shfb_logoPA Society, the annual gathering of politicos from across the state in Manhattan, had a new twist this year.  Mayor Ed Pawlowski helped to organize an event to raise money for Food Banks in the Commonwealth, including Second Harvest Food Bank here in the Lehigh Valley.  “Mayors Against Hunger” was hosted by Mayor Pawlowski, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.  Over $60,000 was raised for Second Harvest, while over $200,000 total was raised at the event.

The “Cocktails For a Cause” reception was held at the Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South, and was attended by over 200 people.  Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton and Chester Mayor John Linder made up the host committee.  New York businessman and part-time Allentown resident Nicola Bulgari, who runs the Bulgari Watch empire, served as the sponsor of the event.

“We decided instead of the usual receptions, we might as well raise some money for a good cause,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “The response was overwhelming.  We still got to mingle as usual, but at the same time raised money for our local food banks, who could always use more funding.  It was very rewarding event.”

Mayor Nutter said, “Food banks are an important avenue for many families and individuals struggling with hunger and poverty.  This was a unique opportunity to demonstrate our sincere commitment to supporting vulnerable individuals by hosting a fundraising event at PA Society.  I am moved by the generosity of so many and am proud that the money raised will help food banks across the Commonwealth, including Philabundance.”

Each Mayor was charged with finding a local food bank in their city that was willing to participate.  All proceeds from the fundraising event will go to these participating food banks.  Second Harvest in Allentown, Philabundance in Philadelphia, and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank are just some of the organizations who received significant donations.

“I am proud of the support that Pittsburgh has shown for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.   “I am grateful to be able to take the opportunity to participate with many of Pennsylvania’s leaders to help those most in need.”

Alan Jennings, Executive Director of Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, which runs the Second Harvest Food Bank, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. “Today’s mayors face extraordinary challenges,” he said.  “It speaks to these mayors’ sense of compassion and humanity that they made this special effort to uplift their poorest citizens.”