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.
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.
CAMP OUT FOR HUNGER FOOD DRIVE
From November to December 2013, PBGW participated in a canned food drive to benefit Preston & Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger. It began as a friendly competition amongst the staff, separated into three groups, to see which group could collect the most. Nobody expected the donations to amount to quite so much. Altogether, PBGW collected 1,261 pounds of non-perishable food items. Chelsea Regel, Kim Brehm, and Julie Torresson delivered the food to the Camp Out for Hunger tent at Xfinity Live in South Philadelphia. Our contribution added to the massive amount of food collected by the Camp Out group, which totaled 772,461 pounds. The food is donated to Philabundance, an organization serving low income residents in the Delaware Valley who are at risk of hunger and food insecurity.