Soup-er!

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Congratulations to Joan and George Banks of Riverfront NYA for winning the 4th annual Golden Ladle Soup contest at the Mummers Museum. A great New England Clam Chowder. Cara Liom and Golden Crown finished 2nd and 3rd. All 15 participants had wonderful soups. Thanks to Dr. Jim and President Rusty, Patty Nelson and the team for making it all happen. And a portion of the proceeds goes to a fund to help kids of domestic violence situations.

First, Remembrance and then, Soup

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The annual Fancy Brigades Mummers Mass took place this morning at Sacred Heart Church on Moyamensing Avenue.  Father Joseph Dragon, who also is in Saturnalian Fancy Brigade, celebrated a heartwarming Mass for all Mummers but especially in memory of the late Jim Julia and others who left us this year.  The Mummers in the packed church also raised more money for autism awareness and services. 

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Now, this Sunday turns to soup, literally. I am a judge at the 4th annual Golden Ladle Soup competition at the Mummers Museum. Soup and Mummery. Yum.

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The annual Fancy Brigades Mummers Mass took place this morning at Sacred Heart Church on Moyamensing Avenue.  Father Joseph Dragon, who also is in Saturnalian Fancy Brigade, celebrated a heartwarming Mass for all Mummers but especially in memory of the late Jim Julia and others who left us this year.  The Mummers in the packed church also raised more money for autism awareness and services. 

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Now, this Sunday turns to soup, literally. I am a judge at the 4th annual Golden Ladle Soup competition at the Mummers Museum. Soup and Mummery. Yum.

Cabrini and PHL17: Something New

Steve_Highsmith_Mummers_2014_WIL_0172Dear friends,

I am staying connected with the Mummers and many of Philadelphia’s great traditions and causes, but there is a significant change that I wish to share.  In January, I will be leaving PHL17 and taking the position of Vice-President of Institutional Advancement at Cabrini College.  However, I will, at PHl17’s request and graciousness, and with the permission of Cabrini College, continue broadcasting the annual SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade in 2016, 2017 and beyond.  The college has presented me with the opportunity to be a part of a team making a positive difference in areas I find more important than ever and that build on the broadcast journalism career which I have enjoyed.  I thank PHL17 SVP & GM Vince Giannini and Cabrini College President Donald Taylor.   Here is the release issued by Cabrini.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              

Contact:

Lori Iannella

OFFICE: 610.902.8255

lori.iannella@cabrini.edu

 

Highsmith Returns to Cabrini as Vice President of Institutional Advancement

 

RADNOR, Pa. (Dec. 16, 2015) – After nearly four decades of serving the Greater Philadelphia area through news reporting, producing, and directing, Steve Highsmith ’88 returns to his alma mater, Cabrini College, to serve as vice president of institutional advancement.

 

Earlier today, Cabrini President Donald B. Taylor, Ph.D., announced the appointment of Highsmith—a 1988 Cabrini alumnus and former trustee—who will officially begin his role on January 11.

 

Highsmith will oversee the College’s alumni relations and fundraising efforts, focusing on annual giving and major gifts.

 

“As an active Cabrini alumnus, community advocate, and public figure, Steve exemplifies the impact that our graduates have on the communities they serve,” Taylor said. “I am confident his expertise and passion for the College’s mission will help us as we move Cabrini forward.”

 

Highsmith’s involvement at Cabrini did not stop with his education. A former trustee from 1998 to 2007, he served as the committee chair on the mission integration committee. In 1998 he was awarded the Cabrini College Distinguished Achievement Award. At Cabrini, Highsmith also established Adult Learner Scholarship with Judith M. Bradley, Cabrini’s former director of adult academic services, to assist matriculated students 25 years or older in completing a higher-education degree.

 

“Broadcasting provided me with the opportunity to uncover the vital stories, successes, and issues of the Greater Philadelphia area,” said Highsmith. “Now, I have the privilege of speaking with and learning from the Cabrini community—the alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members who live out the same Cabrini mission, in beautifully different ways.”

 

Previously, Highsmith served as director of community relations and local programming/news at PHL 17, producing and hosting PHL17’s “In Focus” program, and hosted special projects, such as election specials and the annual SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day, which he has helped broadcast for more than 20 years and will continue as the Host of the Parade on PHL17 in 2016, 2017 and into the future.

 

Highsmith has been on the Philadelphia news scene since 1981, first serving as morning news anchor and news director of WCAU Radio (CBS) and news anchor of the NJN Nightly News before joining “Inquirer News Tonight” on WPHL-TV in 1994 as chief political correspondent and anchor. He also served as NBC10 political correspondent and host of NBC10@Issue from 2005 to 2013.

 

His reporting credits include the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit, several national political conventions, and most recently, the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia.

 

Highsmith has been honored by the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, the Associated Press, the Radio and Television News Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In 2011, Steve was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. He is also an inductee of the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association Hall of Fame.

 

Active in the community, Highsmith serves as Treasurer of the Mummers Museum Board of Directors and as a member of the Board of Directors of CADEkids and Love The Mummers. He is a former member of the Boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia, and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, as well as a former member of the Cabrini College Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Steve also has been involved in supporting other community and nonprofit efforts, such as the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, BuildaBridge International, Inn Dwelling, the Global Philadelphia Association, and Special Olympics.

 

Highsmith earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication at Cabrini College and attended the University of Notre Dame. He resides with his wife Jayne in Bucks County and they have two children in college.

 

About Cabrini College

Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming learners of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds. Since its founding in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College has provided a transformational Education of the Heart, focusing on academic excellence, leadership development, and a commitment to social justice.

 

Cabrini enrolls approximately 1,300 undergraduates in more than 30 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations and minors on its serene 112-acre campus located 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The College also enrolls approximately 1,000 students in graduate and professional studies programs at its main campus in Radnor, Pa., and at 13 off-site locations.

 

 

San Mateo Carnavalero

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The work is well underway by the members of San Mateo Carnavalero and their supporters to be ready by New Year’s Day. Susana, Alex, David and Edgar joined me at David and Alex’s restaurant, Tamalex, at 7th and Federal. Great folks and great food, too. They are excited about being part of the 2016 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade.

New Pioneers!

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The annual Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame awards are underway at the Hilton on City Line.  Pierre Robert is among the inductees, along with Harvey Holiday, Karen Rogers of 6ABC, Al Primo, Tracy Davidson, Lauren Lipton, Dick Kearney, Marlin Taylor, Jim Donovan, Lynne Barrett, Joe Tarsia and Marian Lockett-Egan. Bob Pantano is the Person of the Year. Great night. My friend Art Szcykalski, a wonderful cameraman, floor manager and more was inducted posthumously. And we all got see film of Larry Kane in I think 1967. Awesome.

Until We Meet Again, Jim.

Jim3IMG_20151119_091408663Jim Julia, Sr., has been laid to rest. Friends, colleagues and admirers have been spending today remembering Jim and, with his family, truly mourning the passing of a life taken too soon.  In a highly emotional moment, members of the Downtowners Fancy Brigade lined the center aisle of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in South Philadelphia at the end of the funeral Mass.  The closed casket bearing Jim was led down the aisle and as it passed, members reached out and touched the coffin in one final goodbye. The words and music at the service had struck every right chord in honoring Jim for his compassion, dedication and leadership.  The funeral procession then traveled by vehicle past the Downtowners clubhouse and up around the Mummers Museum, and then back down 2nd Street in one last parade.TwoMG_20151119_091523856

Thousands of people tried to say goodbye today. But, if you really need to prove the wonderful life of James J. Julia, Sr., you need to look no farther than his family.  Jim Julia, Jr., eloquently addressed us all near the end of the Mass.  His sister Meghan stood beside him, as he spoke of his father’s life, and of his father, a kid from Tree Street, losing his mother at an early age. He recalled Jim’s love of Mummery and of tradition, and Jim’s life lessons on family.  The words were more evidence of Jim, Sr.’s, love for his family and they for him.  This sudden loss is deeply painful for them.  But, you can also tell that they are trying to ask themselves, “What would Jim do now?” Most beautifully real of all is Debby, Jim’s Sr.’s, wife.  The clear love she has for her husband, the patience and grace with which she greeted each of us and the honesty with which she mourns are as moving and meaningful as anything I have witnessed.

Jim Julia has been laid to rest. I have a feeling part of him is glad we paid some attention to him.  He may even be smiling and wondering what took us so long.  But, then he’ll take a sip of coffee and tell us to move on. I imagine he’d say that if we do want to honor him, then we should remember him by doing the right thing for tradition, for family and for the people of Tree Street.JimOneIMG_20151119_091457589.jpgThank you to Debby, Meghan and Jim, Jr. and to all in his family for sharing Jim Julia, Sr.    And to Jim.  Thank you, sir.  Goodbye.

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