• Saturday , 24 February 2018

Diana Ross and Jason Alexander‏ Celebrate Einstein Healthcare’s 150th Birthday at National Constitution Center

Photos, story by Cassie Hepler

Yet another wonderful thing about Philadelphia (as if…) is it’s stellar health care options. From Jefferson to Penn, people on the East Coast and lucky Philly folks have access to top-notch health care. And certainly a place named after the genius (with his permission, of course) Albert Einstein himself would certainly be proud of the impressive hospital progress.

Einstein Healthcare Network kicked off its 150th anniversary with a star-studded event at the National Constitution Center, celebrating its journey from a 22-bed hospital to a comprehensive network of health providers serving Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Jason Alexander (best known as George Costanza from Seinfeld) hosted while diva disco singer Diana Ross performed at the end of the night.

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People began pouring in at exactly 6 p.m. dressed to the nines and feeling fabulous.

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Ice sculpture artists began working on an ice sculpture to be revealed at the end of the night.

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A VIP press preview of the night brings out the “George” in Jason Alexander as he jokes about getting in the middle for a group photo from Einstein supporters.

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The VIP press room also had an open bar where we learned no one who was “working” was allowed to be served (including press). Luckily, we are detoxing our poor liver right now – and there was no champagne to tempt us anyway. Shirley Temples (with cherries) and water was on our radar for the night.

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Photo booths galore were sprinkled throughout the first floor with several green screen backgrounds as options.

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Or there was the option of the step and repeat to officially memorialize the night.

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We sneaked a quick photo of a young, fabulous and sparkly couple getting ready to pose.

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No champagne on the menu but plenty of dirty martinis, wine and of course some curated cocktails.

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Fun names with equally fun cocktails were offered to guests for their up to $2,000 tickets.

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As usual for any event, guests load up on booze and photos first. We spent a good hour downstairs before we even made it to the second floor.

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Tap Snap was dominating the selfie station style photos. People loved it!

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When the seafood table opened up with these crab cakes, things got a little pushy. But fortunately everyone maintained their cool and got a plate, silverware and stuffed their faces.

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The smoked salmon was so fresh it peeled like mozzarella cheese.

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Jumbo shrimp were a fresh, chilled option and didn’t disappoint. Not pictured, grilled tuna which was amazing with mango pineapple salsa.

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For those looking for something heartier, there were meat and potato options.

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Beef with some stick to your ribs stew was perfect for a chilly Philly night.

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We’re loving the new trend with turkey at meat stations.

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But let’s face it, roast beef is always going to be one of the top 10 meats even if it’s red.

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Tables await tired feet and a break from heels early in the night in the Einstein colors. It was then time to go up the marble staircase.

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At the top, we were delightfully surprised by Einstein himself. Well, more like a robot version… in a tie, but it was still pretty awesome.

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He was happy to pose with guests or just hang out by himself and keep delighting guests as they ascended the stairs.

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This sign also reminded us where we were at – just in case the metal man didn’t do it.

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There was a nice range of ages throughout the event including staff, interns, residents, media and more.

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These ladies looked fabulous so we had to stop them for a photo.

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Live music vibrated through the venue by this amazing band. They were so tight we thought it was a soundtrack until we came upstairs.

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Some familiar faces from The Philadelphia Tribune including CEO Bob Bogle were enjoying the food when we caught up with them.

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Einstein Healthcare Network executives with the lovely lady in blue (who let’s face it kind of steals the photo).

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Some amazing Indian dishes and mushroom gnocchi lured us to eat more and carb load in a heavenly fashion.

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Guests were also allowed to poke around the National Constitution Center exhibit and were enjoying selfies and photos with the statues.

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We loved this lady’s funky necklace and they were more than happy to pose for a photo.

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The place was packed and sold out. If you’ve never been to the National Constitution Center, this is a very impressive feat as it is massive inside. We can totally see why plus usually you have to mosh pit your way up front to see a famous act like Diana Ross at a normal venue (or put up with bad seats).

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Some young friends were chatting away while waiting for Jason Alexander to speak.

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We noticed some kids setting up trash cans and buckets from the second floor.

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We zoomed in from the second floor and wave to the girls on the end who were so excited to play.

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They began drumming some seriously amazing beats on those plastic bins and impressed the crowd.

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George…. errr, Jason Alexander takes the stage and the cell phones are out and glowing screens are everywhere. Half standing on a chair kind of worked well.

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But like any good photographer, we excused our way to the front for some good, clear shots.

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Jason Alexander is a well-spoken and empathetic man who told tales of how Einstein has helped s many people. He is also very short.

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Barry Freedman announces that Einstein has raised millions for health care coverage. Now if we could only have universal health care, we would know for sure the health insurance companies aren’t eating up the profits.

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Everyone was checking their phones during the announcement, we’re not gonna lie.

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Liquor always make friends quicker with these fast friends behind us.

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This gentleman was intently listening against the balcony during the speeches.

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When guests turn your camera on you and another photographer! Explore-Philly.com Publisher Cassie Hepler debuts pink hair and a “wonderfully gaudy necklace” as one lady put it. We’ll take that as a compliment.

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We love taking photos of photos, especially when people snuggle up for the shot.

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Thankfully they had itineraries so everyone could follow along for the night.

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The auction began with an African bang which fetched $5,000 and sounded pretty sweet.

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Another lovely option was available, which sounded more appealing than the last.

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The auctioneer was barely visible but the rapid fire shots of speech and bidding hands were shooting up all over the balcony. DSC_0190

The Chew was not as loved as the rest, perhaps because it’s old New York, our neighbor.

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This one was the winner of the night with a $10,000 winning bid and much to look forward to on this trip with a gorgeous Tuscan, Italy villa to share. Finally bidding wrapped up and everyone flocked to the opposite side of the second floor to see the diva herself. Most media outlets had to sign a “no photo or video” waiver upon entering for the singer. However, the Philly paparazzi has no limits!

Diana Ross performed to a delighted crowd for 45 minutes, starting the set off with “The Boss” and ending with “I Will Survive.” Photo by Hugh E. Dillon

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Father away from the stage, people were moving and grooving to Diana Ross’s groovy tunes.

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No matter what the age, people flocked to the stage with cell phones in hand and smiles were contagious.

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A glowing lady in a gorgeous gown stopped us short on our way out.

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The ladies were digging Diana Ross while the gentlemen seemed a little distracted.

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And for those who didn’t want to be crowded, they could watch her perform on the big screen.

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Desserts were put out for all those with a sweet tooth. These Einstein logo cupcakes were amazingly moist and the icing was thick buttercream delight.

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Other options were available on the first floor with Jewish options like coconut macaroons.

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We were in love with these little marshmallow egg white kisses, so addicting!

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Cookies with chocolate…

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Lemon squares, danishes and other sweet delights.

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By the end of the night, people were having much more fun with the props and fun group photos.

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A keepsake cup from China with some hot chocolate inside for a nightcap maybe?

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And finally the breathtaking blue ice sculpture was completed and had a perfect backdrop of our sparkling city.

A year of special events celebrating Einstein’s historic milestone are planned from “The Great Thinkers” events featuring prominent modern-day thinkers such as Dan Harris, ABC News correspondent and weekend Good Morning America co-anchor, to a birthday party for namesake Albert Einstein. Chairpersons for Einstein’s 150th Anniversary were Alison and Marc Feldman of Ambler, PA; Susan and Leonard Klehr of Philadelphia; Jill and Jon Powell of Bryn Mawr, PA; and Nancy and Marc Shrier of Rydal, PA.

The year 2016 marks the founding of Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia, now regional Einstein Healthcare Network. Founded in 1866 and originally located in West Philadelphia, the Jewish Hospital’s mission was to provide healthcare to all in need. Relocated in 1871 to Einstein Medical Center’s current location at North Broad Street in Olney, the hospital has transformed over the past century to meet evolving patient needs. Einstein’s expanded reach now touches the lives of thousands across the region. An expanding, regional healthcare system with four acute-care facilities, a robust physician network, a nationally recognized residency program and dozens of outpatient centers, Einstein’s philosophy and commitment remains – to serve with humanity, humility and honor and to heal by providing exceptionally intelligent and responsive healthcare and education for as many as possible.

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