Stars of David Week of June 23, 2005


The Torch is passed – and Stephen D. Steinour's accepting. The chairman/CEO of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania – you know, the commercials where the tellers will give up their own parents' parking spot if it means you'll make a deposit (don't know how the parents feel, but the customers seem to think it's fine) – has received the Torch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League. … For Peet's sake – and Mulroney's too: Music, medical research, sports, clothing – is it really all that surprising that the protean Sidney Kimmel knows his way around a good Hollywood story, too? The prominent Philadelphia philanthropist, whose entertainment company has a long and much-honored legacy, is producing "Griffin and Phoenix," a love story starring Amanda Peet and Dermot Mulroney. … It's a long way from Stuckeyville, but Michael Ian Black is still bowling over audiences. The erstwhile Hillsborough, N.J., resident is teaming with Michael Showalter and David Wain on Comedy Central's summertime "Stella," based on their stage hit of absurdist humor. Too bad it's too late for Brando to make a cameo on the June 28 premiere. … Yo' mama! Hey, that's a compliment when it's directed at lovely leading lady Kat Dennings. The Philadelphia native is starring opposite Martin Lawrence in "Big Mama 2," now being filmed in Hollywood. Who says? Edie Robb, her longtime Philly-born manager, that's who. … Why the honor? Causa! Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, senior rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, in Elkins Park, has been conferred a doctor of divinity degree, honoris causa, by HUC-JIR. Sussman's salute is for his silver anniversary of special service to the Jewish community. … Wonder if he'll get a discount on the cheese hoagies: Howard B. Stoecker is the new CEO/vice chairman of the board of Wawa. Some people just seem to roll only 7s and 11s in life. … "We are number … 2!" Well, it's not the top spot but certainly a top honor for Penn's School of Medicine, ranked second – reportedly the only Philly-based med school to make the top 40 – in funding earned from the National Institutes of Health. For the record, Johns Hopkins finished first. The Hertz and Avis of healing? … Comedy tonight! And tomorrow night, too, and then some. Marc and Jana Grossman have just opened the Helium Comedy Club on Sansom Street in Center City, specializing in audiences inhaling national headliners. Maybe Marc and Jana need a laugh: He's a former stock trader; she's finishing up her doctoral dissertation in clinical health psychology at Yeshiva U. … Good news, bad news: Abington Memorial Hospital is one of a select group of hospitals nationwide just honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "for substantially raising the organ-donation rates of eligible donors who died in their facilities in 2004." … Across the river to grandma's house, Stars stopped to salute Cooper University Hospital of Camden, recently named a winner of the 2005 Aster Award, a national marketing honor. Stars likes to call this story "Kelly Ripa from the headlines." … The verdict's in: Stewart L. Cohen of Kessler, Cohen & Roth, P.C., was cited in the "Top 100 Verdicts of 2004" by the National Law Journal. The case resulted in a $25 mil jury decision. And no one – no one! – asked to be called Denny Crane. … Pepper Hamilton LLP's "Commercial Litigation Report" and "Pro Bono News" have received the Burton Award for best law firm newsletters. Stars hears, however, that Bono was too busy saving the world to show up for the ceremony.


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