Bethesda Project names PCCA CEO John McNichol as Honorary Chair of 20th Annual Party & Auction

This event will also feature a Champion of Change Award presentation to the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA, 03/07/2017 – Bethesda Project, a Philadelphia nonprofit providing services for homeless individuals since 1979, announced John McNichol, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, has been selected as Honorary Chair of the organization’s 20th Annual Party & Auction.  This event will take place on Thursday, April 20, in The Philadelphia Phillies’ exclusive Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park.

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“Mr. McNichol was the obvious choice for Honorary Chair of our 20th Annual Party & Auction,” remarked Bethesda Project CEO Tina Pagotto. “This is the perfect way to celebrate Mr. McNichol’s dedication to solving issues surrounding homelessness within our community. We are so honored to have him join in our efforts to raise funds that directly support the life-changing work we do at Bethesda Project.” McNichol serves as co-chair of the Chronic Street Homelessness subcommittee of the Mayor’s Shared Public Spaces Work Group.

In addition to honoring Mr. McNichol, Bethesda Project will be presenting its inaugural Champion of Change award to the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) of Philadelphia for over 15 years of diversified support to the organization. Kathy Wilkins and Deanna Ballinger of BOMA will be accepting the award on behalf of the organization and a special ticket rate is being extended to all BOMA members.

“For many, Bethesda Project provides the means necessary to take the first steps towards a new, healthy, self-sufficient life,” states Kristine Kiphorn, Executive Director of BOMA Philadelphia. “We pledge our continued support to this remarkable organization and applaud the work of the terrific Bethesda Project team, as we stand together to improve the environment and shared spaces where we all live, work and play.”

Bethesda Project’s 20th Annual Party & Auction features Karen Hepp and Bob Kelly of Fox29 Good Day Philadelphia. It will be a night filled with delicious food and drinks, an exciting online silent auction, live music provided by the talented students of the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities with the 2008 World Series Trophy and special guest, the Philly Phanatic. Visit www.bethesdaproject.org/bpauction for tickets.

About Bethesda Project
Bethesda Project provides emergency shelter, housing and supportive services for thousands of homeless individuals in Philadelphia. By providing a home and safe environments in each of its 13 sites throughout Philadelphia, homeless men and women can stabilize and regain their dignity & self-worth. From street outreach and shelters to permanent housing residences with supportive services, its locations create a “continuum of care” for Philadelphia’s chronically homeless. Bethesda Project meets men and women where they are, providing case management to help them achieve their highest personal potential. Now, 37 years since its beginning, Bethesda Project remains committed to its initial calling — to find and care for the abandoned poor and to be family with those who have none. www.bethesdaproject.org  or find us on Twitter @Bethesda_Proj

About John McNichol
John J. McNichol is President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA).  With more than 1 million-square feet of meeting space in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, the Center is the economic driver of the region’s hospitality industry.  The Center hosts approximately 250 events annually that attract more than 1.2 million planners, attendees, and exhibitors, resulting in a regional economic impact or more than $750 million each year and growing.
John serves as a member of the PHLCVB Board of Directors, Philadelphia Sports Congress Board Executive Committee, Pennsylvania Tourism Partnership Steering Committee, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the Reading Terminal Market Board of Directors.  He is also Chairman of the Board of Rugby Pennsylvania – the state-wide league responsible for administering all youth and high school aged rugby across the state -- and a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union Board of Directors. 

About BOMA Philadelphia
BOMA Philadelphia is a trade association comprised of over 500 members representing more than 100 million square feet of commercial real estate in the Philadelphia region. An influential force, BOMA Philadelphia provides excellence among commercial real estate professionals and related service providers through advocacy, professional development, educational & training opportunities, information sharing, forums for interaction, and community involvement. www.bomaphila.org

BETHESDA PROJECT RECEIVES $25,000 GRANT FROM THE PHILADELPHIA FOUNDATION

The funding will be used for General Operating support

Philadelphia, PA, 02/23/2017 – Bethesda Project has received a $25,000 grant from The Philadelphia Foundation to provide general operating support for the programs and services it provides to over 2,000 homeless and formerly homeless individuals in Philadelphia every year. Announcement of the grant was made by Pedro A. Ramos, President and CEO of the Foundation. The funding came from three of TPF’s memorial funds—the William P. Gest Memorial Fund, the Dorothy D. Arnold Memorial Fund, and the Margot de Wit Memorial Fund—all of which prioritize health & human services in Philadelphia. This funding will allow Bethesda Project to continue its critical, life-changing work in the city of Philadelphia. Bethesda Project takes pride in its services and, thanks to the generosity of funders like The Philadelphia Foundation, this work will not only continue, but will grow exponentially.

The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) is one of America’s oldest community foundations (founded in 1918), and is committed to improving the quality of life in Pennsylvania counties of Greater Philadelphia. A foundation and public charity, TPF connects philanthropic resources and societal needs. TPF manages assets of approximately $370 million and more than 900 charitable funds established by its fund holders. It distributes about $25 million annually to nearly 1,000 nonprofits as grants and scholarships, and promotes greater philanthropy and stronger nonprofits in service to community needs. To learn more, visit www.philafound.org.

 

BETHESDA GAMES: VALENTINES EDITION!

Our first Bethesda Games of 2017 was a roaring success! Around noon on February 15th, all Bethesda Project's guests and residents were invited to Bethesda's North Broad site where staff member Sarah Erdo was kicking off the best Valentines Party in Bethesda Project history! 

Sam tries her luck at drawing the most perfect heart in "Blind Hearts"

Sam tries her luck at drawing the most perfect heart in "Blind Hearts"

First, family members were treated to doughnuts and coffee while some fierce competition was had in seemingly never-ending games of dominoes and pinochle. Then, lunch was served along with cookies, chocolates and cupcakes!

Once the real games began, the party really took off--first, guests and residents were challenged to "Blind Hearts" where all willing participants were asked to draw the most perfect heart they could while BLINDFOLDED! We ended up with a solid top 3 winners, who were awarded gift cards to Wawa or Dunkin' Donuts, or were given the option to select a cozy blanket or fresh smelling body wash from our prize table.

Kay and Dennis hold the illustrious "Hot Bear"

Kay and Dennis hold the illustrious "Hot Bear"

Next up was a rowdy game of "Hot Bear," which is basically "Hot Potato" but with a Valentines Bear. Only a few brave souls were up for the challenge, but in the end we witnessed a serious face off between residents Kay and Dennis. Eventually, the music stopped and Kay won not only a Wawa gift card but the Hot Bear itself!

We finished off this Bethesda Games with a long game of bingo, which had our highest attendance rate by far. At the end of the day, all our family members went back to their own beds with multiple prizes and bellies full of treats!

Thank you Sarah for making this event such a success and thank you to the Bethesda Project Community Life Council for bringing such enthusiasm to Bethesda Games: VALENTINES EDITION!

Polishing Up Bethesda North Broad

Window washer hard at work!

Window washer hard at work!

The window cleaners from JENKINTOWN Building Services were spreading the love on Tuesday morning as a special Valentine’s Day, Random Act of Kindness at Bethesda North Broad.

A window cleaner from JENKINTOWN polished up the first floor windows facing North Broad Street and later gave out special valentines and candy hearts with the staff and residents, to help spread the love on this special day.

“Last November, on #GivingTuesday we made a commitment to clean buildings for various organizations whose real estate is critical to their mission,” said Marty Tuzman, Owner of JENKINTOWN Building Services.  “This Valentine's Day, we are cleaning 722 North Broad Street for Bethesda Project in recognition of Random Acts of Kindness Day, which takes place this Friday.”

Marty Tuzman pictured here with Bethesda North Broad Program Coordinator, Emma, who was THRILLED to have her windows washed!

Marty Tuzman pictured here with Bethesda North Broad Program Coordinator, Emma, who was THRILLED to have her windows washed!

Tuzman is a strong advocate of corporate giving and community support.  “There are so many non-profits in our city who use their real estate to provide much-needed service in our communities,” he says.  “We can do Random Acts of Kindness on Valentine’s Day or any day throughout the year.”

JENKINTOWN Building Services is the largest window cleaning and exterior building maintenance company in the Philadelphia region. They began in 1933 as a residential/storefront window cleaning company and grew dramatically over the past eight decades. They now service most of the high-rise properties in Center City Philadelphia and beyond, including Comcast Tower, One & Two Liberty Place, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and most of the multifamily real estate, government, and entertainment venues in the region. JENKINTOWN Building Services is locally based with the largest team of high-rise technicians in the region.

2017 HUD Point in Time Count

Our Volunteer & Community Engagement Manager, Sarah, was representing Bethesda Project with Engagement Specialist Kharisma at this year's Point in Time Count. HUD's Point in Time Count is done annually to get an accurate number of how many sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals there are on a single night in January. HUD requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night. This photo shows Sarah & Kharisma at 3:30 a.m. near the tail end of their night making sure all the folks experiencing homelessness in Philly are recognized and accounted for.

Great work from the Bethesda Project family!

MLK Day(s) of Service

Sarah attended a Friends Central MLK Day Assembly where students assembled more than 500 bagged lunches and 200 toiletry bags. Sarah also received a $900 check that Friend’s Central raised on behalf of Bethesda.

Philly Barber School students cut hair at My Brother's House on MLK Day with Salvation of Sorrows, Inc.

Philly Barber School students cut hair at My Brother's House on MLK Day with Salvation of Sorrows, Inc.

Salvation of Sorrows, INC provided free haircuts at MBH & OBP, while North Broad hosted 20 volunteers from Upper Merion through the ongoing relationship with David Broida. This group provided the residents of North Broad brunch, literature on MLK, and a chance to sing hymns together.

The college program from St Norbert's College in Wisconsin were on site the entire week after MLK Day! The guests at OBP enjoyed the students tremendously. Every day they were here, the group had one hour of education on homelessness in Philadelphia and the role Bethesda Project plays to support and care for this community, including meeting with Father Domenic Rossi. The group also completed service work and deep cleaning of OBP along with spending quality time with OBP’s guests and residents. This volunteer group truly enriched the Bethesda Community.

St. Norbert College students gather for a photo after a week of volunteering at Our Brothers' Place!

St. Norbert College students gather for a photo after a week of volunteering at Our Brothers' Place!

Another Successful Empty Bowls Event at Malvern Prep!

Tina Pagotto, Bethesda Project CEO, shows off her bowls

Tina Pagotto, Bethesda Project CEO, shows off her bowls

On January 13th, Bethesda Project was honored to be the beneficiary of Malvern Prep's annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. In this its 9th year, Malvern Prep has generated over $80,000 in funding for Bethesda Project through this special event meant to connect each students' talents to service efforts. 

Attendees enjoyed a complimentary, hand thrown bowl, unlimited helpings of soup, and inspiring words from our speakers. Not only did Bethesda Project CEO Tina Pagotto deliver remarks on the importance of the students' involvement in this fundraiser, but guests enjoyed a few words of encouragement from Bethesda Project resident Philip, who called on the audience to get involved in their community because "life is about what you can give back."

Bethesda guest Philip speaks to the Empty Bowls attendees about the importance of volunteerism.

Bethesda guest Philip speaks to the Empty Bowls attendees about the importance of volunteerism.

Not only did we leave with armfuls of beautiful bowls, but we left with a better understanding of what Empty Bowls means to the Bethesda Project family and the importance of service in our community.

Thank you to Malvern Prep for always believing in the Bethesda Project family and its mission!