September 22 was a day to Celebrate Hope. The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia welcomed hundreds of friends, local leaders and community partners to the annual Celebrate Hope luncheon at the Crystal Tea Room. It was a time to recognize more than 150 years of global service to those in need, raise awareness of The Salvation Army’s local programs and services, and to honor two local leaders for their commitment to the betterment of the City of Philadelphia.
Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia, received the “Doing the Most Good Community Leadership Award.” Epps a business leader with more than 30 years of corporate experience that has helped to drive Philadelphia’s growth and development. As the City of Philadelphia’s newly appointed Director of Commerce, Mr. Epps is committed to improving the lives of our city’s most vulnerable individuals. He strives for the evolution of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through workforce development, creating an environment that nurtures small businesses and sustaining a healthy economy.
Walter D’Alessio, Principal, NorthMarq Advisors, received The Salvation Army’s “Others” Award. D’Alessio is a local business leader with more than 55 years of experience in planning, developing and managing major real estate projects in Philadelphia. He served on the capital campaign for The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. Mr. D’Alessio’s vast real estate and planning expertise was key to implementing the state-of-the-art multi-million dollar health and wellness center in the Nicetown/Tioga section of the city. Through a shared dedication of improving the lives of the city’s residents and the local economy, Epps and D’Alessio support The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s mission of providing hope and creating change for individuals and families in need.
The event featured the success story of Nancy Strong, who was able to get her life back on track thanks to support she received through our Red Shield Family Residence and our Soup’s On! Project. Click here to read her story.
We also met Diane, who was a full-time student struggling to make ends meet and eventually became homeless. Through the Pathway of Hope program in Lancaster, Diane was able to get one-on-one support for her individual needs. Now Diane and her seven year old son, King, are in an apartment and continue on the path to self-sufficiency. The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia will soon launch Pathway of Hope locally, to help motivated families achieve self-sufficiency and to end intergenerational poverty.
Additionally, Jeffrey Jordan Howe, Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia Seasonal Services Program Administrator, was honored with the newly-created Ray Welsh Memorial Employee of the Year award.
This year’s event was emceed by CBS Philly Chief Meteorologist Kate Bilo. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit The Salvation Army’s local programs and services for those in need throughout Greater Philadelphia.