KYW reporter goes for the gold at the Transplant Games

All smiles at the Transplant Games of America (from left): Derek Fitzgerald, Jim Melwert, Kyle Atras and Bert Fox.
All smiles at the Transplant Games of America (from left): Derek Fitzgerald, Jim Melwert, Kyle Atras and Bert Fox.
Posted: July 22, 2014

THE LIFE of a reporter can be pretty tough sometimes. For example, you try taking notes while participating in a swim meet. KYW Newsradio's Jim Melwert knows how hard it is firsthand.

Last week, with a little help from the Gift of Life program, Melwert was in Houston reporting on and participating in the Transplant Games of America, an Olympics-style event for people who have donated or received an organ. In 2006, Melwert stepped in to give his aunt Jean DelMuto, who had polycystic kidney disease, one of his kidneys.

"We're all here for the same reason. People you've never met, it feels like you've known them for five years," Melwert said about the togetherness of the games.

Melwert, who swam and ran, watched as everyone from infants (the youngest participant was born in September) to a 79-year-old took part. Although it's nice to win big, it's finishing that matters. As the final competitor finished up the 500-meter freestyle, Melwert recalled: "You could tell there were a couple of times he wanted to give up but the crowd kept cheering him on. . . . The guy who finishes first gets a small smattering of applause, the guy who finishes last gets a roar."

His aunt was unable to compete this year, but Melwert has already told her to mark off the 2016 date in her calendar.

"This is right up her alley. She would cheer for anything," Melwert said. "She wants to do the ballroom dancing, but her husband surely isn't going to be her partner."

'Good' on Tarantino

Did "Good Day Philadelphia" get a major scoop on the next Quentin Tarantino movie? I was catching up on my "Good Day" viewing when I saw Mike Jerrick and the gang's interview with actor Kurt Russell, who was promoting his new Netflix documentary, "The Battered Bastards of Baseball."

Russell told the "Good Day" gang that he starts shooting Tarantino's next film, "The Hateful Eight," as early as next year, confirming his official involvement. (Russell and Tarantino worked together on "Death Proof.") The Western was originally scrapped after the script was leaked online.

A Famous wedding

Here's an ooey-gooey story to make you smile on a Monday (and just because it has to do with some of the best cookies in Philadelphia): Lou Yaffe, a Philly kid through and through, got married to Emily Kachinsky at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston a couple of weekends ago. The couple had four tastings but couldn't find anything that rivaled the cookies at Famous Fourth Street at the Reading Terminal for a sweet treat. So Elizabeth Spies-Evans, of the Broad Street Ritz, teamed up with the Famous Fourth Street's David Auspitz to bake enough cookies for the Yaffe-Kachinsky nuptials. Two Ritz employees drove the precious cargo up to Boston. "I love to do stuff like that," Auspitz told me when I called him about it. "No one goes out of their way anymore."


* Chef Michael Schulson's newly opened Independence Beer Garden (100 S. Independence Mall West) was the place to be this weekend. I hear the Eagles' Riley Cooper popped by on Friday night during happy hour, while Fox 29's Mike Jerrick and Colleen Wolfe walked down from their nearby office. Their colleague, Howard Eskin, was also sighted by one of my spies, along with ex-state Sen. Vince Fumo.

* The Kimmel Center was packed to the gills on Thursday when Philadelphia Style magazine held the 10th annual Best of Philly Style party. Mayor Nutter kicked off the event, while former "Apprentice" contestant Erin Elmore, recent "Project Runway" victor Dom Streater, former "Mob Wives" star Alicia DiMichele and others hobnobbed and snacked on bites from spots around the city. Check out photos of some other attendees in Party People, Page 25.

April Margera, mom of "Jackass" star Bam Margera, stopped by to see her son's old colleague, Steve-O, perform at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.) this weekend.


On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN


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