Past Foundation Events

Off to the Races - 13th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala

The NHS Human Services Foundation was “Off to the Races” for the 13th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia, PA. Guests were treated to an evening of Triple Crown fun with themes loosely based on The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes. From signature cocktails and flowers to the hats and horses, everyone got the sense of being in the thick of the action at the track. NHS Foundation Board Member, Joe Besecker of Emerald Asset Management, provided six horse races that guests could “bet” on for a chance to win fun prizes in the “win, place and show horse race” raffle.

Pat Ciarrocchi, former news anchor for CBS3 in Philadelphia, was the emcee for the evening. To kick off the program, Pat welcomed the Germantown Recovery Community Choir to sing two songs. They were met with a standing ovation which set the tone for a wonderful night!

The Leading the Way Award, presented to Dr. Raza Bokhari, Chairman and CEO of Parkway Clinical Laboratories, was honored to be this year’s award recipient, and he thanked NHS for many years of partnership. This year’s Fran Egan Courage Award recipients were two mothers from our Foster Care Program, Deborah Baran and Mildred Santana-Meija. They were touched to receive the award, shared their stories, and thanked NHS for their strong program support. Following dinner, guests gave generously to our Fund-A-Need requests, live and silent auctions. Some of the funds raised at this year’s Fund-A-Need auction will go towards items such as iPads, lunch for students in our NHS Schools, sensory room items, new mattresses and box springs, and attire for the IDD prom. The sounds of The Fabulous Greaseband entertained and got our guests dancing for the remainder of the evening.

Lucky number 13 was a success for NHS and the NHS Human Services Foundation, making funds raised at this year’s gala the highest for our programs. Thank you to our sponsors, friends, staff and guests for your continued generosity which enabled us to once again exceed our goals and expectations.

2nd Annual Zumbathon Is a Hit

Zumba ZIN Lauren Cardonick kicked the party off on Sunday, June 26, 2016 at the NHS Human Services Foundation’s Second Annual Zumbathon, held in the gymnasium at Philadelphia University. Zumba ZINs Laurenza, Mandy, Dara, and Poppa Z continued to keep the excitement going over the next 90 minutes. A fun loving group of NHS individuals in service, staff, family members, and other attendees participated in the event to raise funds for the NHS Human Services Foundation and the upcoming Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) prom.

Leading up to the event, NHS/TAIG employees held a number of fundraisers and registration events to encourage participation for the Zumbathon, raising more than $4,000! Leslie Culbreath, executive assistant at NHS/TAIG said, “Healthy competition can be good competition which was proven by the fundraisers. Not only did we raise a record number in dollars, but participation on the day of the event was fantastic. Working together in a creative way and having fun was a great teambuilding opportunity and we look forward to the next event.” Kids who attended the event had a great time having their faces painted and being on stage, while also getting a good workout! Zumba is an activity everyone can enjoy, regardless of skill level or experience. From beginner to expert, everyone can move and have fun dancing and exercising to the upbeat music.

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible by donating, participating, fundraising and volunteering their time. This event could not have happened without you! The results will be paid forward at the IDD prom scheduled for this fall.

The 18th Annual Golf Classic a Great Success

The patio of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club was a hive of activity with golfers coming and going in preparation for the NHS Human Services Foundation’s 18th Annual Golf Classic on Monday, June 20, 2016. The outing was a great success, breaking previous records of sponsors, golfers and earnings, raising more than $312,000 for NHS programs.

A new twist to this year’s event was having five foursomes play at The ACE Club, joining for both lunch and dinner at Whitemarsh Valley. With temperatures in the 90s it was a hot day on the courses, a gentle breeze and some cloud cover made it a bit more comfortable in the later afternoon. The golfers enjoyed their day. We were delighted to welcome the Germantown Recovery Community as our program recipient this year. The GRC in Philadelphia is a Community Integrated Recovery Center for persons with severe and persistent mental health challenges. The program is rooted in the creative arts, including Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Art and Music Education. Seeking funds to expand their current location and offerings the GRC brought a number of handcrafted pieces of art, paintings and artists to showcase their programs. The GRC staff was overwhelmed with the outpouring of financial support they received at the event and are thrilled that they received the funds they need to complete their expansion project in the Growing Arts Studio.

Over the past 18 years the NHS Human Services Golf Classic has raised more than $2.77 million dollars for NHS programs. Without our sponsors, players, staff and volunteers none of this could have been possible. We thank you for your continued support and dedication to NHS and the NHS Human Services Foundation.

NHS Human Services Foundation Donor Appreciation Breakfast 2016

The Reverend Dr. Herbert Lusk, II, former Philadelphia Eagles running back and Pastor of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, delivered an inspirational message of thanks and gratitude during breakfast to more than 100 guests on Friday, April 29, 2016 at the Foundation’s Donor Appreciation Breakfast. Held at the Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne, PA, the organization recognized its donors who have contributed more than $1,000 during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. Michael Mitchell, NHS Human Services Foundation Board Chairman and Joseph Martz, Chairman/CEO of NHS presented the 2016 awards.

The Foundation Award was presented to Emerald Advisers, Inc., Higher Information Group, and Todd and Karen Markle. These companies and individuals have contributed $1,000 or more annually over the past 10 years.   

The Beacon of Hope Award was presented to Ruth Thomas Boss, Joe and Ginny Leonard, Barry and Marsha Rothman, and Frank and Rae Unger.  This group of parents successfully sued the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on behalf of their adult children who are autistic to live independently.  In addition, Michael Barton, NHS Executive Vice-President of Behavioral Health Services, was presented with this award for his dedication and commitment to NHS Human Services Foundation over the past 18 years. The Beacon of Hope Award is presented annually to individuals who have served as a beacon of light for those seeking a ray of hope.

The I Am NHS Award
was presented to John Givnish, Givnish Family Funeral Homes for their dedication in celebrating the lives of our consumers with the dignity they deserve.  This award is presented annually to individuals who have given unselfishly of themselves in raising awareness and providing resources to ensure all citizens are treated as equal partners in our communities.

The Above and Beyond Award
was presented to 11 year old Zachary Rink. Zachary donated $250 to Fresh Start Veteran’s Program in honor of his friend, mentor and neighbor who was a veteran of WWII. This first time award is presented to an individual who exemplifies characteristics synonymous with the military phrase “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.”

The NHS Human Services Foundation thanks all of its donors for making a difference in the lives of the 40,000 individuals who are served by NHS. Without you, our mission would be impossible to achieve.

Goals for Giving 2016 Exceeds Expectations

Imagine hearing the shouts of “GOAL!!!” That was the intensity of emotion at NHS Human Services Foundation’s 12th Annual Goals for Giving Hockey benefit on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia. The NHS Blues hosted the Flyers Alumni Team for their annual face-off geared at raising funds and awareness for NHS. With humble beginnings raising just $1,700 in the first year, this year exceeded all expectations raising $145,000, surpassing the goal of $125,000.

Until this year, the NHS Blues were completely comprised of amateur hockey enthusiasts, several who have skated with them for many years. This year, the NHS Blues were able to recruit former Philadelphia Flyers Ray Allison, Todd Fedoruk, Larry Goodenough, Brian Propp and Kjell Samuelsson to boost their confidence and skill level.

The 2016 edition of the Flyers Alumni team welcomed for the first time to this event Danny Briere and Brad Marsh. Other players included Frank Bialowas, Terry Carkner, Doug Crossman, Len Ellis, Jordan Grant, Bob Kelly, Mitch Lamoureux, Rob MacInnis, Dave MacIsaac, Brett Watson, Chase Watson and Joe Watson.

History was made when both the game and the meet & greet reception at Chickie’s & Pete’s were sold out, but as always the Blues lost the game 4-2. Special recognition to our MVP, Matt “it’s gotta be the pants” Baldino and the Blues first year coach, Mike Hummel.

A huge thank you to all who supported Goals for Giving, especially our event sponsors American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Lintons Managed Services and Sweenscape. We look forward to next year!

2015 NHS Gala “Shore” was a Success

The surf was up and the mood was festive at the NHS Human Services Foundation’s 12th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala on Saturday, November 21. More than 350 guests decked out in black tie and flip flops attended the “Shore” themed evening. They were greeted through an archway of beach balls and to the sounds of the islands by Trinidad North Steel Band. Most enjoyed the signature NHS “Blue” cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and boardwalk games while others perused the more than 60 silent auction items that were on display which included several original “shore” themed paintings submitted by individuals in NHS programs.

Bill Graham and Carmen Boyer were the 2015 Awards honorees. Michael Mitchell, NHS Foundation Board Chair, presented the Leading the Way Award to his mentor and dear friend, Bill Graham for his philanthropy and support of numerous charities including NHS Human Services. Chairman and CEO Joe Martz, and Chairman Emeritus Senator M. Joseph Rocks presented Carmen, an individual diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the Fran Egan Courage Award for demonstrating courage and bravery in pursuing her dreams. It was a special evening highlighting their achievements.

The dinner program and live auction was hosted by the Vice President of the NHS Foundation, Frank Guthridge, who thanked all who had a hand in making this year’s Gala one for the record books with $457,000 raised to support the NHS mission.

2015 NHS Human Services Foundation Corporate Golf Classic Was a Success

The NHS Human Services Foundation held its 17th Annual Golf Classic on Monday, June 22 at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, PA. More than 120 golfers participated in the scramble event which raised $260,000 to support the programs and services at NHS.

This year, the event highlighted Fresh Start Veterans Program and its participation in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Thorncroft Equestrian Center. A heartfelt version of The Star Spangled Banner was sung by veteran Oscar Williams. The golf course was in great shape and golfers were treated to a gentle breeze throughout the day. The awards program was equally exciting as guests participated in the silent and live auctions that offered a variety of items. The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Hartford Saunders. Hartford is a former program participant in the Fresh Start program and is now employed as the program administrator. Hartford shared his personal story and encouraged all of us to lend a hand to those in need.

The NHS Human Services Foundation counts year 17 as a great success and thanks all of our sponsors, players and volunteers for their continued support.

2014 Many Faces of NHS – Bridging Partnerships

On April 9, NHS Human Services Foundation welcomed family members, consumers, friends and community leaders to the Many Faces of NHS – Bridging Partnerships event. More than 75 guests gathered at the breathtaking home of Laura and Claude Kronk in Sewickley Heights, PA to learn about NHS, its impact in Western Pennsylvania, and how its programs and services can help respond to our community’s needs.

The evening began with an energetic performance from the NHS Allegheny Valley School (NHS/AVS) choir as guests listened to Take Me Out to the Ballgame and America, the Beautiful. NHS Foundation Board Member and event Co-Chair Dorothy Pollon welcomed everyone to the event and spoke about her relationship with NHS and the western PA community.

NHS/AVS consumer, Elizabeth, read a poem that she wrote for an NHS poetry contest entitled I Can’t Be Put Down. The poem spoke volumes about her abilities rather than disabilities and how she can do anything she puts her mind to. David, a consumer from NHS’s ACT Team (Assertive Community Treatment Team) gave a testimonial about how NHS has made a positive impact on his life. The final testimonial came from Andrea, a young woman who has received services from NHS’s Treatment Foster Care/Adoption program. She spoke of her challenges growing up and, with NHS’s help she has finally found a family that will cherish her forever. She plans to apply for an NHS Scholarship next year and would like to attend college to become a social worker to help others in similar situations.

NHS’s Executive Vice President of the Central/Western Region Carl Clark gave guests a regional overview of the many services that NHS provides in Western PA and how they continue to grow each day. The evening wrapped-up with comments from Chairman and CEO Senator M. Joseph Rocks, who spoke about his continued commitment to the 40,000 individuals who are served by NHS.

Participating in the evening’s program were NHS Human Services Foundation board members Tom Burkholder, John Frisch, Jerry Mauro and Dorothy Pollon. They shared with the guests their passion for the NHS mission. A special thank you to the NHS/AVS consumers at the Pittsburgh Campus Greenhouse who created flower centerpieces for each table and to the consumers at the Edward J. Zapp Program Center who made boxes of cookies for each guest to take home. A final thank you to Laura and Claude Kronk for opening their home to us!

Thank you to the 2014 Many Faces of NHS Host Committee and Underwriters:

Host Committee
Timyka Artist and Dorothy Pollon, Co-Chairs
Tom Burkholder
Carl E. Clark II
Daniel DelBianco
John Frisch
Skip Katich
Laura and Claude Kronk
Anthony M. Lacenere
Jerome Mauro
The Honorable M. Joseph Rocks
Anthony J. Tomasello
Ft. Duquesne Bridge Underwriter: HAR-KEL, INC. Medical Specialties

Liberty Bridge Underwriters

Higher Information Group
iNetworks Advisors, Inc
Andrea Kmetz-Sheehy
Toni J. Pacé, J&P Service Management Co., Inc.
Laurel Medical Supplies, Inc.
Carol and Richard Patterson
The Pollon Family

Bridge Builder Underwriter
: Tom Burkholder