers. No lectures. Just fine food by Cescaphe Event Group. A phenomenal band – The Business! And a celebration of everything right about Philly. We guarantee it will be An Affair to Remember!

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine congratulates our 2014 Blue Sapphire Award Winners John Dougherty Joe Volpe Ukee Washington Kenny Gamble*

*(Due to a conflict in schedules, Kenny Gamble was not available to join us for this photo)

River to River. One Neighborhood.

Do you want your business featured on our Publishers’ Page? Call PRH at 215.462.9777 for details.

photo by Phil Kramer Makeup by Bella Angel Hair by The Cutting Point Location - Tendenza

rowhome magazine



| October | November | December 2014 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM

President | Publisher Dorette Rota Jackson

Vice President | Publisher Dawn Rhoades

Editor Dorette Rota Jackson

Vice President Marketing & Promotions Dawn Rhoades

Creative Director | production Omar Rubio

Contributors Jennifer Barkowitz Mark Casasanto David Cava Sara Canuso Frank DePasquale Jr., Esq Dr. Richard Dittrich Larry Gallone Brett Jackson Larry Kane Maria Merlino

Dr. James Moylan Daniel Olivieri, III Phyllis Palermo Sharon Pinkenson Michael Rhoades Leo Rossi Jade Rota Tony Santini David Spitzberg, CPA Bob Wagner

Marketing & Editorial Assistant Jennifer Barkowitz

Green space Editor Kerri-Lee Mayland




Marketing Communications Coordinator Carol Vassallo

Photographers Andrew Andreozzi Phil Kramer Maria Merlino John McMullen

Account Manager Theresa Palestino


Published by

Philadelphia RowHome Inc. P.O. Box 54786 Philadelphia, PA 19148 Phone – 215.462.9777 | Fax – 215.462.9770 | Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine and its contents are copyrighted. Content printed in the magazine may not be reproduced or reprinted, in whole or in part, by any other party without the expressed written consent of Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. 2014 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.


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email your letters to:

Dear Dorette & Dawn So, apparently, Loretta Russo and I are famous. Again. :) RowHome Mag has honored us by putting our pic on page 21 (Issue 34) with all of the other Phab Pholks of Philly. Thanks Dorette, Dawn & the PRH team for putting out the best publication EVER! Joani Bleeds Orange-and Black Dando

Dear PRH



I want to thank & congratulate my good friends, Dorette Rota Jackson & Dawn Retallick Rhoades on their success with their NEW AWESOME EDITION OF ROWHOME MAGAZINE! It really brings you back to the GOOD OLE DAYS in SOUTH PHILLY! So many familiar places & faces! You have to get a copy. You will love it! It was so nice to actually read a magazine instead of FB Feed! P.S. And I’m in it too! Diane Severino Marconi Marconi Medical

Dear Dorette & Dawn


Excellent Rates & Excellent Customer Service Auto Homeowners Business Life Insurance 2700 S. 18th Street * Philadelphia, PA 19145 Call For A Free Quote!

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Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. This note of appreciation is about 10 years late. From the time I read your first issue and then the second, which featured an article about my grandmother, I knew you would make a wonderful contribution to South Philadelphia’s people and businesses. You certainly have! You have built and connected a network of neighbors who focus on the improvement of a gem in our city and on supporting each other and the city at large.

P.S. I am also enclosing a check for a subscription. My Aunt Clara lives in California now, but at 88, still comes home to visit and loves reading RH. Centi Anni Dr. Lucille Candeloro

Dear Dawn & Dorette

You have no idea how much my husband and I enjoy your RowHome Magazine. We were both born and raised in South Philly (Tony at 8th & Christian, I at 11th & Moore). We first subscribed to your magazine through Gibby Palmaccio. We are friends for many years. We are also Aunt Rita and Uncle Tony to Steve Martorano. We really enjoy the stories on Gibby and Steve. Tony was owner and operator of Tony’s Tires at Percy & Oregon for 35 years. He retired in 1991. We will continue to read your magazine. It brings us so much joy and such great memories. Sincerely, Tony & Rita Durante Brigantine, NJ

Dear PRH

Thank you & Congrats to Dorette Rota Jackson and Dawn Retallick Rhoades on your Anniversary! I’m so very excited to have been mentioned! Many more years of publishing! Karen DelBorrello Dougherty


5 Estate

tips for first-time homebuyers

1Hire a real estate agent It’s fun to look at real estate sites, but hiring a professional will serve you well. Agents can help you ask all of the right questions throughout the buying process.

all 2Explore financing options

As a first time homebuyer, your options are many. Including federal loans for those who don’t have the 20% down payment and settlement assistance grants that help with closing costs.

what you 3Know can afford

The Internet has plenty of mortgage calculators but your best bet is to sit down with your real estate agent. Go over the facts and figures of your debtto-income ratio so that the monthly payment is on target with your budget.


Get your credit score

The higher the score, the lower the payments. A “high” credit score is 700 or above. Scores lower than 700 may mean higher interest and down payments. If your score is low, look into ways to improve your credit by visiting any of the major credit reporting agencies.


Beef up your bank account

Mortgage companies want to minimize their risk with a first time homebuyer. Once you calculate your monthly payment, be sure that you have at least 4 mortgage payments in the bank. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, mortgage companies will consider you high risk.

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rowhome magazine

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Officerof of Officer Year the the Year Banquet Banquet honors honors Top Cops Top Cops


Salute to Service 1st District Captain Lou Campione, South Detectives Captain Martin Derbyshire, South Divisional Rep of Police Advisory Board Russell Shoemaker Sr., 1st District Officer of the Year Paul Byson, 17th District Officer of the Year James Lippi, 3rd District Officer of the Year Lynne A. Zirilli, South Detective Division Officer of the Year Det. Frank Straup, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Captain Nicholas Brown, State Rep. Maria Donatucci, 3rd District Captain Frank Millio, South Division Inspector Anthony Washington. Photo by Maria Merlino


life by Maria Merlino

fter attending the Citizens Police Academy, Russell Shoemaker Sr. said he learned a lot about police work and the day-to-day responsibilities of

its members. Currently a representative of the Police Advisory Board, Shoemaker said he wanted to come up with a way to honor officers assigned to South Philadelphia for their commitment to the community. He organized the first annual Officer of the Year Banquet, held recently at Galdo’s, to recognize department members for their service to the 1st, 3rd and 17th Districts and South Detectives. Selected by their Supervisors, the following individuals were honored: Officer Paul Byson, 1st District Officer James Lippi, 17th District Officer Lynne A. Zirilli, 3rd District Detective Frank Straup, South Detectives

Since the department no longer rotates shifts, neighbors and businesses recognize the patrol officers assigned to their areas, Shoemaker said. The familiarity has resulted in stronger bonds in an effort to keep our neighborhoods safe. “You can’t stop crime but information gets out faster,” Shoemaker said. “We can’t thank these officers enough. And the businesses that support the Department.”prh

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CALL POWERBACK REHABILITATION at 888-982-2000. PowerBack Rehabilitation | Center City | 1526 Lombard Street | Philadelphia, PA 19146

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By Genesis HealthCare



by Dorette Rota Jackson

Who is Murphy?


op stared intently at the name printed on the front of the sweatshirt I was wearing that cold February morning. My scarf covered most of the lettering, making it hard for him to read. Andreozzi Photography.

Pop saw the last few letters – phy. ‘Who is Murphy?’ he asked when I walked into the room. A few weeks shy of his 99th birthday, Pop was as sharp as a tack. He knew the names and faces of everyone in his family. And he knew the name ‘Murphy’ was not familiar to him. But it was to me. And for a brief moment, I thought about my good friend Stevie “Murph.” And I smiled. I remembered my promise to call him for another “chicken cutlet Tuesday” dinner with the gang at my house. Or a quick cup of coffee from Starbucks, his favorite neighborhood hang. Less than 24 hours later, I got the call. ‘Mom, Murph died. His mother found him in bed this morning. Heart attack maybe.’ My daughter’s tears cut like a dull knife. Followed by the swell of uncontrollable grief. The kind that stops your breath. Why? I kept repeating over and over again through the phone. How could this be? I kept asking my daughter as though she had an answer. A man who meant so much to so many. A tough guy from 9th & Wolf who saved a legion of kids from a life on the streets. ‘Old


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Head,’ some called him. I guess 52 seems like a lot of years to the 20-something-yearold corner kids he watched over. But this bear-sized man with a heart that moved mountains was on a mission to save lives. And he succeeded. As drugs claim so many of our children every day, Stevie ‘Murph’ Murtha reclaimed as many as he could. In defiance of the odds. He led them to rehabs, slept beside them on their bedroom floors, found them jobs, danced at their birthday parties. And before long, the Murph Circle was so big, it took on a life of its own. New friends. Big dreams. Hope for tomorrow. One day at a time. Progress not perfection. Love of self. Love of family. His were words of encouragement. Pats on the back for how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. Yours was an impossible mission, my friend. And you accomplished it. On behalf of so many lives that you saved, thank you. On behalf of all those families and friends – the ones you knew and the ones you had yet to meet – thank you. You are a hero. God bless you Stevie Murph. I will never forget you. And neither will they. ➻


2014 Vendemmia Wine Festival

And the Winners are‌

3rd Best of Show Petite Sirah Zinfandel blend 2013: Valloreo-Esposito

2nd Best of Show Petite Sirah 2013: Vino Puro

Best of Show Petite Sirah 2012: Frank Valloreo Jr.

Pino Noir 2011:

Roberto and Verna

Zinfandel 2012: Jules Esposito

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: John Tenaglia

Amarone 2013:

South Philadelphia Wine Cellars

Sangiovese 2011: Sparagana - Harris

Sirah 2011:

Jules Esposito

Maldec - Cabernet blend 2012: Vino Tre Cesari

Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet Franc - Merlot blend 2012: Joseph and Robert DiSalvatore

2013 Rioja:

Anthony Lombardi

Bordeaux blend 2013: Anthony Lombardi

The winning wines are selected by a panel of 39 judges from across the East Coast, including Dr. Joseph A. Fiola, Principal Agent and Extension Specialist of Viticulture and Small Fruit, and Unit Coordinator Western Maryland University.

photos by Maria Merlino For more Vendemmia photos, turn to page 43. rowhome magazine

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Vincent Gangemi Funeral Home, Inc.

James L. Guercio Funeral Director

Ann Gangemi Secretary/Treasurer

Vincent C. Gangemi, Jr. Supervisor

Serving the Community Since 1937 Vincent Gangemi Sr., Founder Vincent C. Gangemi Jr., Supervisor

2232-40 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19145 P: 215.467.3838 F: 215.551.4247

Funeral Pre-Planning Available Handicapped Accessible


Gala Supports Cure for Sickle Cell Disease photos courtesy of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia B E E F / P O R K / P O U LT R Y / V E A L / L A M B / P R E PA R E D F O O D S

Anthony & Vince Lombardi “A father & son team that is a cut above the rest!”

1801 Packer Avenue / Philadelphia, PA 19145 P: 215.940.2211 / P: 215.334.1212 / F: 215.940.2210 Photo by Dan Uhl Photography


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he Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s annual Blue Tag Gala is an elegant evening featuring music, cocktails, fine dining, a silent auction and dancing late into the night. Held at the Hyatt at The Bellevue on Saturday, October 25, 2014, the event — featuring Master of Ceremonies Renee Chenault-Fattah, a news anchor and reporter with NBC10 Philadelphia, and Honorary Chair Tye Tribbett, a Grammy-winning gospel artist — always brings a large crowd and has raised thousands every year for the past 14 years to benefit the Hospital’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common inherited conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide, including more than 80,000 people in the United States. The disease is estimated to occur in one in 500 African-Americans and one in 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic Americans. ➻

logos signs

While healthy red blood cells are flexible and round and move easily through blood vessels, the red blood cells of people with SCD are hard and “sickle” shaped, causing them to block blood flow. Over time, these blockages can lead to severe episodes of pain, increased risk of infection, fatal strokes, organ damage and heart attacks. The average life expectancy of a person with sickle cell disease is only about 50 years. The Blue Tag Gala is organized by the Ambassadors of Hope, a group of dedicated leaders in our community who lend their passion, expertise and resources to ensure a successful event every year for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center — one of the largest programs of its kind in the nation. Guests mingle, dine, dance and listen to various speakers. Many attendees wear the color blue in honor of the “Blue Tag.” The Blue Tag name stems from the need patients with SCD have for many blood transfusions. Since it is best for patients to receive blood that closely matches their own, donors with the same ethnic background make the best match. Blood donors can ask for a “Blue Tag” to notify the American Red Cross that a blood donation is designated for a sickle cell center. The Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center cares for more than 1,000 patients, striving to reduce the devastating effects of SCD. At this time, the only cure for SCD is bone marrow transplantation. However, fewer than 15 percent of sickle cell patients can find a matching donor. Bone marrow transplantation is also highly risky: the mortality rate is 10 percent and the rate of serious complications is more than 50 percent. As a result, only 300 bone marrow procedures for SCD have been done to date. But there is hope. After nearly 30 years of research, CHOP is on the cusp of a potential cure for sickle cell disease before birth. Philanthropic support from the Blue Tag Gala and Hope on the Horizon — CHOP’s volunteer-driven campaign to raise funds to support sickle cell care and research — will speed this research and also allow the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center to expand and enhance care for patients and families. For more information about the event, visit, and for more information about the Hope on the Horizon campaign, visit prh



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VOLUME _25 ISSUE 35_ 2014

October | November | December 2014 1. Bianca Riverso hangs out with Miley Cyrus. 2. C ongratulations to Cass Palestino, who retired as Crossing Guard at 18th & Ritner after 25 years! 3. G olden Gloves champ Christian Carto wins July fight at the 2300 Arena. 4. A nthony & Renee Fanty hangin’ out at Geno’s with Tennessee Titans Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst & San Diego Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers. 5. James Darren & Bob Pantano are hangin’ out at Adelphia. 6. A nthony Retallick, Tony LaMorgia & Anthony Grosso hang out with the Geator at Memories in Margate.




7. R owHome Remembers. Larry Gallone still holds onto his Bambi Cleaners laundry bag. 8. Jimmy Binns Jr. & Jimmy Binns Sr. are hangin’ out. 9. D emetrius Isaac & TJ Pagan represent The Phillies Senior RBI Team at the RBI World Series in Arlington, Texas. 10. Nicky Luke hangs out with John Legend. 11. L ast Roll Call! Congratulations to Sgt. Daniel Lash who retired from the ACPD after 33+ years of service. Enjoy your retirement! You will be missed. 12. A drianna Maria DiValentino. Born July 15. 7 pounds, 5 ounces. 13. M ark Casasanto, Jr. samples the goods from South Philly food truck, Milk + Sugar, at the 2014 Vendy Awards.


14. Jason Douglas - I would like to thank everyone for the kind words and the birthday wishes! DanceAdelphia was founded in September of 1956 by my wonderful grandparents, Mary & Peter Yanetti, and my parents, Ann & Fred DiEgidio! 15. V ince Lombardi’s 70th Birthday with Joe Lombardi, Maria Frisoli-Lombardi, Nadia Angelone Lombardi, Alex Taberne’ and Gianna Lombardi. 16. I BEW Local 98’s Mike Neill & former PA Governor Ed Rendell are hangin’ out.


17. D onna Lamaine & friends enjoy their annual Girls Day at the Beach 2014 in Atlantic City with this year’s theme, “Christmas in July. 18. Joanne Sylvestro with the grandkids, Daniella & Michael, at the Messina Club. 19. Jade Rota hangs out with London Rivera on her 1st birthday. 20. Anna M. Buccuto is surrounded by family at her 100th birthday party: nephews Frank and Dante Pierantozzi, niece Connie Mazzola, daughter Louise Pedano, niece Theresa Pierantozzi, grandson James Mazzola, niece Connie Ballezzi, great nephew Louis DiRenzo, great nephew Nicholas DiRenzo and great niece Julianna Huber. Photo by Maria Merlino

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21. B rian Stevenson catches a foul ball for his nephew Danny Stevenson at the first energy stadium in Reading, PA.















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PRHOn the Waterfront








12 E. Oregon Ave Philadelphia, Pa 19148



1831 W. Allegheny Ave Philadelphia, Pa 19132


➜ 365 DAY ACCESS *at select locations



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SugarHouse brings Philly its First-ever Live Poker Room by Dan Stevenson External Affairs Executive


he year might be winding down but the excitement continues to build at SugarHouse. This fall, Philly’s casino welcomes the arrival of the city’s firstever live poker room. Since we opened in September 2010, guests have been asking us about poker. And, we are excited to finally bring it to them this year with the debut of our interim poker room, which will be in operation until our permanent one opens as part of our expansion in 2015. We went “all in” when it came to planning Philly’s first poker room. It features 24 state-of-the-art tables, which can accommodate 240 people. One of the greatest features of the room is that using a free mobile app called Bravo Poker Live, guests who want to reserve a seat at SugarHouse can do so in advance from their mobile device. And, they will be notified via text message with status updates on the availability of their table. You may have noticed a new structure facing toward the Ben Franklin Bridge side of our property, which is where the interim poker room is located. It’s equipped with 24/7 grab-and-go food options at a snack bar, and tableside food and bar service are also available.

What’s even better is that the opening of this facility alone brings 100 new full- and part-time jobs to Philadelphia, including gaming, security, surveillance, cage and food and beverage positions. This means our casino workforce—which has voted us as a “Best Place to Work” in the

You may have noticed a new structure facing toward the Ben Franklin Bridge side of our property, which is where the interim poker room is located. Philadelphia Business Journal for the fourth year in a row—now consists of more than 1,200 team members. And, that number is only going to continue to grow as we get closer to our BIG expansion, which will bring new amenities to Philly’s casino. We’ll be upping the ante for our permanent poker room, too, which will include an increased number of tables and even more features. Until the expansion is complete, come visit us on the waterfront and experience all the exciting things happening. And, if you’re a poker player, bring your poker face. We can’t wait to see you down at SugarHouse! prh


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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine

2014 All Great Accomplishments Begin with a Dream photos by Phil Kramer 24

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As part of its annual “Salute to Service” Program, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine recently announced the recipients of its 2014 Blue Sapphire Award -- presented annually to individuals whose “selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia has left an indelible mark on the culture and traditions of our neighborhoods for future generations to enjoy.” The following individuals have been named Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s 2014 Blue Sapphire Award recipients

John J. Dougherty

Business Manager, IBEW Local 98 Community Service Award


Kenny Gamble Songwriter/Producer Lifetime Music Achievement Award

he Blue Sapphire Award is presented during RowHome Magazine’s annual Affair to Remember - a Black Tie Business Networking Gala sponsored by Cescaphe Event Group.The evening convenes hundreds of guests to celebrate the city’s business community. “It is a celebration of our business community - the heirs and the entrepreneurs - who are the economic backbone of our city of neighborhoods,” say sister Publishers Dorette Rota Jackson and Dawn Rhoades. To encour-

Joe Volpe

CEO, Cescaphe Event Group Business Success Story Award

age support of local businesses, PRH continually reminds its readers to “Go Home Philly. Stop & Shop at our Local Spots.” Guests meet on the Red Carpet for an elaborate cocktail reception followed by a 5-course dinner prepared by Cescaphe chef/owner Joe Volpe. In addition to the Blue Sapphire Awards, PRH will present its 2014 WishRock Award to singers Ricky Baccare, Lea Falcione and Audra McLaughlin and to 2014 Golden Gloves champion Christian Carto. The WishRock Award, sponsored by Standing Ovation Movie and Dupree Performing

Ukee Washington

News Anchor, CBS 3 Media Award

Arts, is presented annually to “young dreamers whose passion to succeed has inspired a new generation of believers.” An Affair to Remember IX & 2014 Blue Sapphire Awards will be held on Wednesday, November 5th, at Vie, 600 N. Broad Street. Entertainment will be provided by guest band The Business. Fundraising proceeds will benefit Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) & SS Neumann-Goretti High School. For tickets and details, contact PRH at 215.462.9777 or

River to River. One Neighborhood. rowhome magazine

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John J. Dougherty Business Manager, IBEW Local 98 Community Service Award 2014


by Larry Gallone

have always said that the best way to never forget where you come from is to never leave.” John J. Dougherty, known throughout the area as Johnny Doc, is the recipient of this year’s Blue Sapphire Award for Community Service. Since 1993, he has served as Business Manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 – one of the most successful and respected unions in the nation. But Johnny Doc has consistently given back to the city and his Pennsport neighborhood. As the award letter reads, “Your indelible imprint can be seen everywhere in South Philadelphia, especially in the many family-sustaining jobs you have created. You have been at the forefront of countless efforts to keep our city safe, prosperous and prepared for the future.” “Like IBEW Local 98, RowHome Magazine has become a part of the fabric of Philadelphia,” Dougherty says. “Being selected for the magazine’s Blue Sapphire Award is a great honor and I thank all those who made it possible. Our parents instilled in all of the Dougherty children an appreciation for our neighborhood and a sense of responsibility to always lend a helping hand to those in need. It’s a lesson I took to heart.” John serves on several boards and committees for charities and civic associations. He has always stressed, through funding or volunteering, the importance of giving back to

“Your indelible imprint can be seen everywhere in South Philadelphia, especially in the many familysustaining jobs you have created. You have been at the forefront of countless efforts to keep our city safe, prosperous and prepared for the future.”

the community and those in need. Building a solid foundation for the city helps secure its financial stability and ensures jobs for its workforce. According to an article posted on the IBEW website, Dougherty is a strong advocate for extending the Broad Street subway line from its current end point at Pattison Avenue to the Navy Yard, which is now home to an estimated 11,000 privatesector jobs and has the capacity to create more than 30,000 jobs. It is also home to the headquarters of several large corporations including Urban Outfitters and 140 other businesses. The subway extension will translate into economic growth and jobs. Under John’s leadership, IBEW also has invested significant pension dollars in Philadelphia’s growing infrastructure, including the exciting new Market East project that will transform that dormant end of Market Street into an exciting new office and retail magnet. John has led the efforts to reopen the long-shuttered Franklin Square Station on the Philadelphia side of the PATCO High-Speed Line. His aggressive reform agenda as a Commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority is turning around the troubled bi-state agency.

But what drives Johnny Doc? It’s his love of family and neighborhood. He describes himself as being “born in heaven” when speaking about his rowhome neighborhood. Dougherty’s vision for Philadelphia recalls his youth and how he saw the impact of family and neighborhood play a positive role in his life. “Everything I ever learned, I learned at the playground at 2nd and Jackson. Every summer from 8 am to 4 pm and every fall from 4 pm to 8 pm.” Through all his achievements, boards and activities, Dougherty’s rowhome pride shines through. “I love it here. When people want to save my neighborhood and save yours, too, I am totally committed.” prh


Q: W hat was your first job? A: P aperboy Q: W ho was your best friend growing up?

A: M y brother, Kevin

(Administrative Judge of Philadelphia Family Court)

Q: W hat is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

A: L ife is not a dress rehearsal. Q: W hat is the best advice you ever gave?

A: W hen an opportunity presents

itself to us, it’s already too late.

Q: W hat song from back in

the day makes you smile as soon as you hear it? A: B ruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” Complete the following sentence: On the road to success… …“You may hit a few detours, but never lose sight of your destination. Outwork everyone else and you’ll get there.”


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Ukee Washington News Anchor, CBS 3 Media Award 2014


sk Ukee Washington where he is from and he immediately breaks into song, ‘West Philadelphia born and raised…’ RowHome-grown in the Cobbs Creek section of the city, Washington can credit one ingredient for his longevity: Trust. For the past 28 years, viewers have tuned into CBS 3 for their news because Ukee has lived and breathed the lifestyle of the Delaware Valley. He is one of us. Ukee currently anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on CBS 3 and The CW Philly with co-anchor Erika Von Tiehl. He also co-hosts Talk Philly with Pat Ciarrocchi weekdays at noon. Washington was one of the original members of the Philadelphia Boys Choir. A highlight of his time with the group includes a tour of Lenin’s tomb during a visit to Russia. Ukee remembers being “scared to death” during the outing. “It was so dark and there were armed guards escorting us through the area to the glass-encased tomb.”

by Bob Wagner

For the past 28 years, viewers have tuned into CBS 3 for their news because Ukee has lived and breathed the lifestyle of the Delaware Valley. He is one of us.

One of the most memorable stories Ukee covered in his career featured a childhood friend, Eddie Fountain, who is now imprisoned in Smyrna, Delaware, serving a life sentence for murder. Fountain runs a program called Project Aware where inmates mentor troubled youngsters. The goal is to give the students advice to make sure they do not end up

behind prison walls. Whether talking sports or delivering the headlines of the day, Ukee Washington brings a sincerity to the subject – one Philadelphian to another. In recognition of his esteemed career, the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted Washington into their Hall of Fame in 2008. prh


Q: What was your first job? A: Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter, WBBH-TV, Ft. Myers, Fla.

Q: Who was your best friend growing up? A: Howard Brockington, Jay Jeter. Our fathers were key figures at Delaware State University. Q: What is the best advice anyone

ever gave you? A: Believe in yourself and God. Q: W hat is the best advice you ever gave? A: Believe in yourself and God. Q: W hat song from back in the day makes you smile as soon as you hear it? A: We Are the World by USA for Africa

Complete the following sentence: On the road to success… “…there are pot-holes aplenty. Navigate wisely, slow your roll, always have a full tank and share your journey with others in hopes they would want to follow the same itinerary.”

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Kenny Gamble Producer, Songwriter, Humanitarian Lifetime Music Achievement Award 2014

Did you know?


hiladelphia RowHome Magazine is pleased to announce Kenny Gamble as the recipient of our 2014 Blue Sapphire Award for Lifetime Music Achievement. Together with partner Leon Huff, Gamble introduced the “Sound of Philadelphia” (TSOP) to radio stations and recording artists around the world. With 15 gold singles and 22 gold albums in their collection, Gamble & Huff were pioneers of Philadelphia soul and the in-house creative team for the Philadelphia International Records label. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. In addition to music, Gamble’s humanitarian efforts have breathed new life into a desolate Philadelphia neighborhood. By purchasing and renovating hundreds of condemned and vacant properties, Gamble has provided jobs and housing to local families in his old neighborhood. The area framed by Broad and 18th and Christian and South Streets is now thriving, thanks to Gamble. prh

Kenny Gamble along with his songwriting partner Leon Huff are the true architects of the Sound of Philadelphia. Their music and lyrics brought a touch of Philly Soul to the masses and influenced generations of artists to come. Here is just a small sampling of the songs they wrote that provided a soundtrack for those turbulent times of the ’60’s and the feel-good attitude of the 1970’s.

☞ I’m Gonna Make You Love Me - Recorded by The Supremes & The Temptations ☞ Expressway to Your

Heart - The Soul Survivors

☞ Love Train - The O’Jays ☞ For The Love of

☞ When Will I See You Again - The Three Degrees

Money - The O’Jays

☞ Use To Be My Girl - The O’Jays ☞ Only The Strong

☞ Enjoy Yourself - The Jacksons ☞ Close the Door -

Survive - Jerry Butler (Butler Co-Wrote with the pair) Me By Now - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

With 15 gold singles and 22 gold albums in their collection, Gamble & Huff were pioneers of Philadelphia soul and the in-house creative team for the Philadelphia International Records label.

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Love Like Mine - Lou Rawls

☞ Don’t Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston (Gary Gilbert Co-wrote with the pair)

☞ If You Don’t Know


☞ Me and Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul ☞ You’ll Never Find Another

Teddy Pendergrass

☞ Break Up to Make Up - The Stylistics (Written by Gamble/ Thom Bell & Linda Creed)

Joe Volpe CEO, Cescaphe Event Group Local Business Success Story Award 2014


escaphe Event Group CEO Joe Volpe’s biography reads like a heartfelt American success story. Over the past decade, the humble 45-year-old Philadelphia-based entrepreneur has methodically grown his company into one of the most successful upscale wedding brands in the United States. Born in working-class South Philadelphia in 1969, Joe lost his father at four years of age to cancer before he really got to know the man his mother devoted her life to. As a result of his father’s untimely death, his mom moved the family to the gritty Wissinoming section of Northeast Philadelphia. Like many 10-year-old kids during the 1970’s, Joe’s first job came as a paperboy, servicing several blocks near his home. “I made about $18 per week,” Volpe said. “That provided me with enough cash for candy, lunch, the movies and even a pair of leather Nike high tops that my mom felt were too expensive. We struggled, but we were happy and life was simple.” By the age of 12, Volpe landed a job at a bustling Jewish delicatessen around the corner from his home. He spent his afternoons and weekends working the deli counter and assembling party trays for his neighbors. Joe was a star at the deli. He was always on time, never called out sick and did whatever was asked of him to make the demanding clientele happy. During his first summer working at the business, the handsome pre-teen met the love of his life – his wife Andrea – at the community pool after losing one of his prized Nike high tops. To this day, Volpe is certain that Andrea had something to do with the missing sneaker. In 1985, the deli owner secured an opportunity to cater weddings and events at Colleen’s, an upscale banquet hall located in Parktown Place, a prominent Philadelphia highrise apartment building. He promoted the eager 16-year-old Volpe onto the operation’s kitchen crew. “I worked my way up from dishwasher to cook to head chef by the time I was in my early twenties,” Volpe said. By his mid-20s, Joe was running the business, which had become one of the busiest wedding and event venues in Philadelphia. In 2002, after 17 years of coordinating extraordinary weddings and events at Colleen’s, Volpe found himself catering a party at Philadelphia real estate mogul Bart Blatstein’s Main Line home. Blatstein asked him if he would join him to check out the shuttered Imperial Movie Theater at 923 N. Second Street in the city’s emerging Northern Liberties section. Volpe obliged and immediately fell in love with the idea of transforming the 12,500 sq. ft. space into a stylish, upscale wedding venue. Joe’s boss at Colleen’s didn’t share his vision, so the 34-year-old convinced family members and an apprehensive banker to loan him the $2 million necessary to gut and renovate the space. By May 2003, Volpe’s Cescaphe Event Group was incorporated and the energetic entrepreneur began booking affairs without any marketing materials, while operating in

an office adjacent to a noisy construction site. “I was booking weddings on promises that the space would be finished and gorgeous —showing carpet and paint samples to brides-to-be and their families who were nervous about what we could deliver,” Volpe said. Thankfully, Volpe’s sincerity and charm convinced a handful of families to believe in him. You might even say that Volpe’s belief in himself transcended into his first customers’ believing in him. On Valentine’s Day 2004, Volpe and his small team of friends and family, including wife Andrea, produced their first wedding at Cescaphe Ballroom. The company went on to orchestrate 63 weddings in their first year in business, providing the company with enough revenue to break even and pay down some of the startup costs. “Everybody was happy,” Volpe quipped. “The brides and grooms and their families were referring us to their friends and families, and guests began booking weddings and events while attending affairs.” It was clear that Volpe’s risk had paid off. Business increased steadily and Cescaphe Event Group coordinated more than 100 weddings in 2005. Joe and his team adopted a philosophy to charge a fair price for their services and stick to it no matter what their customers asked for. By 2006, the company’s reputation for producing dream weddings by purveying impeccable food, premium service and the highest integrity standards provided Cescaphe Event Group with a steady stream of bookings that landed the brand at the top of the region’s highly competitive wedding and event industry. At the start of 2008, during the worst economic time in the U.S. since The Great Depression, Cescaphe Ballroom weddings were booked two years out. Volpe was invited to meet with the developer of The Curtis Center, located in Philadelphia’s historic district, to determine if he could produce weddings in the building’s breathtaking atrium. “I was blown away by the venue and immediately decided to invest in the construction of bridal suites and a kitchen,” Volpe said. By 2009, Cescaphe Event Group was orchestrating more than 200 weddings per year. “I knew it was important to get more organized by this time,” he added. “I realized that I couldn’t

do everything myself and decided I needed to invest in growing my organization by empowering my people. This is the point at which I evolved from a master wedding planner into a patient teacher and personnel manager.” Just as Volpe and his team conceived their new operating systems, the restless perfectionist was invited by Bart Blatstein to develop another property in 2010. He set his sights on a 10,000 sq. ft. former Schmidt’s Brewery space adjacent to The Piazza — a vast residential and retail centerpiece of Northern Liberties — which contained exposed beams and bricks, and enough room to build an edgy, modern, industrial-ultra chic venue reminiscent of New York City lofts. By the end of 2010, Volpe’s newest space, Tendenza, was operational and Cescaphe Event Group was producing more than 360 weddings annually. In late 2010, Joe got a call from a friend who was working on a new 100,000 sq. ft. development along Philadelphia’s North Broad Street that included a new restaurant by celebrity chef Marc Vetri. Volpe dropped everything to see the space located at 600 N. Broad and decided to take 17,000 square feet to launch Vie, his fourth venue and one of Philadelphia’s largest wedding venues. Vie officially opened in October 2011 after Volpe and his team hosted a thousand of the city’s movers-and-shakers at Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly” party in the unfinished facility in July. After opening Vie, Volpe convinced the developers to lease him an additional 11,000 sq. ft. of enclosed outdoor courtyard and building space on the property, where he moved his corporate offices in 2013. In January of 2013, Volpe took possession of Philadelphia’s legendary Down Town Club, which was founded in 1897 and is located throughout the 11th and 12th floors of the historic Public Ledger Building at 150 S. Independence Mall West. Volpe renovated the space in the first quarter of 2013 and began orchestrating weddings for up to 200 guests in the Spring of 2013. Today, Cescaphe Event Group is arguably one of the busiest wedding brands in the U.S., producing extraordinary weddings for more than 600 brides and grooms annually. Joe Volpe has no plans for slowing down, as he continues to explore developing additional wedding spaces in and around his hometown of Philadelphia. Joe resides in New Jersey with his wife Andrea and daughters Francesca and Sophia, whose names he combined to create his company name. Learn more about Cescaphe Event Group by visiting prh

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Hi, John!

It’s all of your friends, family and IBEW Local 98 colleagues, calling to congratulate you on winning Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s “Blue Sapphire Award” for community service!

We are all so proud of you!

Union Leader. Business Leader. Community Leader. John J. Dougherty – known to all as “Johnny Doc”

is one of Philadelphia’s most accomplished and admired leaders. Like Doc always says, “The best way to never forget where you come from is to never leave.” He never left - and all of us who love Philadelphia are all the better for it. Despite his crazy schedule and multiple union, business and civic commitments, John always finds the time to lend a helping hand to those in need. Always.

John J. Dougherty is a Philadelphia treasure.

We are honored to call him “friend” and to share this wonderful evening with him.

2014 WishRock Award

Anything is possible if you believe in yourself photos by Andrew Andreozzi


hiladelphia RowHome Magazine congratulates the recipients of its 2014 WishRock Award, presented annually to “young dreamers whose passion to succeed has inspired a new generation of believers.” Sponsored by Standing Ovation Movie and Dupree Performing Arts, the WishRock Award marks one of many steps along the journey to success. “May it always remind you to believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way.” The 2014 WishRock Award will be presented to singers Ricky Baccare (Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School), Lea Falcione (Girard Academic Music Program), Audra McLaughlin (Delco Let There Be Rock School & The Voice S6 #TEAMBLAKE) and 2014 Golden Gloves Champion Christian Carto (St. Augustine Prep) at RowHome Magazine’s annual Affair to Remember & Blue Sapphire Awards gala. The event, sponsored by Cescaphe Event Group, will be held on November 5th at Vie, 600 N. Broad Street. Entertainment will be provided by guest band, The Business. Fundraising proceeds benefit Girard Academic Music Program and SS Neumann-Goretti High School. For tickets and details, contact PRH at 215.462.9777 or prh

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Audra McLaughlin

2014 WishRock Award

by Jennifer Barkowitz Sometimes, music is just in your blood. At 6-years-old, Audra McLaughlin knew she wanted to be a singer. The Glenolden, PA resident grew up with a love of all music genres, but it wasn’t until years later that she found her niche in Country music. Today, singer/songwriter Audra McLaughlin is on her way to becoming a star. Philadelphia RowHome Magazine will present Audra McLaughlin with its 2014 WishRock Award at its annual Affair to Remember IX & Blue Sapphire Awards Gala on November 5th. The award recognizes young adults who “believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way.” Sponsored by the creators of the movie Standing Ovation and Dupree Performing Arts, the award is presented to individuals whose passion for the Arts has “inspired a new generation of believers.” In 2013, a collaborative effort by Audra’s managers - husband and wife team Melissa and John Daley of the Delco Let There Be Rock School - helped Audra get the biggest audition of her life. PRH readers might remember McLaughlin from season 6 of the NBC hit reality series singing competition, The Voice. After numerous auditions in a yearlong process, McLaughlin finally faced the judges. Her rendition of Angel from Montgomery got a 4-chair turn from Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, country crooner Blake Shelton and pop stars Shakira and Usher. A standing ovation from Levine and Shelton wrapped the audition and now it was all up to her. After listening to the judges bicker over who would best represent her, McLaughlin chose hit country artist Blake Shelton. “Working with Blake was a dream in itself,” McLaughlin told PRH. McLaughlin made it to the top 8 in the competition and shows no signs of slowing down. This past September, McLaughlin wrapped Wish I Could, a duet and accompanying music video with Nashville recording artist Shawn Lacy. She continues to work on an upcoming 5-song EP set to release in early 2015. When asked what kind of advice she would give to those trying to break into the business, Audra was all business. “Work hard. Practice. Write. Use social media to help build a fan base. Don’t focus on fame. Above all, have fun.” McLaughlin also recommends the Delco Let There Be Rock School ( where she attends and Dupree Performing Arts ( Vocal Coach Sal Dupree as a great place to begin a career. PRH asked Audra, now 22, how she manages bouncing back and forth between Pennsylvania and Nashville. “My parents, Pat and Joan, are my biggest cheerleaders. They have never missed a show. They are my biggest supporters and I don’t know what I would do without them.”


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Christian Carto by Santina Pescatore Christian Carto is not your average 17-year-old. On May 17th, Carto won the Golden Gloves boxing title in Las Vegas against Leroy Davila. A story similar to David and Goliath, Davila was nine years Carto’s senior and the top-ranked 108-pounder in USA Boxing’s elite men’s rankings. Davila also had two titles under his belt. But Carto defeated Goliath and won the title in a 3-2 victory. “I didn’t worry about age since I trained really hard and listened to my trainer,” Carto said. Each week, Monday through Saturday, Carto makes the trek across the bridge from his Deptford NJ home for two hours of intense boxing at Rosati’s Gym in South Philadelphia. From sparring to hitting the heavy bag, his trainer and gym owner, Mickey Rosati, makes sure Carto’s workout is worth the trip. Before settling in at Rosati’s Gym, Carto trained at Grays Ferry Boxing and Fitness Club, also in Philadelphia. Carto started boxing at the age of eight, following in the footsteps of his brother Frankie. But his family’s roots in boxing trace back even further. His grandfather Frankie Carto and uncle Nunzio Carto were inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. He said the years of training and practice paid off when he defeated Davila for the Golden Gloves title. A senior at St. Augustine Preparatory School in Richland, NJ, Carto has many dreams to chase once he graduates high school. Representing the United States at the Olympics is just one of those dreams. “I want to go to the Olympics. It’s really hard to get there, though.” On November 5th, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine will present Christian Carto with its 2014 WishRock Award at its annual Affair to Remember & Blue Sapphire Awards Gala. The award, which is sponsored by Standing Ovation Movie & Dupree Performing Arts, recognizes young adults who embody the spirit of the award: “Believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way.”

Anything Is Possible if You Believe in Yourself

Lea Falcione

2014 WishRock Award

Ricky Baccare

by Marialena Rago

by Marialena Rago

Lea Falcione loves performing more than anything. The 16-year old student from Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) says that singing and acting in numerous school productions helped her become more accustomed to the stage. Lea says that she was “very shy as a child” and that GAMP really pushed her to become the performer that she is today. Her roles in her school productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Grease marked the start of a passion for performing. Today, her portfolio includes performances at Ovation Hall at the Revel Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City where she sang with local band The Business. She also played the lead role as Sophie in an independent horror film called CARVER. A theater lover at heart, Lea has participated in Broadway Showstoppers – a musical review featuring songs from various Broadway productions – at Barn Stage. Some of her dream theater roles include Elphaba in Wicked, Aida in Aida and Wendla in Spring Awakening. She also looks up to Broadway performers like Sutton Foster and Eden Espinosa. Falcione likes to write and has a column on the GAMP Voice, a blog written and run by the students. Her articles include fashion tips (makeup tricks), restaurant and television reviews. Looking ahead, Falcione says she either wants to study musical theatre or cosmetology. On November 5th, Falcione will be presented with Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s 2014 WishRock Award, sponsored by Standing Ovation Movie and Dupree Performing Arts at the annual Affair to Remember & Blue Sapphire Awards Presentation. This honor is given to young performers whose passion inspires others to dare to dream. The award reminds them to “believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way.”

At 15, Ricky Baccare has had a full life of music. From a young age, his father, singer Ricky Baccare Sr., introduced him to a variety of music genres and vocal techniques. Even though he grew up around music, Baccare says he knew he wanted to become a vocalist when he was in the sixth grade and became a vocal major at the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School (PPPACS). Now a sophomore at PPACS’s String Theory School, he is a vocal major and also plays the piano and drums. He says that his school challenges him in his art and academically. The school offers AP music theory, Baccare says, which really helps him with his songwriting and his academics. Outside of school, Baccare has performed with the local band, The Business. As for the future, Ricky says that he doesn’t look too far ahead but he knows that whatever he does, it will have something to do with music. Right now, he is focusing on school and maybe starting his own band. On November 5th, Baccare will be presented with Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s 2014 WishRock Award, sponsored by Standing Ovation Movie and Dupree Performing Arts at its annual Affair to Remember & Blue Sapphire Awards Presentation. This honor is given to young performers whose passion inspires others to dare to dream. The award reminds them to “believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way.” Dr. Jack Carr, head of PPACS’s String Theory School says, “This is such a well-deserved tribute to a young talented vocalist who strives so eagerly to please. Ricky is so at ease on the live stage and his talents are revealed to the audiences who are privileged to see him perform. String Theory High School is so proud of our own Ricky Baccare.”

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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Honor Roll 2013 Blue Sapphire Award

Michael Barkann: Sportscaster, Media Award Earl Young: Singer/Drummer/Founder, The Trammps, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award The Philadelphia Flyers Broad Street Bullies: Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Wendy Hamilton: GM, SugarHouse Casino, Community Service Award Tony Luke Sr.: Local Business Success Story Award

2012 Blue Sapphire Award

Pat Ciarrocchi: Doug Collins: Sal Dupree: Councilman James Kenney:

BS 3, Media Award C Philadelphia 76ers Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award V ocal Coach & Entertainer, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award Community Service Award

2011 Blue Sapphire Award

Bob Henon:

Charlie Gracie:

hairman, Political Action Committee, IBEW C Local 98, Community Service Award E ntertainer, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award

2010 Blue Sapphire Award

Charles Pizzi: Bunny Sigler: Larry Kane: Dick Vermeil: Honorable Annette Rizzo:

CEO, Tasty Baking Company, Local Business Success Story Award inger, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award S Broadcast Journalist, Media Award Former Eagles Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Court of Common Pleas, Community Service Award

2009 Blue Sapphire Award

Sid Mark: Ray Didinger:

Ed Sabol: Steve Sabol: Cathy Gandolfo: Michael Toklish:

adio Show Host, The Sounds of Sinatra, Entertainment Award R S portswriter/TV Commentator, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Filmmaker & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award President & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award News Reporter, Action News, ‘RowHome Grown’ Media Award President, Friends of Jefferson Square Park, Community Service Award

Blue Sapphire Award Alumni


Sharon Pinkenson: Jerry Blavat: Ed Snider: Dr. Jack Carr:

Rev. Gary Pacitti: Michael Neill:

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Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Local Business Success Story Award G eator Gold Radio, Entertainment Award Chairman, Comcast-Spectacor, Sports Award Founder, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), Leaders in Education Award Pastor, Annunciation BVM Parish, Community Service Award Director of Apprentice Training, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Honor Roll







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Achievem A native of South ent Aw cessful recording Philadelphia, ard Char borhood. star of the “Roc lie Gracie beca In 1957 British k Era” , Grac musi to emer me the first sucge from bankrolled c charts, sellinie’s Butterfly topped the the Amer neighdominant Philly’s famo g more than 3 millio us ican and n copie late 1950 force in the musi Cameo-Parkway s. Thes ’s hits c indus recor Eyes, I inclu try for nearl d label, makine hits de: Love y a deca g it a fame, Char You So Much Fabulous, Nine de. Bandstand lie Gracie frequ It Hurts and Coolty-Nine Ways, His other Wand He head , The Ed Sulliv ently appeared Baby. At the heigh erin’ lined show on an Show Washingto s at the , and AlanDick Clark’s Amet of his rican Freed in Phila n, the 500 Club Brooklyn Param delphia. ount, the ’s TV Specials. in Atlan tic City In Grea and Conn Casino Royale t rock-n-roll Britain, Gracie in ie Mack became Stadium and the to the English the first solo Comets, concert drome -stage. Prec American artist Charlie recei head to bring While Char ving outstandin lined London’s eded only by g recep lie Grac Palladium Bill Haley only one tions ie has and Hipp from dimension earne playing oto a caree d a place in the press and elicited rock musi publi r that span the highe Harrison. c history, c. s st 60 The of years. His prais this is ex-Beatle in a Marc superb referred e from music h guita legends paid tribut 1996 interview to Grac like Geor r ie’s guita e with to Grac Billbo ge his new r 1999 CD ie by recording ard as “brilliant” invited series entitl an upda Paul McC Char artne was voted lie to the album ed Run Devil ted version of Fabulous y ed by Now into Great Britai ’s premiere partyRun. That fall, in McCartne n’s Rock Dig This in Lond y -n-Roll The new magazine. Hall of Fameon. Gracie also millennium rocker (1998) found Char Van foundlie Grac & Young) Morrison. In ie on 2001 declared then proce that Char , Graham Nash the road with Irish blues In 2007 eded to contr lie inspired him (of Crosby, Stills, Nash , Gracie ibute voca to a musi Fabulous! was the subject lly on Charlie’s cal career. Nash of a made beginnings recounting the new for PBS- CD that year. in his South story of his concert Philadelph influential caree TV document stages aroun ary him the proud musi d the world ia row home (735 r from his humb . His intern le Today, cal amba Pierce at ational appe Stree reputation the age of 75, ssador for his arances t) to home Charlie make cian is suchamong his peers is still doing town. volunteer that world famo as a stellar, multi- what he loves best. His faceted launch to work with him. us rock stars his regularly singer and musi Kooper. latest CD - FOR ABKCO Reco pay him tribute andThe rds and Peter Noon CD is set for THE LOVE OF Music is abou CHARLIE worldwide t to rector of e (Herman’s ! produ relea Hermits), the Cona se ced by Kravitz) Jimmy Vivinothis fall. Grah Al are amon n O’Brien Show am Nash (guita ), g those It is obvio who perfo Craig Ross (keyb rist and music , dimost. He us why Char rm with oardist lie him devoted is an accomplis Gracie has laste on this new for Lenny family man hed d the cours project. stage and who condmusician and an exce e longer than ucts hims for PRH’ off. He is a credi ptional elf s 2011 Lifetime t to his industry as a gentleman talent - a Musical and Achieveme an exception both on al choic nt Awar e d. ROWHOM





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PRHSalute to Service

Success Starts Here PRH Publishers named Millay Club Alumni Achievers


Award recipient Robert Eells ‘85, SSJNMG Principal Kevin Dugan, Millay Club President Ed McBride ‘55, Exec. Director of Alumni Relations John Murawski ‘96, and Alumni Achiever Award recipients Dawn Rhoades ‘80 & Dorette Rota Jackson ‘77.

photos by Andrew Andreozzi PRH Publishers Dawn Rhoades (Class of ‘80) and Dorette Rota Jackson (Class of ‘77) recently were honored with the 2014 Alumni Achievers Award, presented by The Millay Club at a ceremony held at IATSE Ballroom by Anthony›s Caterers. Together with Robert Eells, Class of ‘85, the publishers accepted the distinguished Award during the 27th Annual Millay Scholars & Alumni Achievers Banquet. The Millay Club, the alumni association of SS John Neumann-Maria Goretti Catholic High School, includes alumni of its former schools - Southeast Catholic High School, Bishop Neumann High School, St. John Neumann High School and St. Maria Goretti High School. The annual awards banquet honors Millay Scholars - the top 10 students in each class - based on academic performance. Remaining consistent with the SSNG motto, «Success Starts Here,» the administrators and Alumni Board honor those who «have taken the lead on their road to success.» According to school Principal Kevin Dugan, «the students here tonight have the potential to join the ranks of our most esteemed alumni.» Millay Scholarships also are awarded to the top 8th grade students from Catholic Elementary Schools in the SSNG region. These students held the highest academic averages in each of their respective schools at the end of their 7th grade school year. prh

1.-Alumni Achiever


2.-PRH student writer & Millay Scholar Jessica Pasquarella with Dorette, Dawn & John Murawski.

3.-Millay Club

VP Janet Hagan ‘66 presents Dawn & Dorette with the Alumni Achiever Award.

4.-Our Philadelphia 3


RowHome Magazine family. (seated) Michael Rhoades, Dawn Rhoades, Dorette Rota Jackson, Jade Rota, Carolyn Vassallo. (Standing) Mike Rhoades, Brett Jackson, Anthony Retallick, Nicolette Retallick & Stacie Retallick.

5.-2014 Millay Scholars

6.-2014 Millay Scholars

7 5

7.-2014 Millay

Scholarship winners

8.-2014 Millay Scholars



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A Gathering of Heroes

italian specialties 2014

by Maria Merlino Participants in the annual Gathering of Heroes recently raised more than $40,000 for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which funds programs and scholarships for children of Marines and Federal Law Enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty. Medal of Honor recipients Barney Barnum, Mike Thornton and Brian Thacker were on hand to greet the crowd and sign autographs. Presently, there are only 79 living recipients of the Medal of Honor, the country’s highest military award given to individuals for their personal acts of valor in action against an enemy force. Founded by former Marines and law enforcement personnel in 1995, this year’s Gathering of Heroes was held at the Irish Pub, 20th & Walnut. “This annual event is very special to us and is the least we can do to honor the heroes who serve our country,” said Mark O’Connor, co-owner of the Irish Pub and President of the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation. prh

From homemade pasta & fresh mozzarella to heat & serve meals & party trays & everything in between, we have a great selection of quality products to make any meal a special occasion.

1.-Heroes at The Palm. Medal of

Honor Recipient Brian Thacker, Mike Wallace Esq. (USMC), Medal of Honor Recipient Barney Barnum, Judge Joe Waters (USMC), Medal of Honor Recipient Navy Seal Mike Thornton, Chief Inspector Tony Boyle (USMC).

2.-Medal of Honor Recipient Navy Seal Mike Thornton and Irish Pub co-owner Mark O’Connor.

Gift Certificates Available Call for Daily Specials

3.-Attorney George Bochetto

welcomes Medal of Honor Recipient Brian Thacker to a cocktail reception held at his Center City office.

215.467.7644 12th & Ritner Philadelphia, PA 19148

4.-Medal of Honor Recipient

Barney Barnum with Ken Adams from Jack Duggan’s Pub at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Catering Available

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PRHSalute to Service

Mayor Nutter leads tribute to fallen police officers and firefighters at City’s annual Living Flame Memorial Service photos by Tony Webb City of Philadelphia Office of the City Representative In a day of reflection and reverence, Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety/Chief of Staff Everett A. Gillison and other officials honored police officers and firefighters at the City of Philadelphia ’s annual Living Flame Memorial Service at Franklin Square Park. The Living Flame Memorial Service is designed to acknowledge the sacrifices of Philadelphia police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty. 38

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Chapel of the Four Chaplains


is a national treasure Tourism is on the rise at Navy Base landmark

he Chapel of the Four Chaplains has become one of the city’s most cherished historic sites thanks to the increasing number of visitors who include the Navy Yard’s landmark on their list of things to see while visiting Philadelphia.

Families of survivors of the sinking of the USAT Dorchester on February 3, 1943 recently visited the renowned landmark. The Chapel connected these members with their grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and close friends whose names appear in its book or are etched onto one of the bronze plaques that list every one of the 672 members who perished the night the ship sunk in the North Atlantic. They also viewed many Chapel artifacts on display from the Dorchester. “Inspiration comes to those who touch the name of a loved one on one of the bronze plaques,” says Christine Beady, Executive Director. “Survivors’ testimonies and the chaplains’ bravery are enshrined at our Navy Yard headquarters, where the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation honors the memory of the Four Chaplains and crew of the USAT Dorchester.” One family visited the Chapel while doing research for a school paper about historical buildings, she said. They were surprised to learn the legacy of the Four Chaplains and appreciated the knowledge they gathered during their search for history. A couple celebrating their wedding anniversary stopped by the Navy Base Chapel to reminisce 50 years of marriage. They were delighted to have access to the Chapel where they exchanged vows a half-century ago. They commemorated the occasion with an anniversary photo. Not only did they re-connect with the Chapel’s growing organization, they were happy to hear that weddings still are offici-

ated here on a regular basis, Beady added. A writer from Illinois used the Chapel as a rendezvous point to visit with his son, an airman stationed at nearby McGuire AFB, prior to his son shipping out for an overseas assignment. They, too, are now part of the Chapel of Four Chaplains’ growing family. The Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor program honors ordinary people for doing extraordinary things all year long and is proud to say that the program is internationally known and recognized. In addition, the Chaplain is once again conducting its National Scholarship Competition for grade school and high school students nationwide. The 2015 application is available online. Visit ( or Facebook page (, Twitter (, and Pinterest ( to read some inspiring stories from scholarship winners. The Chapel of the Four Chaplains ministers to people of all faiths. Its motto, “Unity without Uniformity” reflects the true spirit of the Chaplains’ Corps of the United States military. It is open weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. The Chapel of Four Chaplains is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Its United Way Donor number is #50075. The Chapel is also available for rentals for weddings, meetings and religious ceremonies. Please contact Christine Beady at 215-218-1943 or prh

1429 Jackson Street Philadelphia PA 19145 Howard 3 - 5070 215-463-5070 Hours: Closed Monday & Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday 5-10 pm Friday & Saturday 5-11 pm


photo by Elisa Maria

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PRHthe menu

BANQUET ROOM • CATERING happy hour • live entertainment sports & more for coupons & special offers login with your facebook at 26 east oregon ave

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The three things I love about Philadelphia. Local Community Sports Teams Food While you may like other local spots or food, there is one thing we can both agree on: we love this community. So give me a call at (215)468-4116, or stop by my office on 1636 South Front Street. I can help protect the things you care about,, and just maybe, become one of your favorite places to visit. John R Ferullo

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Phone: (215)468-4116 Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Company and Affiliated Companies, Columbus, Ohio. Not all Nationwide affiliated companies are mutual companies and not all Nationwide members are insured by a mutual company. Nationwide Insurance, the Nationwide framework and Nationwide is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2014 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved. NPR-0708AO (02/14)

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PRHthe menu Courtesy of Maria Merlino

Courtesy of Maria Merlino

Aunt Mary’s Cast Iron Frying Pan Pie

Giant Bacon Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

The interior surface of my late Aunt Mary’s cast iron frying pan has an ebony gloss that only the continuous scraping of her stainless steel spatula across the bottom of it could have produced. Here is a popover style pancake recipe that can be made with ordinary pantry items and a filling of your choice. It’s paired with canned pie filling in this recipe but feel free to top with your favorite syrup, fruit salad or preserves. Ingredients ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜

large eggs 4 1 cup milk 1 cup all-purpose flour teaspoon salt 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When oven comes up to temperature, place a well-greased 12- inch cast-iron skillet in it for 5 minutes. Pan must be very hot. In the meantime, make the batter. In a large bowl combine lightly beaten eggs. Add melted butter, milk, flour and salt. Stir with a whisk until blended. Using an oven mitt or heavy potholder, remove frying pan from oven and set on top of range. Quickly pour batter into hot pan. Return to oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. As batter cooks, it will inflate. Remove from oven when done. The pancake will deflate on itself - creating a crater. Fill with cherry pie filling or other pie filling like peach, apple, blueberry or lemon. Cut into wedges and serve.

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➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜

-5 slices bacon, chopped 4 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda teaspoon salt 1 sticks unsalted butter, softened cup sugar 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 1 egg 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 ½cups chocolate chips





Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fry bacon in a 12-inch cast iron skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside to cool. Drain fat from skillet and wipe the inside of pan with paper towels leaving a thin coating. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes longer. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well-combined. Press the dough into the skillet as evenly as you can. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips and bacon bits on top. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and cookie is cooked through. Remove from oven and cool at least 20 minutes. Cut into wedges.


2014 Vendemmia Wine Festival

photos by Maria Merlino The 19th annual Vendemmia Wine Festival was a huge success as 3,000+ wine aficionados converged on Girard Park. Master winemaker Giovanni Patane said, “It’s a magnificent Italian tradition, as close to being in Italy without actually being there. It mimics a piazza atmosphere with camaraderie and amiability. Italians are keeping it out front for future generations. Vendemmia is taking off all over the country!� Gerard Vernose, M.D., who founded the Vendemmia, uses the funds he raises from this event for five scholarships given to area students to attend either high school or college. A personal hobby and passion handed down by his father and Italian-born grandfather, Dr. Vernose said he created the event to celebrate local winemaking at harvest time (the Italian meaning of the word Vendemmia) and also as a way to give back to his childhood community. prh

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Courtesy of Dominic Condoxxxxx


PRHthe menu While researching this recipe, I found that there are a handful of pumpkin burger patty recipes available on various food websites. In addition to pumpkin puree, they all use white beans as the key ingredient. However, none of the recipes utilized traditional pumpkin spices. Instead, most rely on corn, peppers and other usual suspects found in a veggie patty. Because I wanted to stay true to the pumpkin taste, yet have it hold up as burger patty, I put together my own version, using pumpkin puree, chickpeas (any white bean would work well), traditional pumpkin spices and some

tarragon to add a little savory flavor. To keep with the pumpkin theme, I also cut back heavily on the recommended amount of breadcrumbs and compensated with ground pecans, which, of course, go well with any pumpkin dish! I also substituted traditional condiments with a maple dressing – again, to complement the spicy pumpkin taste. Whether you are a fan of pumpkin or just a lover of veggie burgers, I suggest you give this one a try. And while this is the optimal season for this recipe, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy these any time of the year!

Pumpkin Pecan Patties with Maple Vinaigrette
 Ingredients ➜1 5.5 oz can chickpeas (or any type of white bean) ➜ 
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
 ➜ 1/2 tspn allspice 
➜ 1/2 tspn nutmeg 
➜ 1/2 tspn ginger
 ➜ 1 tspn cinnamon


Since 1993

3120 S. 20TH STREET PHILADELPHIA, PA 19145 215.755.7180

Mon – Fri 11:00 AM - 10:00 Sat 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM Sun 12:00 AM - 9:00 PM

➜ 1 tspn tarragon
 ➜ 1 tbspn chives 
➜ 1 egg 
➜ 1 cups finely grounded pecans 
➜ 1/2 cup breadcrumbs 
➜ salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375˚. Combine beans, pumpkin, spices, tarragon, chives and egg in a food processor. Mix until well combined. Fold in pecans and breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. After you remove mixture from the fridge/freezer, gently scoop a generous handful and shape into a patty (makes a total of 4 to 6 patties). Place the patties on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking.

Serving suggestions Plated with a side of vegetables or rice, on a bun with a side of chips, or over a salad. Drizzle with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
 Ingredients ➜ 1 tbspn balsamic vinegar 
➜ 1/4 cup maple syrup ➜ 
2 tspn Dijon mustard

 salt and pepper to taste
 ➜ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


W W W. P O P I S R E S TA U A N T. C O M 44

| rowhome magazine

Place vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper into a bowl. Whisk together. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream while continuing to whisk.


Lombardi’s Prime Meats

Crown Roast of Pork

Jewelers and Hair Salon

with Apple Cranberry & Pecan Stuffing

Ingredients ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜

rown roast of pork with 24 ribs c Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced 3 celery stalks, diced 2 Fuji or McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch dice 1 lb. dried bread croutons 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans 3 to 4 cups chicken or turkey stock, warmed

1814 E. Passyunk Avenue Philadelphia, PA. 19148 215-468-8647

Directions Generously season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and apples and sauté until tender and caramelized, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the croutons, cranberries and pecans and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring to evenly moisten the croutons. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Place the roast in a large roasting pan and spoon 7 cups of the stuffing into the center of the roast. Roast for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until the meat is slightly pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat, away from the bone, registers 145°F, 40 to 50 minutes more, or until done to your liking. Meanwhile, spoon the remaining stuffing into a buttered 2-quart baking dish and cover with foil. After the roast has cooked for 1 hour, transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue baking until the stuffing is crisp and golden, 20 to 25 minutes more. Using 2 large metal spatulas, carefully transfer the roast to a large carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. To serve, scoop the stuffing from the center of the roast onto individual plates and carve the roast between the bones. Serves 24. Lombardi’s Prime Meats is a member of (PRH) Business Network.

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Brides Guide

by Joe Volpe

A Piece of Cake 46

| rowhome magazine


If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you know that I’m a huge fan of extraordinary wedding trends. And you know that I’m more than a little obsessed with igniting them. That being said, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that when my wife Andrea told me about “Big Bang Theory” actress Kaley Cuoco commissioning Los Angeles-based The Butter End Cakery’s Kimberly Bailey to design a six-tier upside-down wedding cake that hung from a chandelier for her New Year’s Eve nuptials last January, I was determined to figure out how to bring this concept to life in Philadelphia. I immediately Google-searched the image so that I could see for myself how amazing the bejeweled 7-foot-tall upsidedown confection looked. I also marveled at how happy Cuoco seemed in her Tweets about her cake and everything else during her gorgeous wedding to Ryan Sweeting and acknowledged how social media has become such a large part of the wedding process. I promise we’ll get more into that topic in my next column.

After some reflection, I realized that the whole cake-cutting portion of the wedding reception could use an upgrade. This could be my opportunity to re-energize that long-standing tradition. I called my Executive Cake Designer Jennifer Roach who said, “We can do that” as soon as I spoke the words “chandelier wedding cake.” I then contacted my operations team and installed a chandelier winch to raise and lower one of these gorgeous creations at my newly renovated Cescaphe Ballroom. Finally, I called Nick and Jeanine Wright, who were scheduled to get married at Cescaphe Ballroom on June 27th. I asked the happy couple if they would like to be the first bride and groom to experience this new take on wedding cakes. Well, Nick and Jeanine loved the idea. Then Jennifer Roach literally flipped their cake design upside-down and added some additional bling. And the Wrights and their guests enjoyed the thrill of seeing this cool new trend that started in Hollywood come to life in Philadelphia. I’m happy to say that we’re serving up some gorgeous and delicious upside-down chandelier wedding cakes at Cescaphe Ballroom most weekends. This trend is so cool that I’m sure it’ll just be a matter of time before I have to start installing chandelier winches at Tendenza, Vie, Down Town Club and Atrium at Curtis Center. Man, I love my job!

photo by Philip Gabriel PhotographY

by Joseph Volpe, Cescaphe Event Group

Cescaphe is a member of the PRH Business Network.

Ever keeping his eyes focused on the latest wedding

trends, Cescaphe Event Group CEO/Chef Joseph Volpe is recognized as the area’s leading authority on ballroom bliss. With his innovative approach to the most important celebration of your life, his award-winning Cescaphe Ballroom, The Atrium at Curtis Center, Tendenza, Vie and The Down Town Club combine a captivating ambiance with exquisite cuisine for an unforgettable experience. Visit or call 215.238.5750.

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PRHbrides guide

Cedrone’s Flowers Any Occasion. Every Day.

My Father

The Wedding Photographer


by Evan Kramer

hen I was young, my father asked me if I wanted to be a photographer just like him. I remember my answer. ‘No. Because I’ll never be able to see my family on weekends.’ He wasn’t always there to cherish the moments with me because he was so committed to helping other families cherish their moments. For the past 35 years, Phil Kramer Photographers has captured memories for thousands of people. Looking back, I am amazed at the endless images of smiles my dad has

Q: What is the philosophy of Remark Weddings? PK: We understand that your wedding day is a once-in-alifetime event and you want it to be perfect. Remark Weddings is recognized for unparalleled creativity and exceptional customer service. Let us capture all the emotion and beauty – the splendor and excitement, the love and romance of your wedding – telling the complete story of your special day as it unfolds.

Q: Why is it important to hire professional photographers and videographers?

PK: Because you want to capture those precious moments! Once the day is over, everything is gone and all you have are photographs and video. That’s why it’s priceless! Customers

stored in his archives. And I am proud of his creative expertise as one of the top wedding photographers in the industry. Phil Kramer Photographers – now called Remark Weddings – continues growing its brand as one of the leading photographers in the bridal industry. But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to brides and grooms, the Remark portfolio includes any type of photography and videography you can possibly imagine. Recently, I interviewed my father and found out more about his career, his years in the business and his knowledge of photography. But more importantly, I realize why he’s never home on weekends.

sometimes say, ‘We don’t want video,’ and I always ask, ‘If I had your parents’ wedding video in my pocket, would you want it?’ The answer is always Yes!

Q: What is Remark Weddings trying to do differently? PK: Usually, the client is given a CD that sits in the drawer and isn’t touched for years. Sometimes it’s even lost! Those are lost memories! I am trying to change that. You will never have a CD in a drawer. We are a professional team of collaborative photographers who know how to get the best photos of your most important day. We make sure the images our clients select are carefully refinished and returned to them quickly so they can relive the moments. Not tuck them away in a drawer.

Q: What makes a good wedding photographer?

Wedding specialist, John Marotta, former owner of La Mimsoa has joined the staff of Cedrone's Flowers

800 Lombard Street Washington Square West Philadelphia, PA 19147 PH: 215. 629.9858 CELL: 215.990.7812 Email:

Bianca Simone E X Q U I S I T E FA S H I O N A B L E S

PK: A good photographer shows up to your event to take photos. A great photographer is honored to be there. To observe the light. To lighten the mood. To capture every moment. A great photographer doesn’t check his watch anticipating the last dance.

Q: Where do you see Remark Weddings in the future?

PK: I see it as a household name. A leader in the industry. Our team of professionals will never follow trends. We will create them. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know what it takes to be an industry expert. We have the right team. We are always on a mission to accomplish great things.

Phil Kramer & Remark Weddings are members of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

Special Occasion Dresses · Wedding Flower Girl · Christening · Holy Communion Sportswear · Accessories · Social Events Children’s Clothing

Deborah Scipione 1740 East Passyunk Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.218.0240 ·

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and the


Follow Krystal on her latest journey at

| rowhome magazine



Think by Phyllis Palermo


This fabulous color isn’t just for spring & summer months. Step right into the Fall & Winter seasons wearing PINK! Expect to see pastel shades like dusty rose, lilac, lavender and ice blue in everything from Shoes to Jackets to Blouses & Accessories. Pair your pastels with sweaters, jackets, tights and boots for an easy transition from lazy days to crisp fall nights.

Nicole Miller

The designer ruled the runway during New York’s Fashion Week. From classic black to primitive prints, her fashions are fresh, feminine and focused every season. Keep an eye out for fun silhouettes, exotic flower prints, high-rise single-pleat pants.

Trending Fierce animal prints. Staples like leopard still dominate but many designers, including Nicole Miller, are experimenting with innovative prints like peacock. Add some flare to your collection with a few key pieces like a leopard print scarf or snake print skirt. Large black frames with black tinted lenses will be worn year-round.

Business Decisions Looking professional does not mean you have to lose your personality. A black suit is a standard in every closet. But add a graphic blazer and a classic pair of black pants to your lineup. Want to tone it down? Choose a white blouse or camisole to wear beneath your blazer.

Nail it Shades of Brown are still a salon favorite. But dark Red, almost Black and beautiful Burgundy are a sure bet.

Lips Matte is the word. Black Radiance. Nude. Magenta. And don’t skimp on the gloss.

Fall Fashion Week Buzz Words Fur Vests Vintage ‘60s Airy Fabrics Mini Dresses Embellished Sheers Tribute to the ‘70s Pink Suede Heels Novelty Prints Red Suede Stilettos Denim Wide ankle straps Silk Shorts Mix & Match to create a style that is perfect for you! Happy Shopping!

Side Bows Platforms Thigh High Suede Boots Mini Bags Chandelier Earrings Faux Gold Jewelry

As part of PRH’s ‘Salute to Service’ edition, I dedicate this article to our Men & Women in the Service. Thank you for your sacrifice, courage and commitment to our country. Also, a heartfelt thank-you goes out to the Doctors, Nurses & professionals who keep us healthy and to the medical teams that work in our Hospitals’ Emergency Rooms.

KRYSTAL TINI photos by

| Alexander Safdie



hair, makeup




Gifts with Purpose by Kiera Missanelli

veryone knows a pair of hop-along boots and a pistol that shoots is the wish of Bonny and Ben. But what do you get for family and friends when the sights and sounds of Christmas have suddenly snuck up on you?

Here are some of my favorite gifts for anyone on your naughty or nice list. Alex and Ani Bracelets For high school aged girls to adults, Alex and Ani bracelets are a gift with meaning. These simple wire charm bracelets are made from sustainable recyclable material and are all made in America. Alex and Ani products are thoughtfully made and created with empowerment purposes. The “Charity By Design” line even gives back to various charities according to their charm design. Because each Alex and Ani charm holds a specific meaning and, according to the brand’s motto, is infused with “positive energy technology,” giving an Alex and Ani bracelet as a gift shows thoughtfulness and purpose. Come 2015, Philadelphia will have its own Alex and Ani store but for now, you can purchase these bracelets at Dandelion in Ardmore, Verde 13 on South 13th Street in Philadelphia or Free Reign Boutique in Conshohocken. We Heart Philly For Philadelphia specific gifts, look no further than our own streets. Decorative Philly products are great for all ages and available in cute patterns and designs that are in no way “gift shoppy”. Shop “We Heart Philly “ online or visit Verde 13 on South 13th Street for totes, necklaces and ornaments. Try Marcie Blaine chocolates that come in a “Philadelphia Series” with scenes of the skyline, Liberty Bell and soft pretzels printed on delicious artisanal chocolates (also at Verde). The AIA Bookstore and Design Center at 1218 Arch Street has great Philadelphia themed odds and ends, not to mention thought-provoking toys for kids of all ages (AKA I want to play with them too!). Last but not least, you can find some unique handmade Philadelphia gifts on Etsy. com. I love “Crossed Out Creations”


| rowhome magazine

for wire necklaces shaped in the form of the skyline, state or Liberty Bell. Adults Only For gifts for a more mature crowd, what is better than local spirits and cigars? Check out Tired Hands Brewing Company in Ardmore for unique handcrafted beer that you can take home in a rustic jug. For local wine, Penns Woods Wine is a great gift for a Philadelphia wine enthusiast. When it gets warmer, you can even take a tour of the winery in Chadds Ford if you so choose (perhaps a homemade gift card for a day spent at the winery would be a great addition to this gift). Or give the gift of great cigars with Holt’s Cigar Company’s “Cigar of the Month Club.” This gift will last well past the holidays. What could be better? Reservations For the foodies in your life, gift cards to your recipients’ favorite Philly restaurant make the perfect gift. Purchase a Starr Gift Card or Garces Gift Card and open the doors to your loved one’s taste buds, enabling them to choose any restaurant by that restaurateur. It’s a great gift when you just can’t pick a place. Run for Another For the fitness enthusiast in your life, Janji activewear will help kickstart any New Year’s resolution while giving back. For every item Janji sells, $4 is donated to food and water causes around the world. Each item of clothing is designed with inspiration from the country it helps. The company’s co-founder even has a local connection as a grad from Lower Merion High School. Adorn your loved ones with great activewear and “run for another,” the motto of Janji.

De Fino Law Associates, P.C. Don’t Settle for Less

Michael Anthony De Fino

Vincent Anthony De Fino

Attorney at Law

Attorney at Law

Nicholas J. Starinieri

Nicholas L. Palazzo

Attorney at Law

Attorney at Law

Areas of Practice Personal Injury DUI Wrongful Death Criminal Defense

Wills and Estates Corporate Real Estate Traffic Violations


Lifeless locks? Try Linkage Meu The Cutting Point

now offers clients a cuttingedge treatment that will bring your sun-damaged, blow-dried, flat-ironed frocks back to life. Salon owner and stylist Joanne Masciantonio says Milbon’s Linkage Meu restores and revitalizes your hair to its natural sheen with a unique conditioning process that takes only 15 extra minutes at the salon. Combined with a relaxing head massage and aromatherapy scents that are certain to soothe, Linkage Meu comes in a variety of formulas designed to suit your hair type. The result?

Silky, smooth, healthy hair that looks as good as it feels. Each treatment comes with (4) take-home tubes that you can apply yourself once a week. Just wash, squeeze out excess water and massage Linkage Meu through your hair. Rinse and blow-dry as normal. The cost? Only $25! When booking your next appointment, steal a few extra minutes to pamper yourself with a Linkage Meu treatment. The Cutting Point is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

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1921 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 215-336-3557 800-248-3557


f you ask almost anyone in South Philadelphia where to go when searching for the perfect gift for a little one, don’t be surprised if Little Beth Boutique is the first business they mention. Little Beth Boutique surpasses all expectations, providing quality and unique infant apparel to Philadelphia families for the past 6 decades. The owner, Cass Bonavitacola, has an eye for fashion and has been delivering customer service and excellence to generations of customers.

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Keepsake Custom Photo Albums

We come to you!

Beth Boutique The Perfect Gift

Bella Angel Custom Photo Albums are one of the store’s newest items. These one-of-a kind exclusive albums at Little Beth Boutique are individual works of art. The cover is made of imported linen and covered in Swarovski crystals. Cass is so detail-oriented and hands-on with the creation of the albums that she decided to include braided corded tassels made in a muted shade of gold. This will accent the front cover of the album to harmonize with the linen to create a perfect finish.




Lovely Linny Likes

by Lindsay Barbuto Shindel


These gorgeous albums make great gifts, not only for the holidays, but also for any special occasion. Cass told me touching stories of just two instances of the many she has encountered while helping to preserve and highlight lifelong memories through the albums. “A mother had an album made for her daughter as a bridal shower gift,” she said, “And she had pictures from when she was 2 years old until now, reflecting her entire life. Another person had an album cover from their wedding recreated for a 50th wedding anniversary gift.” She also said that she has received many heartfelt responses from customers that are ecstatic with their new keepsake. “Although it is challenging and invigorating,” Cass said, “I am thankful there are so many happy customers and to have created a beautiful partnership. The gratifying looks on customers’ faces when they see the finished product is what makes it all worthwhile.” Thank you, Cass, for providing 62 years of service, loyalty and love to your customers. We are all grateful for you and Little Beth Boutique! Like what you see? Little Beth Boutique 1540 Packer Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.468.2229

South Philadelphia native Lindsay Barbuto Shindel was voted Best Blogger in Philly on the Philly Hot List. She blogs about businesses, charities and foundations that she loves to like. Her blog is not only relatable but also offers free exposure to seasoned pros and entrepreneurs alike. #ThinkPositive Read more on

by Dominique Verrecchio


What’s on your teen’s holiday Wish List?

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The holidays are approaching and Santa is surely on his way. We all know what that means. Presents! There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to finding the perfect gift, teens can be picky. And expensive! Tech toys are usually the “big gift” on the most wanted list. And cost the most money. But there are other fail-proof presents that will score major points with those hard-to-please teens.

1 2

Top Tech Gifts iPhone 6, iPad, HP Envy (a laptop & tablet in one) Throwbacks make a comeback!

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Xbox One & PlayStation 4 Video Games including Madden, MLB, NBA, Call of Duty, GTA Dig out those old vinyl records because vintage is making a comeback. Don’t be surprised to see a Record Player on some of those wish lists!


Fashion Forward

Pandora Bracelets are a big hit with teens, tweens and every age group. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and the charms are endless. Choose her favorite color, flower, food, birthstone, even a sentimental Landmark like a cable car, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty.


Makeup & Accessories

Clothes, Shoes, Makeup, Jewelry and Purses are always a big hit. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind during your shopping trips this season. Makeup. Naked Pallet & Sephora Variety Kit. They make great gifts and stocking stuffers. Outerwear. North Face Jackets. Not only stylish but warm!



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When in doubt, a Gift Card never disappoints. Teens will really appreciate one or more of the following. iTunes, Spencer’s, Icing, Charming Charlie’s, Forever 21, Express, Francesca’s, Journey’s, Hot Topic, PacSun, Victoria’s Secret, Game Stop and, of course, Visa. Christmas is indeed approaching and before we know it, holiday commercials will be airing, Holiday Specials will be playing, snow will be falling and lights will be shining. I hope my suggestions help you while you shop for your teens. Don’t forget to look for those amazing sales. Happy Holidays!

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PRHGreenSp ce

Beer Nuts


by Kerri-Lee MAYLAND

t was by accident that I stumbled upon the heart of the Philly craft beer scene literally minutes after moving to town. A short walk through my new “Wash West” neighborhood brought me to a place simply named “The Foodery.” I was tired, hot and hungry and knew I couldn’t move another box without something to keep me going. What I discovered, however, was that this tiny corner store in the heart of my new Center City neighborhood wasn’t really known for “food” at all.

Craft beer – to brewers and beerlovers, alike – is more than a great drink. It’s a lifestyle. One that is now strongly fermented in Philly.

From that point on, “The Foodery” became a part of life. I wasn’t really a beer drinker but I became a “happy sampler,” intrigued by the world-class selection of lager just a few doors down. Years later, I discovered that a well-known fellow journalist (many of you know him from various magazines, blogs and websites) also lived nearby and had tons of, we’ll call it “enthusiasm,” for the local craft beer scene. He was a “Foodery fixture,” a Craft Beer King!” Our get-togethers were marked by spirited conversation about all things Philly, whether sports and/or media, and the ale that would accompany encouraged discussions that were anything but pale. Though he must remain nameless in this article for contractual reasons, he happily agreed to chime in on the subject for RowHome Magazine, so here’s what “Mr. Nameless” had to say: “Of course, the Foodery at 10th & Pine isn’t the only place where one can find a high-quality selection of craft beer in Philadelphia. For one, there are several other Foodery locations in Rittenhouse, Northern Liberties and Roxborough. And while The Foodery was once one of the few places that carried such a wide variety of bottled beer, virtually every corner store now carries at least a few bottles of top-quality microbrews – and maybe even a few imports. What makes the craft beer scene in Philadelphia so great? An incredible number of local brewers produce top-quality beer. In Delaware, Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA was named “perhaps the best IPA in America” by Esquire. Its 60 Minute IPA, seasonal offerings and special brews in honor of everyone from Miles Davis to Pearl Jam are all top-notch. In New Jersey, there’s Flying Fish. The Extra Pale Ale is pretty much the perfect drink while following the Phillies. (Given the way they’ve played the last few years, you may need a few.) Several top breweries dot the five-county Philadelphia area. Victory, in Downingtown, offers the standout Hop Devil, an India Pale Ale that’s bold and hoppy yet also a smooth drink. The brewpub at Victory’s headquarters in Downingtown is always a great visit with locations coming soon to Kennett Square and Parkesburg. Sly Fox Brewery generally puts its beer into cans. But don’t fret. Modern-day cans don’t leave an aluminum aftertaste like the cans of Miller Lite you drank in college. Sly Fox also makes a great IPA, Route 113, and its Pikeland Pils has twice won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Do you like Yuengling Lager? Try Stoudt’s Golden Lager, which has a perfect 100 from Alström Brothers, who run the beer rating website BeerAdvocate. In Philadelphia, Yards and Philadelphia Brewing Company. Philadelphia has its share of great beer bars, too, where you can discover a wide variety of styles of beer from local breweries and around the world. The granddaddy downtown is Monk’s Café, the Belgian beer bar that will take you around the world and back through a sip of one of its many beers, both on tap and bottled. South Philly Tap Room always has a great selection on tap, while Fiume in West Philadelphia – nestled above Abyssinia on 45th Street – has an incredible selection for a place that small. In the Northwest, Falls Taproom (appropriately in East Falls) goes beyond its name with an extraordinary large bottle selection. Standard Tap in Northern Liberties has some of the best food you’ll find at any beer bar. Fishtown has a ton of places to find great beer right off the El stop at Girard: Johnny Brenda’s, Frankford Hall, Bottle Bar East, Kraftwork. And let’s not forget about the Northeast. Mayfair’s Grey Lodge has one of the finest-crafted beer lists in the city, while Hop Angel Brauhaus in Fox Chase has 12 taps in constant rotation. As the Greenspace Editor, I will add to his “inside Philly Craft Beer baseball” that these smaller brewers tend to capitalize on sustainability. They are able to do things Big Beer can’t, like support the mom and pop stores through sales, buy fresh local ingredients and customize their product for a very specific community. That’s what builds the loyal following they enjoy and in return, they can sponsor small local events, something the beer giants can’t do without spreading themselves too thin. Craft beer – to brewers and beer-lovers, alike – is more than a great drink. It’s a lifestyle. One that is now strongly fermented in Philly. a

The Honorable Ron Donatucci Register of Wills


John J. Dougherty, Business Manager IBEW Local 98 •

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine 2014 Blue Sapphire Award Winner • Community Service

Congratulations to all of this year's distinguished honorees. rowhome magazine

| 57


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The perils of Permit Parking

by Frank C. DePasquale Jr., Esquire

Q: When the title to an automobile is signed over to a person who purchases the car, what recourse does the seller have if the purchaser does not follow through with transferring the title? A: A seller should never just sign over title. The

sale transaction should be done in an authorized PennDOT tag service center so that the seller is sure that ownership of the vehicle has been properly transferred. The seller should first contact buyer to get the title transferred. If that fails, the seller can apply for a duplicate title since it is still in his or her name and then take the necessary steps to transfer the title to the new owner.

Rich Lana Master Barber

2800 South 16th Street (Corner of 16th & Moyamensing)

Philadelphia, PA 19145 Call for appointment Walk-ins Welcome 58

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Q: If you rent a property in Philadelphia and your vehicle is registered at another address, can you get a parking permit for a street that requires it?

Q: If a Will is handwritten with a date and signature, is it valid? We found a copy of such a document when cleaning out a family member’s home.

A: According to the PPA regulations, you

A: Yes. Any person 18 or more years of age

can’t. In order for you to obtain a Residential Parking Permit, you must provide proof of registration and insurance and your vehicle must display a PA license plate and be registered at the address where the permit is required.

who is of sound mind may make a will. The will must be in writing and signed by the testator at the end. There is no requirement that it be witnessed or dated.

 Once again, Frank DePasquale has been recognized by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2014. He heads DePasquale Law Offices, 2332-34 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. P: 215.755.4410. Email Frank@ or visit Email your questions to

Legal Questions

Legal questions for Frank DePasquale? Email him at or mail to PRH Law & Order, PO Box 54786, Phila., PA 19148. Please include your name, address & phone number for verification purposes. PRH will not publish your last name.



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At the end of the Day!



Sara Canuso s many of you know, I have spent my years both working and living in South Philadelphia and remain here by choice. I am blessed to travel extensively both personally and professionally and have the opportunity to meet thousands of people over the course of a year. I can say for sure that I am very much like Dorothy when I say ‘there is no place like home’ when I arrive back in Philadelphia.

In meeting with amazing people both here and afar, I find that all of us at one point or another question our purpose. Are we doing enough with our lives? Are we adding value to others we meet? I have questioned if my contributions to individuals and to organizations were enough. Do I need to do more? One day, while reading a newsletter from a colleague, Brendon Burchard, I learned that he asks himself 3 questions at the end of each day. Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter? WOW. For me, that said it all. I now ask myself those same three questions every night. I am finding it very easy to not only keep track of my actions

but, if need be, adjust and live each day to its fullest and to help others. So I now ask you: Did you live? Did you live each day to its fullest? Are you present in the now, embracing each opportunity that awaits you? Did you live your day with an attitude? An attitude of gratitude. So many times we just seem to go through the motions of the day, only to get up and do it all over again the next day. A motionless day. So, think about it and ask yourself, did I live? Did you love? Most importantly, did you love yourself today? Did you love those around you? I have found that going through each day trying to make a dif-

ference is a powerful way to not only share your purpose, but to fuel yourself. At times, I think I benefit just as much as those I meet. Sharing your love at times takes courage. The courage to know that if you share, there may be a time that your love is misplaced. I, for one, have gotten into the habit of being courageous on a daily basis. Courage has taken me places I never dreamed possible. Did you matter? Living a life that matters has a domino effect. It also leaves you with an indescribable sense of peacefulness. The most wonderful part of this is that we all have the opportunity to matter in this world. Regardless of reaching out to family, friends, business colleagues or our community, we are all given the chance to Live, Love & Matter. As we come to the end of another year, maybe it is time to ask ourselves the questions. Did I live each day to its fullest? Did I do enough to touch others and make 60

| rowhome magazine

a difference? After all, why are we here if not to share, empower, inspire and leave our mark? Over the past six months, I have gotten into the habit of asking myself these questions each night. Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter? I now live a life enriched by making a difference. As you ask yourself these same questions, it is my hope that you realize that it is never too late to live, love, matter and most importantly, make a difference and leave this world a better place. Sara Canuso, President of A Suitable Solution, advises business executives, attorneys, financial advisors and solopreneurs on making the most of image and body language when communicating with others both professionally and personally. prh Sara Canuso, A Suitable Solution, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

2Stock X Two!


by Maria Merlino photos by Maria Merlino

f you thought last year’s 2Stock Music Festival was amazing, 2Stock 2 was twice the fun! Two times as many bands, two times as long and two times as many sponsors. The 12-hour event, held on the grounds of Pennsport’s EOM Athletic Association, kicked into gear on a sunny Saturday morning and showcased numerous performers who rocked the block to raise money for two neighborhood nonprofits – the 298 Charity and EOM. “Everybody is in it for a good cause,” said Ed McBride, President of EOM and the 298 Charity, a 501c3 founded by IBEW Local 98. “The amazing part of all this is that it’s entirely voluntary.” Money raised is used to purchase toys, turkeys and holiday gifts for families in need. It also helps fund

activities provided by EOM, which offers a “safe place for our youth to come in and learn sports, good conduct and civic service,” McBride said. “It’s the perfect combination of altruism and charity.” Tommy Betteridge of Local 98 has five daughters who put their artistic talents to work for the festival. “Annie designed the logo, Ellie painted the murals, Faith is the assistant producer, Lillian plays the drums and Grace is selling the T-shirts,” he said. “This festival is dedicated to Ron Rowand who was here last year but recently passed away,” Betteridge added. “In a sense, his spirit is here.” 2Stock coordinators are optimistic about the future of this neighborhood event. “In five years, 2Stock will be the biggest music festival in the city. We have real artists and genuine causes. It keeps the neighborhood strong.” prh

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What about Bob? by John Nacchio


iscovering Bob Charger is like discovering America. It’s inspiration, perspiration, aspiration and acceleration. Bob projects a “Live it/Love it” attitude when it comes to being a Radio personality. When they hear his voice coming through the airwaves, people sense that they have a friend. They feel the world is timeless, less complex and a lot cozier when he’s around. But “What About Bob?” Like most teens back in the day, he was hooked on the music. The next band. The next song. But it was the voice of John Facenda – a Philadelphia TV news anchor – that really caught his imagination. What if he were called to fill in for him? Or even better, the fast-talking Joe


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Niagara, one of the first Philly DJs to experiment with Rock & Roll radio broadcasts on WIBG radio. Bob spent time up in his room practicing his voice style. Then he would try it out on his parents before heading back up to his room to practice some more. He says that love and patience kept him going. His idol, John Facenda, later became the signature voice of NFL films, known to fans across the nation as the “Voice of God.” Bob was born in South Philadelphia and graduated Southern High, home to many talented entertainers over a span of time. Charlie Gracie. Chubby Checker. Teen idols AvalonRydell-Darren-Fabian. Mario Lanza. Al Martino. Bob’s own entertainment career began as a teenager on a small radio station in South Jersey - WNJH.

He also wrote a music column for three area newspapers and hosted a weekly entertainment show on cable television. Then, things started to come together at top stations including the legendary WIBG “Wibbage” Radio 99, 610 WIP (the #1 music station) and the famous WFIL 56, where Bob eventually became a “Boss Jock.” He also served as Music Director and Program Director for several radio stations, including 1380 WAMS, in Wilmington, Delaware. However, when Charger became the last “Good Guy” to be added to the WIBG lineup before it went off the air, his journey from his parent’s parlor to the top Philly radio station was worth the effort. To him, it echoed the station’s call letters “Why I Believe In God”. How did Bob get his Radio name?

mornings from 10-noon. On weeknights, his loyal listeners tune in from 7-midnight and on Wednesday nights, he spins the “Top 20 Countdown” at 9 pm.

Most neighborhood kids get a nickname when growing up. Not so here. His July birthday fell on the Catholic feast day of Mount Carmel so his parents named him “Carmen” not “Bob.” As a kid, he liked to build models from hobby shops. One model car he bought from a shop on South Broad Street - Al Rainbow’s Sporting Goods - became prophetic. It was a model car of a Dodge Charger that he put together and then detailed the markings. He painted the lettering of the word “Dodge” but it blurred. The Ds looked more like Bs, which led to a mystical moment – a divine intervention – for the aspiring DJ. “Bob? Yes, Bob! Bob Charger,” he smiled knowingly. “I like that.” For more than 18 years, Bob Charger has been entertaining the Philly radio audience on 98.1 WOGL. He also is the host and producer of the highly successful signature show “Brunch with the Beatles,” which airs Sunday

Railings & Balconies

For more than 18 years, Bob Charger has been entertaining the Philly radio audience on 98.1 WOGL. What about Bob in TV and Film? Bob says radio, when properly practiced, is a theatrical art. You have to have a persona that transcends those tubes, transistors, wires, Wifi transmissions and Ipod shuffles to reach into somebody’s heart. In addition to his stellar radio career, Bob Charger has been a consultant on two films - Fabulous and The Wages

Fences & Gates


of Spin - both of which are on National PBS and in The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Archives. Bob also performed as a weatherman, magazine co-host and morning show host for a local CBS affiliate and produced and hosted several game shows including “Music Mania.” Over the years, Bob has lent his voice to several local and national commercials and infomercials. From acting in radio and television commercials, he progressed to acting in films and is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild. His credits include Rocky III, Rocky V, Mannequin, Mannequin on the Move and Philadelphia to name a few. Is there anything else on his bucket list? Of course! He imagines himself hosting The Price is Right some day! “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars,” Charger says. Until then, Sound the trumpets…CHARGE! The Charger is on the air at 98.1 WOGL. prh


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C o z ie s “Givin

m 4 Che


Comfo Gift of g The


Cozies 4 Chemo You deserve a Standing Ovation by Jennifer Barkowitz photos courtesy of Cozies 4 Chemo


hen 14-year-old Meghan Vizzard’s cousin Katie was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, Meghan “didn’t know much about chemotherapy.” At just 19-years-old, Katie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a cancer generally found in women over 55. Vizzard, only 12 at the time, was determined to help Katie through her battle. Conversations with her cousin revealed that the therapy room felt like the Arctic and that she and her fellow treatment-mates were practically put on ice during treatments. Meghan decided to make Katie a no-sew fleece blanket that she could take to chemo. No-sew hand-tied fleece blankets are warm and super easy to make, requiring just two yards of fleece, cardboard and scissors. “This is a great way to get people involved with community service because anyone can do it. Especially young people [because it’s so easy] and you’re never too young to do community service,” Cozies

When Standing Ovation movie producers Diane Kirman, Dr. William Lewis and James Brolin heard about Cozies 4 Chemo, they knew that this was the perfect example of someone whose actions make the world a better place. Philadelphia RowHome Magazine has teamed up


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founder Meghan Vizzard tells PRH. Katie loved the blanket and brought it to each treatment. Others in her group noticed Katie’s comfy new blanket and asked where they could get one. After explaining it was a gift, Katie asked if Meghan would be interested in making a few more. Meghan knew she was onto something. “She wanted to help others do something that was ongoing and expandable,” Cozies 4 Chemo VP Karen Brager told PRH. With the unwavering support of her parents, Cozies 4 Chemo was born. Word about Meghan’s blankets spread quickly. When Standing Ovation movie Producer Diane Kirman heard about Cozies 4 Chemo through Karen Brager, she knew that Cozies 4 Chemo deserved a Standing Ovation. The Standing Ovation award is a partnership between Philadelphia RowHome Magazine and filmmaker Diane Kirman, who released the movie musical Standing Ovation in 2010. The movie is a rarity in today’s film industry - an optimistic tale of persever-

with Standing Ovation Movie to give a Standing Ovation Award to someone who Stands Up, Reaches Out & Takes Action to make this world a better place. How? By improving life on this planet for the people, the animals and all living things. The movie Standing Ovation

ance and passion that showcases a talented cast of kids as they learn the importance of friendship and family on a journey to fulfilling their dreams. With the success and mission of Meghan’s organization, who better than Cozies 4 Chemo to receive this award? Since its inception in March 2012, Cozies 4 Chemo has donated almost 2,000 blankets through community fundraisers and blanket-making parties. This Mt. Laurel, NJ non-profit organization has certainly made an impact. A quick scroll through the Cozies 4 Chemo Facebook page shows blanket requests and letters of thanks for shipments all over the United States and as far away as England. PRH is thrilled to report that Katie has made a full recovery and is currently studying abroad. Cozies 4 Chemo holds donation drives and blanketmaking events throughout the year. If you would like to get involved, visit their webpage at prh

is about empowering young people to follow their dreams. As the lead character in the film says, “Just do it ’cause it’s the right thing to do.” If you know someone who should receive a Standing Ovation Award, email us their story at info@yourStandingO- Our panel will pick a winner and their story will appear in Philadelphia RowHome Magazine, on their website at gohomephilly. com and on the Standing Ovation webpage at

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air O’ The Dog, Philly’s Most Glamorous Bash presented by Parx Casino, will commemorate 21 years on Saturday, January 17th, with its biggest and boldest celebration to date. This highly anticipated event will take place at the exclusive Crystal Tea Room. Get ready for a wild evening filled with top-shelf libations, gourmet fare, extravagant décor and top-notch entertainment. Dance until you drop with a very special DJ set and live performance by Maxim Model, DJ Paola Shea. Paola, best known for her role on CBS’s hit show Big Brother, will take the event to a whole new level with her sensual style and captivating sounds. Partygoers will also wag their tails off to music by HOD founder and DJ, Dan Cronin. As the evening roars on, additional electrifying performances will include the band The Rockets, DJ Bizz and DJ Montone of the acclaimed #Dayload party. Additional performers and entertainment to be announced. Hair O’ The Dog always helps a deserving charity, and this year is no exception. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s gala will benefit the Philadelphia Chapter of UNICO. Spearheaded by Philly’s own John and Ben Ferrara, UNICO is an Italian-American, non-profit service organization comprised of philanthropists and professionals. UNICO’s main objective is assisting others that are less fortunate and in need. UNICOan’s live by the following words: “Service Above Self.” Some of the local charities that UNICO supports are Gift of Life, The Crime Commission, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Forgotten Cats. For those who want to ‘party until the bark of dawn’, the official Hair O’ The Dog After Party will be held at LiT Ultra Bar, Philadelphia’s chic nightlife destination. To purchase tickets and learn more about the 21st annual Hair O’ The Dog, visit The party begins at 8 p.m. for VIP and Bottle-Service and 9 p.m. for the general admission.

About Hair O’ The Dog Hair O’ The Dog was founded 21 years ago by longtime friends Daniel Cronin and Robert Molinaro. Dan and Rob are also the cofounders of Chorus Communications, a Technology Consulting firm located in Philadelphia. Hair O’ The Dog started from humble beginnings with roughly 100 partygoers, but has grown in popularity and exclusivity. The gala, now attended by Philadelphia’s elite, attracts thousands of guests each year.

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Rock & Roll’s Hidden Giant: The Story of Rock Pioneer Charlie Gracie by Bob Wagner


harlie Gracie was the first Philadelphia native to break out nationally and internationally at the start of the Rock & Roll era. His 1957 number one hit “Butterfly” sold more than three million copies worldwide. This, and subsequent hits, helped launch the CameoParkway record label, enabling them to prosper and advance the careers of a dozen more successful artists. In addition to his hit records, Gracie appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” and some of the largest concert venues in the U.S. and abroad. As the first solo American rocker to take the music to the British concert stage, Gracie’s unique style and guitar technique influenced some of most important artists in rock history including The Beatles, Van Morrison and Graham Nash. His inspiring story traces his rise from the streets of depressionera South Philadelphia to the top of the charts, and, as a result of the cut-throat nature of the pop music industry, his fall from fame. Charlie Gracie’s unfaltering integrity and talent have been constant guides in his life, providing his audience with an inspiring, uplifting story of family and perseverance. Rock history would not be the same without Charlie Gracie and this remarkable account is essential for all fans of Rock & Roll. Philadelphia RowHome Magazine recently sat down with Charlie Gracie – the 2011 recipient of the Magazine’s Blue Sapphire Award for Lifetime Music Achievement – to discuss his new autobiography. ➻


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PRH) Why did you decide to write an autobiography at this time? CG) I didn’t! (laughs) I was approached by John A. Jackson (my co-writer) and the wonderful people at Alfred Music Publishing who believed I had not only an historical account to tell, but an inspirational one, as well. PRH) The book contains a lot of previously unknown facts about your rise to fame and subsequent fall. CG) I was just a talented, hard-working kid from South Philly chasing my dreams and trying to take care of my family and unlike a lot of others, I clawed my way to the top. Then it was all taken away from me, thanks to some unscrupulous people in the music industry. PRH) Your book is very different from others in the genre in that it names names. CG) I didn’t write this book to settle a score. I don’t hate anyone. I wasn’t raised that way. All I ever asked for in life is what I’ve earned. The CameoParkway label owed me approximately $400,000 in back-royalties and basically dared me to sue them to collect it! I did and wound up receiving only about $40,000 of that figure. And they were upset at having to pay that! They released me from my contract and told my manager, ‘Your boy will never have another hit record as long as he lives.’ We thought it was just hard feelings. After that, I signed with Coral/Decca and then Roulette Records and cut some great songs. But airplay was harder to come by. The same applied to television appearances. I went from making $1000 - $2000 a week for concerts to $50 a night. They actually did wield that kind of power in the industry.

2531-35 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

PRH) It must have been very painful to re-visit those memories. CG) Of course it was. I went from rags to riches back to rags. All because I stood up for what was right. I am a product of South Philly, where a man expects to be paid for what he has earned. When all was said and done, I only had $400 left in my pocket with a wife and two kids to support. I started all over at the bottom and clawed my way back up the mountain. I may have never reached the pinnacle of show business again, but I’ve been happily married to the same woman for 57 years, I have two wonderful children and I continue to perform all over the world. Not too bad for a kid from 8th & Pierce Streets! prh PRH readers can purchase the book directly from Additional outlets will be publicized when announced. Sources: Rock & Roll’s Hidden Giant: The Story of Rock Pioneer Charlie Gracie by Charlie Gracie with John A. Jackson courtesy of Alfred Press.

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PRHmusic&art son icia Jack Dr. Patr daughter and O irtle, CO Jillian P ational N e th f o l Marian Historica useum nM Anderso ety, pose & Soci inting oil pa with an t Marion rea of the g n in the Anderso Photo und. backgro a Merlino by Mari

Historian Jilli Pirtle with an a needlepo int portrait of opera singer M aria Anderson n

A visit to the Opera House Marian Anderson home is a national treasure

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pera legend Marian Anderson purchased her 19th century rowhome at 762 S. Martin Street (Marian Anderson Way) between 19th & 20th and Fitzwater for $4,000 cash back in 1924 after returning home from a successful vocal tour. With its deep brick facade and turn-step entry, this is the place Anderson and her family called home for 60 years. When she married, she and husband Orpheus “King” Fisher could have lived anywhere in the world. But they remained in the neighborhood they knew and loved. Her home was declared an historical property in 2004 and now bears a plaque outside its door from the Philadelphia Historical Commission. It also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Anderson’s modest home contains rare photos, books, memorabilia and films about her life. It also supports an artists-in-residence program developed by the Marian Anderson Historical Society to encourage and mentor outstanding classical artists. “Marian could have picked anywhere in the world to say where she was from, but she still said Philadelphia,” says Jillian Pirtle, one of the National Marian Anderson Scholars and COO of the Marian Anderson Museum and Society. Pirtle, 31, accepted the reins from Founder & CEO, the Emeritus Lady Blanche Burton Lyles, the only protégée of Marian Anderson. A licensed historian, Pirtle says she also has a passion for theater and Broadway. “I want to bridge the gap between artists and history,” she explains. “There

is no better example than Marian Anderson.” Ironically, Pirtile was educated at a school that would not accept Anderson as a student had she tried to enroll back in the 1900s. “It was called the Philadelphia Academy for the Arts then. It’s now the University of the Arts,” Pirtle continues. Ultimately, she says, Anderson studied under the Italian musician, Giuseppe Verdi. Pirtle is not alone in her museum duties. Her mother, Dr. Patricia Jackson, a psychologist and culinary artist, assists her daughter with running the museum. One of their main priorities is generating a greater awareness of the museum in order to attract more visitors. “One of our biggest concerns,” Dr. Jackson says, “is that [the museum] is associated with the Marian Anderson Awards. That’s not the case at all. We have never been associated with them.” Visitors come from all over the world to see the home where Marian Anderson lived, Pirtle added. Recently, a production crew from the BBC filmed there. A high tea fundraiser celebrating the 75th anniversary of the groundbreaking performance of Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial will be held on May 31st at the African American Museum at 6th & Arch Streets. Luncheon high tea hats are encouraged. Tickets are $50. For information call 215.732.9505. For more information about the Marian Anderson Museum, visit marianandersonhistoricalsociety.weebly. com or email Or call 215.732.9505. prh

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hile I was back in Philly doing research for a movie script, my buddy Steve Martorano invited me to the Grand Opening of his restaurant, Martorano’s at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. As I walked into the packed event, the first two people I saw were my dear friends, Dawn and Dorette, who also happen to be my bosses at RowHome Magazine! They were in a party mood and it was contagious! Seated at my table were Tony Luke Jr. and Hotel impresario John Moser. I was introduced to Bobby Rydell, who made me feel like I have known him forever. We swapped showbiz stories and I invited him to dinner the next time he’s on the West Coast. Rapper Fat Joe dropped by the table and that is one “cat” that is cool personified. I could go on about the people but let’s talk FOOD. Starting with Steve’s Legendary Meatballs served with a mound of ricotta...bellissimo! Next, perfectly cooked Calamari with Steve’s delicious, spicy sauce followed by savory Pasta with Peas, Chicken Parm and mouthwatering Roasted Sea Bass swimming with Shrimp! The wine flowed and I even danced to the group, Grand Master Flash, who were in fine form. The highlight of the evening was Steve’s emotional speech about never letting anybody tell you that you’re not good enough. He said, “I am living proof that you can make it if you’re willing to break your ass and work hard.” A great night and I even won a “few” dollars at the blackjack table. My wife Lynn and I are awaiting the birth of our first grandchild, which keeps everything in the show biz world in perspective. P.S. Our show Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel was picked up for a sixth season! The new season starts in October. ■

Ciao Philly!

ShootersINC’s Food Director

DP John Romeo

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ased in South Philadelphia, Director/DP John Romeo brings 25 years of commercial food photography and cinematography to the table. The expansion of his craft into directing motion food spots brings a fresh new look to the category. His creativity, lighting and attention to detail put food front and center in a very natural and intimate way, making viewers feel as if they are taking part in the culinary experience. John recently joined the Directorial roster of ShootersINC. Executive Producer Jim Huie notes, “Since the advent of our Directorial roster last year, we’ve been seeking a Food Director whom we feel will make an impact in that highly competitive and specialized niche of the industry. We knew we needed something a bit different in order to achieve this, and I’m delighted that we’ve found that in Director/DP John Romeo and his Food Stylist partner Nir Adar.” John works exclusively with Adar, acclaimed food stylist, chef and artist who brings with him an unprecedented wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of food and TV commercials. His passion for food and cooking comes through in every frame creating “magic moments” of appetite appeal for John’s camera. “I’ve been working with John now for

a decade,” Adar explaind. “It’s been very exciting to work together with him through his transition to motion. Over the years, we have developed a close relation on- and off-set, which helps us collaborate on-set at times using no words. John is tremendously embracing of my culinary craft and allows me to do my thing in a supportive way. He empowers me to put all of my love into the food, while he captures the magic moments through his camera. John has a great eye for details and a love for perfection, which makes both of us and the clients happy.” Clients both locally and nationally value John’s ability to translate their vision of a product into an artistic culinary experience for audiences. If it’s true, “what you see is what you get,” John Romeo serves up an amazing appetite for a variety of food. Still photography and film are utilized to capture the “magic.” John Romeo had produced work for brands such as Pork, Bisquick, Quaker Oats, Turkey Hill and Swanson. On his joining ShootersINC, John concludes: “I’m really excited about the opportunities that Shooters can offer me as a Director, locally here on the east coast, but also nationally. I made the foray into motion a few years ago, and this is just a next step in the development of my career, to sign with a production company that can share my work with new clients.” ■

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GPFO & Perelman Theater raise social awareness through the arts Images courtesy of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office

by Sharon Pinkenson Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office


n, Tuesday, September 9th, The Fisher King, directed by Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys), starring Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams, screened in Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Perelman Theater, in memory of Robin Williams during National Suicide Prevention Week. A brief panel discussion preceded the screening to raise awareness of themes in the film that address suicide prevention and other relevant topics. As the partner contracted to manage bookings in the Perelman Theater, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office is pleased to serve both filmmakers and the community by showcasing important, socially relevant work—like this and others—in a state-of-the-art venue where the full impact of the art and inspiration can be seen and heard. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Perelman


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Theater cinematic installation was made possible through the generous support of the Wyncote Foundation. The Wyncote Foundation, known for supporting community-focused arts initiatives, had the same vision for this venue and charged GPFO with presenting a schedule of culturally diverse film projects throughout the year. A few highlights of the run include screenings of: Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Musical Chairs, Kids for Cash, Alive Inside. Further serving local and independent filmmakers, the Perelman Theater has been the screening venue for a number of local film festivals including The Philadelphia Film Festival, Jewish American Film Festival, Philadelphia Asian-American Film Festival the newly branded QFlix Film Festival, showcasing LGBT themed films and new media work. Pricing is competitive with near-

est. 1921

East Coast

by screening venues and traditional art houses, offering non-profit and for-profit group rates. The permanently installed equipment includes an adjustable aspect ratio projection screen, a high-definition, high intensity digital video projector with 3-D capability, a digital cinema server and a full audio system. Seating capacity for film use is 490 (509 overflow). For more information about booking the Perelman Theater for a service-based or culturally enriching film project, please contact Joan Bressler at 215-686-2668 or email GREATER PHILADELPHIA FILM OFFICE is a “film commission” repre­senting southeastern Pennsylvania that officially serves the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia. We are a nonprofit economic development agency committed to the growth of the regional film production industry. Since 1992, the office has been responsible for more than $4 billion in economic stimulus to the region. Our mission is threefold. First, we serve to attract film & video production to the region, including everything from feature films to TV pilots, series and commercials to music videos and industrial films. Second, we provide the producer free assistance with parking, permits, labor and locations, and generally act as the liaison between the productions and the local commu­nity, cutting red tape as we go. Finally, we serve to grow the local film and video industry in every way possible, recognizing its huge economic impact in job creation and its unparalleled public relations effects to the region.

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KIMMEL CENTER, INC., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater. Our mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming. For additional information, visit The Kimmel Center Broadway Season is sponsored by American Airlines. The Kimmel Center Presents Season is sponsored by TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank. ■ rowhome magazine

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall It’s time for me to make that call

by Dr. Richard Dittrich Serving patients for more than 30 years, Dr. Richard Dittrich has offices conveniently located in South Philadelphia at 1313 Wolf Street - 215.465.3000 and in Voorhees, NJ - 856.435.9090. New patients are welcome!


| rowhome magazine


t’s the most wonderful time of the year!” No, I am not talking about Christmas. It’s back to school time! The neverending days of sun and fun are gone. Those crazy days of non-stop action are finally over. Taking care of the kids has been handed off to a “lucky” educator. It’s time for moms to take care of themselves!

Facial Analysis

Have you taken a close look in the mirror lately? Is your skin showing the wrath of the sun? It is easy to go outdoors “for just a few minutes” without sunscreen. But those few minutes a day can add up to skin damage, age spots and fine lines around your eyes. Sun-damaged skin can add years to your face. A facial analysis (such as a Reveal Skin Analyzer) can determine the extent of facial sun damage. A skin expert will evaluate the results and recommend products or treatments to reverse or minimize the damage. A facial, tailored to your individual skin type, is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

✚ Weigh In

Still at the mirror? What do you see? You “Boot Camped” all spring to fit into skimpy summer clothing. How is that bathing suit looking now? The fun foods (and drinks) of summer are often diet busters. A few extra pounds can add up quickly. Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the U.S. Overweight people are more likely to have health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It is much easier to commit to a diet when there are only a few pounds to lose. Cut calories, add exercise and pull those skinny jeans back out of your closet! Do you find it difficult to diet alone? Many women find that a weekly “weigh in” keeps their diet on track. Seek out a physician with diet expertise and find the weight loss plan that is right for you.

Schedule your Appointments

With the kids in school, it is the perfect time to schedule appointments with your physician. The school day gives you a window of opportunity to check in with your doctors and still have ample time for testing and questions.

Heart Health

Did you know that cardiac disease is the number one killer of both men and women? Have you had your

blood pressure checked this year? High blood pressure is a silent disease. There are often no symptoms and you feel “fine”. High blood pressure can lead to a stroke. It can also cause heart damage that will result in a heart attack. Blood testing for cholesterol levels should be a yearly event after age 40 or earlier if heart disease runs in your family. High cholesterol can clog your arteries, reducing the blood flow to your heart. High cholesterol, like high blood pressure, has no symptoms. Yearly evaluations are lifesavers!

GYN An annual gynecological exam should be a part of every woman’s life. A GYN appointment includes a weight check, a thyroid check and a blood pressure check in addition to breast and pelvic examinations. The GYN exam is the perfect time to discuss your hot flashes or sex drive. If you are over 21, a pap test should be part of the GYN exam. A pap test is the only way to determine if you have been exposed to the HPV virus. There are more than 40 strains of this virus that are sexually transmitted. Some studies suggest that every sexually active person in this country has been exposed to HPV! Many strains are transient but several can cause cervical cancer. The pap test is critical to diagnose HPV and cervical disease.

Mammogram One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Early detection is the key to survival. Mammograms can find masses too small to be felt with a breast exam. Diagnosing breast cancer early means less surgery and follow-up treatment. Ladies, make this fall “your time”. See your health care provider and schedule your testing. Make that mammogram appointment. Have your skin analyzed and refreshed. Start the weight loss program that you have been talking about. Make the fall of 2014 your healthiest one ever! At both of our offices, GYN and Professional Aesthetics and Wellness Center, we welcome new patients. Come in for a free skin analysis with our Reveal Skin Analyzer. Schedule a consult for skin rejuvenation or weight loss. Take control of your health with a GYN evaluation. We look forward to meeting you soon!. prh

Dr. Richard Dittrich, GYN & The Professional Aesthetics & Wellness Center are members of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

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by Dr. James E. Moylan, D.C


ne out of every two people lives with chronic illness. Defined as a disease or condition that lasts for a long period of time – sometimes for the rest of a person’s life – these frequently recurring illnesses include allergies and asthma, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and even obesity. Many of these conditions are debilitating. Arthritis, back and spine problems account for more than 30 percent of cases of disability in the United States, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. And even for those who are not disabled, their conditions affect their quality of life. A key factor that is often overlooked in all of these conditions is the health of the spine. When faced with a serious or chronic health challenge, medication is often the first choice. But medications can have negative side effects, often masking the symptoms and not treating the disease at its core. Luckily, millions of people living with a chronic condition have reaped the benefits of chiropractic care. Many often visit a chiropractor when they have nowhere else to turn. When medication and surgeries fail, patients begin to explore alternatives. Spinal nerve stress is a component of most chronic conditions. Also referred to as vertebral subluxations, the subluxation complex or “pinched nerves”, spinal nerve stress is a misalignment or distortion of the spinal column, skull, hips and related tissues (the structural system) that irritate, stretch, impinge or interfere with the proper function of the nerve system (brain stem, spinal cord, spinal nerves and outlying or peripheral nerves). Since the nerve system controls the function of the body, any interference to it can have wide-ranging effects. When a chiropractor frees the nerve system from spinal stress, the healing power of the body is unleashed. The immune system functions more efficiently, resistance to disease increases and your body functions more productively. As a result of treatment, you can better respond to internal and external environmental stresses. prh

Dr. James E. Moylan, Chiropractic Physician, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

PRHthe menu Courtesy of Gibby Palmaccio

Baked Potato Abruzzese

Ingredients ➜1 lb. Italian sausage links (your choice sweet, hot) ➜ 1 medium onion, sliced thin ➜ Mozzarella (fresh OR shredded) ➜ Fresh (2 medium mozzarella balls cut into small pieces) OR

➜S hredded (1 cup) ➜ (You can add any additional cheeses to your liking) ➜ 1 (15 oz) can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce ➜ cup Olive Oil ➜ 2 large baking potatoes with skin

Directions Remove casing from sausage and crumble meat. In a medium pot, add olive oil to coat. Add crumbled sausage and sliced onion. Sauté until browned. Add Hunt’s tomato sauce and approximately 1/4 can water (more or less water to your liking for thickness). Cook 10-15 minutes on medium boil. Add mozzarella and cook until melted. Potatoes While preparing sausage mixture, bake 2 large potatoes until tender. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.

R ISTE REG !!! e.

N110O0 SWnyd7e-r9A5v51 46 215-

To serve Split potatoes in half and generously pour sausage mixture over both halves. Can also serve over: • Any short pasta • Gnocchi • Rice or Rice & Beans • Thickly-sliced & toasted Italian bread

• Can also be served in Italian bread or on roll as a sandwich

Serves 2 generously All measurements are approximate. Use more or less to your liking.

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by Robert ‘Woody’ Woodard

PRH Writers Block


• 2-inch wood • Pleated Shades • Shutters • Roman Shades • Verticals • Drapes • Mini Blinds • Valances



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Get on Up

ave you seen the movie “Get On Up” – the biopic of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul? The script by brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Directed by Tate Taylor) made an impression on me and my friends at the barbershop. When he was born, James Brown was already a man – the perfect example of what the strength and willpower of a human being can accomplish. He had no childhood but was forced to push himself to his highest heights. In one scene, he took a pair of shoes off a dead man – a dead man hanging from a tree. Living in the South, there were many Blacks who were put to death by neighborhood Klan members. Imagine what it was like for children to endure this horrible experience at a tender age. The atrocities, both mental and emotional, that these children endured were overwhelming. Encounters such as these have been embedded in the blood of many “children of slaves” living in America today. These fears, unfortunately, have been passed down through generations and have an enormous effect on the confidence and attitudes of urban youth. With that kind of stress on young minds, I can only wonder how much depression can affect their daily lives, possibly even moving some to contemplate suicide. Some children are stronger than others. They can find a way when there is no way. James Brown was one of those children. Nevertheless, an evaluation needs to be taken of the fears of the “children of slaves.” We as a human race need to do the work to create a study by professionals in the mental and emotional fields in every university in this country. This is the least that we can do for the damage that has been done. Through his music, Brown became a finan-

cial entity in this country and around the world. He achieved his goals for musical perfection and aspired to reach even higher. He gained knowledge of the music industry by watching the people around him – like his manager Ben Bart - conduct business. In times of slavery, literacy was forbidden. If slaves were caught reading a book, the masters punished them by blinding an eye or amputating their fingers so they could not see or turn the pages. Fear was created in the minds and hearts of the children who witnessed these events. This fear continues to be passed down through the bloodlines of the millions of “children of slaves” living in America today. And it is affecting our society. Fear is what Brown learned to challenge as a child. He became a man even though he was a little boy. Once he became an adult, his childhood fears constantly pushed him to the top. He learned to talk to the man inside of himself and mentally became a cheerleader to lift up and promote his inner superman - Mr. James Brown. This movie told a great story about a remarkable man. We as Americans from every cultural and ethnic group should see ourselves as one nation, concerned about how we can help repair the damages done to our fellow Americans. Although it was not in the movie, one of Brown’s greatest hits was “Living in America.” Let’s learn how to live in America as one human race, concerned about ourselves as fellow citizens of a great and growing nation of many cultures and ethnicities. This will help us prepare ourselves to walk into the future of tomorrow together, united as one. Robert ‘Woody’ Woodard is a barber at the renowned Woody’s Barber Shop. Visit www. The Barber’s Pole represents the History of Barbering. Barbers were the original Doctors and Surgeons. prh

by David W. Cava

Finding Neverland


PRH Writers Block

am now convinced that there is an unseen force working against me. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to discuss it, but maybe if I do, something will change. That’s the beauty of it all – something can always be done about it. After the passing of Robin Williams, my family and I watched a few of his movies. It was a nice way to pay tribute to the man who greatly entertained us over the years. My oldest daughter is and always has been a big fan of all things Peter Pan. That said, the movie Hook was on the list. Robin Williams plays Peter Banning, a merger and acquisitions lawyer who cares more about his job than his family. Low and behold, Peter Banning is in fact Peter Pan, who left Neverland, grew up, went to school, married Wendy’s granddaughter and had a couple of kids. Captain Hook learns that Peter is alive and has a family, so he kidnaps Peter’s children to lure Pan back into Neverland for one final adventure. Although this isn’t one of Steven Spielberg’s best attempts, it did help me recognize that unseen force. I noticed there is a crocodile following me.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe his intentions are honorable, either. I caught a glimpse of him in my receding hairline and graying sideburns. He moves slowly but I was led to believe I’d have time to prepare for his inevitable approach. Once I noticed the beast, I heard that annoying ticking sound getting louder and louder in everything I did, reminding me he was just around the corner waiting. But like I said, something can always be done about it. As I see it, Peter Pan is the perfect metaphor for the carefree nature of childhood. Captain Hook is the responsibility and stress that comes with adulthood and that hideous crocodile is the wonderful combination of fear and time. But the key to a perfect balance between them all is Neverland. Peter Pan grew up and

with adulthood came responsibilities, heavy responsibilities that kept his feet planted firmly on the ground. But once he returned to Neverland, he was able to put aside the hustle and bustle of the daily grind and he remembered how to have fun. He remembered how to fly. What will you do? I suggest that you take the first right straight into morning and find out. Once you get there, think of me while you soar through the clouds far away from that annoying crocodile and his ticking clock. My Neverland is writing a story. As I fly through the process, I am Peter Pan, forever young and looking for the next pirate to thwart or the next adventure to be had. What is your Neverland? If you’ve noticed a ticking sound and don’t know where it’s coming from, remember Neverland. It’s that magical place we don’t live in, but can always visit to help relieve some of the pressure from those inevitable forces and maybe even help us feel like a child again. prh

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My Defense of

Bigfoot by Perry deMarco, Sr.


a Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer for nearly 40 years, I became fascinated by this question so I conducted extensive legal research on the subject. I consulted the writings of many scholarly sources such as the Dali Lama, Jerry Blavat, Stanley “The Schmatta Man” Fleishman, Fredo “Tall Stick” Miller and last but not least, Shakira’s History of Intergalactic Trends (S.H.I.T.).

You can only imagine what my research revealed. It turns out that the origins of Bigfoot pre-date recorded history. Unfortunately, many of the records compiled by the Ancient Romans on this subject were lost when Rome burned while Nero was lying around playing with his fiddle. The story resurfaced again at the time of Leonardo Da Vinci. It turns out that the Vatican actually hired Leonardo to invent a trap designed to capture a Bigfoot. Leonardo did just that and it worked. That’s right. Leonardo was the first person to capture a Bigfoot. He constructed


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a Bigfoot look alike, something along the lines of a giant Bigfoot teddy bear. Leonardo named his invention Bigafeeta. He fitted her with a platinum wig, barracuda berry lipstick and candy apple lacquer toe nail polish. He did some enhancing up front and for the finishing touch, doused her with Jean Nate. Remember as a little kid fainting in church from the smell of old lady perfume? Irresistible! The trap part was a contraption similar to a bear trap and was strategically located in the anatomically correct position. ➻

In reality, they are just big, gentle fuzzy creatures who just want to be friends but are afraid of being harmed or killed by human beings. They know that we can’t tolerate anyone or anything that we don’t understand, don’t agree with or especially, don’t look like us. On the fateful day, poor Bigfoot was lumbering through the forest when his gaze fell upon Bigafeeta. She was stretched out on the forest floor in a seductive pose, leering at him with a salacious smile. He rushed to her, wrestled with her in a frenzied passionate embrace, when suddenly, just at the point of ecstasy, he heard a violent snapping sound! Then came the pain! The whites of his eyes now the size of dinner plates, poor Bigfoot ran through the forest screeching and wailing in agony all the while attempting to extricate himself from Bigafeeta who was flapping lifelessly face-toface with him. Finally, having reached the point of comatose exhaustion he fell to the ground wishing only to die as quickly as possible. Enter Leonardo, who, with God-Fatherly drama and composure, knelt down next to the pathetic creature, stroked his furry head with a calming hand and then made Bigfoot swear an oath that if he released him from Bigafeeta, he would not retaliate or attempt to escape. Once Leonardo was satisfied that he had an accord, (he was tightening the trap as he spoke) he entered his DaVinci code into the device and Bigfoot was free at last. Leonardo did not turn Bigfoot over to the Vatican. No sir, he did not. Being a smart Italian, he sat down with his bff, (bigfoot friend), drank a little wine, ate a little capicola and Leonardo made bff a deal he couldn’t refuse. He proposed a road show with a 50 percent split. Bff agreed and so Leonardo constructed a cage on the back of his carriage. Bff would get in the cage and Lee would drive the carriage into the towns and charge admission for a look at his capture. In the cage, Bff would pace back

and forth in all his grotesque, hairy glory making scary gestures, noises and faces causing little kids to cry and women to faint. Sometimes, the noises were part of the act but at other times, they were very real. It turns out that Leo had Bff on a steady diet of pasta fagioli and Italian long hots stuffed with sharp provolone. This is also why the odor of a Bigfoot bears a strong similarity to the smell of the dumpsters on 9th Street at 3 am. Anyway, it was a tremendous success. Sometimes, just for kicks, they would switch. Leonardo would get in the cage while Bigfoot jeered at him in front of the crowd yelling, “Ere ya-ah, buddy, invent this!” Unfortunately, thousands of kids suffered a lifetime of post-traumatic stress syndrome from viewing this freak show. As a therapy, the children were encouraged to relieve their fears through painting. This is why all the paintings of Italian women of that era are a little hard on the eyes. I mean, just look at Mona Lisa. Every guy’s nightmare of a blind date! Do you really think that Mona shaved her legs? Then again, her black stockings were rolled up behind her knees. Don’t get me wrong. I think that Italian women are the most beautiful women in the world. I’m married to one. But we all know that Mona wouldn’t even make the first cut on Mob Wives. As an aside, Jerry personally told me that the movie, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, was really about a teenage Bigfoot and he really did drive a 1969 black Riviera. Now that’s a fact that any yon teen can take to the bank! As it turns out, Leo and Bigfoot became best buds. Leo even brought him into the family and introduced him to his sister. They married, had kids - one of whom may have been Mona, hence the resemblance. By the way, Bigfoot never gave up his Bigafeeta. He actually hid her under the bed and turned to her to get him through lonely spells or when Leo’s sister decided that la cucina was closed for the night. So this brings us to the question at hand. Is it illegal to kill Bigfoot? Of course it is! Throughout all of recorded history, there is not one documented instance of a Bigfoot ever harming anyone. Everyone knows that Bigfoots are big sissies. They run away and hide at the first sight or smell of a human. No one can even get a decent picture of a Bigfoot. In reality, they are just big, gentle fuzzy creatures who just want to be friends but are afraid of being harmed or killed by human beings. They know that we can’t tolerate anyone or anything that we don’t understand, don’t agree with or especially, don’t look like us. In all my years as a Criminal Lawyer, I have never refused to accept a case no matter how horrible the crime. But if somebody kills a Bigfoot, he ain’t getting Perry de Marco, Sr. for his lawyer. prh

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1120 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19146 www.alexsautobodyphilly .com rowhome magazine

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Salute to Service At Vincenzo's we take our cooking seriously

Hero Thrill Show honors fallen police & fire heroes photos by William Z. Foster

Andreozzi Photography


Andrew Paul - Photographer “QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR LESS” (484) 614-1952 84

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The Hero Thrill Show marked 60 years

with highlights including Mayor Michael Nutter, Hero Thrill Show Grand Marshal Bernard The Executioner Hopkins, spectacular motorcycle demonstrations and performances by the Philadelphia Police and Fire departments. This event featured displays of crime-fighting equipment by the Aviation Unit, Bomb Squad, the Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Marine Unit, Firearms Instructors, Police Academy, S.W.A.T. and U.S. Home Security. The Philadelphia Fire Department displayed fire equipment and performed safety demonstrations. Families enjoyed Mixed Martial Arts (Jui-Jitsu), an old-fashioned carnival with amusements, games, face-painting and sports-team mascots and cheerleaders. The Hero Thrill Show raises money for the education of survivors of deceased police and fire personnel killed in the line of duty. The event is the only Hero Thrill Show in Philadelphia and is NOT affiliated with the Hero Scholarship Fund. prh




THE ROOF photo by Andrew Andreozzi

Center City isn’t the only place to find rooftop recreation decks. Thanks to generous donations and the dedicated staff at P. Agnes Company, the children at St. Monica’s Early Learning Center (formerly St. Monica’s Day Care) are enjoying safe, fun-filled recreation periods on our new deck.

Ss. John Neumann-Maria Goretti Catholic High School Success Starts Here!

Congratulations to Jessica Pasquarello on scoring perfect on 2 sections of the SAT! Visit us for our Open House / Registration on Sunday October 26th, 1pm to 3pm

With so much to be proud of..... Who wouldn’t want to become a Saint! To learn more about how to start your SUCCESS story please visit us at neumanngorettihs . org

Ss. John Neumann-Maria Goretti High School 1736 South 10th Street, Philadelphia PA 19148 215-465-8437 ex: 229

1736 South 10th Street • Philadelphia, PA 19148 “SUCCESS STARTS HERE” • 215-465-8437 rowhome magazine

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Facebook Poll

Who has the best Pizza in town? compiled by Jennifer Barkowitz ❚ ❘ City Pizza (Front & Snyder) Jacquie Graham Swanson

❚ ❘ Celebre’s Lauren Marcella Baccari

❚ ❘ Santucci’s, Chickie’s & Pete’s Judy DeLaurentiis

❚ ❘ City Pizza (16th & Oregon) Christopher Botta Sr.

❚ ❘ City Pizza (16th & Oregon), Stogie Joe’s Denise Pane

❚ ❘ Cacia’s Patricia Shoemaker

❚ ❘ Marra’s Patricia Franzeo Cordisio

❚ ❘ City Pizza (Front & Snyder) MiaMare Haddonfield

❚ ❘ City Pizza Mary DiLauro Russo

❚ ❘ City Pizza Charlie McKenna

❚ ❘ Cacia’s Richard Tenaglia

❚ ❘ Pesto Harry Mackey

❚ ❘ City Pizza (16th & Oregon) La Rosa Pizzeria, Jade Rota

❚ ❘ Francoluigi’s (take out), Marra’s (eat in) Tony Mangano

❚ ❘ Cacia’s, Santucci’s, Chickie’s & Pete’s Slices (East Falls), In Riva (East Falls) John Renzi

❚ ❘ City Pizza Karen Bannon Gannone

❚ ❘ Napoli’s Roe Marazzo Davis

❚ ❘ Wolf Street Pizza Dolores Castorina-Valletti

❚ ❘ Slice Lisa Costantino

❚ ❘ Birra’ s Theresa Ciarrocchi

❚ ❘ City Pizza (16th & Oregon) Olivia Fermano

❚ ❘ Cacia’s Mina Dever

❚ ❘ Marra’s Christine Doto-Hughes

❚ ❘ City Pizza, NY Bakery for tomato pie Connie Guerrera Maida

❚ ❘ Marra’s, Francoluigi John Stevenson, Sr.

❚ ❘ Santucci’s, Stogie Joe’s Tonda Oliveri Tomasetti

❚ ❘ Slice Joanne Massini Podagrosi

❚ ❘ City Pizza, Cacia’s Kate Palmer

❚ ❘ Stogie Joe’s Marge Finley

❚ ❘ Pizzeria Pesto Frances Paparo Meloni

❚ ❘ Celebre’s (Pizzazz pizza) Gregg D’Ambrosio

❚ ❘ Napoli Pizzeria Patti Quinn

❚ ❘ Pizza Shack (with the hot peppers!) Suzanne Bandera Lusi

❚ ❘ Mama Palma’s Pizza Leslie Manas

❚ ❘ Stogie Joe’s, Lorenzo’s (South Street) Rita Giandonato

❚ ❘ La Rosa, Uncle Oogies Dunbar Painting

❚ ❘ Steak EM Up Xyla Carole

❚ ❘ Celebre’s Nancy Ferrante Del Rossi

❚ ❘ Cacia’s Marylou Arrera-Gdowik

❚ ❘ Tacconelli’s (Port Richmond) Jeffrey Esposito

❚ ❘ Slice Kathy Dinella

❚ ❘ Slice, Stogie Joe’s John Depasquale

❚ ❘ Celebre’s, Marra’s Anthony Giordano ❚ ❘ Santucci’s Maria Geria Argenzio ❚ ❘ City Pizza (16th & Oregon), Celebre’s Irene Scirrotto-Bonanno ❚ ❘ Uncle Tomy’s Donna Angiolillo DiDomenico


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❚ ❘ Celebre’s Fred Daddi ❚ ❘ City Pizza Monica Burns ❚ ❘ Santucci’s, Vecchia Jean M Biscardi Sciolla ❚ ❘ Slice Robert Melaragni ❚ ❘ Stogie Joe’s Nina Ciarrocchi Forman ❚ ❘ City Pizza, Pizzeria Pesto Ann Mullen ❚ ❘ Celebre’s Ted Suppa ❚ ❘ City Pizza Gina Rucci

PRHon the corner

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a Garden Grows


“Do the right the things for the right people.” Honorable Anthony J. DeFino photos by Maria Merlino

n a hot, hazy evening in the thick of this past summer, well over 100 people gave up their dinner hour to honor a dear friend, neighbor and public servant. Even under the threat of impending thunderstorms, the dedication of the Judge Anthony J. DeFino Memorial Garden gave birth to a new and exciting time for Stephen Girard Park.

Assembling on the backside of Girard’s historic farmhouse, those who gathered gladly traded backyard barbecues in favor of traditional South Philly staples of Pop’s Water Ice, soft pretzels and refreshments (compliments of ShopRite). Amid the howdies and the handshakes, conversations flowed as easy as the

soft scent of the summer stogies permeating the otherwise heavy, humid air. State Rep. Maria Donatucci kicked off the official start of the program by recalling a life in the park, noting that “it’s the center of our community.” During her walk down memory lane, she highlighted those special moments watch-

ing Judge DeFino proudly stroll through the park. Before yielding the podium to Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Donatucci praised Johnson for spearheading the park’s renaissance and “breathing new life into it.” Demonstrating a quick South Philly wit, Johnson detailed fond memories of times spent with the rather large DeFino family. He even noted how the family matriarch, Rose, once sat him down to “school him on the politics of Philadelphia.” After noting the various judges, city officials and even ex-fire commissioner, Joe Rizzo, in the crowd, Johnson focused on the evening’s beloved honoree. The Councilman defined a life in public service but not devoid of family and friends. “Make sure you stand for something,” he often told the aspiring politi-

cian. And in keeping with those words, Johnson presented Jodi Della Barba, President of Girard Estates Area Residents (GEAR), with a check for $370,000. With the generous funding, Girard Park will soon undergo needed upgrades to its infrastructure including the lighting, walking paths and park benches. After accepting the check on behalf of GEAR, Della Barba, who graciously shared the moment with her team, offered her thoughts on the memorial garden. “It’s a tribute to a great man who epitomized what this neighborhood should be about. He was old school and knew the value of friends and neighbors. We hope this garden will be a reminder to both our old and new residents that people like Judge DeFino made this neighborhood a great place to live.” prh

A garden grows. A garden will bloom. A garden will spring life eternal. 88

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, T N U O WE C ! O O T L L I W U YO en s Foundation l

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ost readers are familiar with organized associations where membership is clearly defined and rules and by-laws are followed. However, many are members of less formal groups with social ties going back 50, 60, even 70 years! Members share a common thread. They have periodic meetings that are more like reunions. The meetings may not be held on a regularly scheduled basis and sites may change. There is no recognized Chairperson or elected officers and definitely no membership dues. Beside the common threads, the groups share a circle of trust. Loyalty is strong and members know they can call on the others for just about anything at any time. âž˝

My mother-in-law refers to her group as her “Club Girls.” Back in the 1940’s, this group started meeting once a week for pennyante card games at each other’s houses. It began with four friends and soon grew to about 12 women as sisters and other friends joined the weekly game. Themes soon followed. For the Halloween card game, members showed up in costumes. They dressed accordingly during the holiday season and other important occasions. The Club Girls had one standing rule. If you cursed during the card games, you had to throw a quarter into the kitty. There must have been several infractions because at the end of the year, the kitty helped fund their annual Christmas party. The time between meetings increased as family responsibilities took precedence. Today, most of the original members have passed but the memories remain. Nick Ruggiano from St. Thomas Aquinas parish has a similar group dating back more than 60 years. These guys all grew up around 18th & Moore Streets. Besides Nick, the members include Lenny Grasso, Frank DiMeo, Jack Henry, Tom Wighurst and Denny Grasso. They call themselves “Friends United” or “F-U” for short. Whenever they meet, they greet each other with a boisterous “F-U” and await the familiar response, “F-U too!” Only one original member is deceased. The five remaining members meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Ralph & Ricky’s Pizza where they catch up on each other’s lives, eat, drink and be merry. Retired and in their 80s, each proudly served their country, married and raised their families in South Philly. My wife Julie and I have been friends with two couples for what seems like forever. We met two other couples when our children starting playing T-ball together years

Four years of riding the Subway together created a lifetime social network.

ago. The common thread was merging the five couples on a 2007 trip to Las Vegas. Since then, the five couples have shared happy and sad family experiences. In between, we hold our regular meetings at restaurants or each other’s houses. We like to call ourselves “The Vegas 10”. Back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, some local high school kids who rode the Broad Street Subway to Central or Girls High started a group whose ties remain strong. Although in different schools and grades, they understood the importance of safety in numbers and made sure there was a “South Philly Car” for the ride to and from school. The seniors took the freshmen under their wings and the group grew larger from one year to the next. Four years of riding the Subway together created a lifetime social network. Many of those South Philly Car riders have gone on to become successful doctors (Dr. Gregory Pistone, Dermatologist); lawyers (Greg Duca); businessmen (Anthony Maugeri, Today’s Styles; Sammy DeAngelis, Ippolito’s); teachers (Pete Forgione, Glen Mills) and even a judge (Annette Rizzo). There’s also a South Philly “jock” group that still gets together frequently. Pete Forgione organizes this group every year for a fundraiser to support worthy causes. They call themselves “The Italian Stallions” having duly been dubbed in a local media story about them back in their playing days. “Girls Day at the Beach” formed a dozen years ago with members who shared a few common threads – working at the Navy Yard, graduates of St. Maria Goretti and St. Monica’s School. The unofficial leader of the group is Donna Ruggiano Lamaine who befriended Mary “Twinkle” Starr DiTroia at work. Eventually, the ties that bind were established. Over the years, the group grew

from two to 24 as the daughters of original members became members, as well. For the past 11 years, Donna has hosted the Girls Day at the Beach in Atlantic City where she and her husband have a summer home. The event is held on the last weekend in July. It begins on Thursday night with early arrivers meeting for dinner and drinks. On Friday morning, the girls meet at Donna’s house for Breakfast #1, the required catching up, and then an assembly line for the packing of the beach lunches. This is strictly a girls club – no husbands, boyfriends or children on the beach for the Friday event. As the sun sets, the girls find their way back to the house to get ready for their big night out. With 24 girls and one bathroom, filtering back is a necessity as some may need a little more time than others to get ready (wink, wink!) There’s a “Frozen Concoction” Happy Hour followed by a group picture, then off to dinner and a club. If two dozen attractive South Philly women dressed to the nines walk into a club at the same time, they will attract attention! Once they take over the venue, their night progresses as you would expect. Donna says that some of the group’s best memories have been on the Jitney rides to and from the various venues. Friday night ends with a late night party back at the house. On Saturday morning, “Breakfast #2” is reminiscent of the breakfast scenes in the movie, The Big Chill, sans the men. Depending on how much partying was done the night before, the girls will come down for breakfast and face the wrath of their friends as they recap the previous night. . prh And that, my friends, is how we network – South Philly style!

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PRHRowHome Remembers

Annunciation BVM

St. Pio Festival photos by Maria Merlino


t’s back to Fall and neighborhood celebrations like Annunciation BVM’s St. Pio Festival remind everyone why our little corner of the city is so unique. The annual event attracts hundreds of people to the Dickenson Street locale where music, food and families take center stage in honor of the beloved Saint. Dozens of local restaurants, artisans, celebrity guests and entertainers took part in the 3-day annual event to raise money for the Church, a local landmark since 1868.

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PRHRowHome Remembers

St. Nicholas of Tolentine Italian


by Maria Merlino photos by Maria Merlino Thousands of people spilled onto the streets surrounding St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church to celebrate the 100+-year-old Parish’s annual Procession of Saints & Italian Festival. The Procession, held for the past 77 years, winds through the Parish neighborhoods – a tradition that dates back to historic European Church rituals. The Italian Festival kicks off immediately afterward, celebrating all things Italian – food, music and a rich community heritage. The “Geator with the Heater” - Jerry Blavat - was one of many entertainers charged with keeping the crowd on its feet. “It’s a blessing for me to be here,” he said. “It keeps me alive to bring back a world that will never be again. And to see Bobby Rydell. He’s the real deal. Bobby’s a true South Philadelphian… His roots run deep.” prh


| rowhome magazine

RowHome Remembers

A friend will walk in miles, will share tears and give you smiles and even though paths may sometimes drift apart, true friends never leave the heart. In memory of Jackie Butler Milone April 25, 1962 - August 26, 2014 Memories Light the corners of my mind Misty water-colored memories Of the way we were Scattered pictures Of the smiles we left behind Smiles we gave to one another For the way we were Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time re-written every line? If we had the chance to do it all again Tell me, would we? Could we? Memories may be beautiful and yet What’s too painful to remember We simply choose to forget So it’s the laughter We will remember Whenever we remember The way we were Barbra Streisand Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman Music by Marvin Hamlisch

You will never leave my heart.

rowhome magazine

| 95

PRESSED By Dorette Rota Jackson

by Dorette Rota Jackson



hen I was in 8th grade, I couldn’t wait to get to Goretti. I passed the high school every day on my way home from St. Nick’s. All I wanted to do was put on that onepiece blue uniform and swing my locker key around from a freshman-green ribbon pinned under my arm. Blue & white saddle shoes to complement the belted jumper. Phew! Just the thought gave me such a jolt. When we started the magazine, Dawn and I attended a meeting at the school. We pulled into the parking lot on 11th Street. “Can you believe we’re parking here?” I asked. Excitement in my voice. She stared at me from the passenger seat. “I never got to do this when we were in high school,” I kept the conversation going. ‘We lived down the block. Why would you drive?’ she says in that Dawn tone. I ignore her as I get out of the car. “Let’s go in from the 11th Street side!” I say with more


| rowhome magazine

excitement. “Like the old days!” Clearly she has no interest but reluctantly obliges. “The memories!” I say as I twirl up the path – arms outstretched - pretending to trace the steps I walked back in the day. She rolls her eyes. We get to the door and I reach for the handle. It’s locked. I brace myself for the witch’s sarcasm. ‘I told you we have to use the 10th Street entrance. This door was never open after the bell rang. Why would they change it 35 years later?’ I can tell she’s not done. ‘Because Dooor-ettte is visiting and wants to use the 11th Street entrance?’ I can’t believe how she stretches my name out like that. At least 7 seconds long. I’m already way ahead of her en route to the main entrance on the other side of the parking lot. If I can’t hear her, I don’t have to admit that I was wrong. Her voice starts to fade somewhere after the words ‘We could have been there already if Julie Andrews didn’t have to twirl her way down memory lane…’ I ring the bell as she rounds the building. Praying hard they answer fast. The intercom and

Dawn happen at the same time. They buzz us right in. God is good, I’m thinking to myself. Before we climb the stairs to the office, I’m choked with sentiment. I catch myself before launching into another twirl. I raise my arms in the air instead. “Doesn’t it feel like yesterday that we were here? The cafeteria,” I point my arm downward to the right. “The auditorium,” I point downward to the left. “It really feels like yesterday,” I repeat, soaking in the memory. ‘No, it doesn’t,’ she whips as she heads up the steps. ‘Wait till you feel your hip when you get up here. I never had aches like this when I was in school. We’re old.’ I refuse to let her negative energy in. I’m thinking about my Goretti days. Proms, cheeseburger lunches, my locker, so many friends, Sister Julie. Her voice breaks the joyride in my mind. I hear her laughing. ‘Wait till you get up here,’ she shouts from the doorway at the top of the stairs. ‘Tell me if it still feels like yesterday when you see this.’ I can’t imagine what horror awaits me. A new floor plan? No more lockers? A boarded-up

classroom? (God forbid) Slowly, I walk through the first-floor threshold of my alma mater. There it sits. In all its blue splendor glory. Key dangling from the end of a gold senior class ribbon. Right beneath the armhole. My Goretti uniform. The same one I proudly wore for 4 years before graduating with my “super seniors of ’77.” My mouth was agape as I pressed my face against the glass encasement. ‘Still feel like yesterday Julie? We’re so old, we’re in a museum.’ I quickly walk away from her in the direction of the Main Office. The further I get, the less I hear. The last audible words sounded something like ‘Nothing to twirl about now, is there…?’ Publishers’ Note: Dawn & I thank The Millay Club and SS Neumann-Goretti for honoring us with your Alumni Achievers Award. We truly are humbled and forever grateful. P.S. If at all possible, can someone remove the school uniform from the Museum Case outside the Main Office? I’m tired of hearing her sing “The Hills are alive…” every time we drive past the School. (11th Street Entrance) prh

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