By: Lauren Evans
Carousing for a cause is the best kind of carousing. We know that, because the folks at Red Ball 2019 told us so!
What’s Red Ball? It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania, and it gets bigger and more festive every year. This past Saturday night, live music from four bands set the vibe as partiers gathered at Lincoln Financial Field to dance, eat, drink, schmooze, play games, and show off their dress-up clothes for a noble purpose.
Food was a big highlight, with gourmet morsels from more than two dozen area restaurants. “I absolutely love tasting the little plates from all these spots I haven’t been to in the city,” said Valerie Faustina, who’s attended Red Ball for the past three years. As we chatted, she was inhaling the aroma of crab cakes from Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House. “They’re delicious,” she confirmed.
Among Red Ball veterans like Faustina were first-timers like Nico Vlahos, who learned about the event while giving blood. When we ran into him, he’d already been working out on the dance floor and sampling the sweet and savory snacks all around him. “There was a Dominican banana cake dessert—by far my favorite thing so far,” he said.
As always, Red Ball drew its share of local celebrities. The Eagles’ mascot, Swoop, made the rounds posing for photos, as did Miss Philadelphia and Miss Pennsylvania.
Alysa Bainbridge only recently won her Miss Philadelphia title and said Red Ball was one of her signature appearances. Hobnobbing with Philly royalty like former Eagle Vince Papale was exciting, she said. But she also enjoyed meeting regular, non-famous folks in her new role. “This is my first big event in the community getting to meet people, and it’s going great. Meeting Philadelphians, and seeing how excited they are to meet me—it just brings me joy,” she said.
Donors play a huge role in the fundraising efforts of the American Red Cross and there are some companies that deserve to be recognized for their continued support. Independence and AmeriHealth Caritas both served as Title Sponsors of the night because of their especially large donations. These companies played a large role in making sure the Red Ball was as successful as it was, which ultimately benefits the Red Cross House.
Also deserving of praise are the event’s platinum sponsors, which included AmerisourceBergen, Boston Consulting Group, Essity, The Lundy Law Foundation, NRG, PECO, and UPS.
Companies that made up the ranks of Ruby Sponsors included the Beneficial Foundation, Blank Rome LLP, the Children’s Hospital of Philadlephia, Drexel University, Fox Rothschild, Jefferson Health, P. Agnes, PARX Casino, Quattro, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Wawa.
Energy Transfer, Geno’s Steaks and SugarHouse Casino also donated toward the cause. If you missed the party this year, what can we say? Mark your calendar for 2020, and we’ll see you there!