The “black tie” Black and White Gala was originally conceived to recall the roaring 20s – a time for formal attire and choice cocktails in the style of the lavish jazz age parties chronicled by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The party will return on Friday Oct. 10, at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, 415 West Willow Grove Ave.
There will be no Jay Gatsby or Daisy Buchanan, but joining their neighbors this year will be a number of notable Chestnut Hill residents who are among the most prominent members, not only of Philadelphia but the entire country.
Here are some of the people who you will be able to meet at the gala this year:
Bill Green — Former Democratic Councilman-at-large, Bill Green recently became chair of the School Reform Commission of Philadelphia — arguably the most difficult, but critically important job in town. In the city of Philadelphia, Green is political royalty: His father, William J. Green III, was mayor and a long-time congressman; his grandfather headed the Democratic City Committee and was also a well-respected congressman for the city. A long-time resident of Chestnut Hill, he will attend with his wife, Margaret.
Gail Harrity — As the president and longtime chief operating officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gail Harrityhas been a driving force behind the Art Museum’s emergence as one of the world’s most renowned and innovative cultural treasures. Harrity oversees everything in the day-to-day operation of the museum and was instrumental in digitizing its massive collection and developing a new website to provide broader public access. She’s also heavily involved in the museum’s new 10-year master plan to expand and renovate the museum’s landmark neoclassical building and presence on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A long-time resident of the Hill, she will attend with her husband, Sandy Tilney.
Drew Becher — Few people have made as big impact on Philadelphia in such a short time as Drew Becher, CEO of the Philadelphia Horticulture Society. Since taking over PHS in 2010, Becher has expanded and refreshed the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, the world’s largest indoor flower show (to rave reviews and record crowds), expanded the city’s Harvest Program to provide fresh produce to families in need and transformed the city’s nightlife with PHS’s highly-successful Pop Up Gardens featuring beer, food and music.
Robert Peck — Bob Peck is a one of world’s most prominent explorers, naturalists, and writers. He’s the curator of Art and Artifacts and a senior fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, a best selling writer, naturalist, and historian who has traveled extensively in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. He has written for a wide range of popular and scholarly magazines and newspapers, retraced the travel routes of a number of 18th- and 19th-century naturalists and even has a South American frog named after him. He is currently engaged in a fascinating mission to bring American and Cuban scientists together to study big game fisheries in the Caribbean — a project first launched decades ago by the great Ernest Hemingway and the Academy of Natural Sciences. A lifelong resident of Chestnut Hill, he will attend with his wife, Susan.
Dawn Timmeney — Dawn Timmeney is among the most recognized and beloved television anchors in Philadelphia. She’s also a tireless advocate for Chestnut Hill and dogs who can often be found walking her golden retriever in the Wissahickon and around the Hill. She’s currently an anchor and reporter for Fox 29 News in Philadelphia as well as a regular on weekdays on “Good Day.” Dawn is an Emmy Award winner and will be emceeing the evening, as she did at the last Black and White Ball. She’ll be joined by her husband, Mike.
Michael Bamberger — Michael Bamberger is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and widely considered one of the most elegant writers on the sport of golf. He’s authored multiple books on the sport, including the autobiographical The Green Road Home (1986), detailing his zany experience as a caddie for a PGA golfer, and The Swinger, a satire on the Tiger Woods sex scandal. He’s also written plays, screenplays and is the co-author of one novel. He attends with his wife, Christine.
Elisabeth Perez-Luna – ElisabethPerez-Luna is the producer and voice behind many of PBS’s most widely listened-to programs. She’s an award winning journalist and executive producer of WHYY Audio Content and regular contributor to NPR’s programs such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.” She’s the executive producer of WHYY’s “A Chef Table,” “You Bet Your Garden,” “What Are We Thinking?” WHYY’s “This I Believe,” “Impact of War” and others.
Matthew Affron – As curator of Modern Art for Philadelphia Museum of Art, Matthew Affron is a major force field in the art world. A former professor at University of Virginia, he assumed the museum’s most prominent curator position in September 2013. Affron has published widely on topics such as early abstract art, the relationship between modern art and fascist ideology, European artists in exile in New York during World War II, and different aspects of the work of Fernand Léger and other artists of his generation.
Cindy Webster — Chestnut Hill resident Cindy Webster might have the most enviable job in the city. As the marketing director for CBS Radio in Philadelphia (including SportsRadio 94WIP, CBS Sports Radio 610, 98.1 WOGL-FM and Talk Radio 1210 WPHT) for the past 22 years, she gets to attend events and fundraisers with celebrities, leading athletes in the city and a collection of influential and interesting people. Behind the scenes Cindy works tirelessly to make sure that CBS Radio’s five stations remain regional leaders in audience share and popularity — a grueling, all-encompassing job that consumes weekends, nights and cross-country flights. She coordinates major fundraisers for all of the radio stations including the 98.1WOGL Loves Our Kids Radiothon for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that has raised over $6.9 million dollars over the past 13 years.
To purchase a $175 Reserved seat at a table with a “Notable” Guest, call the Chestnut Hill Community Association at 215-248-8810.