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Back in 2016 Anthony Hamilton Russell, a Wharton School grad and renowned South African winemaker, was in Philadelphia and wanted to organize a wine event.
He wanted it to benefit children, so he looked around for an organization to partner with. He decided his partner would be Resources for Human Development — which provides services that help children and their families achieve behavioral and educational goals — and Philly Pours was born.
“RHD was a nice fit for him,” said Alex Coll, RHD’s assistant director of development. “It just happened to come together. Anthony was great, the event was terrific, it was a very successful night. And while we’d anticipated that it might be a one-off, everyone enjoyed it so much and it was so successful we felt like we had to do it again.”
“The following year we were lucky enough to attract legendary Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, who was showcasing Vermeil Wines,” Coll added, “and Sylva Senat, one of the great chefs in Philadelphia. And from there we were kind of off and running.”
This year’s Philly Pours takes place June 26 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and counts with Quincy Harris, host of “The Q” on Fox 29, as the emcee, and features an exclusive cheese and wine workshop and tasting with food writer and cheesemaker Alex Jones and Raul Mesias, director of wine sales for City Winery. Both City Winery and Kiki Vodka, which makes gluten-free vodka, are the premiere partners for this year’s event.
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“Because the line-up changes, each year has been unique,” Coll said. “The year Dick Vermeil hosted had more Eagles talk than the year Anthony Hamilton Russell hosted, you know? Last year we were fortunate enough to build a very different event around an exclusive cocktail presentation with André and Tenaya Darlington, who were promoting their new book ‘Booze & Vinyl’ and they did a bit where we watched clips from ‘Casablanca” and they showed you how to make all the drinks in the movie.
“And this year, of course, Fox 29’s Quincy Harris as our MC and City Winery as our wine partner in an amazing venue like PAFA will bring a very cool vibe all their own, so we can’t wait.”
What hasn’t changed over all three years is what the party benefits.RHD provides a array of children’s services that support around 1,000 children in need each year:
- RHD Stepping Stones is a long-term partial hospital program for children with emotional and behavioral challenges.
- RHD Children’s Outreach Services Program (COSP) is an intensive community-based services to emotionally or developmentally challenged youth less than 21 years old
- RHD Early Intervention provides home and community-based treatment for infants/toddlers with an early medical diagnosis or developmental delays.
- RHD School Therapeutic Services is an intensive, short-term behavioral health service offered in selected schools in the Philadelphia School District.
- RHD High Fidelity Wraparound works with youth who are first offenders and have a history of serious behavioral health issues, ages 10-17 years old.
“Thanks to people’s support of Philly Pours, RHD programs have expanded services to more kids,” Coll said, “including putting in sensory rooms that create a space for children to handle traumatic experiences and de-escalate emotional situations in school settings.”
Coll says the great cause has spawned a great party.
“The most striking thing about Philly Pours, each year, is that people don’t want to leave,” she said. “Philly Pours ends at 9 p.m. and every single year it’s 10 or 11 p.m. and the very nice people who run the venue are kind of begging us to get people out the door so they can clean up. The last two years we’ve had to create an after-party, just so the event staff can go home. It’s always memorable for us to see people really enjoying a great party, and feeling good about it because it’s for a great cause. Obviously we’re there to support these very essential, vital services in your community — but we want to make sure people have a great time, too.”
Generocity members are in luck this year — we’ll be raffling off a VIP ticket to Philly Pours (a $150 value) June 21. If you aren’t a member yet, this is a good time to become one.
And if you join today, you can come to the membership happy hour at the Technically Media offices tomorrow. We even have a signature drink, “The Ginerocitea” for you to taste!
For more information and to register for Philly Pours, click here.
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