PRH Fall 2015

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Meet our 2015 Blue Sapphire Award Winners Wendy ‘Lady B’ Clark

Kevin M. Dougherty

Merrill Reese

Artist//DJ//Old School 100.3

Judge//Court of Common Pleas

Sports Commentator The Voice of the Eagles



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VOLUME _29 ISSUE 39_ 2015

Insidethis issue

October | November | December 2015

16_ Life Pray it forward The Knot Grotto has local ties Pope blesses more than 110,00 prayer ribbons

18_ Pope Recap A surprise visit to St. Joe’s by Anthony Panvini

24_ Health Local moms help solve the puzzle for Autism photos By Andrew Andreozzi 25_Santino’s Dragons. Neighborhood boy has a tale to tell by Santina Pescatore

29_ Salute to Service photos by Phil Kramer 2015 Blue Sapphire Award Winners walk the Red Carpet Wendy “Lady B” Clark Entertainment Judge Kevin M. Dougherty Service to Community Merrill Reese Hary Kalas Memorial Sports Award Patti LaBelle Lifetime Music Achievement Award

34_ 2015 WishRock Award Winners follow their dreams photos by Andrew Andreozzi Mo’ne Davis / Pitcher, 2014 Little League World Series Michael Iannuzzi / Musician Brandon Stella / Musician Matt Tronieri / Actor

Out of the Mouths of Babes Bobby Hill’s Papal performance is rock solid by Dorette Rota Jackson

51_ Fashion Love Tracks photography by Phil Kramer Assistants: Gaeton Goffredo Michael Martin Jr. & Tom Gooch

70_ Writers Block



PRH sits down with George Anastasia by Bob Wagner

POPE RECAP | rowhome magazine


43_ Music & Art









you will too!

n of Univest Bank, a Divisio en re G y lle Va , importance Like us derstands the un o. C t us Tr d Bank an ly to small . They are friend in a BIG way! of relationships gr helped us ow ve ha d an es ss busine D JIM GALLO ROSEMARIA AN D A EMY ALPHABET AC CE 2015 N CUSTOMER SI

n Bank, a Division of “Like us, Valley Gree e st Co., recognizes th Univest Bank and Tru ities. un mm co in businesses importance of small ng rki wo us as hard Our bankers respect community leaders.” d an business people & DAVID SANSONE, STEVEN SANSONE CE 2013 NT, CUSTOMER SIN PORCINI RESTAURA SOUTH PHILADELPHIA | 215.462.2265 BROAD & TASKER MT AIRY | 215.242.3550 CHESTNUT HILL | 215.242.1550 RADNOR | 610.995.2265 CENTER CITY | 215.569.2265

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VOLUME _29 ISSUE 39_ 2015


October | November | December 2015


6_From the Publishers Red Carpet Ready with The Cutting Point photo by Phil Kramer


12_Neighborhood Noir Neighbors raise a flag to the corner boys of 10th & Fernon

22_ Hangin’ Out with Bradley Cooper in Brigantine

46_Brides Guide Cescaphe Event Group adds Water Works to its mix Historic landmark is a River of Dreams photo by Phil Kramer

93_ Philadelphia RowHome Business Directory



Shop Local. Support Local.

96_Pressed Grotto go by Dorette Rota Jackson

on the 96 cover |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| PRESSed

All great accomplishments begin with a dream. As part of its annual “Salute to Service” Program, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine presents its 2015 Blue Sapphire Award to individuals whose selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia left a positive impact for generations to follow.

Kevin M. Dougherty Lady B Merrill Reese Patti LaBelle

River to River. One Neighborhood. 4

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photo by Phil Kramer


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These are the people

in our neighborhood photo by Phil Kramer

hairdresser | he(ə)rˌdresər| noun a person who cuts and styles hair as an occupation Red Carpet Ready with

The Cutting Point phot


Joanne Candeloro & Jerry Masciantonio opened The Cutting Point in the spring of 1984 – a few months before they got married. For the past 30 years, their full-service salon has been “home” to fashionistas who turn to the cutting-edge expertise of their family of certified stylists for the latest in cuts, color, technique and services to pamper, primp and prep us all for life in the limelight. “Harmony. It starts with us,” Joanne says. The relaxed salon atmosphere leads to lasting relationships with clients and ongoing training keeps staff connected to the industry. Men & Women Delicate, curly, straight, unruly. No matter what the challenge, they are up to the task. Highlights, Lowlights, Perms, Hot Heads Hair Extensions, Goldwell Hair Color System, Keratin Treatment, Linkage Meu Conditioning. The options are endless. Spa Services Waxing / Makeup / Air Brushing / Brow & Lash Tint / Products / Nails Skin Care Facials / Peels / Aromatherapy / Gentleman’s Facial / Recovery (Anti-Aging) Facials

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Dorette & Dawn

VOLUME_29 ISSUE 39 October

| November | December 2015


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

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

Marketing & Editorial Assistant Brenda Hillegas

Green space Editor Kerri-Lee Mayland



Marketing Communications Coordinator Carol Vassallo

Photographers Phil Kramer Andrew Andreozzi 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. 2015 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.


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Tony “Papa Luke” Lucidonio Founder, 1992

39 East Oregon Avenue Philadelphia, PA 215.551.5725 Get the real taste of South Philly online:

O N LY 2 H O M E S L E F T !


hanks t e c a l P nsing azine g a Moyame M e m RowHo a i h p l e d ch our a Phila e r s u ng for helpi me! i t d r o c e al in r Sales Go email your letters to:

Dorette & Dawn


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Email: Mobile: 215.370.9613 Office: 215.692.6636 x331 Address: 1425 Locust St. Phila, PA 19102

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you so much for publishing a picture of 4 generations of our family in a recent issue of RowHome. It brought such joy to my Mom to see it and she was so proud to be published in such a terrific magazine that still holds onto the good old days and reminds us all that no matter how times and lifestyles change, we can still keep some things the same. Mom passed in June and I am so grateful that this made her smile with pride. Continued success and thank you for publishing the best magazine in Philadelphia! Donna Blake Hacking

Dorette & Dawn

We want to let you know how much we appreciate and enjoy your magazine. My dad was born and raised in the city and I’ve even sent him some of the articles. Thanks again and keep up the good work. Rich & Karen Robinson

Dear RowHome Magazine

Enclosed find a check for $16 for my one-year subscription. I said this before. I love this magazine. It is so Philly. Keep up the good publishing. Rosemarie V. Weinberg

Dorette & Dawn

Could somebody send me a RowHome Magazine with the Pope on it! I live in Florida but am from Philadelphia. Please! I miss my RowHome! Debra McDermott, Citrus Springs Fla 10

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October | November December 2015



Philadelphia RowHome Magazine would like to thank all of our PRH Subscribers from Philadelphia to Anchorage, Alaska! We don’t want our RowHome Readers to miss a single issue so please, get on our SUBSCRIBERS LIST today! There are fewer complimentary issues available through our local advertisers because so many of you have gotten on the SUBSCRIBERS LIST! It’s easy! Facebook us at RowHome Mag Email us at Subscribe online at OR CALL CAROL! 215.462.9777 Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Dorette & Dawn & the RowHome Team

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rowhome magazine

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nne Claro. 1977. Marya nne CEO, Marya President & cy. en Ag nt le Claro Ta

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of the corner” is causing Pride in the military duties of the “boys service flag. Here, the a raise to ia delph Phila of ns many sectio n Sts., including Ferno and neighbors in the vicinity of 10th icus Cortese and Amer Atty. Dist. Asst. bile, DiNu Dr. Anthony in a colorful flag g ipatin partic Magistrate Angelo Panette, are raising. (Daily News Photo)

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IBEW Local Union 98

Lighting Philadelphia One Project at a Time John J. Dougherty, Business Manager

IBEW Local Union 98 Salutes Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s 2015 Blue Sapphire Award Winners:

Wendy “Lady B” Clark Artist / DJ ENTERTAINMENT AWARD

Patti LaBelle Singer / Author / Actress LIFETIME MUSIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Merrill Reese Broadcaster / The Voice of the Eagles HARRY KALAS MEMORIAL SPORTS AWARD

Congratulations to the Honorable


Recipient of the 2015 Blue Sapphire Award


“As the Administrative Judge of Philadelphia Family Court, Judge Kevin Dougherty has been hugely supportive of the much-needed changes to the City’s Department of Human Services. Over the years, he has been an important advocate for our most vulnerable and at-risk citizens and a stellar champion for Philadelphia families. Congratulations on this great honor.” — Mayor Michael A. Nutter

“I have known and respected Kevin Dougherty my entire life. As the longtime Administrative Judge of Philadelphia Family Court, the reforms he introduced have dramatically improved outcomes for the city’s most at-risk children and youth. Kevin has a deep knowledge of the law, compassion for others, and an unshakable sense of fairness.” — James F. Kenney, Democratic Nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia



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Goretti Alumna daughter helps sculpt

KNOT GROTTO for Pope Francis


proud St. Maria Goretti alumna who witnessed the Pope’s 1979 Philadelphia visit never dreamed her daughter would help as a wood sculptor for the acclaimed Knot Grotto created to honor the new pontiff on his 2015 visit. But as she believes, “God works in mysterious ways,” in more ways than one.

Mary Ellen Pahlka-Sokalski (‘77), now a Cherry Hill, NJ resident, said her 21-yearold daughter Savannah Hudicka, a budding senior Fine Arts Major at Moore College of Art & design, was frantic when her first internship cancelled a week before starting. Quick networking landed her an opportunity to intern for wood sculptors Daniel Ostrov and Stephanie Cole on a collaborative project called “Undoing the Knots.” It was conceptualized by lead artist Meg Saligman, Philadelphia’s top muralist, from Pope Francis’ favorite painting “Mary Undoer of Knots” which depicts the Blessed Mother untying a long white knotted ribbon, symbolizing the

problems we face in our lives. The piece, commissioned by the Mercy and Justice Initiative, was designed to create an interactive experience that would inspire the community and reflect the Pope’s devotion to Mary. The 13’ high X 20’ wide grotto structure, installed next to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, invites visitors to write prayers on a white ribbon and knot it to the structure, and then remove another, symbolically unburdening the first. More than 30,000 ribbons were received before the World Meeting and more were added onsite before the Pope’s arrival.


Pray it forward

Pope blesses Knot Grotto More than 110,000 prayers tied to streamers Pope Francis made an unannounced stop at the Knot Grotto before Mass on the Parkway to bless more than 110,000

knots representing the prayers and hardships of the people who visited the site. The Knot Grotto was inspired by one

of his favorite paintings, “Mary, Undoer of Knots,” that shows Mary untangling a long ribbon representing life’s troubles. Visitors to the grotto, installed outside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, were

The project was introduced to parishes in and around Philadelphia and South Jersey, however, believers worldwide submitted ribbons, as well. Although the story has hit the national airwaves, Philadelphia stations are proudly touting this home-grown story, such as this one on 6ABC News: Hudicka, who reveled in using her hand skills to steam bend hundreds of wood strips to precisely fit and accent the frame of the grotto, commented on her experience. “It was a once of a lifetime opportunity. Not only did this amazing team of sculptors teach me, take me in like family and let me sculpt with them, but I got to experience how art can interact with the community and touch so many people on a spiritual level.” Her mother agrees and hopes thousands had the chance to experience this gift of art and faith residing in front of the Basilica during the Pope’s visit. PRH

invited to write down their own prayers and problems on ribbons that they tied to it. By the time the Pope arrived for the World Meeting of Families, more than 110,000 knots were blowing in the wind, said Sister Mary Scul-

lion, founder of Project Home, which financed Home the project led by artist Meg Saligman. “To see that Pope Francis came here and said a prayer, a beautiful prayer, and blessed it, will give comfort and consolation to a lot of people.”



Pope By Numbers by Anthony Panvini photo by Matthew Haubenstein Pope Francis’ recent visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families was one of the most prestigious weekends in the history of the City. A weeklong extravaganza capped off by the Papal Mass on the Parkway was filled with memorable moments.

Here’s a recap of the Pope by numbers. James L. Guercio, Director

Attendance. Although an official number was not yet

released, a crowd-safety expert estimated the crowd to be around 142,000.

Cost. At the World Meeting of Families conference, the fund-

raising goal was set at $45 million. Of that allotted amount, $12 million went to the City for things like crowd control, medical response, sanitation, policing and traffic control. The state spent about $9 million for the National Guard personnel.

National Guard presence. There were more than 6,000 National Guard soldiers on duty. Hotel rooms. It is estimated that about 9,900 of Philadelphia’s 11,200 hotel rooms were booked for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. Getting home. After Sunday’s Mass, 40,000 passengers rode SEPTA’S Broad Street Line back to South 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

Miles of highways closed. 25 miles of highways

closed in Philadelphia.

Surprise visits. One. Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia included a last-minute stop to Saint Joseph’s University to bless a statue on the Jesuit campus and visit the sick Jesuit priests. The statue recently was placed outside of the chapel and celebrates the relationship between Catholics and Jews. Number of cheesesteaks eaten. Zero.

Although there were many t-shirts with Pope Francis eating and holding cheesesteaks, it is unclear if the Holy Father actually had the time to eat one.

Babies dressed as Pope Francis. One. Of all the

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


| rowhome magazine

babies that were blessed and kissed by Pope Francis, only one was dressed like him. As Pope Francis drove by the family, he saw the little girl dressed like him and let out a laugh that was seen by many. After kissing the baby, he told his security guard to tell the family “they have a great sense of humor. “

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lmost 600 years ago in a small village in central Mexico, a poor Aztec Indian named Juan diego, 57, had an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Speaking in his native tongue, she instructed diego, a Christian convert, to meet with the Bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarrago, and tell him about his vision. The Bishop scoffed at Juan and demanded that he send a sign from the Blessed Mother. diego returned to the remote hillside two days later and the beautiful Lady returned to him. He relayed the Bishop’s message and she directed him to the top of the hill. It was the dead of winter but he found a rosebush in full bloom. He clipped the fragrant blossoms and laid them at the feet of his blessed Lady. Mary arranged the flowers in diego’s tilma, a poncho-like apron of his native culture, and told him to return to the Bishop. When he arrived, his tilma overflowed with roses and an image of diego’s apparition – Santa Maria de Guadalupe – was imprinted on the cloth. They fell to their knees. Built a Church. And six million Aztecs converted to Catholicism. In August 2008, another miracle occurred. Sister Paula Beierschmitt, IHM, snapped a photo of a mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe with her disposable camera while on a prayer group trip to Mt. St. Mary. When the

photo was developed, a luminous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was superimposed on the shrine in place of the mosaic image she photographed. Sister believed the image was a sign that Philadelphia needed the blessing of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She engaged master sculptor and friend Steve Kilpatrick with the art commission of a bronze statue, which he completed in 2015 and installed in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Then another miracle transpired in Philadelphia. Pope Francis entered the Cathedral on Saturday morning, September 26th, to celebrate Mass for the religious community. The Pontiff made a surprise stop. Before entering the sanctuary, he made his way to the bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe and placed a bouquet of roses at her feet. He prayed and blessed the sacred art before Mass. Sister Paula, president and founder of the American Academy of the Sacred Arts, died suddenly in 2013 before the completion of her miraculous project. But under the leadership of interim President William Maffucci Esq. and the determination of her family, friends, trustees, advisors, Catholic organizations and patrons of her Sacred Arts Academy, the Pope himself bore witness to her vision and smiled. A job well-done. PRH


by Maria Merlino


Wine Know by Vincent R. Novello Jr.

Grape Nuts


eptember and October are the best times of the year for winemakers and wine enthusiasts. I make sure I take the time to visit our local grape supplier, Procacci Brothers, to share in the latest ideas and methods of winemaking with other winemakers. Much to my pleasant surprise, I saw how the white varietals were toe-to-toe with the reds that were available. White wines have become so full-bodied that they can complement some of your favorite predominantly red meat dishes. Especially with the holidays coming up, it’s a perfect time to enjoy some of these white wines. I have included some great whites as well as reds to enjoy throughout the holidays and throughout the year.

Winemaking. Wine tasting. Wine selections. It’s everything you need to know.

Winemaking Late November or early December is the time to rack your new wine. This will eliminate the bitter taste of sediment that settles on the bottom of your container. To “rack your wine” is to siphon the clear fermented juice into a new container, leaving the sediment that has settled on the bottom of the container. This is also the time to add oak chips to the glass demijohn containers. This will add an oak barrel complexity for those who enjoy a smoky background to their wines. On a personal note: I hope you have enjoyed and shared in the Vendemmia Wine Festival at Girard Park this past October. It is a great time to meet other winemakers, wine lovers and the like. The Vendemmia is not only a wine festival with lots of fun, food and wine, but at its root, it is a wine competition. Now that you are a winemaker, and if you are happy with your new wine, you may want t o enter it into next year’s wine competition.

❚❙❘ Red Wines Apothic Red $10

Wine Recommendations Sparkling Wine Ruffino Prosecco $15 (Perfect when mixed with Peach nectar to make a Bellini) ❚❙❘ White Wines Ménage a Trois white blend $11 Clos Du Bois Chardonnay or Sauvignon $12 Saintsbury Chardonnay – Perfect gift $25

Lot #62 Old Vine Red $13 Acacia – Pinot Noir $13 Meiomi – Pinot Noir $13 (A delightful complement to your holiday dinners)

Great Gifts for Host / Hostess Ceretto Borolo $50 …and remember “Never save your good wine for tomorrow!” For more information contact: Vincent Novello

Bernkasteler Graben Reisling $28 (Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner)

Vincent Novello has been making his own wine since 1997 and has competed in and judged the annual Vendemmia. His 2008 Brunello took first and second place in the competition. Today, Novello serves as the Vendemmia’s contest director.

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VOLUME _29 ISSUE 39_ 2015

October | November | December 2015


owHome WishRock Award Winner Audra McLaughR lin hangs out at Country Night at Citizens Bank Park.


anging out in Riviera Maya. Jason & DaniH elle Oakes with Frank & Delores Squillace.


he Squillace & Oakes families hang T out in Riviera Maya, Mexico.


repping for the Pope & the DNC 2016. Brian Stevenson P with the Director of the U.S. Secret Service Joseph Clancy & U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.


ugarHouse Casino GM Wendy HamilS ton wins 2015 Cornerstone Award. Photo by David Michael Howarth Photography.


ongratulations to Christian Carto who will be 1 C of 8 to compete in the Olympic trials in December. Pictured with his team including Mickey Rosati, Mikey Raff, big Frank Carto & Li’l Frankie Carto.


teve Calabrese with the 2015 PalumS bo Softball 5X Champs.


emembering our Heroes. Flashback photo to the R 69th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden during World War II. Pictured are two great American Heroes – South Philadelphia’s own “Band of Brothers” – William “Wild Bill” Guarnere & Edward “Babe” Heffron. Gone but never forgotten. With Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Councilman Mark Squilla, Ken Adams, Dan Stevenson & state Rep. Bill Keller.


ozzarella fun with Fr. Joseph Kelley & PastifiM cio Homemade Pasta Co. owners Anthony Messina & Frank Sangiuliano as they honor Pope Francis’ visit with their homemade cheese molded in his image. With Fox 29 reporter Jenn Frederick.




10. M ark Rago & staff from Monti-Rago bid a fond farewell to owner Susan Tavella on her last day at Vincenzo’s Deli. After 20+ years of cooking for the neighborhood, she’s passing on the reigns. Good luck to the new owners as they keep this favorite local eatery around for all to enjoy! 11. D onna Medora & mom Mickey DelBorrello hang out with authors Lisa Scottoline & daughter Francesca Serritella at their book signing for “Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?” 12. B radley Cooper in Brigantine, NJ. 13. L inda Rita DellaPia receives her Doctorate in Finance and Economics from St. Joseph’s University. 14. P ersonality King Arthur & wife Janet (Cedrone’s Flowers) celebrate his mom’s 88th birthday. 15. P RH’s Mark Casasanto with “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro & Mark Casasanto Jr. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center discussing all things Italian, especially pastries.

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16. 3 Generations of Eagles Fans! Vincent, Andrew P. and Ranger Joe Andreozzi.













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Team Solve the Puzzle

A Night for Autism

photos by Andrew Andreozzi

Philly A group of 8 local moms with autistic children organized an event to raise money and awareness for kids with autism. More than 600 people showed up to support their efforts. Team Solve the Puzzle – A Night for Autism shed much-needed light on their cause – a rousing success according to numerous sponsors and hundreds of guests who attended the recent event at Galdo’s. Kudos to the moms – Kate Farinella, Stephanie Bongiovanni, Terri Adorna, Ashley D’Angelo, Michelle Falance, Danielle Lusi, Monique Moffo and Noelle Pawlowski – for giving all of us a chance to fit in. Proceeds will benefit the Autism Laboratory & Program of Research, Department of Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University.


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Find your

Dragon by Santina Pescatore

o many, dragons are simply the fire-breathing creatures we’ve only imagined in a fantasy. But for one South Philadelphia boy, dragons are a way to express emotions. And spread awareness. “Helping others find their dragon,” Lisa Stagliano says, is her family’s mission. It also is the goal of the non-profit she and her family started as a way to give back to the autistic community.

Santino Stagliano, 10, Lisa’s son, was diagnosed with Autism when he was five years old. Santino rarely ever spoke and dragons were the only thing he enjoyed. By drawing dragons, Santino could share emotions that he found difficult to express with words. The older he got, the more Santino realized that he was different. His trips to therapy at the Center for Autism helped him cope with his feelings. But not as well as drawing one of his now beloved dragons did. On Autism Awareness Day last April 14th, Lisa posted her son’s t-shirt on Facebook and was astounded by the response she received. The orders for Santino’s dragon shirts started pouring in. Almost 1,000 shirts from that one single post. Not knowing how she would ever keep up with hand-making

the t-shirts, people began donating shirts and markers to assist her in this task. Every day, people showed up at her door offering to color the t-shirts Santino sketched. He told his mom that he wanted to donate the proceeds from his t-shirts to the Center for Autism. The roar about Santino’s Dragons made it to City Hall where the Stagliano family was honored at a special ceremony for spreading awareness about Autism. Santino, however, wasn’t excited by all the attention. Lisa said she asked her son, ‘What would excite you?’ He answered, ‘Adam Sandler wearing my shirt.’ Again, Lisa took to Facebook. People started contacting her to say they could “make it happen.” Sure enough, she received a picture of Adam Sandler playing basketball in Savannah, Georgia, on the set of his new

film, “The Do Over.” He was wearing one of Santino’s dragon shirts. “I could not believe the goodness of people to ask.” Seeing the picture of Santino looking at Adam Sandler wearing his shirt for the first time was, as Lisa calls it, “priceless.” Lisa is amazed at how far Santino’s Dragons have come from simply selling the hand-drawn shirts one by one to neighbors and friends to now selling the shirts to every state in the United States and seven countries. While the funds originally went to the Center for Autism, the Stagliano family decided that they would donate additional money to families with children in need. And to Philadelphia schools. Santino makes a special shirt to present to his family’s “Child of the Month” project. Most recently, Santino’s Dragons partnered with an

organization called the Dragon Master Foundation that raises money for brain cancer research. Santino’s newest t-creation is available on his website. It’s the one with a green dragon breathing fire on the words “Brain Cancer.” The Staglianos have not stopped at raising awareness. They are making a difference in their own community of South Philadelphia. With the support of the City of Philadelphia, the family started a sports and arts program for autistic children. Lisa says she does not want any child to feel alone. “Our doors are open to any child.” The art program is held at the Woodland String Band Club House, which, along with seven other string bands in the area, offered the use of their facilities to these budding young artists. The Sports program is held at E.O.M Recreation Center at 2ND and Moore Streets. Through their dedication and commitment to raising awareness for autism and other childhood challenges, Santino Stagliano and his family are proof that one little boy can change the world. And help all of us discover our own dragons. prh

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Holy Sciatica



by Dr. James E. Moylan, D.C

hy does it seem that so many people suffer from sciatica? Even, apparently, Pope Francis! Well, one reason may be that the sciatic nerve is such a large nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest spinal nerve in the human body. Extending from the lumbar and sacral plexuses in the lower back, the sciatic nerve runs through the buttocks and into the thighs. Another reason that this painful condition seems so prevalent is that the sciatic nerve can be irritated by numerous causes. ❚❙ Narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) ❚❙ Herniated discs ❚❙ Bulging or ruptured discs ❚❙ Aging (arthritis) ❚❙ Sitting for extended periods of time 
 ❚❙ Bone spurs (small boney growths along our joints)
 ❚❙ Pinched nerves
 ❚❙ Tumors on the spine (very rare)

As we age, the spine wears down. If you are over 30, you have an increased chance of getting sciatica. The type of job you have plays a part, as well. Jobs that require twisting, carrying heavy loads or driving for long periods are all increasing factors. Pregnant women and people with diabetes are also at a greater risk of sciatica. Symptoms include pain that begins in your back or buttocks and then radiates down your leg, even to your foot. Sitting, standing for long periods or forward bending can make the pain worse. Walking, lying down and light stretches temporarily can lessen some symptoms. Home treatment can include over-the-counter medications, ice and heat and light exercise. If that doesn’t help or your symptoms include weakness in your legs, difficulty standing or walking, pain or numbness, tingling in the buttocks, genital or rectal areas, legs or feet, loss of bowel or bladder control, seek physician care immediately. Sometimes, even the Holy Father needs more than just Divine intervention! prh Dr. James Moylan, Chiropractic Physician, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network


| rowhome magazine






New members get $25 when you play $10 on any slot machine. That’s more than DOUBLE the fun. Join the club for FREE today!

• 24/7 Gaming Action • Philly’s Poker Room • Live Entertainment


• Waterfront Dining • Free Rides on the Sugar Express Trolley to and from the Casino

Must be 21 or older.


PRHOn the Waterfront

#FrogInPhilly Steaks Claim in Philly by Dan Stevenson External Affairs Executive

❷ ❶


ow that #FrogInPhilly has landed at SugarHouse, things are hopping in Fishtown! That’s right. “Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House at SugarHouse Casino” just announced as our new, high-end, full-service restaurant, is just another step towards our yearend $164 million expansion opening. Hugo’s parent company, Gibsons Restaurant Group, will also be the exclusive caterer for our new event space. You won’t be disappointed with Hugo’s “Philly Cut” signature steak, exclusive to SugarHouse, and served only in Philadelphia. It’s a mouthwatering 12-ounce ribeye cap, topped with smoked provolone, crispy shallots and fried herbs. Great food and amenities are at the heart of our expansion story bringing 500 new fulltime jobs to the city, increasing the casino’s workforce from 1,100 to more than 1,600 jobs. Did I mention our Team Members recently voted us one of Philadelphia’s “Best

❶ ❷ ❸ ❹


JEFFERSON DELIVERS Routine and specialized OB-GYN care, leading-edge screening technology — and, the area’s top specialists. Jefferson is rated among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Our highly skilled gynecologists and obstetricians provide a full range of services to women at all stages of life. Infertility evaluation and treatment is available through RMA at Jefferson, our clinical partnership with Reproductive Medicine Associates. Jefferson’s Center City office is located at 833 Chestnut Street, close to public transportation. In South Philadelphia, patients may visit Jefferson’s Methodist Hospital for OB-GYN appointments or Jefferson at the Navy Yard for GYN services.

Jefferson Obstetrics and Gynecology 1-800-JEFF-NOW | HOME OF SIDNEY KIMMEL MEDICAL COLLEGE


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Places to Work” for the fifth straight year? Our expansion has also fueled jobs beyond SugarHouse, including those responsible for building our expanded facility. We are grateful to the dedicated construction teams for keeping the project on pace. As we near the end of 2015, you’ll see more amenities, more parking (including a seven-story, covered parking garage) and a new poker room. Plus, we can’t wait to show off our new, second-floor multipurpose event space. The 30,000-square-foot addition, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the riverfront and the Ben Franklin Bridge, will be tailor-made for corporate events, wedding receptions and black-tie galas. Sounds like the perfect pad for #FrogInPhilly! prh SugarHouse Casino is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

Randy Waidner, corporate executive chef, Gibsons Restaurant Group Steve Lombardo, principal, Gibsons Restaurant Group Wendy Hamilton, general manager, SugarHouse Casino Patrick Houlihan, managing partner, Gibsons Restaurant Group

2015 Blue Sapphire Awards

2015 2014

All Great Accomplishments Begin with a Dream photos by Phil Kramer

River to River. One Neighborhood. rowhome magazine

| 29

Kevin M. Dougherty

Administrative Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division Community Service Award 2015


by Larry Gallone

udge Kevin M. Dougherty honed his judicial philosophy while growing up in a tightknit neighborhood in South Philly. “It was a phenomenal world. It really prepared you for the real world.” Long before the phrase “It Takes A Village” became popular, Judge Dougherty lived it. “Everyone in the neighborhood took care of each other. You saw someone needed help -- you just did it.” That was a mission nourished by the Sisters of Mercy who taught at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish where he attended grade school. “Treat everyone with dignity and respect.” That was the key rowhome neighborhood mantra where everyone took care of each other. It also drove his judicial philosophy. For those who come before him in the courtroom, he wants the black robe he wears to represent a beacon of hope, not a symbol of fear. Today, Judge Dougherty is the Administrative Judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Trial Division, where he oversees all aspects of Pennsylvania’s largest civil and criminal trial court system. As the 2015 Blue Sapphire Award recipient for Community Service, he is a steadfast leader and respected public servant. The letter from RowHome Magazine recognizes his “selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia and your immeasurable influence on our community of neighborhoods.” The letter continues, “You have committed yourself to the pursuit of justice and equality for the residents of this City and their families since 2001, when you served as a Judge for the Court of Common Pleas. Your high ideals, integrity and strength of character have followed you throughout your career as head of Family Court and Administrative Judge of the Court of Common Pleas Trial Division.”

“Most people don’t understand the impact of the judiciary. We have the ability to affect generations for the good. One case at a time. One family at a time.”

After being appointed to the Court of Common Pleas in 2001 by Governor Tom Ridge, he won election to a full 10-year term. Judge Dougherty requested to be assigned to Family Court where he felt he could have the most impact on families and society. “In Family Court, you are not just touching the person, but you are affecting generations.” He said he wanted to distinguish between “the good kid who got caught up in a bad situation from those who needed placement.” He established several reforms in the juvenile justice system while heading Family Court to make sure that the youths who came before him were given the proper services, education and treatment needed to help them become productive members of society. “Incarceration is a solution. But in many cases, only a temporary solution.” Instead, he wanted to help them change their lives. He recounted the story of a young man who had come before him in court. Judge Dougherty kept a close watch on him until he was 21, when it came time for him to be released from the Court system. “When it was time to be released, he had completed everything required – high school diploma, substance abuse program, probation, community service. He understood his self-worth. The young man said he didn’t want to go because I was the most stable thing about his life.” Before he left, he asked the Judge for a hug. Dougherty gladly complied. “Most people don’t understand the impact of the judiciary. We have the ability to affect generations for the good. One case at a time. One family at a time.”

A 1980 graduate of St. John Neumann High School, he was the first in his family to graduate college – Temple University – and then law school – Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC. His father worked for the Philadelphia Court System and he said his family instilled in him that education and employment were essential for success. Kevin Dougherty began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia before going into private practice. As he enters the next phase of his public service, Dougherty has his sight set on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court seat. (As of this writing, the election has not yet taken place.) This year is an historic year for the Supreme Court. It is the first time since William Penn that it has three vacancies. “We are a nation of immigrants. And for someone to come from those Irish immigrants to the highest court in Pennsylvania -- only in America.”

Q&A Q: What was your first job? A: S erving the Evening Bulletin Q: W ho was your best

friend growing up?

A: R icky Rozniakowski. I still talk to him.

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

A: A stranger is just a friend you have not yet met.

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

A: T his one came from Mother Tere-

sa. “One of the greatest diseases is to be a nobody to anybody.”

Q: W hat song from back in

the day makes you smile as soon as you hear it? A: T he Intruders, “I’ll Always Love My Momma.”


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Complete the following sentence: On the road to success… … bring your family and friends.

Wendy “Lady B” Clark Artist, DJ, Old School 100.3 Entertainment Award


ady B, a/k/a Wendy Clark, is a Philadelphia radio legend. Raised in the Wynnefield section of the City, Lady B began her career as a rapper. Back in the day, Rap was a male-dominated world. But Lady B was about to change all that. In 1979, she recorded the classic To the Beat Y’all, which went gold. Following a falling-out with her record label, she headed to WHAT Radio to Intern at the station. While there, she convinced Mary Mason to let her spin some Rap records on the air. At that time, it was almost impossible to hear Rap on the radio outside of New York. The ratings shot through the roof and Lady B landed herself a full-time gig. In 1984, Lady B moved over to Power 99 FM where she launched the highly influential Street Beat program that ran until 1989. She introduced our city to all the major players of Hip-Hop’s Golden Age. Any new artist trying to break a record in Philadelphia had to go through Lady B.


by Bob Wagner

She was the first to play Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble, the debut single by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (Will Smith).

She was the first to play Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble, the debut single by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (Will Smith). The pioneering role she played in those early years cannot be understated. Her show broke hip-hop artists like The Furious 5, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and many, many more. Today, Lady B makes sure her loyal listeners crank up the volume on WRNB — Old School 100.3 in Philadelphia. She also broadcasts for the Sirius Satellite Radio network in New York City.

Q&A Q: What was your first job? A: I n the industry, that was at WHAT

– AM radio … cutting tape for Sid Mark’s Sinatra Show. (laughing) I know EVERYTHING about Frank!

Q: Who was your best

friend growing up?

A: A ctually, I have two - Lidia Daniels and Cynthia Sparks.

Q: What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

A: D on’t wear your emotions on your sleeve.

Q: What is the best advice you ever gave?

A: I ’m going old school on this

one (laughs). Listen to your elders. No one can tell you better than someone who has walked in those shoes.

Q: What song from back in

the day makes you smile as soon as you hear it? A: S eptember by Earth Wind & Fire Complete the following sentence:

On the road to success … You will encounter many detours. Keep the faith.

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Merrill Reese

Sports Commentator, Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award 2015

by Nick Coppola


or as long as I can remember, there has been only one vocal sound that resonates throughout my household on a fall Sunday afternoon. That is the voice of Merrill Reese, who has been the play-by-play radio announcer for the Philadelphia Eagles for more than 30 years. Turning down the sound on the television and cranking up the radio during an Eagles game is a common practice in homes throughout the neighborhood when Reese is in the booth. It is a motion that has been passed down through generations for many Philadelphians. Growing up in West Philadelphia, Reese was an avid fan of the Eagles and the rest of his hometown sports teams. Like many kids, after realizing he couldn’t fulfill his childhood dream of becoming an NFL quarterback, he decided to pursue the next best thing. Sportscaster. Better known as the Voice of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reese is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Communications. He started his career in Pottstown Pennsylvania doing play-by-play for high school football games on Saturday afternoons after returning home from the Navy in the late 1960s. Reese also reported the news for the same Pottstown radio station. After a year, he became a news reporter for radio station WBCB in Levittown and then moved to radio station WWDB. Primarily a music platform at the time, Reese came up with the idea to do a morning sports report. The station manager agreed and he began reporting sports at 6, 7 and 8 am. Not long after that, Reese debuted at Sports Radio WIP hosting the Coach’s Show the day after Eagles games with coaches, players and special guests. He also did the pre-game and post-game shows during football season. After five years of a part-time stint, the station hired Reese as Sports Director and play-by-play radio announcer for the Eagles in 1977. And so the legend begins.

“The biggest award is just meeting people who tell me they love listening to the broadcast and it brings them a lot of pleasure”

Q&A Q: What was your

first job? A: D oing television commercials as a little kid between ages 8-12.

Q: Who was your best

friend growing up?

A: J erry Rosset. We both

majored in Communications at Temple. Also, Tom Cardella and I are still extremely close friends.

be resilient. You’re going to get a lot of rejections in your life and it’s natural to be disheartened from time to time. You can feel sorry for yourself for a day but you have to shake it off and charge full-speed ahead and believe in yourself. Believe in yourself.

Q: What song from back

in the day makes you smile as soon Q: What is the best advice as you hear it? anyone ever gave you? A: A t the Hop by Danny A: I passed this same advice and the Juniors & Only on to my son: You must You by The Platters Complete the following sentence. On the Road to success…

“I’ve enjoyed every stop.”


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Reese’s current broadcast companion is former Eagles wide receiver, Mike Quick. They have been working together in the booth since 1998. Reese also is managing partner of the radio station where he got his start – WBCB in Levittown. The Philadelphia native’s resume of achievements spans as long as a football field. He’s been inducted into a host of Halls of Fame throughout his 38-year career at Sports Radio WIP. Some of which include the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame, Temple University Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. He’s also received multiple awards as the Pennsylvania Sports Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sportscasters. The All American Football Foundation added yet another noble achievement to Reese’s list when it honored him for Excellence in Football Broadcasting. Through all of his accomplishments and achievements, there is something he holds closer to his heart than any of the plaques he’s received. “The biggest award is just meeting people who tell me they love listening to the broadcast and it brings them a lot of pleasure,” Reese said. “To

feel I am connecting with Philly sports fans is the greatest reward that any sportscaster could have. These are the greatest fans in the country.” Reese’s contributions to the city do not end when he steps out of the broadcast booth. He is heavily involved with multiple non-profit groups that do outstanding work to make life better for children. He often hosts the annual golf tournament for the Terri Lynn Lokoff Foundation, a non-denominational group that raises money for childcare centers throughout the city. And he is active with other organizations including the March of Dimes, Eagles Youth Partnership and Eagles Fly for Leukemia. The City of Brotherly Love is proud to call Merrill Reese the voice of the Philadelphia Eagles and one of our own. There is only one phrase to describe the magnitude of his impact on the city of Philadelphia. “It’s Gooooood!”

Patti LaBelle

Singer, Songwriter, Author, Actress, Queen of Soul Lifetime Music Achievement Award


hen you say Philadelphia, you say Patti Labelle. Growing up in Philadelphia in the 1950s and ’60s, she was discovered and befriended by legendary producer Kenny Gamble. With Kenny in her corner, she formed her first group - The Bluebells - with Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash and Cindy Birdsong “who was stolen by the Supremes!” They soon morphed into LaBelle and had a string of hits in the ’70s. By 1974, they achieved enormous international success with their hit song Lady Marmalade. A few years later she went solo, picked up a few Grammys and has not looked back. The music industry knows a lot about Philadelphia’s “Queen of Soul.” Here are a few things you may not know. Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards was born to a middle class family that resided at 5819 Washington Avenue. Her first manager named her LaBelle, which means Beautiful. As a child, she was so shy that her best friends were her pets – a cat, a dog and butterflies. She practiced singing in her room with a broomstick as a microphone. She joined the Beulah Baptist Church at age 10 and performed her first solo at 12.“I began singing in the choir because my mother knew how shy and quiet I was. In a Baptist Church, if you are not good, they will throw things at you so when I got a standing ovation, I knew what I was going to do.” She is a dramatic soprano with a range spanning approximately 3 octaves, 3 notes and a semitone.


by Maria Merlino

“I began singing in the choir because my mother knew how shy and quiet I was. In a Baptist Church, if you are not good, they will throw things at you so when I got a standing ovation, I knew what I was going to do.”

In 1974, her group LaBelle recorded the iconic disco hit Lady Marmalade that sold more than a million copies, becoming her biggest selling single. LaBelle was the first African-American vocal group to land a cover on Rolling Stone Magazine. She won two Grammys, sold 50 million records and tallies numerous accolades including the Grammy Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Apollo Theater Hall of Fame, Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, World Music Legend Award and Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers List. Her favorite soul food restaurant - The Soul Food Café - is located in the Reading Terminal Market. Owner Kevin Parker “is like a son to me.” Her favorite South Philly restaurant is Scannicchio’s at Broad & Porter Streets. She cooked for numerous entertainers including Elton John and Mick Jagger. She has written three cookbooks - “Recipes to Sing About,” “LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine” and “Recipes for the Good Life.” She also authored two books of inspiration - “Don’t Block

the Blessings” and “Patti’s Pearls: Lessons in Living Genuinely, Joyfully and Generously.” She was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards on June 26, 2011. She performed at the “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” concert hosted by President Barack Obama. She sang Over the Rainbow with Josh Groban on the Oprah Winfrey Finale. To stay healthy, she exercises in her pool, walks her dogs (four Rottweilers and two Cane Corsos) and builds stamina on an elliptical machine. She will be back for Season 2 of the award-winning television series Empire. Quote: “Philly is the City of Brotherly Love. I can’t live in L.A. or New York. I’m pretty laid back; so I guess Philly is my home. My memories are my family. So many people wonder why I’m still in Philly. Well, it’s because I love the quiet and the calm here, but it’s close enough to the action that I can get there when I want.”

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PRHSalute to Service

Four Generations Serving You Since 1925


Famous for our Chicken Meatballs

Dad's Catering is "Home away from Home!" 1615 Ritner Street 215.334.1934 / Fax: 215.271.7673 Monday - Friday 9:00 to 5:45 Saturday: 8:00 to 5:00 / Sunday: 9:00 to 2:00

2015 WishRock Award

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine congratulates our 2015 WishRock Winners photos by Andrew Andreozzi

Matt Tronieri Actor

Michael Iannuzzi Drummer

Mo’ne Davis

Pitcher / 2014 Little League World Series

Brandon Stella Guitarist

The WishRock symbolizes one of many steps along your journey to success. A rock is resilient. You can build things with rocks. Like forts and bridges and piles of pretend that only a kid can appreciate. A reminder of the places you’ve been. And the places you want to go. A promise to remember. That anything is possible if you believe in yourself. A rock is a memory you hold in your heart. A voice that is never silenced. It tells you to get up. Keep climbing. And when you get to where you want to be, reach back. And pull somebody else along.

Thank you for inspiring a new generation of believers. 34

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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Honor Roll 2014 Blue Sapphire Award John J. Dougherty, Business Manager, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award Kenny Gamble, Songwriter/Producer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Ukee Washington, CBS 3 News Anchor, Media Award Joseph Volpe, CEO, Cescaphe Event Group, Local Business Success Story Award

2013 Blue Sapphire Award Michael Barkann, Sportscaster, Media Award Earl Young, Singer/Drummer/Founder, The Trammps, Lifetime Music Achievement Award The Philadelphia Flyers Broad Street Bullies, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Wendy Hamilton, GM, SugarHouse Casino, Community Service Award Anthony “Tony Luke” Lucidonio Sr., Founder/Tony Luke’s, Local Business Success Story Award

2012 Blue Sapphire Award Pat Ciarrocchi, News Anchor, CBS 3, Media Award Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Sal Dupree, Vocal Coach & Entertainer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award James Kenney, Councilman at Large, City of Philadelphia, Community Service Award

2011 Blue Sapphire Award Bob Henon, Chairman, Political Action Committee, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award Charlie Gracie, Entertainer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award

2010 Blue Sapphire Award Charles Pizzi, CEO, Tasty Baking Company, Local Business Success Story Award Bunny Sigler, Singer/Songwriter/Producer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Larry Kane, Broadcast Journalist, Media Award Dick Vermeil, Former Coach, Philadelphia Eagles, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Honorable Annette Rizzo, Court of Common Pleas, City of Philadelphia, Community Service Award

2009 Blue Sapphire Award Sid Mark, Radio Show Host, The Sounds of Sinatra, Entertainment Award Ray Didinger, Sportswriter/TV Commentator, Pro Football Hall of Fame Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Ed Sabol, Filmmaker & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award Steve Sabol, President & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award Cathy Gandolfo, News Reporter, Action News, ‘RowHome Grown’ Media Award Michael Toklish, President, Friends of Jefferson Square Park, Community Service Award

Blue Sapphire Award Alumni Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office Local Business Success Story Award Jerry Blavat, Geator Gold Radio, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Ed Snider, Chairman, Comcast-Spectacor, Sports Award Dr. Jack Carr, Founder, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), Leaders in Education Award Rev. Gary Pacitti, Pastor, Annunciation BVM Parish, Community Service Award Michael Neill, Director of Apprentice Training, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award

rowhome magazine

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PRHSalute to Service


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Ideal for Businesses, Schools, Churches, Restaurants, Bars, Bands, Nonprofits, Fitness Centers & more

Font of Life

dedicated to Lou Agnes


t was the spirit and dreams of the immigrant people coming here to get baptized in a new country - America,” begins Peter J. Bilotti. “That was my inspiration for building a new Baptismal font for St. Rita’s Church.”


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| rowhome magazine

by Maria Merlino photos by Maria Merlino

Bilotti, president of Alexstone Marble & Granite Company, crafted the marble font in honor of Lou Agnes, son of Pellegrino Agnes, an Italian immigrant who settled in South Philadelphia where he opened a small contracting company in the early 1900s. Lou Agnes followed in his dad’s footsteps, eventually taking charge of the family business and growing it beyond his father’s dreams. A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in architectural engineering, Lou Agnes joined the navy during WWII and was stationed at Pearl Harbor and Japan. Bilotti became friends with Lou’s son Jay Agnes about 40 years ago and fondly remembers meeting Lou at their Broad Street office. Bilotti said he named the baptismal font “The Font of Life” in honor of this “magnificent guy and a very successful businessman.”

“He also was good and kind,” Bilotti said. “He taught me that you don’t have to be an outlaw to get ahead. He was my mentor.” Lou went from kitchen remodeling jobs in the beginning of his career to a $325 million patient tower for Lankenau Hospital with 96 beds and a heart and vascular pavilion. In his 90s, Lou still went to the office and found time to play golf. He was 97 when he died last year. Son, Jay Agnes, now the third generation, is a well-known and respected businessman and through his vision and philanthropy, continues the work of his father and grandfather to improve the lives of others in the community. “My hope,” Bilotti said, “is that 100 more years of immigration in this country will bring people who are looking to better themselves and never lose the American dream.” prh


WATERFRONT CONDO at Penn’s Landing

Pier 3 is situated in a historic building on the Delaware River waterfront. This first floor condo features great living space with 2 bedrooms with full private baths, living room, dining space and a brand new kitchen with stainless appliances! Plenty of storage with walk-in master closet. Brand new washer/dryer. Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors in the living room and the master bedroom open to a deck highlighting the excitement of Penn’s Landing and the beautiful expanse of the Delaware River. Enjoy a quiet dinner or a gathering with friends from the comfort of your own dining area - with a spectacular view for the fireworks and excitement of the river. Pier 3 Condominiums includes an indoor heated pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, 24-hour concierge service, indoor gated secure parking, total security and much more. Convenient to Old City, Society Hill, Center City & more. Accessible to public transportation and all major highways. Center City living surrounded by the peaceful flow of the Delaware River.

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PRHSalute to Service

Jack’s Legacy Thoughts expressed by Dr. Richard Dittrich This issue of Philadelphia RowHome is dedicated to Philadelphians who have made a difference in our city. This article is about a man who has left a legacy in this South Philadelphia community. His memory lives on in thousands of patients that he has cared for during his career.

Philly In Memoriam Dr. Jack Jenofsky March 5th, 1939—July 24th, 2004


t is not often that a man passes through life and leaves a legacy. Oh, there are statesmen, celebrities, war heroes and the like, but I’m talking about a much simpler individual. The man next door, “a local” who leaves behind an impact on the community that he served and loved— which will last for decades to come.


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Jack Jenofsky was born and raised in the South Philadelphia community where he chose to practice obstetrics and gynecology. This was not a random choice, but rather an identification with a community that he loved. The early years of practicing were happy times—long, tiring nights and busy days bringing new life to South Philadelphia and creating lasting bonds with the neighborhood. I met Jack during these early years. He was one of my faculty instructors from Thomas Jefferson University, where I was trained. Methodist Hospital was just a stop along the way—but there was something special that caught my attention early on. Methodist was a warm, caring reflection of the South Philadelphia community—but then there was Jack Jenofsky—the man that truly embodied the spirit of the community. Jack was compassion; his nurturing spirit and kind ways had a charismatic effect on everyone he encountered—especially his friends and patients. It was during these early times that I decided that this also was the stop along the way for my career. Jack, my mentor, became my partner. Through the years we shared much happiness and created many memories. He was the best man at my wedding, delivered my two wonderful daughters and shared many other milestones. Sure, there were troubled times and sad times as the landscape of medicine changed, but we always managed to stay a team. During Jack’s illness, I had the chance to care for many of his patients—some that I had known from past years, and some I had never met. We reminisced about Jack’s compassionate smile for all he encountered, his total devotion for all his patients, and his quick footsteps down the hospital hallways— all haunting memories, which will never leave. The most endearing statement that a patient could make to me was to say, “Your manner and style is just like Jack’s.” I could not ask for any greater compliment. When you pass through this world, the true measure of your worth is the lives that you have touched. Jack Jenofsky has touched thousands of lives and has had a lasting effect on hundreds of families. Jack, I’m not sure your work on this earth was done, but your legacy will last forever. Thank you, Jack, and God Bless. Your devoted friend, partner and truly your “brother,” prh

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PRHSalute to Service

Local war hero

Babe Heffron

honored in bronze Philly by Maria Merlino photos by Maria Merlino


dward “Babe” Heffron, a decorated WWII hero of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army, died at the age of 90 in December 2013. But he is neither gone nor forgotten. Immortalized in the book and HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose, Heffron’s herioics are chronicled among the famed stories of “ordinary men who became extraordinary heroes.” Private Heffron joined East Company shortly after the Normandy Invasion and took part in some of the War’s fiercest battles. He received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. But, like many veterans of his era, Heffron kept his war stories to himself. Said he was “just a man doing his job.”

IF THERE WAS A FIRE, YOU’D KNOW WHAT TO DO. WHAT IF YOU COULDN’T GO HOME AFTER YOUR HOSPITAL STAY? Waiting until the hospital discharge planner asks you which rehabilitation facility you want to go to is too late. You need a plan so you can stay in control. The goal is to get your life back and get back home as soon as possible. With the newest equipment available and aggressive therapy plans tailored just for you, tell the hospital discharge planner you want your POWER BACK!

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By Genesis HealthCare

City officials and labor union members banded together to raise the funding needed to erect a bronze image of Heffron in his Pennsport neighborhood. A reminder to future generations of the bravery of a man who risked his life for freedom. Hundreds gathered at Herron Playground, 2nd & Reed, on September 17th, the 71st anniversary of Operation Market Garden in the legendary Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. As voices rose in tribute with songs reminiscent of the 1940s military era, the sun glistened against the bronze image of a 19-yearold soldier boy who became a legend. Philadelphia artist Terry Jones aptly captures the emotion of a man home from war. And a hero who carried a nation across the threshold to freedom. Welcome home, Babe Heffron. prh



3 1.-Babe’s daughter Trisha Zavrel. 2.-Mayoral Candidate Jim Kenney with artist Terry Jones 3.-State Rep. Bill Keller, who worked with Babe Heffron on the docks, 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla, Wills Eye Hospital Executive Director Joe Bilson, Register of Wills Ron Donatucci, SugarHouse Executive Dan Stevenson, President of IATSE Local 8 Mike Barnes & City Commissioner candidate Lisa Deeley

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Hair O’ The Dog unleashes with Deuces Are Wild Philadelphia’s legendary Black-Tie to support THON


air O’ The Dog, Philly’s Most Glamorous Bash, will commemorate 22 years on Saturday, January 16, 2016, with its biggest and wildest celebration to date – Deuces Are Wild! This highly anticipated event will be held at the exclusive Crystal Tea Room beginning at 8 p.m. with a VIP preview. All tickets include top-shelf libations and gourmet butlered and stationed hors d’oeuvres.

Partygoers will wag their tails off to sounds by Go Go Gadget, Philly’s most electrifying band, which promises to bring this year’s event to a whole new level with their cutting-edge style, pulsating sound and “epic” light-up drum show. Sabeel Chohan, top event DJ for Victoria’s Secret, will bring her blend of classic and electro beats to Philly’s poshest blacktie. As the evening roars on, guests will enjoy sets by the 11-piece, high-energy party band, The Business, DJs Michael Galioto and Jason Weiss. Attendees will travel to the wildest party destinations as event organizers transform the Crystal Tea Room into an extravagantly wild nightlife experience. The “Jungleland” main ballroom will be filled with body painted models and the hottest performances. “Flashback Fantasy’s” nostalgic and untamed atmosphere will be displayed in the atrium lounge and EDM’s bold and hypnotic style will heat up the “Dog House” as Philly’s finest pop bottles all night long. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Thon, Penn State’s Dance Marathon. As the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, Thon is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. For more details or to donate to this wonderful charity, visit

About Hair O’ The Dog

Hair O’ The Dog was founded 22 years ago by longtime friends Daniel Cronin and Robert Molinaro. Dan


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and Rob are also the co-founders of Chorus Communications, a Technology Consulting firm located in Philadelphia. The first Hair O’ The Dog was held at the Tiki Club in King of Prussia. At the party, they decided that their love of fun, combined with their whip-smart business sense, could generate income for nonprofits through fundraising. From this thinking, Hair O’ The Dog was born. The founders were thrilled with the original 100-person turnout! Each year since, this glamorous gala has grown tremendously in both size and prominence. Today, the event attracts thousands of partygoers and is considered the longest running black-tie affair in the country. The event attracts not only local but national celebrities, athletes and media personalities. Past attendees include NBC Meteorologist Sheena Parveen, Tony Bruno, Comedian Joe Conklin, former Governor Ed Rendell, Mob Wives Alicia DiMichele along with members of the Philadelphia Eagles, Cheerleaders and Flyers. Held each year at an exclusive Philadelphia venue, a portion of the event proceeds benefit local charities such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, The Garden of Reflection (PA’s official 9-11 memorial), The National Constitution Center, Habitat for Humanity, Project H.O.M.E., Friends of Memorial Hall Fund, the Sunshine Foundation, The Great Guy Group, The Bethesda Project, Friends Are By Your Side and The Claddagh Fund. Tickets go on sale Mischief Night, Friday, October 30th at prh

Out of the mouths of

babes i


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


by Dorette Rota Jackson

wasn’t surprised when I found out what 14-year-old Bobby Hill handed the Pope after he silenced a City for 60 seconds. Long enough for him to raise his voice – acapella - in a rousing rendition of “Pie Jesu” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. He gave the Pope a rock. From his travels to Antarctica as a singer in the Keystone State Boychoir. He said they brought a few rocks home with them so they could share their experience with someone important. Like the President. Or the Pope.

“We realized there were families from six continents at the World Meeting of Families,” Bobby said. “The rock represented the seventh continent.” That rock meant more to the boy with “the voice of an angel” than any other possession. And he wanted to share it. As we watched. A moment frozen in time. A kid from Philly who was tapped by his choir director to fill a performance void on the world stage during the Papal performance on the Parkway. An historic gathering that lured more than a million people in search of comfort and joy. An image seen around the world. With less than 5 minutes notice, a young boy in blue jeans and a forest green shirt cupped the microphone center stage and opened his mouth. Out came the most melodic voice anyone listening had never heard. “Pie Jesu…Pie Jesu...” It rang out over the crowd basking in the light of the majestic art museum behind him. Out beyond the Holy Father, beaming with pride over the divine gift Bobby shared on this silent night. A message of mercy and peace. And Francis smiled. He was pleased. And so was the big guy who sent him here. My family knows how much that rock meant to

Bobby. We started giving rocks to kids about a dozen years ago. We call them wishrocks. We thought it was a good way to deliver a message. That, like rocks, no two kids are the same. And that’s a good thing. A rock is resilient. You can build things with rocks. Like forts and bridges and piles of pretend that only a kid can appreciate. A reminder of the places you’ve been. And the places you want to go. A promise to remember. That anything is possible if you believe in yourself. A rock is a memory you hold in your heart. A voice that is never silenced. It tells you to get up. Keep climbing. And when you get to where you want to be, reach back. And pull somebody else along. Bobby Hill pulled millions of people along during that one brief moment in time. With his voice. His rock. And his belief that he shared with young people around the world. If you can sing, sing. Even if people tell you that you sound like a girl. Sing. Believe in yourself. Never give up. prh Follow Bobby Hill On Twitter @BobbyWHill


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“Only love fills the empty spaces caused by evil.” Pope Francis

Philadelphia will be basking in the afterglow of Pope Francis’ visit for a long time. He continually proclaims that love for our fellow man (or woman) is what life is all about. We are called the City of Brotherly Love so the selection of Philadelphia to impart this message was no coincidence. I am a product of Catholic schools. Holy Trinity Grammar School, Bishop Egan High School and Villanova University. Many times in my life when I was “on the fence” of doing an action that would have harmed my fellow man, I ended up not acting on it. Why? The Golden Rule was implanted in my brain! “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It was the way I was raised! The Catholic Church has gone through a dark period and mistakes were made in various cover-ups. But it has survived and has come back stronger than ever. The perpetrators were prosecuted and the victims’ rights were honored. I’m not advocating that Catholicism is the only way. It’s just the way that has guided me on my journey of life. As Bob Dylan’s lyrics echo, “Everybody has to serve somebody. It may be the DEVIL or it may be the LORD, but you’ve got to serve somebody.” I CHOOSE THE LORD! Ciao Philly! 44

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(Back Row, L to R) Patrick de Caumette (Composer), Paul Van Haute (Cinematographer), John Kohl (Archival Producer), Nathaniel Popkin (Writer). (Front Row, L to R) Sam Katz (Creator/Executive Producer), Ginny Lasco (Creative Director), Rachel Sophia Stewart (Editor), Wendy Cox (Producer), Andrew Ferrett (Director/Writer)

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Brides Guide

by Joe Volpe

Live Cake Art photos by Jerry Tomko

We assess so many traditions every time we plan a wedding celebration. The cutting of the wedding cake is one of those beloved customs that has withstood the test of time. But what goes into creating the cake is something we never get to see — until now. At Cescaphe Event Group, we always look for new, sophisticated ways to enhance one of the most important days of a couple’s life together. Every day, we push ourselves to conceive unique ways to make every wedding celebration more distinct, adding elements that leave our guests gasping in awe and buzzing about the unexpected. One of our primary obsessions is to continue to evolve the wedding celebration and the guest experience. A few weeks ago, I walked into our Executive Cake Designer Jen Roach’s


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studio and watched Jen and her team build extraordinary cakes. I suddenly realized how great it would be if our brides and grooms and their guests could witness all that goes into creating a beautiful wedding cake. From the inspiration boards to the intricate and often innovative designs, the layering of ingredients is very intricate and often defies gravity. When I asked Jen Roach and her team if they could finish a wedding cake during a reception while a few hundred guests watched and interacted with them, they responded with an enthusiastic “YES!” Without any hesitation at all, we immediately shifted into planning mode. We realized we could prepare a cake to be completed during a wedding in no time. The next step was to reach out to our wonderful couple, Jessica Leoni and Kyle Ragan, to see if they would join us in this

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.

exciting endeavor during their July 17th wedding at Cescaphe Ballroom. The bride and groom, who first met in pre-school and later became high school sweethearts, embraced the concept and savored every bit of the excitement that this new trend would ignite with their guests. The new Mr. and Mrs. Ragan, along with their guests, watched as Jen Roach and her team —Lara Rhyner and Kasey Lee — impressively transformed the four-tier cake into a reallife, edible version of the sketch. The romantic design featured an intricate lace application further emphasized by beautiful sugar roses and cascading pearl beading.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what Live Cake Art was all about when the Cescaphe team asked if we wanted to experience this new aspect of revitalizing the way the wedding cake gets revealed,” Leoni said. “Watching the cake come together before our eyes was incredible and all of our guests are still talking about it today.” The wedding guests were not the only ones buzzing. Word quickly spread and within days of its unveiling, Philadelphia Wedding Magazine and Fox 29 reported about our new Live Cake Art offering. I am so thrilled that this process went off seamlessly. The fact that we conceived and

executed it so quickly is a true testament that Jen Roach and her entire team love what they do and embraced the opportunity to showcase their experience and expertise. I predict that you will be seeing a lot more innovation from our talented wedding cake design team in the near future. Shining a spotlight on them (literally) has seemed to inspire several new ideas. Stay inspired, Philadelphia. And realize that thinking outside the box – pushing yourself a little harder – sometimes can lead to results that get people talking.

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Philadelphia’s treasured Water Works joins the Cescaphe Event Group family by Brenda Hillegas photo by Phil Kramer


fter a decade of operating the iconic Water Works Restaurant and Lounge, Michael and Anastasia Karloutsos passed the baton to Joe Volpe of Cescaphe Event Group in September. Weddings and special events will begin in December, while still honoring bookings already in place. The Karloutsoses are proud of what they created and excited to have found a Philadelphia-based family business with standards as high as theirs to care for it like they did. “The potential is unlimited as far as aesthetics here,” Volpe explains. “Jaws drop as soon as you see this location. The surroundings, the beauty.” The Cescaphe family wants people to understand how important the Water Works is. The site has hosted countless weddings, birthdays, showers, mitzvahs and political events. It’s been featured in television, movies and magazine spreads. When celebrities, athletes and musicians are in town, they come. The restaurant quickly became a popular dining destination and the Karloutsoses estimate more than 500 marriage proposals happened right there at Table 42 – claimed to have the “best view in the house.” Many even came back for their wedding receptions. Volpe has a few surprises in store as they refurbish the famed location. He mentions pop-up tent weddings on select weekends during the year to make the most of the venue’s outdoor beauty. “It will be more affordable for our brides because they can share the expense with other brides over the course of the weekend. The tents stay up and couples have

another option when selecting services for the most momentous occasion in their lives,” he says. Cescaphe Event Group looks for more than the average experience. “It’s personal for us, too,” Volpe says. “We think of things that people don’t usually think about. We want [our] passion to be contagious when we meet with our brides and grooms-to-be. Attention to every last detail to make this the best day of their lives - that’s our secret sauce.” Volpe is a lifelong Philadelphian and his passion comes from growing up in an Italian family. Meals and celebrations were important - 20-30 people were common for Sunday dinner – 40-50 on holidays. Volpe looked forward to seeing his relatives and enjoying the food his grandfather prepared for these weekly get-togethers in their small South Philly rowhome. Those memories followed him into his adult life and were key when deciding to open Cescaphe- named for his two daughters, Francesca and Sophia (they call her “Phee”). Volpe and wife Andrea produced their first wedding at Cescaphe Ballroom in 2004. Their small business with one venue has grown to a team of experts orchestrating more than 700 events per year. That lineup - Cescaphe Ballroom, Atrium at The Curtis Center, Tendenza, Vie and the Down Town Club - now includes the historic Water Works. Michael and Anastasia Karloutsos drove past the Philadelphia landmark in 2005. That’s when they noticed the beauty of it. Volpe feels the same way. “When I think of the Water Works, driving on the Schuylkill and seeing this small, quaint, amazingly beautiful building in the shadows of the majestic Art Museum, my imagination swept me away. I wanted to be part of this somehow. Part of its history.” prh

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Beauty Products for Her this Holiday Season by Victoria DiPietro

Beauty products are always in fashion and make the perfect gift. As stocking stuffers or collected in a gift basket, here are a few fabulous suggestions to round off her Wish List.

1 2 3 4

Eco Soy “Wax & Oils” aromatherapy candle. Made in the USA, this scented soy is eco friendly and a comforting addition to the end of a busy day. The lavender fragrance soothes the senses and relieves anxiety. The perfect gift during the hectic holiday season. Clarisonic™ deep cleansing brush sets. Great for all skin types. Cleans your skin 30% more than hand washing. Available in a variety of options. Go for the complimentary engraving.

Liquid Luxuries Perfume Sampler - Sephora. This set of 15 women’s perfume samples comes with a certificate for a full-size bottle. Includes fragrances like Gucci, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Versace and Burberry.

Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case - Tarte. Create an eye-catching statement wherever you go with the travel-size takeaway palette featuring shadow, cheek and contouring shades. The trendy collector’s case features a fullsize, built-in eye shadow palette with 30 shades, including 24 brilliant, never-before-seen shades in mixed mattes and shimmers. With a travel-friendly eye shadow brush and deluxe-size mascara, this set is perfect for achieving seamless, on-the-go touch-ups for alluring, party-perfect looks.


Urban Decay Naked Smoky Pallet. This palette has a dozen sultry, smoky neutrals, including nine never-before-seen shades and three exclusives from past palettes. Experiment with warm bronzes, dimensional grays, rich browns, gorgeous taupes and deep black. This is a professional makeup line so there is more pigment in the product, which means more staying power.

6 7

Michael Kors Sexy, Sporty or Glam Collection Lip Lacquer & Nail Gift. These duo collections make the perfect stocking stuffer for the girl who likes to pamper herself. The lacquer polish comes in many different shades and includes a lip luster gloss. Acrylic Cosmetic Organizer - The Container Store. Get the perfect organizer in any size for lipsticks, pencils, brushes and nail polishes. You can build your own and stack them to organize all of your makeup.


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L ove

Photography by Phil Kramer Assistants: Gaeton Goffredo, Michael Martin Jr & Tom Gooch


Make-up & Hair by Denise Pereau Assistants: Vicki Guerriero & Joel Garcia Styling by Anthony Tamburrino Assistant: Linda Clark click models: Abbey & Delanie Dischert Event Quip: Tent Location: quakertown,Pa Props: CPG Events, Theme Factory, Penn Cora Events

Tan’s wrap knit Pashmina $50.00, Rising Tide fingerless gloves $30.00, vintage hat and ornate handbag by Taj Mahal Collection $60.00 vintage hat by Castor Hat Shop $38.00 available at Carolyn Verdi Boutique Philadelphia,PA. geometric black and white blouse $265.00, v neck designer gown with bead work $785.00, black mermaid skirt $565.00, by Nicole Miller




seersucker suit paired with a Christian Dior pocket square and bow tie

purple fit and flare printed strapless gown from MIA Boutique Philadelphia,pa elegant fancy diamond necklaces, earrings and bracelets from Jeff Kellmer Jewelers Clown- Alan Kramer

contortionist- mariah amato

abbey, nicole miller sparkle Stripe jacquard dress $420.00 hosiery by dkny shoes from nordstrom jewelry jeff kellmer

Delanie, a fit and flare Jovani cocktail dress $510.00 available at Bianca Simone, philadelphia,pa gold wedge Steve Madden shoes, exquisite jewelry from Jeff Kellmer Jewelers, white gloves and white feathered hat head piece designed by Denise Pereau.

Stilt Walker- Brianna Kalisch

Delanie, white fringed gown by Jovani $520.00 silver beaded mask $110.00, Mia’s Boutique Philadelphia,PA Abbey, black cut out gown $795.00, faux black pearl necklace by Nicole Miller, head pieces by Denise Pereau, Geoff, red tuxedo LifeStyles Tuxedos and formal wear, blackwood, nj

Mike, Versace 5 pocket jeans $245.00, Â Army Navy knee high flood boots in black $42.99, Amanda, red lace dress by Nicole Miller $400.00 and Rampage half boots, luxurious diamond jewelry from Jeff Kellmer Jewelers, and vintage accessories Carolyn Verdi Boutique Philadelphia,PA

black diamonds by Jeff Kellmer Julian Chang one shoulder cocktail dress, and bangle bracelets $22.00 at Carolyn Verdi Boutique, Philadelphia, PA hosiery DKNY, satin peek a boo pumps Nordstrom

Strong Man: Justin Edwards

Abbey, two piece red sequined cocktail dress $298.00 and Delanie, one piece halter sequined cocktail dress $250.00 from Mia’s Boutique Philadelphia,fancy diamond jewelry by Jeff Kellmer Jewelers, hosiery and shoes from Bloomingdale’s

Fire Eater- Zack Taj Plaza

Geoff, Jean Yves Tuxedo from Lifestyle Tuxedo and formal wear, blackwood,nj Abbey, exquisite lace, illusion gown with exaggerated train by Berta made in Israel from the wedding factor philadelphia, pa $10,000.00

 Delanie, two piece elegant gown/bodice featured by Berta made in Israel from the wedding factor philadelphia, pa $10,000.00, silk wrap Carolyn Verdi Boutique Philadelphia, Pa

LifeStyle Tuxedos and formal wear, blackwood,Nj exquisite lace and illusion gown with exaggerated train by Berta made in Israel from the wedding factor philadelphia, pa $10,000.00, two piece elegant gown/bodice featured by Berta made in Israel from the wedding factor philadelphia, pa $10,000.00, luxurious diamond jewelry from Jeff Kellmer Jewelers. Â

Designed by M/m productions michael martin jr


The Theatre Geek

Walnut Street Theatre is High Society


Christine Krawiec Photography

weddings . engagements newborn . families maternity

by Marialena Rago hilly is a bustling theatre hub with new shows opening every season. One of the best places to see a show is the Walnut Street Theatre. Not only is it America’s oldest theatre (founded 1809), did you know that a Presidential Debate (FordCarter/1976) also was held on the main

High Society (September

8th - October 28th) The classic show based on the movie The Philadelphia Story and then made into a movie musical with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Philly’s own Grace Kelly. The plot centers on a Long Island socialite, Tracy Samantha Lord, who is planning her wedding when her ex-husband shows up trying to win back her heart. If that wasn’t enough, a tabloid reporter who is covering the wedding also falls for the bride-to-be. With music by Cole Porter, this wedding is one you will not want to miss!

stage? We have so much history and culture right in our backyard that sometimes we don’t always see the beauty in it. The 2015-2016 Season is probably one of the best the theatre has had in years, both on Mainstage and at Studio 3, Walnut’s intimate story space. Here are my picks for the year!


A Christmas Story (November 10th - January 10th) Based off of the 1983 movie, this musical follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a rifle. The musical features music by Philly native Benj Pasek and his partner Justin Paul. Shoot your eye out if you miss this one!

Peter and the Starcatcher (March 15th -

May 1st) This grown-up prequel to Peter Pan tells the story of Molly, a star-catcher in training, who meets an orphan boy longing for home. They embark on a life-changing adventure through Neverland filled with sword fights and magic. Don’t miss this Tonyaward winning play!

Studio 3

Red (Feb 23rd - March 20th) This Tony Award win-

ning play centers on artist Mark Rothko and his history-making journey painting a group of murals for the exclusive Four Seasons Restaurant. He and his assistant Ken work feverishly – until Ken begins to realize his answers to those fundamental questions about art are very different than his mentor’s.

Always…Patsy Cline (April 5th - July 3rd) Based on a true story, this show focuses on the relationship between singer Patsy Cline and housewife Louise Seger. Through letters and visits, the two share the homespun stories of laughter and heartache that brought together a housewife and a legendary country singer. The show combines humor, sadness and reality and offers fans who remember Cline while she was alive a chance to look back while introducing her to new ones.

Cedrone’s Flowers Any Occasion. Every Day.

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: rowhome magazine

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Music & Arts

Yo Philly Phestival Rocks the block! The 2nd annual Yo’ South Philly Phestival filled the fall air with music from some of the area’s favorite bands and performers. This event – the brainchild of Dan Vanore, leader of the band The Business – brings together local musicians, vendors and most importantly, family, friends and neighbors who are “dancing in the streets” at this daylong outdoor concert at Galdo’s.


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Rock & Roll’s Hidden Giant

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Charlie Gracie by Bob Wagner


hen Charlie Gracie’s 1957 single Butterfly reached Number 1 on the Pop Charts, his world changed. He seemed to have it all. Fame, money, a beautiful young bride and a loving, supportive family. Gracie’s latest memoir, Rock & Roll’s Hidden Giant, traces his rise from the streets of South Philly to the top of the charts, his fall from fame and subsequent rebirth.

In his newest book, published by Alfred Music Publishing, Gracie and author John Jackson pierce the veil for readers to see the deception, greed and cutthroat tactics used by some recording industry members in an attempt to silence the 60s teen idol. All because he stood up for what he believed was right, Gracie says. “I went from Ragsto-Riches-to-Rags,” he jokes. What makes this story special is how Charlie took the hits from not only the industry but from members of his own family. He got up off the canvas and kept punching. With the support of his wife Joan and children, his career has risen from the ashes. This remarkable account is essential reading for all fans of rock & roll. Charlie Gracie, who hails from South Philadelphia’s St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, inspired a legion of Rock & Roll Hall of Famers during his 1957 and 1958 tours of England. Rock history would not be the same without him, many fellow artists have openly claimed, including Sir Paul McCartney.


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When we were starting out with The Beatles, the music coming over from America was magical to us---and one of the artists who epitomized this magic was Charlie Gracie. --- Sir Paul McCartney His concerts in the late ‘50s in Manchester, England, helped me to become who I am today. --- Graham Nash This book will allow you to see that nothing comes ‘easy.’ Success comes with hard work, disappointments, and some artists suffer betrayal by those they trust. --- Sir Cliff Richard His guitar sound was brilliant! --- George Harrison Charlie Gracie was FIRST in Rock & Roll---and the FIRST Rock & Roller to come out of Philadelphia! He started it and made it possible for all the rest of us! --- Chubby Checker Rock & Roll’s Hidden Giant: The Story of Rock Pioneer Charlie Gracie By Charlie Gracie & John A. Jackson is available at and local Barnes & Nobel book stores

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Mike Marino by Bob Wagner

This Bad Boy wants to be President


ike Marino – affectionately known as New Jersey’s Bad Boy – seems to have captured the essence of life in the city when it comes to the family dynamic. He may not be a Philadelphian by birth but he certainly has mastered the attitude. His stand-up material ranges from cutting-edge to his Italian family roots. His style landed him a guest

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PRH) You began your career as an actor. How did you get into Standup Comedy?

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MM) I first began doing TV commercials starting at the age of 14 and made a nice career for myself in that field. People told me I was really funny and I should try stand-up. I was at an openmic competition in Bayonne, New Jersey. I got up and started making fun of my mother and the audience loved it. That was 23 years ago! (laughs) I started doing comedy hardcore in California at The Comedy Store in Hollywood.

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MM) I’m your average bluecollar guy. My material comes from everyday life. For example, when I talk about my family, if you come from a close-knit family, the jokes resonate. You don’t have to be Italian to get it. Everyone can relate. My audiences range in age from 17-90 and everybody has a good time.

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PRH) Your nickname is New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy. You’re based in L.A. now. Why keep the Jersey-based nickname?

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PRH recently sat down with Mike to discuss his career and his 2016 Presidential Campaign.

MM) Well, I have a home on both coasts. But it’s funny; there’s actually a worldwide affection for someone with a Wise-Guy background and an authentic New Jersey accent.

MM) It’s entitled “Criticized.” I have a Co-Starring role where I portray Detective Steve Sabbia who is trying to capture a murderer. It’s scheduled to be released in the fall.

PRH) What is the best experience you’ve had as a comedian?

PRH) How serious are you about taking a run at the White House in 2016? Why did you decide to pursue this?

MM) Luckily, there have been many! (laughs) Montreal Comedy Festival appearances, TV appearances such as being on The Tonight Show. However, I recently received the USO Comedy Award at The Laugh Factory in L.A. To be in front of those Military men and women as well as my comedy counterparts, that was special. PRH) Who were/are some of your comedy influences? MM) Rodney Dangerfield, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Eddie Murphy, Richard Prior, Don Rickles. It’s strange. I listened to all of these guys before I ever even thought of becoming a comedian. Then, after I got into the field, I had the opportunity to meet them all at one time or another. PRH) You have a new movie coming out. Tell us about that.

MM) I did an appearance on Byron Allen’s Comedian’s Unleashed show. I stated that what this country needs is an Italian President from New Jersey. He’d be the kind of guy to get things done! Well, it struck a nerve. It received about 5 million YouTube hits! Now, it’s no longer a joke. I’m on the road to the White House. I can’t tell you too much just yet … you’ll just have to watch it happen. PRH) What other projects should your fans be on the look out for? MM) I have finished a sit-com and a reality show. I hope they will hit the air in October. And of course, I am running for President of the United States! America needs me! Tell everyone to vote for me by clicking LIKE at www. and spread the word by using


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set on the Martin Short Show and made him a regular sketch player on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “There’s a doctor workin’ in Walmart… Now, you have to ask yourself a question. Who walks in a Walmart and says, ‘Ya know what. I don’t feel good. I’m gonna see a doctor while I’m here. Heard he’s in aisle 2.’”

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Mob-knobbing with George Anastasia by Bob wagner

PRH Writers



| rowhome magazine


eorge Anastasia is widely considered to be the country’s foremost expert on the American Mob. For more than 30 years, he made his bones as an investigative reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer where he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. In addition, South Philly born Anastasia has authored nine books including Blood and Honor, The Goodfella Tapes, The Last Gangster, Mob Father, Mob Files, Philadelphia True Noir: Kingpins, Hustles and Homicides, The Ultimate Book of Gangster Movies (with Glen Macnow), The Summer Wind and his latest, Gotti’s Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti and the Demise of the American Mafia which offers a shocking glimpse into the Gotti family. Since retiring from The Inquirer, George has served as an adjunct professor/lecturer at Rowan University and Temple University. He also spent time lecturing journalists and students on organized crime in Eastern Europe for the State Department. PRH recently sat down with George Anastasia to discuss his award-winning career. PRH) What is the state of the Philly Mob today? GA) The mob will always exist. However, the Philly mob will never be the underworld power it once was. This is an interesting period. You have a lot of guys just out of jail or soon to be returning from jail. This is the only life they know. It’s football season, gambling season and a lot of money is out there to be made. So we’ll see how things shake out. This could be the quiet before the storm. PRH) In your opinion, what caused their demise? GA) The best and brightest in the Italian-American community are now doctors and lawyers and educators, so you’re scraping the bottom of the gene pool. With the effectiveness of RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] indictments and the witness protection program, guys

who are jammed up can turn informant and just disappear. Omerta (Mafia code of silence) is a thing of the past. PRH) Is the somewhat “quiet” nature of the Philly scene the reason for your latest book on Gotti?

GA) I came across a document that contained irrefutable proof that Gotti Jr. attempted to cooperate with the government. He offered information about crimes that he and others in the family had committed as a bargaining chip. He tried to deny it. Then, when the proof came forward, he changed his story to say he was feeding the government false information. PRH) In preparing for this interview, I came across information that former Philly mob boss John Stanfa once put a contract out on your life? GA) Yes. I never knew about it until Stanfa’s 1994 trial. Evidently, he instructed an underling to kill me because he didn’t like what I was writing about him. I had done a story that depicted his organization as a South Philly version of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. You have to understand, he comes from Sicily where they do that kind of thing.

GA) That’s one of the reasons. However, I always wanted to do a book on the New York Mafia. I had exclusive access to Gotti’s family via FBI files and interviews with insiders and informants. I had transcripts of wiretaps and other recordings. I interviewed John Alite, who was a hit man for the Gotti Family about 30 times. What he told me was pretty shocking. He didn’t sugarcoat the story or his part in it. Violence is like an addiction with these people. He goes to therapy once a week as a result.

PRH) What project did you have the most fun working on?

PRH) What piece of information surprised you the most?

GA) The paperback version is scheduled to be released in November.

GA) Writing about mob movies was the most fun I’ve had with a book. My co-author (Glen Macnow) and I agreed that the first two Godfather movies set the standard but Donnie Brasco and Goodfellas are more realistic. PRH) When will your new book, Gotti’s Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti and the Demise of the American Mafia be released in paperback?

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PRH Writers Block


Philly poets take top prize in International Youth Poetry Festival photo by Corey McDonough

ooking for “Brave New Voices?” Then look no further than our Philadelphia rowhomes. This year, the team from the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) Slam Team won the top prize at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival, held at Emory University in Atlanta. One of those voices is Veronica Nocella, 17, currently a senior at Science Leadership Academy and member of the PYPM since her freshman year at SLA. The win in the Brave New Voices International Competition marked the Philly team’s third win. The team also took home the first place prize in the national competition in 2007 and 2011. Nocella said she got involved in her freshman year at SLA thanks to her English teacher Matthew Kay. “I went to the Poetry Club meetings and I felt it was an environment I wanted to be in,” she said in a recent interview with Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. Members of the 6-person team, which represented Philly in the Brave New Voices competition, are from neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. They earned their way to the finals by winning several Slam preliminary competitions. The Slams are open to high school poets, ages 13 to 19, and the performers build the teams. “I think all the Slam poets are inspired by the other poets around them,” Nocella commented. The PYPM was founded by Philly native Gregory Corbin Jr., who also serves as its Executive Director. According to its website, “The Philly Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a safe space for Philadelphia teens to discover the power of their voices through spoken word and literary expression.” Living that mission, the team continues to address many contemporary issues in its spoken word workshops and performances. The feelings and raw emotions expressed by the poets helped propel them to the win at Brave New Voices. Matthew Kay, the English and Drama teacher at SLA, said the Slam League serves as an outlet for

students to express themselves. He said that there were places and organizations for those in the posthigh school ages but not necessarily for those in the 13-19 age group. The PYPM Slam League has now grown to include more than 20 high school teams from across Philadelphia. Its goal is to have a team representing every high school in the city and “elevate poetry to the level of sports.” In a video posted on, Perry “Vision” DiVirgilio, the artistic director for PYPM, said one of his hopes for the future of the Slam League is to “be at the Liacouras Center having finals.” Nocella added, “The spoken word poetry community is a tight-knit community. Spoken word tends to be a great outlet for expressing things that matter.” Nocella said she draws influence for her poetry from other poets and shared special praise for Vladimir Nabokov. “He did amazing things with language,” she said. Several of the PYPM works are available on YouTube and one of Nocella’s particularly powerful writings tells the story of her grandfather who owned Renaldo’s Bakery at 17th and Shunk Streets. “Initially, I didn’t do those personal pieces – it took a while to write about myself. This year, I tapped into my personal stories and drew my inspiration internally.” PYPM offers workshops with the goal to “help students bolster their literacy skills, help them express their emotions, creatively connect to core content, build classroom community and enhance their public speaking and critical thinking skills.” Kay said when you provide the access and ability for students to express themselves, it helps build their confidence. One of his most satisfying experiences, he said, is seeing several of the students who started out as Slam poets now serving as coaches and mentors for the next wave of writers. With the new school year in full swing, Nocella and her PYPM Slam teammates are ready for the next round of competition. But more than that, they are ready for the next round of personal and emotional expression for spoken word poetry. prh



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| rowhome magazine


by Robert L. Woodard The Wynnefield Barber

istory shows us that barbers were the original surgeons and doctors and as a Barber, I wanted to become one of the best. Because of that, I imagined cutting the hair of some of the most famous people in the world. One of which was the late, great Michael Jackson. Take a moment and open your imagination. Just think about it. Philadelphia and its neighborhoods are now world-renowned. One of the main reasons for this blessing has come straight from the universe. Whoever would have thought that a young Philadelphia neighborhood DJ by the name of Michael A. Nutter could become the Mayor that took the “City of Brotherly Love� to its highest height? Back then, his stage name was “Mix Master Mike.� Today, one of the largest events ever held in world history happened right here in Philadelphia. That means Mayor Michael Nutter will become one of the most famous mayors of this City and its history for the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis. The extravaganza was one of the most-attended World Meetings Of Families the Pope has ever convened. And it was held right here in the “City of Neighborhoods.� Our young people have a great opportunity as a result of this experience. But they have to respect the power that their natural thoughts can inspire if they just imagine. Technology is a good thing, but it can’t replace the gift of your imagination. Each individual is made by our Creator. Separate and special. So no one can be you but you. Did you know that Pope Francis was once a Bouncer? I would love to interview the Pope about his own imagination. How did it lead him to becoming a Pope? Even our Mayor Michael Nutter used his

imagination and look where it took him. He will be remembered as one of the most active mayors of this historical City. What a memorable event this has become. This truly has been a miracle right before our very eyes. With “Mix Master Mike� and former “bouncer� Pope Francis, we truly had in the mix the ingredients needed to produce one of the most successful and exciting celebrations of all times right here in the “City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.� This is truly a blessing sent straight from our universe and it all started with the human imagination. I am a firm believer that even without technology or satellite, Human Beings are natural conduits who receive information straight from the cosmos. From the top of your head to the bottom of your spine lies a large part of your central nervous system. My imagination tells me that the spine is our body’s natural antenna, directly connected to the universe. Thinking positive on a daily basis brings positive thoughts to the brain. Remember, before technology, man only had his imaginative thoughts. I ask that all the visitors from around the world who came to Philadelphia when Pope Francis spoke, to open their hearts and minds for positive thoughts for our future. If we all learn nothing else from this experience, I hope we use our imagination to see ourselves as “One Family� on planet Earth called Humans, who belong to “One Race.� Because we are “One Race in Space.� Take the “RACE Test� Today at And by the way, Pope Francis, stop in at Woodard’s Barbershop at 5031 W. Diamond Street in Wynnefield, PA. You, my friend, will never need an appointment. I’m prepared to cut your hair, today, because I’ve already imagined how to cut your hair to fit your face. CAN YOU IMAGINE? prh

The team thanks everyone for helping us put the pieces together.

To all our generous sponsors that made our night at Galdo’s Catering on Friday, October 2, 2015 to Benefit The Autism Laboratory & Program of Research School of Health Professions such a success, Thank you.

Holiday ornaments tell the tales of a lifetime

by Larry Gallone  PRH


D Andreozzi Photography


Andrew Paul - Photographer “QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR LESS” (484) 614-1952 76

| rowhome magazine

ecorating the tree is a cherished tradition. Especially when it comes time to hang those memorable ornaments. As you carefully unwrap your collection, you think back to the time when you first got it. Maybe you purchased it as a remembrance. Or got it as a gift. Maybe you won it in the school raffle. ➺

You find yourself repeating, ‘I remember this one. We got it when…’ Memories flood your mind, bringing you back to that moment in time. You tell the ornament story every year as you gently unwrap your past. The sights, sounds and smiles of yesteryear are forever frozen in time because of that special holiday trinket. Most of your family members heard the story before. But others haven’t. And they probably have their own stories to tell. wants to hear your story. You even can snap a photo of your favorite adornment to go along with it. Editors will review your prose and post it online for all to see and share. Do your holiday traditions include family recipes? There’s a spot on the site to share those tasty traditions. Looking to volunteer your time to help others? There’s a space that lists a few organizations that can use your help. If sentiments run high this time of year, wants to hear from you. The tale below prompted the page. Read it and remember. And in the weeks ahead, when you find yourself unwrapping the spirit of holidays past, log on and share. It may spark the spirit in someone else’s future.

Joanie’s Story

Each Christmas, when making her rounds delivering office mail, Joanie gave a candy cane to everyone she saw. It was her way of saying “thank you” for a great year. Every year, I took that candy cane and hung it on my tree. It came from Joanie. And it was special because it was a gift from the heart. Joanie worked in the mailroom of the large office building for about 12 years. She loved her job. It gave her a chance to make friends with her co-workers, share office chit-chat and look forward to the next day. Her daily routine helped her overcome a learning disability and other challenges that are common among people with special needs. The mailroom was her home. And everyone she met appreciated her bright personality and competent skills. Outside of work, Joanie enjoyed going to concerts and sporting events. And everyone knew how much she loved planning her vacations. The holiday season is hectic for a mailroom, but Joanie loved the bustle. And everyone looked forward to her candy cane gift. One year, Joanie, 40, announced that she was retiring. Her dad passed away and left her and her siblings enough money to support themselves. As much as she loved her job, she decided to spend time at home with her mother and family. After she took a relaxing vacation. She even donated some of her inheritance to a non-profit group that helps people like her. People who need a little extra help. And a chance to share their skills and the confidence that comes with accomplishment. Joanie planned to volunteer for organizations that help others with challenges like hers. She wanted to share her story, her time and her determination so she could inspire them. And a simple candy cane hanging on the tree says more about the human heart and unwavering spirit than any other ornament in the collection. prh

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A sketch in

time Philly

by Dominique Verrechia


rom the priceless paintings at the Art Museum to the graffiti walls of FDR Park, Philadelphia is filled with art of every kind. Our city is famous for beautiful murals, tile mosaics and even street art that you see everywhere you turn. As Philadelphians, we may recognize the art but the real question is, do we know the artists? Jessica Rodgers, 33, was born and raised in Philadelphia. She still lives here and openly declares her “huge love” for the city. She’s been interested in art for as long as she could remember and fondly connects her passion to her grandmother. After school, she and her grandmom would watch PBS television artist Bob Ross paint on his show. They followed along with him – tracing their own artwork on paper. These small memories planted the seeds for what would later become her life’s quest. Her studies at Drexel University led her to a major in fashion design and illustrating. Her passion for sketching found its path. In addition to her studies, she says the works of other artists continue to inspire her. She fell in love with the beautiful organic shapes and bold colors of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. One day, she hopes to visit Barcelona to see his work in person. Ballerinas,

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Food for thought 78

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S E RV I N G B R E A K F A S T, L U N C H & D I N N E R

intricate architecture, ornate and elaborate furniture, fashion. Jessica draws her inspiration from life. “There are no specific aspects that I take into account. I am usually inspired by something that I see,” she explains. “For instance, if I see a beautiful piece of stained glass or some stone detail on an old building, I start to imagine one of my ballerinas or creatures in that scene and start a sketch to bring it to life.” When asked how her work highlights her own personality, she notes a distinction. “The ballerinas and fashion that I illustrate are always really bold, confident and colorful. I would love to be as bold as the girls I illustrate.”

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She describes her work as whimsical. Her illustrations are lighthearted, fun and colorful with an emphasis on detail. Since there is no way to rush detail, she said she usually gets caught up in her work and uses it as a type of meditation. While working on her art, she loves that she can forget about everything else that is going on around her and escape into her own world. A cosmetology teacher, Jessica says her life experiences enhance her creativity on a daily basis. Hair coloring, styling. Fashion. Images and scenes from everyday life inspire her art and enable her to tell her stories. Expressing life through art is a message she shares with creative minds at every level. If someone smiles after seeing one of her pieces, she’s more than happy with that. “I am still aspiring myself,” she laughs when asked for a message to young artists. “Keep working hard and always strive to get better at your craft.” Check out Jessica Rodgers’ amazing illustrations on Facebook at And as always, stay fabulous!

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t was the best of times, it was the worst of times… This famous first line from the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, strikes a chord with me as a city of baseball fans said goodbye to a few of the greatest Phillies in franchise history.

The last 10 years has truly been a tale of two cities as it pertains to our beloved Philadelphia Phillies. I’m reminded of just how great it was every time I walk into my son’s bedroom and see the 2008 World Series Champion portrait of Jimmy, Cole, Chase and Ryan. That core of homegrown talent will always be his team much like the 80s team of Schmidt, Maddox, Lefty and Tugger was mine. Charlie Manuel had the makings of something special when in 2006, despite missing the playoffs, slugger Ryan Howard won the National League MVP. Sports-talk radio buzzed with conversations about baseball. Over the next five seasons, we sold out Citizens Bank Park and painted the city red and white with Division championships, National League Pennants and World Series games. Amazingly, our football team took a back seat while our Phillies had the region hugging and kissing perfect strangers when something other than Mummers marched down Broad Street for the first time in more than 25 years. Philly loves a winner and we sure did love and support our Fightin’ Phils. All good things must come to an end and this did end abruptly in 2011 with an unexpected exit at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. You know it’s over when the large woman sings or when your cleanup batter tears his Achilles on the final out of the game. Four difficult years would follow. Good players left, some were injured and others just got old. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. watched as a once-great group became average. Fans are always fans but we began to watch from

our homes instead of going out to the ballpark. Rubin continued to send out the same four players that brought us a championship but the winning never returned. Maybe Mr. Amaro believed that lightening would eventually strike. But we could see the truth and were not at all surprised that lightning could be elusive when a team has only a few bottles that can catch. Yet, with every end comes a new beginning. The 2015 season ending lineup looked much different than at the start of the season. Philly said goodbye to three of the greatest players in the history of the team: Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels and Chase Utley all said thank you with full-page newspaper ads while leaving behind a significantly stronger farm system. The organization officially said goodbye to the team that gave our city a championship and asked Ruben to close the door on his way out. It will be a while before we know if players like Aaron Nola, Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, Ken Giles, Cameron Rupp or Adubel Herrera will be able to bring us what my team in 1980 and my children’s team in 2004 brought us. Here’s hoping that I won’t have to wait until I have grandchildren to see it again. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope. It was the winter of despair. Sports do have a way of bringing a city together. And, for a while there, we had a terrific baseball team - and wow, didn’t we all really enjoy it. prh

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One in a Million


ON THE CORNER with Mark Casasanto hen I look back on the summer of 2015, it will no doubt register for me as a deeply reflective, uniquely upfront and personal time. I had to stare life as I used to know it square in the eyes and face inner truths on many different levels. My world had changed rather quickly. I didn’t know if it was for better or worse.

Being a writer and a quasi musician, it’s always easy for me to open up my creative door and let what I love most engulf and surround me. That’s my out. I’ll write you a love song if there are feelings I care to share. And quicker than you can say Taylor Swift, you’ll know if I’ve had enough and a poison arrow is aimed in your direction. I had a remarkable summer. I made new friends on every level, reacquainted myself with long lost buddies and I enjoyed being somewhat carefree again. Although learning to fly solo was new to me, I felt I was adapting fairly well. I attended a Tim McGraw concert on a ticket my daughter gave me as a Father’s Day gift. It was the last weekend of August before a hectic September would bring me out of town more than planted in Philadelphia. Amongst the thousands, I sang, danced and clapped until it happened. The final song of a brilliant performance. “Live Like You Were Dying.” With a wide ranging brush stroke of feelings and emotions, I cried myself through that beautiful song. I hung on every word of that seemingly simple yet powerful piece. More importantly, I vowed to step up and seriously own those lyrics. As September blew by quicker than a summer wind, Philadelphia transformed into its own gated and ultra secure community as we collectively waited to welcome Pope Francis. Even for me, a 30-year veteran working in high-profile security scenarios, every


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minute of the Papal visitation weekend offered something new and exciting as it pertained to my profession. While I really couldn’t post on social media given the scope and clearance associated with my credentials, I honestly don’t know that I would have anyway. My memories were mine... to have, hold and cherish. I wanted to do my part as professionally and as flawlessly as possible. For the sake of my company and our city, and with God and country certainly in mind. Whatever the power of one in a million could possibly accomplish, I was gonna make it happen... security professional or citizen of Philadelphia. But I need to vent. I grew a little fed up with the thick-headed, close-minded remarks and complaints about being inconvenienced and what the corporate dollar chose to support as opposed to other subjective interests, most too bizarre and ridiculous to mention. We were all inconvenienced in some way but for a greater good. I rode a bike for four days to and from the Pennsylvania Convention Center while working 18-hour shifts. I, like the many who walked for miles, did it with a smile. Our city pulled off a remarkable feat, overblown for your liking or not. The memories are lasting and eternally etched. To which I say, learn to live in the moment and enjoy it while you can. Lord knows, moments like these don’t come around very often and they certainly don’t last very long. prh




ways to warm your home when the weather cools down by Christina Henck

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here is more than one way to create a warm space. In the Interior Design World, we consider two types of warmth. The first is aesthetic warmth achieved with accessories, lighting and finishes to enhance a room. The second is functional, physical warmth accomplished with fireplaces and mechanical systems. Consider these solutions for a different approach in revamping your home this season for an inviting living space.

1. Install window boxes – Window boxes are easy to install and are great for city life. Fall flowers can speak to the time of year and add charm. Mums are affordable, and paired with a couple potato vines, they make the perfect fall arrangement. 2. Address interior lighting Every bulb you buy has a scale on the back of the package that tells you the color temperature. The Kelvin Scale ranges from 2700-6500 (warmest to coolest). Choose 3000 – 3500 for year-round use to add a soft, friendly glow. In colder months, add visual warmth with a range of 2700-3000.

3. Texturize - For physical warmth, consider more than weather stripping to warm your home. Hang curtains over windows to block drafts and add insulation. Curtains can change seasonally and will give multiple looks when you need a fresh change. Choose colors like yellows, oranges and reds during cooler months. Velvet and chenille are fabulous fabrics for colder seasons. Think outside the box this year. Cityfriendly ideas that are tasteful and more subtle than fake maple leaves and scarecrows will set your home apart. The goal is to make your house aglow in a modern, fashionable way. prh

Designing for you Christina Henck, Henck Design

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The French Connection by Maria Merlino

Sacha Lakic’s fascination for fast luxury cars and motorbikes lends much to the aerodynamic smooth lines and graciously curved forms of his furniture designs for Roche Bobois. There is dynamism, boldness and even an element of excitement to his designs that gives them a distinctive daring edge and timeless appeal. Roche Bobois, celebrating French art de vivre around the world in the heart of Old City.

Left to right: Natalie Suresch, Pierre Berardo, Kristen Miller, Wayne Glassman. Front: Katharina Plath

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“Saint in the Spotlight”

Ryan Hewitt

People to People Student Ambassadors European Discovery Trip 2015




y name is Ryan Hewitt and I am a People to People Student Ambassador Alum from the Philadelphia Delegations to Australia (2014) and Europe (2015). This past summer, I traveled to France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy for three weeks to study the history, art and architecture of the countries. This was my second trip with the European Discovery program. I saw and


did so many things like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, staying with a family in Germany, going to culinary school in Austria and even going to Vatican City. While we were at the Vatican, we attended a prayer service with Pope Francis. My entire trip was an amazing experience and I am so glad I met the people I met, made the memories I made and did the things I did. Of course, I am sad that it is over but happy


to say that I was part of the People to People Student Ambassador Program, Philadelphia Delegation. About the Program. The People to People Student Ambassador Program was a student travel program that offered domestic and international travel opportunities for kids in grades 5-12 as well students at the collegiate level. The program was founded in 1956 and reincor-

porated in 1995. Nearly a half-million students, adults and athletes participated in the ambassador programs, which were overseen by the for-profit Ambassadors Group since 2002. The Ambassadors Group ceased operations for student travel on July 13, 2005. The final delegations travelled during the summer and fall 2015. prh

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here’s no question about it. Thanksgiving is a wonderfully traditional holiday. An American favorite for a number of reasons. It always falls on a Thursday. Many workers take Friday off to enjoy a two-day holiday and four-day weekend. It’s a reason to get the family together. Especially those you may not see often. And you give yourself a pass to over-indulge on food and desserts for the day. The one thing that seems to be missing is the chance to break bread with your close friends. Most of them are spending the day with their families, too. For the past few years, a couple of my younger “SPBR” (South Philly Born & Raised) friends, Jennifer Pettinelli and Sammy Coco, have been celebrating what they call “Friendsgiving” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They say it’s a great way to share the holiday tradition with a few close friends without spoiling the family fanfare. The holiday of Friendsgiving has gained nationwide popularity over the past five years. Its origins are not clear but some social experts attribute it to a group of millennials who couldn’t travel home for the holidays due to work commitments or finances. So they made the best of the situation and came up with the idea of spending the day with friends. Today, Friendsgiving is expanding into its own holiday. It started as a way for young singles to adapt to this day away from home and has become a celebration of friendship. If the cast of Jerry Seinfeld can create a holiday like “Festivus” (the holiday for the rest of us), surely we can promote a new tradition like Friendsgiving! Although I can’t take credit for this holiday concept, I sure can adopt it, spread the word about its merit and offer some suggestions for planning your own Friendsgiving celebration this year. ❚❙ Make it a group effort. Decide who’s hosting (someone with the largest dining room table or the most parking). Who’s cooking what? Guests can bring an appetizer, entrée, side dish or dessert. And BYOB! Wine is always a nice addition. ❚❙ Coordinate the Guest List. The host also should monitor the apps/entrees/dessert donations to make sure all the favorites are available and there’s plenty to go around. And if your guests grow weary from too much merriment, do they have the option to stay the night? ❚❙ Make the holiday stress-free. I recommend paper plates and plastic cutlery. However, if your friends are closer to an AARP Card than they are to a nightclub VIP Card, you may want to open that breakfront and use the good china, fine crystal, polished silverware and candle sticks. It’s a judgment-free day with a chance to start a new tradition. Embrace it.

Happy Friendsgiving! rowhome magazine

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ario Stagliano, 62, is sitting on a sofa with his little girl Sophia, 6, next to him.”Daddy!” Sophia exclaims. “You’re crying again!” The Second Street home that he shares with his wife Lisa, 42, and three of their children is cozy with a dog and cat running around. Two of their boys – Santino, 10, and Luciano, 8, are having a spat. “I just love my family and Lisa is the powerhouse,” Mario says with emotion. “She’s amazing.” Santino became an overnight sensation when his mom Facebooked his artwork - a firebreathing dragon - on a T-shirt to help raise awareness for autism. Diagnosed when he was five years old, Santino became his own art therapist by drawing dragons to help express himself. Little did he realize that in less than a year, Santino’s Dragon Drawings, a 501c3 charity, would literally sweep the globe. “Yet, with all that publicity and clamor for his shirts, Santino felt very much alone,” Lisa Stagliano explained. His confidence level has risen tremendously, however. “It’s not so much being aware of autism, but having more of an understanding about it,” Lisa says. Santino is changing that. His Dragon shirts have become a signature for autism awareness locally. And it’s spreading across the country and around the world thanks to the Internet, his mom beams. “We realized that there were no programs for these kids in the area. The biggest thing is that they have no friends save for one or two. They’re very much alone,” Lisa explains. “They can’t make bonds.” With the help of the community and a circle of determined

moms, the group works around the clock to change that. “We wanted to start some sort of sports and arts program for autistic and disabled children. Every parent wants to cheer for their child at least one time,” Lisa smiled. The moms got the word out and almost immediately, every Mummers group volunteered their halls as space to convene these special programs. In addition, the EOM Athletic Association donated its rec center to start a kick- ball program. Stagliano said that Woodland String Band at 3rd and Snyder set up tables for the kids to get together to draw and do art projects. Neighbors donated the supplies and classes will continue every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30. “It’s a place where they can go and meet other kids just like them,” Lisa explains. “They know they’re not going through it alone. The kick-ball program is slated for Sundays, Lisa added. The details are still being ironed out. “If a kid comes in with a wheelchair, I will personally push it.” These moms on the move are setting their sights on a kids’ camp. With the help of neighborhood legislators including Councilman Mark Squilla and Councilman Dennis O’Brien, that dream may become a reality, says Mario Stagliano. “And John Dougherty (Business Manager, IBEW Local 98) yelled at me for not using him enough,” he laughed. “This community, the Mummers, the Unions, have just been unreal” Mario said. “We wouldn’t be here or be blessed without South Philly. They have given us every resource and never asked for anything in return. We’ve made unbelievable friends. All of this is fueled by genuine heartfelt love.” prh 94

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Grotto Go! D E S ES photo by Phil Kramer



a Jackson By Dorette Rot


fter seeing all the facebook posts, I was determined to get to the Knot Grotto. I planted the seed in the middle of a Tuesday night while watching Golden Girl reruns. I emailed my sister Dawn so she’d see it first thing in the morning. “We have to get to the Grotto. After dinner. Tell Mommy.” Fences were going up all over the city for the Pope’s weekend visit. I figured Wednesday was the last possible night to make it to the Parkway before the lockdown. So many questions rolling round in my head at 3 am. Should we drive? Is there parking? Long lines? We had to get there before it closed at 10. Was it safe at night? Would my mother be too tired after a long day at the office with her two lovely daughters? And dinner on the table. Which meant we’d have to squeeze in a trip to Lombardi’s for chicken


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by Dorette Rota Jackson

cutlets. Bread, fry and mash the potatoes. Clear table, load dishwasher and evacuate by 7:30. I did what every member of the Insomniac Club does when you need quick answers in the middle of the night. I logged onto Facebook. Scrolled through all the Grotto posts. ‘No problem at all.’ ‘Amazing experience.’ ‘Parked right outside the Cathedral.’ ‘Some nice man directing traffic is helping everyone find a spot.’ Big Mike might be game, I thought to myself. It’s a long shot but if you don’t ask... He’ll be in a good mood after he eats his wife’s cutlet dinner. I’ll start with him as soon as he gets home from work, tomorrow. Shot down. ‘I admire your determination to go - and I hope you make it there - but count me out. And say a prayer for me,’ he says on his way out the door for his coffee run. We were prepared to stuff my mother onto the subway with her pink Converse sneakers and matching rain slicker. ‘I don’t think I’m dressed

appropriately…’ she starts. But my nephew Michael folded. “I am not letting you two morons drag my grandmother onto the Subway at 8 o’clock at night,” he said. “I’ll drive you.” We ran out the door. Literally. Loaded into Michael’s car and headed north on18th Street. ‘They say we can get a spot right in front.’ I lied. The closer we got to Center City, the more they came. Hundreds of people walking like missionaries toward the Grotto on the Parkway. I was afraid the kid was going to hang a Ralphie at the next light & head home. But he kept driving. Past Rouge on Rittenhouse Square. Past the CVS on Chestnut. Past the place that used to be the Four Seasons. Suddenly, there it was! Could this be real? A friendly guy in a glow vest is directing traffic. Organizing visitors with fire-drill precision. SUVs, strollers, wheelchairs. Suits & sneakers. They listened to the man in the glow vest very carefully. He was soft-spoken.

Kind. And so were the throngs of people who gathered. Smiling, hugging, patiently waiting in line for a white ribbon & a Sharpie so they could hang their prayers amid this vision of hope. It didn’t matter that the letters I scribbled across the white ribbon were not legible. It was hard to write leaning on the back of a willing stranger. Mary Undoer of Knots knew they spelled the names of my children. And my mother. And the people I love. Mary knew I was praying for peace. Joy. Health. Comfort. For friends and strangers. The ones lined up along this sidewalk. Bathed in the purple glow of the Grotto. Somehow in the silent peace that surrounded us that night, we all knew. We felt it. We stopped asking for things for ourselves. And started asking for each other. Pray it forward. And as 100 thousand prayers blew toward heaven that night, we found each other. For the first time. prh

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All great accomplishments begin with a dream. This Award is given annually to young dreamers whose passion to succeed has inspired a new generation of believers. The WishRock symbolizes one of the many steps along your 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 2015 WishRock Awards will be presented during Philadelphia RowHome Magazine's annual Black Tie Dinner Gala & Blue Sapphire Awards Presentation- "An Affair to Remember X" on November 4th - sponsored by Cescaphe Event Group at Vie. Call 215.462.9777 or for details. Photo by Andreozzi Photography

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