Inqlings: Heidi Hamels makes winning pitch

Mr. Steel Pier, Ed Hurst (left), visited the Woodbury Mews retirement community in Gloucester County on Wednesday. He was joined by fellow radio veteran Dean Tyler and Maria D'Orazio, chef at Woodbury Mews.
Mr. Steel Pier, Ed Hurst (left), visited the Woodbury Mews retirement community in Gloucester County on Wednesday. He was joined by fellow radio veteran Dean Tyler and Maria D'Orazio, chef at Woodbury Mews.
Posted: August 15, 2010

How do you get Tony Orlando to sing with LeAnn Rimes?

Heidi Hamels, who booked them and comedian Joe Conklin for a Sept. 23 fund-raiser for the Hamels Foundation, says it was as easy as picking up the phone.

Hamels, wife of Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, says she's been friends with Orlando's son, Jon, from growing up in the Branson, Mo., area. "I called him and told him I want to do something cool," she tells me. "He called me back 30 minutes later." She called Rimes' agent, who had heard of the foundation for its well-regarded work in Africa.

Hamels, who appeared in Playboy and on Survivor, is exploiting her connections, promising to import Playmates as well as such folks as Richard Hatch to Union Trust steak house in Center City. Comcast SportsNet's Michael Barkann will host.

It's called Diamonds & Denim because jeweler Bernie Robbins has kicked in a diamond and guests are expected to wear denim.

The goal, Hamels says, is $250,000, and about half the proceeds will go to Philadelphia schools. Most of the $300 tickets, sold through, are gone.

And something else charitable is going on, but it is not clear what: Hip-hop/R&B hit maker Jay Sean met at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Friday with the Philadelphia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Sean emerged from a conference room with a video crew, several former NFL cheerleaders, and lawyer Lori Landew of Cozen O'Connor. No one would divulge the topic of the meeting.

More Phils notes

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins owns a piece of the Snoop Dogg oeuvre. Last week, Rollins bought a portion of the copyright on "Sexual Eruption" from songwriter Seneca Lovejoy, 24. "It's like buying an annuity," says Rollins attorney Christopher Cabott.

Shake Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz's mitt from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday at the Chickie's & Pete's at 1526 Packer Ave. It's part of an after-party for Play Day, a promotion for WIP-AM (610) at FDR Park at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue.

After his first win as a Phillies pitcher Wednesday, Roy Oswalt and three buddies were spotted having a late dinner at Rouge on Rittenhouse Square. Their next stop, says my source, was the McDonald's around the corner on Walnut Street - which was closed. Oswalt, therefore, was shut out.


The thriller The Dark Fields, which director Neil Burger filmed here in the spring with Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, and Anna Friel, will reach the big screen March 18, according to its distributor. How Do You Know, the Reese Witherspoon-Owen Wilson-Paul Rudd-Jack Nicholson comedic romp, which James L. Brooks shot here last summer, is up for a Dec. 17 release. The trailer is in theaters now. Future: There's a November start date for the shooting of Safe, a thriller starring Jason Statham.

Norristown-born filmmakers Stephen and Timothy Quay, a.k.a. the Brothers Quay (Street of Crocodiles, In Absentia), are holed up at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum for the next two weeks as they produce Anatomica Aesthetica, an animated film on the quirky museum. The identical twins, who live in London, received $287,000 in grants from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage's Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. As it's their first time making a film in the United States, they met Friday for lunch at Slate in Center City with Greater Philadelphia Film Office chief Sharon Pinkenson.

Dining doings

Tim Spinner, who's been cheffing for Jose Garces since the now-Iron Chef left Stephen Starr's restaurant empire seven years ago to open Amada, is going out on his own. On Friday, Spinner told his staff at Distrito in University City that he and beverage director Brian Sirhal would open Cantina Feliz on Bethlehem Pike in Fort Washington this winter. The location previously was Alison two. Garces seems accepting of the departure: He called Spinner "a great talent" and "a great friend" who will be missed, "as he is someone who everyone enjoyed working with here."

Kevin Sbraga, a cheftestant on the current Top Chef series on Bravo, will bow out of the kitchen at the country-formal Rat's in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, in September. He's been executive chef there since July 2009. His rep insists it has nothing to do with the show's outcome. Sbraga is planning his own restaurant, as soon as he finds a financial backer.

Briefly noted

Signs reading "Wells Fargo Center" are expected to start going up Tuesday on the South Philly arena.

Flyers Danny Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Kimmo Timonen are chairing the Flyers Charities Celebrity Invitational, Sept. 14 at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County. Details:

Meteorologist Doug Kammerer, whose last day at CBS3 will be Tuesday, joined his wife, Holly, at a send-off Thursday attended by colleagues past and present, including Bob Kelly, Dave Huddleston, Nicole Brewer, Liz Keptner, and Chris May, plus NBC10's Justin Pizzi and's Erin Como. He will start as chief meteorologist at the NBC station in Washington on Aug. 23, which happens to be the first day on the air for new CBS3 morning anchor Erika von Tiehl, just in from Miami.

Fishtown comic Eric "Doogie" Horner, ousted from NBC's America's Got Talent on Aug. 4, is back in the hunt. Horner, 30, a graphic designer at Quirk Books, will appear Tuesday (9 p.m., NBC10) on a special wild-card edition of the show. Horner sure aims to please. He told the audience that his wife had accused him of being misogynistic. His retort: "Where'd a pretty girl like you learn a big word like misogynistic?"

Contact columnist Michael Klein at Follow his blog at and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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