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Red Cross Red Ball 2010 brings out Philly's finest for a great cause

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More than 1,200 guests came dressed to the 9's for the 2010 Red Ball , which was held at the Please Touch Museum  Saturday evening. Recording artist Adam Crossley. Photo by Aileen Bannon.The event was hosted by the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Chapter. Local celebrities Tony Danza and 97.5 The Fanatic's  Mike Missanelli  were in attendance, as well as Billboard Top 10 recording artist Adam Crossley, who performed several songs for the crowd.

The spacious museum easily hosted all of its guests. And to say that there was plenty to do was an understatement. If you were in a dancing mood, you could swing to the sounds of CTO World Entertainment Productions. You could also ride the carousel, play in the life sized tree house, or get your tarot card read by Marilyn Sukonick-Zeff.

There were martinis gallore, and many of Philadelphia's finest restaurants were on hand offering samples of their best cuisine. For the first time in the history of the Red Ball, there was a contest in which the guests voted for the best tasting food and presentation on behalf of the respective restaurants. At the end of the night, Philadelphia OIC  with head chef Charlie Schmidt was the contest winner. There was a little something for everybody, and Amy Shantz of Philadelphia was impressed with the presentation.Photo by Aileen Bannon

"I go to just about every black tie event in the city, Shantz says. "I've been at the Please Touch Museum for two other black-tie charity events this year and this is really good. I particularly like the food setups and displays."

Rob Roach from Bear, Delaware, agreed with Shantz's assessment: "The food sponsors as well as the drink sponsors has made this a very good time tonight."

While some were not working on this evening, Marie Berberich-Director of Human Resources at Elliot-Lewis Corporation (who were photo booth sponsors for the event) emphasized that the company takes great pride in their association with Red Ball 2010.

"Actually it's one of the things that we're most proud of every year," states Berberich. "In addition to the commitment we have to our customers, we are equally committed to the  American Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Tom Foley. Photo by Aileen Bannon.community of Philadelphia.

"The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Red Cross is one of a number of philanthropies we sponsor or participate actively in Philadelphia, and it means a great deal to all the employees of Elliot-Lewis and in particular (President and CEO) William Sautter to be able to give back to the community."

Of course with all this fun going on, it can be easy to forget why an event like this is actually taking place. All proceeds from the Red Ball directly benefit Red Cross House, the SEPA Chapter’s one-of-a-kind short-term housing facility in West Philadelphia where hundreds of local families every year begin their recovery from fires, floods, and other disasters affecting their lives.

The presence of many of over 1,200 of Philadelphia's finest on hand to support the event was not lost upon American Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Tom Foley, who graciously expressed his happiness at the success of the event.

"It's phenomenal. In most cases, they are all people who have been burned out of their homes. They are right on the edge when that happens. Being able to stay at Red Cross (the average stay is about three weeks) means they are able to make that transition without the bottom falling out. Kids still get to school, the parents still get to work, we take care of the meals, we put together recovery plans and work with the family so they can get back into unassisted living and take care of themselves. It's a great feeling."

The Red Ball is the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter’s signature event for Red Cross Month. Every president since Franklin Roosevelt – in 1943 – has deemed March as National Red Cross Month.

For Aileen Bannon's EXCLUSIVE LENS Gallery of the event, click HERE

For more information, please contact Dave Schrader at 215-299-4042

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com