When do Crab Fries mean XOXO in Philadelphia? 

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When do Crab Fries mean XOXO in Philadelphia?  1. All the time. 2. Especially this summer, now that Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Chickie’s & Pete’s have teamed up on a new summertime partnership promoting the City of Brotherly Love.

The legendary Jerry Blavat,  GPTMC Vice-President Sharon Rossi, Chickie’s & Pete’s CEO Pete Ciarrocchi, (Pete is also a 24-year member of Polish American String Band), and Mr. Dan Baker of Phillies and Eagles announcer fame (“the Voice of the Ballpark”) unveiled the new partnership at C & P’s Packer Avenue restaurant.  The new campaign is called “Served With Love.”wrapIMG_20130626_123436_091

“Served With Love” will promote the city as a tourist destination now and into the fall.  The campaign includes new branding on food wrappers, table tents and customized “Love” letters.

GPTMC is one of the most successful tourism marketing organizations in the nation. Chickie’s & Pete’s is ESPN’s best sports bar in North America.  Together, they intend to serve Philadelphia with “Served With Love.” Have a crab fry.

Work Hard, Play Hard

2012-12-23_16-04-36_37A fun weekend begins with another annual tradition, the 19th annual Fancy Brigade weekend in North Wildwood, New Jersey.  Of course, there is the Pub Crawl Friday night, but on Saturday, the 8th, after the block party, around 4:45/5:00 or so, there is the 19th annual Fancy Brigade Summer Parade.  It starts at Second Street and Olde New Jersey Avenue. Summer may now pick up steam.  The event also caps an inspirational week.

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The week featured SugarHouse Casino General Manager Wendy Hamilton announcing that SugarHouse is the title sponsor of the SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade for at least the next 3 parades. Whoo-hoos still echo along two Street.  This is a great statement of support.  PHl17 continues as the sole broadcaster of the parade.  The station presented Wendy with a new pair of Golden Slippers.

DevFndtionIMG_20130604_184828_372Also this week, I got to spend time again in Lafayette Hill with hundreds of great people raising money for the Devereux Foundation, which is beginning its second century of serving children and adults with special needs.  Devereux has been the “quiet neighbor” that doesn’t toot its own horn, but really makes a difference.

I also was updated with the plans the organization CADEkids has to expand its work in schools to teach good decision-making, how to control impulses and avoid risky behavior.  The nonprofit has been making a difference in young people’s lives for a quarter of a century.  It’s the kind of program that is needed more and more.  It’s got the data to prove it is effective.

On “In Focus” I spoke with Jerry Buckley, the relatively new CEO, of the Pennsylvania SPCA.  That is a remarkable operation which is saving 96 percent of the animals that come into its facility.

I also talked with Beverly Haberle and Fred Martin,  folks from the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania who do a wonderful job of moving people from addiction into effective recovery.  They have a project called PRO-ACT, which stands for Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together. They are actively working to remove the stigma of addiction and get us to a better place.

As I said, another inspiring week.  My thanks to the Mummers, too, who I spent hours with this week as they work to preserve the art and cultural history of Philadelphia’s unique tradition.