Hey, Mirror, Mirror: Who’s the slimmest of them all? Shoppers trying on clothes at the new Devon Anthropologie.
Readers have been telling us for months that Anthro’s dressing-room mirrors make them look a tad taller and a smidge thinner than they actually are.
Thanks for the flattering image, the women told us, but, uh, no thanks.
“It’s upsetting,” says Ellen Pollin of Bryn Mawr. “I’m thrilled when I’m in the store. But then I get home and look in the mirror and have to schlep back to the store to return things.”
Another loyal shopper, Malvern’s Pam Mahoney, says she’s “had conversations about the mirrors” with the store’s sales people. For her, it’s “a body-image thing … It makes me feel bad. It’s like they’re making me feel that I should look better than I look.”
Phoenixville’s Kim Champy says “the mirrors don’t portray my body accurately. I feel I have to go home to try on clothes.”
Bride-to-be Beth of Merion Station (who prefers we not use her last name) bought a gown for her May 4 wedding at the upstairs formalwear salon at the Devon Anthropologie. She loved how the dress minimized her size 34DDD cleavage in the fitting room mirror. But when she went home and put it on, she was horrified. “I looked like a porn star,” she tells SAVVY. “Oh, my God! I thought: I can’t go out in public in this!” She returned the dress and found a different BHLDN gown at the Anthropologie in Rittenhouse Square where the mirrors weren’t “so skewed,” she says.
Malvern’s Cindy Brauer, also a Devon Anthro regular, tells us she had to return a whole bag of purchases that didn’t look the same in her home mirror. What bothers Brauer most? Anthropologie has long known about the problem, she says. When she complained, the sales staff didn’t dispute her contention and directed her to use the “group” mirror outside her dressing room. But what about all the women (like her) who prefer to size up potential purchases in private? she wonders.
Our radar sufficiently pinged, we reached out to Anthropologie’s corporate PR director, and while we waited for a comment, headed to Devon to see for ourselves.
Obviously alerted to our inquiry, Devon’s General Brand Leader (aka store manager) Ruthie Newman came by to say hello. “I’ll have no comment about the mirrors,” she said with a smile. No surprise there.
We picked out a bunch of spring clothes and headed to the dressing rooms.
Mirror distortion confirmed.
Frankly, we debated about whether to even write about the mirrors. SAVVY likes to boost local businesses, not knock them. We love having Devon Yard in our Main Line backyard. (Proof of our infatuation: our glowing story about the complex when it opened. We also dropped a nice chunk of change on new spring duds during our sleuthing expedition.) We’d also like to give props to Anthro for introducing APlus, a new plus-size line, at its King of Prussia store, this week.
And, to its credit, the company is going to rectify the mirror problem. (See below.)
In this age of “real woman” fashion models (finally), the outcry over body shaming, and a growing consensus that every body (space intentional) should be embraced, celebrated even, the mirror story is unsettling.
If nothing else, it should put us all on watch – wherever we shop. The mirror can have two faces. And it does lie, at least sometimes.
Anthropologie is hardly the first retailer to deal with deceptive dressing rooms. Witness “The Today Show” segment on “The Skinny Mirror,” a company that claimed mirrors that shave off five or 10 pounds can boost store sales by 18 percent. (The company has since closed.)
Seeking a local retail perspective, we called Maria Delany, owner of Louella boutiques in Wayne, Bryn Mawr, Malvern and soon Avalon. Delany told us she makes sure the lighting in Louella’s dressing rooms is flattering but it ends there. She’d never heard of retailers using distorted mirrors to plump up sales. “That’s fraud,” Delany said.
To be clear, there’s zero evidence that the deception in Devon was intentional. Mistakes happen.
But it’s also clear that this is touchy territory.
Perhaps that’s why Anthropologie took five days to respond to our emailed inquiry.
Here’s the company’s full, unabridged, and only statement:
“The mirrors are being replaced this month to resolve the issue. Anthropologie is dedicated to providing customers with an exceptional shopping experience. Unfortunately, some of the fitting room mirrors at Devon Yard do not meet our standards. Until the new mirrors are installed, the team at Devon Yard will continue to direct customers to more accurate mirrors in the store.”
Naturally, we asked several follow-up questions: Was the problem confined to the Devon store or are mirrors being replaced company-wide? How and when was the company alerted to the issue? And who or what is to blame – faulty manufacturing or mounting or something else?
All of our follow-up questions, asked twice, went unanswered.
At the end of the day, we won’t stop shopping at Anthropologie and we hope you don’t either.
We’re glad the company has admitted the problem and is correcting it.
Still, we’re pretty sure we’ll never look at dressing room mirrors the same way again.
Casablanca BYOB: From Marrakesh to the Main Line
Here’s looking at you, Casablanca, Bryn Mawr’s newest and most exotic BYOB. A feast for the eyes – and the taste buds.
If you’ve dined at Center City’s Marrakesh (same owner), you know what to expect: an authentic, multi-course French/Moroccan meal for just $25, served family-style in a cozily recreated Moroccan “home.” Think ornate wall cloths and carpets, low-slung gold tray tables with pillows and “pouf” seats. And eating without utensils. (When in Morocco…)
In Philly, 99 percent of Marrakesh customers forego forks, owner Ririyad Albarouki tells SAVVY. We’re guessing that percentage plummets in Bryn Mawr. (Our group of spoilsports asked for plates and silverware and we weren’t alone.)
The courses – all scratch-made – include:
- a heaping platter of salads (cucumber/tomato, eggplant, and garlicky carrot)
- a chicken/nut pie known as “b’stella”
- whole chicken with lemon and olives (or order it spicy with house-made harissa)
- almond/honey lamb tangine or marinated chicken or beef kabobs
- a fresh fruit platter
- sweet mint tea
Our personal faves: the eggplant salad, the lemon chicken, the honey lamb and the baklava, perhaps the best we’ve had.
Note to non-carnivores: An a la carte menu – with salmon, shrimp and vegetarian dishes – is available only during the week.
This is Albarouki’s third restaurant. He took over the long-running Marrakesh, which turns 44 in May, from his uncle in 2006. He also owns a larger Casablanca in Newcastle, DE. Marrakesh customers kept asking him to expand to the Main Line – and voila – here he is, in the old Main Line Bistro space. The place is a hit so far – Albarouki says he turned away nearly 40 people on a recent Saturday.
With just 30 seats, Casablanca is teeny tiny but likely won’t be for long. Albarouki is awaiting township approvals to expand upstairs and next door.
Casablanca, 1047 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 484-380-3911, is open nightly from 5. Reserved seatings at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends. $25 multi-course dinners, plus $12 corkage fee, tax and $18 % gratuity. Takeout and catering available.
The Simple Greek is slinging spanakopita in Wayne.
An oasis of fresh, healthy fare nestled between less virtuous bookends Five Guys and So Fun Yogurt, it’s the chain’s first Main Line spot. You may have seen The Simple Greek’s origins on CNBC’s “The Profit.” A fan of Greek food, star Marcus Lemonis is the franchisor.
A fast-casual joint, service is assembly-line style, but this ain’t no factory, folks. Everything is house made except the baked goods and an exceptionally moist falafel.
Begin with a wheat or white pita or bowl (salad, rice or lentils), then load ’er up with protein (traditional lamb/beef gyro meat, chicken gyro, grilled steak or chicken, lentils or falafel), sauce (tzatziki, hummus, spicy hummus, Greek vinaigrette, spicy red pepper or garlic cream), and toppings (various veggies, salads, feta, Kalamata olives, etc.). Pitas are $7.95. Bowls are a buck more.
Standouts during our visit: the garlic green beans, the “village” cucumber/tomato salad, the avgolemono soup (as good as Estia’s!) and the roasted red peppers (house marinated, not jarred).
The owner, Malvern dad Justin Sherrock, seems like a real standup guy, too. A Penn State engineer who worked in M & A and energy capital before feeling “called” to the restaurant business, Sherrock bought the local territory to The Simple Greek. He’ll open a second location off Rt. 29 in Malvern later this year and after that, a third spot, location TBD.
The vibe in Wayne is industrial-sleek with plenty of seats and a glass front that will open to the fresh air – sooner rather than later, we hope.
The Simple Greek, 313 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, 484-580-8400, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Party packages and catering menu available.
*** FRESH & TASTY GREEK GIVEAWAY FOR SAVVY READERS!!! Stop by The Simple Greek pronto and ask for your free “SAVVY SAMPLER”: the yummy Greek-style “village” salad, traditional hummus and spicy hummus and fresh grilled pita. So good. And totally gratis through March 31. ***
Lend a helping hand at the Main Line’s first Day of Service
Finding your religious “tribe” encourages community (a good thing), but it can wall us off from one another (not so good.)
That’s why we’re tickled to see more than a dozen Main Line churches joining hearts and hands (“The Great Co-Mission”) for a Day of Service on May 4. (The Good News in action, right?)
“We’re each trying to be part of the Body of Christ in our area and we don’t even know each other,” explains Tom Infield of Paoli Presbyterian. “Wouldn’t it be great if we acted as one?”
Participants can plant a community garden in the Mt. Pleasant section of Wayne, prepare meals for the hungry in Chester, interact with residents at senior-living facilities in Paoli, make hygiene kits for young women challenged by poverty, among other worthy projects. Sign up on the Great Co-Mission website or at your participating church.
Day of Service will be held Saturday, May 4 at various Main Line locations. Click here for more info.
The western Main Line’s first F45 studio is up and running – and squatting and lunging – in Paoli.
F45 offers “functional” circuit training workouts in 45 minutes, hence the name.
TV screens and personal trainers guide you through timed stations, where you play – OK, work – with about 30 different toys (although, obviously not in the same workout): Bosu balls, barbells, battling ropes, kettlebells, bikes, rowers – everything but treadmills. (Head to Orange Theory for those.) To keep boredom at bay, the company has created 3,000 workouts with names like “Pipeline” “Hollywood” “Bears,” each planned down to the second. And everyone at every F45 around the world does the same regimen on the same day.
F45 incorporates all the fitness trends: metabolism-jolting high-intensity interval training (HIIT), functional (real life) training, technology, personal coaching, a welcoming online community, and in-and-out efficiency. It also wants to be your only gym: alternating strength days with cardio days. Saturday sessions rock out with a live DJ (“DJ Hollywood” in Paoli) and combine strength and cardio in an hour.
Based in Australia and just seven years old, F45 claims it’s the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world. There are 1,300 locations, including 600 active or planned in the U.S. (By way of comparison, SoulCycle has 88, Pure Barre has 460. F45’s closest cousin, Orange Theory, has licensed 1,600 studios in 23 countries.)
A personal PS: I gave the Paoli studio a test run a few weeks ago on “posterior chain” day. I couldn’t do the chin-ups without a hands-on assist, my rear deltoids squawked for days, and that two-minute plank at the end was killer. But I loved the range of ages and abilities in the room, enjoyed the challenge, and certainly appreciated the “atta girl” encouragement. Good stuff.
F45 Training, 24-26 W. Lancaster Ave. (at the old Radio Shack), Paoli, 484-320-7979. First week free. Monthly memberships and 8-class packs are $159.
Former Conestoga mom and attorney Bonnie Kistler’s new book, House on Fire, is a real barn-burner: searing and smart, ignited by a twisty plot and compelling characters.
Hot off the presses (published March 12 by Simon & Schuster), it’s also tasty fodder for your Main Line book club.
Not only is it trendy “domestic suspense” fiction, it’s got Radnor Hunt written all over it.
Indeed, the book’s fortress-like compound with 10 ft. walls was inspired by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s similarly-encircled Malvern estate, Kistler tells SAVVY.
And House on Fire’s homey farmette is modeled on the “mini horse farms with fenced paddocks” that dot the Willistown countryside, she says.
The Devon Horse Show also gets a shoutout. Even the Kistlers’ old horse, stabled in Chester Springs, gets a cameo. (Actually, Romeo gets several cameos.)
An early draft of House on Fire was set in Radnor Hunt country. But Kistler says she switched the setting to the horsey hinterlands of D.C. because an intriguing subplot about diplomatic immunity required a nearby embassy.
Kistler comes by her Main Line cred naturally. She and her husband raised daughters Alison and Jordan in Devon before relocating in 2011 to Ashville, N.C. and Sarasota. Alison Kistler Smith (Stoga ’99) still lives in Berwyn and is an editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
House on Fire is the first book Kistler’s penned under her married name. (Google “Bonnie MacDougal” for earlier legal thrillers.)
A litigation attorney with Philly firms Schnader Harrison, then Pepper Hamilton, Kistler’s first and forever love has been writing. She majored in English at Bryn Mawr College and got her JD at Penn Law.
How does she get her work picked up by the likes of Simon & Schuster and Random House? “Luck, being in the right place, and having a good agent,” Kistler says.
It took her two years to write House on Fire, which came from a “germ of an idea” about the concept of “the good lie,” i.e. is it ever OK to lie to protect others?
Without giving too much away, the plot revolves around a blended family torn asunder by a drunk-driving incident that leaves the daughter of one parent dead and the son of the other charged with manslaughter. We devoured it in three sittings.
Kistler’s been compared to authors Celeste Ng and Jodi Picoult – not too shabby – but tells us she feels she’s more in the mold of novelist/lawyer Scott Turow. (Also not shabby.)
Bonnie Kistler will “read, sign, answer questions and otherwise celebrate being back home” (her Facebook words) on Sunday, March 24, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Main Point Books, Wayne. RSVP to [email protected] so the store can have plenty of nibbles and books on hand.
Wit and wisdom in T/E guidance counselor’s book, Middle Schooled
Middle schooler making you nuts? Keep your cool with Middle Schooled (Amazon, $11.95) a compilation of the funny and frank emails that Valley Forge Middle School counselor Andy Mullen sends parents each Friday.
Middle Schooled tackles topics like Friends, Dating, Cell Phones, Stress, Choosing Classes, Don’t Raise a Wimp, and, a personal fave, Kids Are Like Dogs. (Why? “Both smell when wet” and make messes in your house.)
Mullen’s emails draw on his 17 years of counseling at Conestoga and VFMS and his own pratfalls/small victories as a father of three.
The emails “started out very bland and factual and slowly turned into something more,” Mullen tells SAVVY. When he started infusing humor, they really took off. Parents urged him to turn them into a book, friends and family helped with legal work and editing, and Middle Schooled was published in August.
By Rebecca Adler
Chester County is one of the wealthiest areas in the country, top 50 last we checked. It’s easy to spot the money. What’s harder to see? The people living paycheck to paycheck.
Enter Wings for Success, a 20-year-old Frazer-based nonprofit that gives vulnerable women financial independence and stability by providing clothing, guidance and career workshops.
To date, Wings has helped more than 11,000 clients take flight. Women struggling with homelessness, addiction and domestic violence. Veterans returning to the workforce. Cancer patients finishing chemo. College students referred by local universities. Kennett Square mushroom-farm workers.
Clients meet one-on-one with a Wings’ personal stylist who assists them with apparel and accessories and gives them a safe space to share their stories. “Our volunteers are therapists in disguise,” says Executive Director Jill Laufenberg of the often emotional but ultimately empowering dressing appointments.
A favorite success story: the mother who escaped domestic violence and landed a job at Berwyn-based Melmark, an agency for adults with disabilities. She now refers young women with Down Syndrome back to Wings for work clothing.
Wings builds dignity from the bottom up, Laufenberg says, giving each woman two weeks of outfits culled from racks of donations and bins of brand-new bras, underwear, stockings and socks. Women working in health services get new scrubs and shoes.
Want to give Wings a lift? Clothing donations are accepted once a month. Or grab your gal pals on April 4 and head on over to Catwalk for Wings, a free fashion show at the Van Cleve Pavilion in Paoli featuring spring designs from local boutiques including Ellie Main Line, KW Couture and Sagets Formal Wear. Sip wine and bid on fabulous raffle prizes like Tiffany jewelry and Chloe sunglasses. There’s no cost to attend but guests must register. Donations will be gratefully accepted online and at the event.
“We’re [both] in the business of empowering and helping women discover a confidence and beauty in themselves that they didn’t see before coming in,” Laufenberg says of her partnership with bridal boutique owner Deborah Van Cleve. “Deborah treats all of her clients [like] VIPs. I like to think we do something similar with our women, even though they are coming from different situations and seasons in their lives. We’re both treating all women equally with a great sense of dignity and respect.”
Wings For Success, 490 Lancaster Ave., Frazer, 610-644-6323 (and 457 Birch St., Kennett Square). “Catwalk for Wings” will be held Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Van Cleve Pavilion, 1604 E Lancaster Ave., Paoli, 610-647-5055. Click here to register. Limited space. Please reserve by March 28.
Familiar face to take reins of sprawling health system
The just-named CEO of the UPenn Health System is a Main Line good-guy whose name should ring a bell with some T/E parents and former Devon/Strafford Little Leaguers. Kevin Mahoney, a 23-year veteran Penn Med executive, will take over from CEO Ralph Muller July 1.
A forward thinker, Mahoney co-founded UPenn’s Center for Health Care Innovation, led huge expansion projects, and oversaw the digitization of medical records and the commercialization of groundbreaking gene therapies. He’s also served as Executive Vice Dean for Integrative Services for Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Closer to home, Mahoney has long championed organizations that improve access to health care, including Devon-based ECHOES Around the World, Puentes de Salud, Community Volunteers in Medicine and the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. He also led the T/E School Board and was a longtime coach and official for Devon-Strafford Little League.
Fired by St. Joe’s, Martelli hopes to coach again
St. Joe’s University basketball coach Phil Martelli was knocked off Hawk Hill this week, dumped five months short of his 65th birthday, six weeks after the death of his father, and a season shy of 25 years as head coach.
His firing was announced on, of all days, the feast of St. Joseph.
“This was anguishing, unequivocally the hardest decision I’ve made in my life,” the university’s new athletic director Jill Bodensteiner told the Inquirer.
Given the choice to resign or be fired, Martelli chose the latter, telling the Inky’s Mike Jensen “it would not have been honorable” to deceive the players he’s asked to commit to the school and to him personally.
Although the team has suffered a few down years and Martelli would be the first to tell you he’s no saint, his legacy will endure – on and off the court. Two acts of generosity spring to mind: his cross-country phone call to the late Jim Klinges (Malvern Prep ’13) during his leukemia fight and the Post-it note on which he’d scrawled Jay Wright’s name. Martelli famously affixed the Post-it to his 2016 Big 5 Coach-of-the-Year trophy because he thought Nova’s coach was more deserving of the honor.
Martelli hopes to pace a different sideline next year, not sit behind a microphone. “I do have the juice. I do want to coach again. I won’t let it scar me,” the Media resident told Jensen.
We wish you well, Coach. And we’re sorry you won’t be around to coach Jameer Nelson Jr. next year.
Tune in to the Golf Channel early on Master’s morning, April 7, so you can root on hometown stud Sydney Yermish, 13, who’s competing in the prestigious Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, beginning at 8 a.m.
An eighth grader at Bala Cynwyd Middle School, Yermish is one of 80 junior golfers across the U.S. (and one of ten girls in her age division) to earn the invite to Augusta.
It’s not her first national tourney. She competed in the USGA Girls Junior Amateur at Pebble Beach last summer (where nerves and inexperience got the better of her, her mom says) and has won invitationals at Pinehurst and other storied courses.
Lest you think she was born with a silver club in her hand: Yermish only took up golf after she volunteered with her parents at the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club in August of 2016.
“She was just turning 11, wearing glasses and braces and could barely carry the mobile scoring pole,” her mother, Dana, tells SAVVY. But she followed the women golfers around like a puppy dog and, inspired by their stories, vowed “she was going to have a club in her hand every day.”
Practice, of course, has paid off – she’s already beaten her father, whose handicap is 6.3.
Gifted physically, Yermish stands 5 ft. 8 in. tall and wears a size 11 shoe so she may have a few more inches in her. Twice a week she hones her stamina, core strength and fine motor skills at Malvern’s Live Train Evolve. Merion Golf’s Mark Sheftic has been a teacher/mentor.
To prepare for Augusta, she’s also been putting up a storm on the kitchen floor and the back patio, her mom says.
Yermish has upped her mental game, too. A friend who’ll be competing in the Drive, Chip, Putt for the fourth time has been showing her the ropes. She knows lots of folks back home will be watching on April 7 but she’s also “super excited for the clubhouse dinner and whole Augusta experience,” her mom says. And this time on the national stage, she’ll “know everyone will be nervous, not just her.”
Vivi G. Shoes is stepping into spring with a new owner. Customer Beth Stewart has just taken the reins from Sheri Guggenheim, who closed her other VIvi G. stores and will join her hubby in retirement.
“This has been my biggest dream,” says Stewart, a former salon manager who says she could shop 24/7 and adores all things girly: fashion, footwear and jewelry.
Because she’s new to retail, Guggenheim is mentoring Stewart for the first month.
No major changes are planned but do look for even more resort wear and accessories. A relaunch party is planned for early April.
This and That
A confirmed coyote sighting. On Tuesday, Radnor police issued an alert after spotting a coyote near the intersection of Abraham’s Lane and Church Road near Wayne. If you see one of these furry fellas, don’t approach. Be careful about letting pets outside. And call 911, police say.
Kobe’s back in town. Or at least his long-lost jersey is. Two years after Kobe Bryant’s signed Aces jersey and signed Nikes were stolen from a memorabilia case at Lower Merion High School (along with his team’s state-title trophy), a Chinese fan mailed the jersey back to Ardmore. Seems the 28-year old collector in Harbin, China is a crazy Kobe fan and bought the jersey online for $2,000. Police are hopeful new info from the Chinese man will help them recover the rest of the stolen stuff.
Love Uggs? Dying for Fryes? Feetures shoe store in downtown Wayne is fading to black. Open since 2012 on Lancaster Ave. between Aubusson Home and Coco Blu, the store is holding a massive closing sale.
Time will tell whether Narberth native John Hickenlooper had rocks in his head when he decided to run for U.S. President in a mobbed Democratic field. We mention rocks because Hickenlooper is a former geologist and because the Haverford School/Wesleyan alum used the same colloquialism to describe his daredevil decision to open a brew pub in a rough part of Denver. That career risk worked out pretty well, catapulting him to mayor, then governor of Colorado. So, who knows where this one will land him?
WE INTERRUPT THIS SAVVY WITH EXCITING NEWS for anyone planning a charity event, art show, play, performance or school/business/community gathering. For years, we’ve been drowning in requests to shout out upcoming events, but, unless we’re personally involved, we’ve (sadly) had to turn y’all down, due to limited time and space. (We know your eyes will glaze over if SAVVY gets too long.) Well, we’ve got a nifty solution. Introducing (as of next issue): the SAVVY CALENDAR. For a small service fee, we’ll list your event (with clickable link and small image) in the latest edition of SAVVY, on our home page, and on a fresh new CALENDAR page. Want to hear more or have your event listed? Contact [email protected]
Now, back to business…
Remember Bianca Robertson, the 18-year-old killed in a road rage incident in West Chester in 2017? If her parents and Mural Arts Philadelphia are successful in raising funds, she’ll be memorialized forever. The Robertsons are working with Mural Arts in the hopes of creating a giant public mural to remember their daughter and decry the gun violence that took her life. The mural might go up in West Philly, which the family left for the better schools and (normally) safer streets of Chester County. Mural Arts has pledged $6,500 and the Robertsons have started a Start Some Good crowdsourcing page, hoping to raise $25,000 for the mural. Click here to donate.
The ongoing opioid crisis continues to cost lives … and dollars. Chester County has spent plenty to combat the crisis and wants Big Pharma to pay it back, filing a civil suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors a few weeks ago. Named in the suit: OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and Purdue’s owners, Endo, Janssen, Teva (including Cephalon), Allergan, Insys and Mallinckrodt, along with opioid distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson and Amerisourcebergen. Seems Chesco’s Overdose Prevention Task Force is beginning to make inroads. The county recorded 118 accidental ODs in 2018, down from 144 deaths in 2017. Still, even one life is too many. And, as you’re reading this, 30,000 county residents are struggling to recover from addiction.
A SAVVY shoutout to whiz kid Samuel Weissman. The Harriton High School senior pocketed $175,000 (yowza!) and took 2nd place in the super-prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. Which is like a national science fair on steroids, with 2,000 hopefuls vying for $1.8 million in prize money each year. Weissman says he’ll use his winnings for college but not right away. He’s so stoked about his research into how the HIV virus interacts with cancer genes, he’s taking a gap year to continue full-time in the UPenn lab he’s been working in since 7th grade. And what’s the rush? He has plenty of time to win the Nobel Prize, like 13 Talent Search winners before him. His mom sounds like a winner, too, by the way. Beth Rosenwasser told the Inky her son is “self-effacing” and “self-motivated … I’m not a tiger mom at all; he loves what he does.”
New information and a guilty verdict for the man who inexplicably shot and killed Lower Merion grad and Narberth resident John Le, 29, in July of 2017. Trial testimony revealed Rollins had taken pills and smoked pot the day of the murder in Haverford Township but offered no motive for the crime. A jury in Media found Derrick Rollins, 25, guilty of first-degree murder which carries an automatic life sentence without parole.
Happy 105, Emergency Aid, the Little Wayne Charity That Could. (Just ask the U.S. Presidents, Ambassadors and Queen Elizabeth, who’ve all sung its praises over the years.) The Ardmore French brasserie The Bercy joined the chorus, throwing EA a lovely birthday party last week. Never heard of EA? Emergency Aid Foundation of PA awards grants to nonprofits that help women and families and offers mentored scholarships to standout 9th-grade girls.
Marty Grims, owner of Autograph Brasserie and White Dog cafés in Wayne and Haverford, must have a serious case of spring fever. How else to explain his decision to launch his own “Fearless Restaurant Week” the first full week of spring, March 25 -31? (Fearless is Grims’ corporate name, as well as his ‘tude toward his expanding empire.) No lunch deals but a three-course dinner of select faves will run you $40 all week, a steal. All Fearless locations are participating: The Moshulu and Louie Louie in Philly, Tucker’s Tavern in Beach Haven and Plantation Restaurant in Harvey Cedars, as well as Autograph and all three White Dogs.
“My dad has Parkinson’s and it’s been very hard to watch,” writes SAVVY reader Amy Balog. Making good on her 2019 New Year’s resolution, she’s organized a first-time event, Pancakes for Parkinson’s, set for Saturday, May 4 at The Devon Senior Living (next to Devon Prep). The Devon is donating an omelet bar and Nudy’s is griddling the hotcakes. Register here for a 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. slot. All donations ($10 is suggested) will go to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation.
Can’t wait to hear the superstar speaker at this year’s Autism Awareness Luncheon: Jennifer O’Toole, author of Autism in Heels and the bestselling Asperkids book series. A Mensa member since age 7, she’s also won the Temple Grandin Award and advised the President’s Council on Disabilities. And yes, she’s on the spectrum. So are her husband and three kids. Yours truly is again emceeing the Louella fashion; come say hi. Tickets to this April 12 event at Aronimink, a fundraiser for the Kinney Center for Autism Support and Education at St. Joe’s, are $75. Click here to score yours.
Also super psyched to be emceeing a fab first-time event at Terrain Gardens at Devon Yard where we’ll Paint the Town Red on Thursday, April 25 at 6 p.m. Join us as we celebrate spring with live container-gardening demos, a runway fashion show from Anthropologie, Gingy’s and Louella, wine and seasonal lite bites, plus up-to-the-minute info on keeping your ticker in tick-tock shape. Click here for your $75 ticket. Proceeds benefit Main Line Health’s Women’s Heart Initiative. P.S. Now don’t you be dawdling. Space is limited.