2:05 PM / Saturday October 23, 2021

7 Apr 2017

All Around Philly– Social Scene The 17th Annual Red Ball

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April 7, 2017 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Herb Lang , Assistant Coach for the Harlem Globetrotters, Former Eagle Jon Runyan and Archie Elam.  (Photo: Robert Mendelsohn)

By Patricia Gilliam Clifford

Recent events, “All Around Philly,” included two fabulous, signature affairs: The Red Ball 2017 and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Philadelphia graduate chapter’s “Finer Womanhood Awards Celebration.”

The 17th Annual Red Ball was held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. This is the second year that the fundraising event billed as “Philadelphia’s best black-tie charity gala” was held at the home of the Philadelphia Eagles and lived up to it’s reputation. Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes (Ret.) CEO American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania was the leading lady among those dressed in beautiful formal gowns in the event’s signature red.  Judge Hughes said, “The Red Ball is an amazing party for a cause. 


We raise critical funds to support disaster relief and the one and only Red Cross House which is located in University City. The honorary chair of the ball was Vince Papale, the amazing Philadelphia Eagle who did not let anyone deter him from achieving his dreams.  He was the perfect honorary chair, as the Red Cross seeks to instill that same “can do” spirit into each one of the families that we help.  We can’t control if, when or where disaster may strike but we can be prepared, and equally as important we can be resilient, rising after a disaster.  The Red Cross’s mission is to help families prepare for, prevent and recover from disaster.”

American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania CEO Renée Cardwell Hughes. (Photo: Robert Mendelsohn)

This signature event is a unique fundraiser that succeeds in blending all the right ingredients that are the perfect recipe for a great party. The Ball was sponsored by Independence Blue Cross and AmeriHealth Caritas.  WPVI-6ABC was the media sponsor and 6ABC’s Karen Rogers, meteorologist and host of ‘FYI Philly’, kept the crowd entertained.

Guests were treated to a delicious tasting party featuring 30 local restaurants and caterers. There were irresistible desserts, an aromatic coffee lounge, a beer garden, a cigar lounge in the V.I.P. area, specialty drinks by Tito’s Vodka, and two terrific bands from CTO Orchestras. 

The fun didn’t stop there.  Along with dancing, live entertainment and mixing and mingling, there was a silent auction with a variety of incredible items.  In addition to Vince Papale and his wife, a former world-class gymnast, former Eagles greats Jon Runyon, Tra Thomas, Joe Wilson, and Brad Quast, joined former San Francisco 49ers great Ron Davis in the celebration with Swoop, the Eagles Mascot and the Eagles Cheerleaders. Also, spotted having a great time were: Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. R. William Hite Jr. and his lovely wife Deirdre, Frances Hite and the beautiful reigning pageant winners Miss Philadelphia Nia Andrews and Miss Pennsylvania Samantha Lambert.

“The Red Cross House and disaster relief services are the beneficiaries of the generosity of those who support the Red Ball. The Red Cross House is a transitional housing facility that provides care for families who have experienced a disaster.  The House provides, in addition to a safe, secure environment and three meals a day, caseworkers who help families put together a recovery plan to rebuild their lives.  The Red Cross House helps more than 3,000 people each year. The Red Ball helps to make all of this possible – truly a party for a purpose. All of this is accomplished by dedicated volunteers and donors.”-Is this a quote? If so, who said it? 

Please consider joining the Red Cross team.  They need volunteers and donations and, you never know when you might need them. For more information, visit online at

[Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s Finer Womanhood Award Celebration in next week’s issue of the SUN]

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