Brian Kappra, the owner and creative director of Evantine Design, is passionate about giving back to the community around him. In fact, he’s been honored many times himself for his charitable work and has served on numerous non-profit committees and boards. His generosity of spirit has contributed to the success of some of Philadelphia’s most prestigous benefits, such as the Ball on The Square, Project H.O.M.E.’s iCare Gala; the Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health; Gift of Life’s Donors are Heroes; and Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Butterfly Ball; to name a few. And he’s not done yet! Help is needed now more than ever, if only through black-tie channels of support. Despite the fact that charities, non-profits and now the positive-sounding “civil society organizations” or CSO’s, have felt the brunt of the last few years of economic strife, we’re confident that this Fall’s gala season will bring public awareness and financial support where needed. If it takes a party or a gala event to get everyone involved; Evantine will gladly lend a hand.
Over the years we’ve provided event planning, decor, entertainment and auction support to countless charity groups and organizations. One of our favorites was the iCare Gala benefitting Project H.O.M.E, a powerful group of warm-hearted individuals who strive to eliminate the “cycle of homelessness, address the structural causes of poverty, and attain their fullest potential as members of society.” Founded in 1989 by Sister Mary Scullian and Joan Dawson McConnon, Project H.O.M.E. has grown to over 450 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment and re-training to formerly homeless individuals. To date, Project H.O.M.E. has leverages over $50,000,000 in equity towards housing and economic development. AMAZING! And when you hear that 1 in 6 American citizens are now living below the poverty line and more people are living on the street; you know that if there is every a charity group to support in these tough times, it’s Project H.O.M.E. One was to support the organization is to throw an event that not only encourages deep-pocket donations; but also offers an event experience unlike any other gala celebration. The iCare Gala did just that. [Photos: Paul Loftland]
Hosted at a private farm deep in the heart of the Main Line just outside of Philadelphia, multiple tents were built on the side of a hill to accommodate a dinner dance for over 400 guests and supporters of Project H.O.M.E. The event took place in the middle of October and Brian Kappra incorproated autumnal colors, flowers and textures into every moment of the experience. Deep reds, burnt oranges, chocolate browns, warm ambers and metallic golds were found in linens, flowers, draping, china, goblets, menus and lighting. A pop here and there of turquoise blue in vases, auction table linens and ceiling lighting added an element of surprise and freshness. Even caterer, Peter Callahan, incorporated chocolate brown and turquoise blue into his stationary displays, sushi bars and serving trays.
Several well-stocked bars were available in the Silent Auction, Wine Auction and Cocktail Tents, as well as on either side of the main Dinner Dance Tent. Passed hors d’oeuvres included Peter Callahan’s signature bite-sized Americana foods such as pigs in a blanket, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, shrimp lollipops and “beef and beer” (see photo below).
Brian Kappra designed the main tent around the stage area in a traditional U-shaped fashion to allow easy viewing of all presentations throughout the night. There were many! Including an incredible live auction orchestrated by Sotheby’s, a live dance performance by the children of Project H.O.M.E.; and the fabulous and invigorating music of the Ray of Light Orchestra.
It was a truly a magical evening but there’s still so much to do. Again, we encourage all of our friends to join us in supporting the many amazing charitable organizations across the Greater Philadelphia Area that give countless individuals hope and assistance when no one else can.