'Party in the Park' at the Mann Center recognizes community heroes

It's the biggest fundraising night of the year for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The annual "Party in the Park" at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia was held on Wednesday evening.

It's the biggest fundraising night of the year for the Mann.

Some were recognized during the event, including Dr. Ala Stanford, who founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. She was overcome with emotion when honored.

"It was my vision and initiative, but I have a strong group of doctors, nurses, clinicians and non-clerical people that make this work," said Dr. Stanford.

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Family, friends, staff and even Philadelphia's own legendary Patti LaBelle took time to say thank you to Dr. Stanford.

Philanthropist Ed Satell of the Satell Institute was also honored Wednesday night. He's also an advocate for musical education and a partner with the Mann.

"It's our community. We ought to make it better. People did it for us and it's our job to continue on with that," said Satell.

The Mann's longstanding corporate sponsor PECO was also recognized.

"Movies at the Mann" was held after the ceremony. The selection was the classic "E.T."

Playing the film's score was the Mann Center Festival Orchestra.

Laura Smith and the kids were among the families in attendance.

"It's such a great opportunity to get out and do something while being safe. It's outside and spread out. We love the orchestra," said Smith of the city's Roxborough neighborhood.

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Dr. Nahreen Ahmed helped take a community from having the highest COVID-19 rates to the highest vaccine rates.

Dr. Stanford also wanted to stress that the fight against COVID is far from over yet. She's recommending everyone get a booster shot of the vaccine after U.S. health officials made their announcement earlier in the day.

"After September 20, we all need to be rolling up ourselves again," said Dr. Stanford.

The "Movies at the Mann" series isn't over yet. There's one more date set for September 25 at 8 pm. They'll be showing "Black Panther."

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