COMMUNITY: Entertaining “Cocktail-Style” for Non-Profit Events

December 7, 2010 ,
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Over the past 30 years of producing events in Philadelphia there’s one thing we’ve learned here at Evantine Design – you have to give back to the community that supports YOU!  Aside from whatever charitable organizations we might support personally, and there are many, as a company we proudly support non-profit organizations that turn to us to jazz up their events with that little bit of extra style.  Style, that is, that doesn’t blow the budget.  

[Photos courtesy of Marie Labbancz]

In May, along with Stephen STARR Events, we were honored to produce MANNA’s Nourish Awards 2010 celebrating MANNA’s 20th year of serving the community, as well as the achievements of M•A•C AIDS Fund, the Abramson Cancer Center, and R. Duane Perry (the founder of The Food Trust).  Since 1990, MANNA (the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) has prepared and delivered medically appropriate and nutritionally nourishing meals to individuals and families battling life-threatening illnesses.   Illinesses like HIV/AIDS and cancer amongst others.  In fact, they prepare and deliver more than 80,000 nutritious meals each month!  How’s that for a catering endeavor?  Impressive, to say the least.  Certainly a feat to be celebrated!


When asked to participate in their inaugural fundraising event, the Nourish Awards, it took us all of a second to say “we’d love to be involved!”  We find nothing more rewarding than helping others get the message out and remembered! 

The MANNA Nourish Awards was held at the 23rd Street Armory, usually a raw and cavernous space that we transformed into a vibrant dinner party and awards ceremony.  Rather than hosting a formal sit-down dinner, we worked with MANNA and STARR to design a large cocktail-style party that encouraged guests to mix and mingle.  That meant providing multiple food stations, bars and seating areas throughout the large space that allowed guests to graze here and there in a more intimate environment.  But those food stations weren’t shoved against a wall;  instead, they were placed in the middle of the space or popped in between furniture groupings.  Just like your living room!   No one had to walk far for a sexy cocktail or a plate of sushi.  STARR also kept tray after tray of delicious hors d’oeuvres and colorful cocktails coming from their hidden kitchen area! 

Turning to our warehouse for affordable-yet-stylish inspiration proved easy as it’s filled with ottomans, beds, cocktail tables, community tables, chairs, linens and pillows.  Something that again makes Evantine appealing to non-profits because we already have a large inventory of thematic props, trendy furniture and decorative elements.  Our various crisp white furniture pieces looked amazing paired with “Donny Osmond” purple.  Everything from the lighting, linens, flowers, pillows and candles was layered in tones lavender, magenta and grape.  All evening guests perched at the high top community tables or gathered with friends at the clusters of cocktail tables.   The casual, relaxed cocktail party vibe translated into a fundraising event which kept the crowd comfortably engaged.  Exactly what we hoped would happen!

The multi-media awards ceremony was made from the center of the space on a circular stage.   Multiple video screens were placed around the perimeter as well as at either end of the space to provide easy viewing for all guests no matter where they were situated.  The evening was a resounding success and we look forward to collaborating on the next Nourish Awards!

For more information about MANNA, visit or call 215-496-2662.


  1. A rose by any other name would be you Brian. Giving comes from the heart and yours is huge. We all thank you for all you do and your magnificent talent!

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