PBGW continually strives to give back to the community. As a firm, we participate in various charitable events and fundraising activities throughout the year. Please take a minute to view our current and upcoming community events, as well as the causes we have supported in the past.
Each year, the American Cancer Society partners with 1800flowers.com to raise money for the fight against cancer. Organizations can participate in “Daffodil Days,” purchasing daffodils at $14 a bunch, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. PBGW’s Michellle De Jesso came up with the idea for our firm to participate in this fundraiser. She explained, “I first became involved when working at a previous job a few years back. It hits close to home for me after losing both my grandmother and aunt to cancer within a six month period. I have since become very passionate about cancer awareness and supporting the fight against this terrible disease.”
Michelle organized the fundraising effort at PBGW and collected over $200 in orders! To learn more about Daffodil Days, visit www.cancer.org/involved/participate/daffodildays.
2nd Annual Movember Fundraiser
For the month of November, Team PBGW once again committed to supporting the Movember Foundation, raising money and growing “staches” to increase awareness for men’s health. In addition to donating our November Jeans Friday fund to the foundation, we also raised money on our Movember team page and co-hosted a Movember Happy Hour. Since 2014, Team PBGW has raised nearly $3,000 for the Movember Foundation!
PBGW’s First Annual Halloween Bash
On October 29, 2015, PBGW hosted our first annual Halloween Bash on behalf of the Miracle League. Over 40 area companies and organizations volunteered to host a booth and distribute treats to children with special needs. Montgomery Township generously allowed the use of its brand new community center to give these children a safe and accessible area to participate in a holiday tradition that can be challenging for many. The staff at PBGW began setting the tone for the evening around noon. The Halloween décor included several pieces of artwork donated by local elementary schools. At 4:30, seven cadets from North Penn High School’s Junior ROTC program arrived to volunteer their time and assist the volunteers with setting up their booths. The kindness, respect, and overall positive and cooperative attitude these cadets demonstrated was truly remarkable, as noted by many who had the privilege of interacting with them throughout the evening. As vendors began arriving at 5:00, the gymnasium was quickly transformed into a Halloween “neighborhood,” featuring booths decorated with various themes including a circus, pumpkin patch, Monopoly, and even a jail cell. Outside, a group from Pennsylvania Wildlife Search and Rescue (PaWSAR) was set up by the door with two Search and Rescue K9s greeting the children as they arrived. A local photographer, Erin Scott, was also set up outside offering complimentary professional photographs of the children in their costumes. By 6:00, trick or treaters were already arriving and registering in the lobby. After a brief speech by PBGW President Rob Pritchard thanking the volunteers for their support, the doors were opened and trick or treaters began filing in. The word that best describes the mood for the remainder of the evening is joy. The joy on the faces of the children as they filled their bags with special treats was palpable. It was echoed by the vendors, many of whom remarked how much they enjoyed participating and have already committed to returning for next year’s event. Months of preparation culminated in an overwhelmingly successful evening that surpassed all expectations. One of the highlights of the night came when a young boy showed up to trick or treat dressed as a police officer. Little did he know, one of the booths was hosted by the New Hope Police Benevolent Association. The booth featured a police officer and two “robbers” with bags of pretend money. The backdrop was a jail cell. When the little boy circled his way around to the booth, the officer enlisted his help in chasing the “bad guys.” It was undoubtedly a memorable experience for the child and everyone who was fortunate enough to witness the endearing encounter. The police department went on to win Best Booth as voted on by the trick or treaters. As the evening came to a close, the PBGW staff had already begun to strategize how to make the event even better for next year. By the significant number of trick or treaters in attendance for a first year event, and the gratitude expressed by parents for having the opportunity to bring their children to such an event, it became clear that this was something that had been missing from the local area. PBGW has committed to continue to provide local children with special needs the opportunity to trick or treat in a fun, safe, and accessible environment for years to come.
Ronald McDonald House
On May 26th, a group of volunteers from PBGW headed to the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia to prepare dinner for patients and their families staying at the facility. The idea for supporting RMH came from the new chair of our community committee, Ann Martyn, who was inspired to give back to an organization that has helped her grandson, Nicholas, who is battling cancer and frequently stays at the facility when receiving treatment at St. Christopher’s Hospital next door. In addition to preparing a meal, we donated two months of funds raised through our Jeans Friday campaign to the organization. Though all of our community service events are meaningful to us, this one was particularly gratifying because of the personal connection to Ann. Her daughter Christine even came with Nick to help prepare the meal. Everyone loved this community service event and we subsequently decided to make it a semi-annual project. We hope to return in the fall to prepare another meal. To learn more about the incredible work they do, visit their website.
A Woman’s Place
After months of raising money through our Jeans Friday campaign and collecting items for the domestic violence shelter and thrift store operated by A Woman’s Place, we were thrilled to be able to present the incredible organization with two carloads full of donations! Read more
Montgomery Township Canine Unit
In 2014, PBGW contributed to numerous charitable organizations as part of our community service efforts. We hosted a booth for Miracle League trick-or-treaters, fed a family for Thanksgiving through the Breathing Room Foundation, raised over $2,000 for the Movember Foundation, and provided dozens of toys for the kids at CHOP. As we entered our busy tax season, we wanted to find a way to continue our community support in 2015. During the months of January and February, PBGW employees participated in “Dollars for Denim.” Each Friday, our staff could choose to pay $5 to wear jeans to work. The money raised was donated to the Montgomery Township Canine Unit in memory of K-9 Bauer who recently passed away. The staff raised $750, which the firm matched, donating $1,500 to the Canine Unit!
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Toy Drive
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has touched the lives of so many in our community, including those of our firm. It’s a small token of appreciation that PBGW employees helped to fulfill items on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wish list throughout the month of December to ensure that all children have access to toys at this special time of year. To learn more about the family-centered care that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offers and ways for you to reach out, please visit their website.
For the past 6 years I’ve been involved in “No Shave November,” or formally “Movember.” It is an effort to raise awareness and funding for men’s health programs. Movember began in 2003 and, since inception, has raised $559 million in donations and has funded 832 men’s health projects thanks to the 4 million + “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas.” Last year, Movember raised $22.9 million in the U.S. alone. Here is a little history of the Movember Campaign and Movember 101. We formed a team of PBGW employees with the goal of raising $1,000 for the Movember Foundation. Thanks to the support of fellow PBGW employees, clients, friends, and family, Team PBGW collectively raised $2,297 for this important cause!
Breathing Room Foundation – Thanksgiving Meal
PBGW recently reached out to the Breathing Room Foundation, an organization that helps support local families dealing with cancer, to see how we could lend our firm’s support this holiday season. We chose to provide the Thanksgiving meal for a family whose husband/father is battling liver cancer. During the month of November, we collected all of the items needed to feed the family of seven. We hope our contribution helped ease the burden of the holiday and allowed the family to simply enjoy each other’s company on Thanksgiving Day. To learn more about this amazing organization that strives to provide a little bit of “breathing room” for families affected by cancer, visit their website.
Miracle League Halloween Bash
PBGW celebrated Halloween a little early with the Miracle League Halloween Bash! On October 16th, 2014, three employees from the firm made the hour-long trek to Schnecksville to host a booth at the exciting event. For those not familiar with the organization, the Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley provides children with special needs and developmental disabilities the opportunity to play baseball on a state-of-the-art rubber surface field. Because trick-or-treating can sometimes be difficult for these children, the annual Halloween Bash allows them to safely collect candy and goodies from volunteers hosting booths in the lot outside the field. The generosity of our staff was evident as we had collected more than enough goodies to distribute. The enthusiastic kids all seemed impervious to the downpour that persisted throughout the evening. It was a rewarding and humbling event that we hope to be able to participate in again next year.
A Dog for Joe
On August 25, 2014, PBGW hosted the Dog Days of Summer Golf Outing Fundraiser to raise money for a Diabetic Alert Dog for the son of Philadelphia Police Officer Joe Gillespie. The Colmar-based accounting firm set a goal of raising $20,000 to help offset the costs that Officer Gillespie would incur in purchasing the dog, which requires nearly a year of training. Months of planning, soliciting donors and sponsors, and recruiting players for the event culminated on a perfect sunny afternoon. A field of over 120 golfers enjoyed lunch, a round of golf, and a Philadelphia-themed dinner complete with a raffle and silent auction. Nearly all of PBGW’s staff was present to volunteer as the company shut down the office for the day to focus all its efforts on the charitable cause. The idea for hosting a golf outing fundraiser began when a seemingly unlikely friendship formed between a lawyer/accountant and a cop. PBGW President Rob Pritchard met 20-year veteran police officer Joe Gillespie as the two baseball fans joined team Sky Chiefs at the 2014 Phillies Phantasy Camp in Clearwater, Florida. Joe, who also coaches his son’s baseball team and pitches for the Philadelphia Police Blue Sox, helped lead the Sky Chiefs to victory.
Mike Trachtenberg (left) surprised Joe Gillespie (right) with the championship ring he earned during Phantasy Camp. Joe had chosen not to purchase the ring because of his determination to save money for his son’s alert dog.
While at the camp, Joe expressed his concern over his son’s health. Only a year earlier, his then fourteen-year-old son, also named Joe, began experiencing health issues that ultimately led to his hospitalization. Young Joe’s subsequent diagnosis of type one diabetes was a game changer for the Gillespie family. Now their lives included paying close attention to Joe’s diet, making sure he tested his blood sugar levels frequently, and injecting him with insulin when necessary. Their fear for his safety increased after learning of a friend’s child who tragically passed away as a result of severely low blood sugar. Shortly thereafter, Joe and his wife Joni began researching Diabetic Alert Dogs that could be trained to detect such dangerous blood sugar levels and alert their handler to take necessary action. They vowed to do whatever was necessary to provide their son with this potentially life-saving companion. As the father of two young children, Rob Pritchard was touched by the plight of these devoted parents. His offer to help the Gillespie’s raise the funds necessary to pay for the alert dog was graciously accepted, and the “Dog Days” fundraiser was created. With the help and support of dozens of area businesses and individuals, PBGW was able to exceed its goal. Nearly $25,000 was raised to pay for Ace, the Diabetic Alert Dog who joined the Gillespie family in October.
A Visit to Ludlow Elementary
In recent months, PBGW has been undergoing office renovations and organizational projects. During the process, we collected several pieces of office furniture and supplies no longer in use. As part of our ongoing effort to give back to the community, we chose to donate the items to a public school in North Philadelphia in dire need. The tables and whiteboards, delivered by Chelsea Regel and Jill Scheetz, were a welcome surprise to the students and teachers at Ludlow Elementary. Our firm strongly values the importance of education and we look forward to continuing to provide supplies to schools in need whenever possible.
Please direct questions or comments about our community service involvement to email@example.com.