November 29, 2017
Under the Stars at the 14th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala
More than 450 invited guests, board members, NHS employees, and friends attended the 14th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala on November 18 at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia, PA. This year’s theme was Under the Stars, celebrating NHS individuals, staff members, and board members who have become stars as they further the mission of NHS. Guests were treated to an evening of Under the Stars themed décor and auction items, including one-of-a-kind art pieces created by our talented individuals.
Demonstrating a lifelong commitment to giving back to the community and helping their neighbors in need, Martha and Joe Besecker received this year’s Leading the Way Award. As founder, chairman, and CEO of Emerald Asset Management, Inc., Joe has always ensured that Emerald supports high-performing charitable organizations addressing high-priority community needs. Joe and Martha also demonstrate their commitment to volunteering, serving in a variety of charitable leadership positions. Martha and Joe (an Merakey Foundation Board Member) proudly foster the NHS mission of enriching lives through their nationwide network of business and community leaders.
The Fran Egan Courage Award was given to Benjamin Pollon. Ben is a talented, loving, and caring young man to all who know him, and has meaningfully touched the lives of many. He displays courage every day of his life, and over the course of his 24 years, has survived a number of physical and intellectual challenges which have helped to build his strong character and lovable personality. Ben has accomplished many milestones including becoming a Bar Mitzvah, graduating from Quaker Valley School District, and Varsity lettering in bowling. Ben and his mother, Dorothy, a child advocate and Merakey Foundation Board Member, have attended numerous Merakey Foundation and NHS/AVS events in support of the organization’s mission.
More than $488,000 was raised at this year’s event, as a result of numerous donations made to support NHS programs and individuals we support. Thank you to our sponsors, friends, staff, and guests for your continued generosity which enabled us to once again exceed our goals and expectations.