North Penn Community Build-A-Bag
Backpack & School Supply Drive
PBGW is pleased to announce our support of North Penn School District as a community collection site for their Build-A-Bag Backpack and School Supply Drive. Each year families in the North Penn School District struggle to provide basic school supplies to their children. The North Penn Community Build-A-Bag Backpack and School Supply Drive will ensure that every student has the supplies to have successful 2018-2019 school year. Filled backpacks will be privately and anonymously given to students by school staff at the beginning of the year and throughout the year as needed.
If you would like to donate supplies to this great cause, please stop by our office Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm. There is a collection bin located near our receptionist. Please try to keep all supplies gender neutral as possible, as we never know who will be in need throughout the year. The following lists include supplies in the highest demand for elementary and secondary school.
Elementary School Supplies:
Backpacks, binders, colored pencils, crayons, dry erase markers, erasers, folders, glue, notebooks, pencils, scissors
Secondary School Supplies:
Large backpacks, binders, dividers, erasers, folders, loose leaf paper, highlighters, notebooks, pencils
Manna on Main
On June 29th, ten PBGW staff members returned to volunteer at Manna on Main Street in Lansdale. The PBGW staff were in charge of plating the meals, greeting the clients , serve their meals, clear dishes and clean up the eatery at the end of the evening. The PBGW staff had a wonderful time at Manna and looks forward to returning again to volunteer!
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.
PBGW’s Annual Halloween Bash
Every year, PBGW hosts our Annual Halloween Bash, a time of trick-or-treating for individuals with special needs. Our goal is to provide a place where children with special needs, who might not otherwise be able to trick-or-treat on Halloween, with a safe and fun place to be able to do so. We are thankful that the event is received so well by the community, volunteers, parents, and children year after year.
On the night of the event, volunteers gather to transform the gymnasium of the Montgomery Township Community Center into a “neighborhood” where children with special needs and their families can enjoy a fun and exciting evening of costumes, candy (and other giveaways), and community. See below for a more detailed description of the event from the first year we hosted it.
We would like to thank everyone who has pledged their support for our upcoming Halloween Bash. We could not make it happen without our volunteers and sponsors. If you are interested in registering your child for this event, or in donating or volunteering for this upcoming year, please visit and click “Register”.
Manna on Main Street
On September 26th, nine PBGW staff members volunteered to serve dinner at Manna on Main Street in Lansdale. Two of the PBGW staff were in charge of plating the meal and scooping the water ice. Two other staff were on dishwasher duty. One cleaned the dirty dishes and one was in charge of putting the clean dishes. The remaining five of our staff was in charge of getting the clients their drinks, meal, and water ice. The clients of Manna were offered two different entrees, salad, and applesauce, water ice, and a variety of drinks. The PBGW staff looks forward to volunteering there again in the future.
Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia
On Monday, July 25, 10 employees traveled to the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia to cook a meal for them. The families staying there had traveled from all over the country so that their children could receive the best medical care. In fact, one of our employee’s grandson and daughter have stayed in the House previously while he received chemotherapy. We are proud to have helped by serving the families dinner. Numbers are our Passion, but Community truly is our Heart!
PBGW is a member of TIAG, a worldwide alliance of independent accounting firms with more than 115 member firms based in over 65 countries. The TAG Alliances consisting of TIAG, TAG-SP, and TAGLaw, formed a foundation to contribute funds for charitable purposes around the world. The TAG Foundation funds provide aid to local charities around the world, most often in response to natural or other disasters.
For the months of December, January, and February, PBGW allocated our Jeans Friday money to benefit the TAG Foundation. Over three months, the team at PBGW raised $840!
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 decor 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 one of our employees who was inspired to serve at the RMH, which helps families who has a child that is staying in nearby hospitals. In addition to preparing a meal, we donated two months of funds raised through our Jeans Friday campaign to the organization. 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 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 protected].