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DIRECTOR’S CUT

“Gor-don! Gor-don!” chanted the pre-screening crowd for “Jack of Clubs” as filmmaker Gordon DelGiorno—in all-black and lean as a wolf—swept into Sugarfoot Downtown. So how does it feel to have the world premiere of your new movie just minutes away at Theatre N? “I’ve been doing a lot of deep-breathing and yoga-—in my mind,” Gordon said. Sounds healthier than tossing back an espresso martini, under the circumstances. “Jack of Clubs” stars Matt Flack as a kid-shy fella sentenced to community service at Boys & Girls Clubs. Justin James Thomas, 10, of Collings Lakes, New Jersey, delivers the goods as a tyke named Bobby. “He’s very insecure. He wets his pants a lot,” Justin said of his character. Uh-oh. “They just threw water on me,” explained Justin, a cherub who acted as if it was all in a day’s work. Justin was with his sister Abigail Thomas, a Sissy Spacek lookalike at age 7 who was an extra in the film, and their mom, Michelle Thomas. Patti Nelson, a stylist at Fabrizio Salon in Wilmington, who did hair and makeup for “Jack of Clubs,” Senate Minority Whip Liane Sorenson, cineaste Bev Zimmermann, Annette Aerenson of Montchanin and cycling enthusiast Mike Clark of Wilmington hobnobbed at the party, too. Did you know that Meghan Pasricha of Hockessin, a Sanford School grad who’s a psychology major at Harvard, was named one of the top 10 college women in America by Glamour magazine? See the June issue, suggested proud mom Sadna Pasricha.

CANCER SURVIVORS ROCK!

Elizabeth Edwards’ battle with Stage IV breast cancer was the elephant in the room at the Red Balloon Brunch, a benefit for The Wellness Community-Delaware, which helps cancer-affected people through free support programs. “When breast cancer comes back, it’s not like diabetes or heart disease. There are stronger repercussions. You never know what’s going to happen,” said Cynthia Dwyer, executive director of The Wellness Community. Cindy, a two-time cancer survivor, concluded, “We don’t need to sensationalize cancer.” To Stan Diver, chairman of Diver Chevrolet in Wilmington, Elizabeth and John Edwards’ ordeal evoked the famous O. Henry short story “The Gift of the Magi.” “He wanted to quit the presidential race for her sake, and she wanted him to stay in it for his sake,” Stan observed. “It’s not just one person who goes through this. You go through it together.” Joe Amon, owner of The Community News, and The Wellness Community’s president-elect, was squarely in the Edwards’ camp. “People who are compassionate with a definite interest in cancer will identify with what she’s going through,” Amon says. “And they’ll see that what he’s going through is endearing.”

Conley Ward’s Steakhouse came through with its customary culinary excellence. Put that restaurant in the food-for-hope camp. At the silent auction, Sheridan Quarless Kingsbury of Hockessin eyed the porcelain tea set donated by Everything But the Kitchen Sink. Marcy Spivack, a member of the brunch’s steering committee, patted the color-flecked rabbit jacket from Jacques Ferber during a live auction that was gaveled by Dave Raymond, a.k.a. the former Phillie Phanatic. Red balloons floated everywhere, tagged with the names of people whose lives had been touched by cancer. About 180 guests made the scene, despite competition from a brunch held at the same time on behalf of Delaware Hospice, Inc. at Harry’s Savoy Grill. Calling all benefit committees: Could we have a scheduling clearinghouse to avoid such overlap?

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CHILLING AT P2P

Oh, to be young and pretty and wearing a Lilly Pulitzer shift at Point-to-Point. Bare legs and those lace-licked, preppy-print frocks were de rigeur for women at Winterthur’s famous race day. But what about the conspicuously older squares who are missing a chic gene and shivered on those chilly hills? “You are wearing shorts? You are sick,” said Jose Pereira-Ogan, scolding his friend Ken Rizzo of Swedesboro, New Jersey, while picnicking on the general admission side. Since Jose is associate director of Christiana Psychiatric Services, we’ll take his prognosis at face value. But Ken insisted his Hilton Head National windbreaker kept him toasty. The gals’ mini-skirts were another matter. “Oh, they’re cruising. They’re looking to hook up,” was Ken’s view.

Fashion vs. comfort is the perennial predicament. Entering at Gate 5, we caught Laura Hoelzer of Greenville in skimpy cotton garb. She admitted she was cold. “But she looks stylish,” said her date, Brett Cohen, of Washington, D.C. Trailblazers for ladies of a certain age included Betsy Preston Hershey, who was wrapped in willow green and cream separates with green-trimmed Puma sneakers from Peter Kate Shoes, and Debbie Riegel of Montchanin, who looked smashing in a magnolia-appliquéd, pearl-gray jacket with black gaucho pants.

Alicia and Jim Stein of Centreville served Francina’s secret-recipe fried chicken (Francina is their housekeeper) alongside brownies rustled up by their actorly son, Edward Stein, who was in from Los Angeles. Fancy straw hats, another Winterthur signature, stayed in place despite the gusts. Our apocryphal prize for the most original headgear goes to Dean Bobbitt of Williamstown, West Virginia, and Ryan Petrunich of Scranton, Pennsylvania, who were lobbing plastic rings at each other’s striped Conehead hats.

You men. Sometimes when you look goofy you hit the mark.

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ART THROBS

Sha-zaam! The Delaware College of Art and Design became a sexy cause when honorary chair Jamie Wyeth showed up at A Decade of DCAD, the effervescent gala at 500 Delaware Ave. in Wilmington to celebrate the school’s 10th anniversary. Jamie-—a bit of a dandy in crepe knickers with pin-dotted hose and a dusky blue, smock-style jacket—has been toiling on a series of paintings called “the Seven Deadly Sins.” “This is a good place to do it, don’t you think?” Jamie joked, referring to our neck of the woods. (Maybe he knows something we don’t.) Jamie, who donated his mixed-media “Garrulous Gull” to the night’s auction, wasÊ surrounded by Bernadette DeSeta Buccini, the honorary event chair, and Monique Rollins, the youngest member of DCAD’s Board of Overseers. Curly-topped Theo Philipps, a portrait painter from London, recently finished his first royal portrait, he told us. The subject: Sophie Wessex, wife of the Windsors’ Prince Edward, a nice credential to have.

Joyce Hill Stoner is so sweet, we had to ask what her husband, Patrick Stoner, film critic for WHYY, thought of summer’s first blockbuster, “Spider-Man 3.” She wasn’t sure. “He comes home to relax,” Joyce said, then—oh, yes—he must have seen Spidey because he gave grandson David, age 8, an electronic souvenir. Wilmington Mayor Jim Baker was accompanied by Tanya Washington, his special assistant. Lynn and John Wigton glowed from wintering in Naples, Florida. Claire and Michael Marquardt had just returned from the spring gala at The Kennedy Center, where Harry Connick Jr. performed, among others. More stars brightening A Decade of DCAD included Tina and Pete Hayward, Christine Powell and Bill Duncan, Louise Vinton, Michele Rollins, and event committee members Michele Besso, Milbrey Jacobs and Bev Zimmermann, as well as live-auction artists Ed Loper SR. and Margaret Scott Kincannon. A sassy new drink, Absolut Pear Mojitos, brightened the social view, too.

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JUST ADD WATER

No live auction? The verdant splendor of Longwood Gardens as a backdrop? No wonder the Beach Ball, thrown by Friends of Elwyn, seemed like a tony respite from more strenuous black-tie hullabaloo. Martin and Annemarie Eichelberger, representing the Wilmington Trust Delaware Board of Managers, headlined the corporate contingent. Past co-chairs Janet and Jack Krol stayed in Florida, but Elwyn benefactors Deborah and Rafe Hamilton of Wilmington made the scene. Flip-flops were optional at this beachy-keen fundraiser. Everyone had oceans of fun. Dick Vermeil, the former Philadelphia Eagles coach, partied hearty “because I know where the proceeds are going,” he said.

Elwyn, headquartered in Media, Pennsylvania, is a human services non-profit with a slew of programs designed for people with disabilities. There’s a satellite office in Wilmington. Elwyn president Sandra Cornelius struck fashion gold in a sweeping, buttercup-yellow Scaasi gown that her husband, Chalmers Cornelius, a dermatologist, had ordered on eBay.

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PNC (PLEASE, NO CLAIRE) NIGHT

“I have a bet with a friend on how many times Claire De Matteis gets mentioned in the Gabby column, and I think I’m going to win,” Melinda McGuigan

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