November 5, 2018
Merakey Foundation Celebrates their 15th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala
More than 350 guests, board members, Merakey employees, and friends attended the 15th Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala on October 27 at Vie in Philadelphia, PA. This year’s theme was Great Gatsby, celebrating Merakey individuals, staff members, and board members who have put their hearts and souls into furthering the mission of Merakey. Guests were treated to an evening of Great Gatsby themed décor and auction items, including one-of-a-kind art pieces created by talented individuals in our services.
Representative Thomas Murt was honored with the Pennsylvania seal for his tireless advocacy for human services in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He has prioritized improving the quality of care as a major component of his platform and legislative agenda.
Selflessly serving Merakey for over 30 years, Robert (Bobby) Nix received this year’s Leading the Way Award. As Chairman of the Board at Merakey and President of Pleasant News, Inc., Bobby has been serving the community for most of his adult life. He was a founding member of the community park, Friends of Carpenter’s Woods. On top of advocating for Philadelphia’s parks, he also served three decades on the Philadelphia Board of Revision of Taxes and Acts as Board Secretary. Bobby’s true passion is spending time with his family and friends. Bobby proudly fosters the Merakey mission of putting his heart and soul into enriching lives through his services to the community.
The Fran Egan Courage Award was given to Jeff Pittner. Jeff is a veteran of the Air Force and an individual in recovery. Jeff began his career at Fresh Start 19 years ago when he devoted his life to helping people recover from the disease of addiction. Under Jeff’s leadership, the Fresh Start program has expanded from 4 beds to serving 700 people every year. He partnered with the VA and expanded the Veterans program, creating the largest provider of Veteran transitional and emergency housing services in Pennsylvania.
Almost half a million dollars was raised at this year’s event through many donations made to support Merakey 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.