Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region Raises over $300,000 at Fourth Annual Fashion Touchdown, Presented by Marrone Law Firm
Surprises and celebrities contribute to record-breaking funds raised at the event
PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 14, 2017) — Last night 720 guests filled the Ballroom at the Ben to watch Philadelphia Eagles players and their significant others swap jerseys and helmets for high-end fashions to support Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence), the area’s leading one-to-one youth mentoring organization.
The fourth annual event raised over $300,000, almost doubling the 2016 total, due in part to an elevated live auction filled with celebrity experiences and surprises. Top Chef winner and local restaurateur Nick Elmi, who also sponsored the event, auctioned off a spectacular private inhome dining experience for guests featuring dishes from his East Passyunk restaurant, Laurel, bringing in a staggering $30,000. International fashion icon and American designer, Nicole Miller returned for a second consecutive year, this time, auctioning off a once-in-a-lifetime NYFW experience and a one-on-one lunch and tour in her New York City showroom, which garnered $20,000. Showing her love for the mission and Eagles football, Nicole bid $2,000 and won Philadelphia Eagles former offensive guard, Todd Herremans’ jersey. Feeling moved by the event, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek surprised guests by auctioning off three private dining experiences at his favorite Philadelphia establishment — Barclay Prime, raising an additional $18,000, on top of the $3,800 his jersey was auctioned off for.
“I am overwhelmed at the generosity of our sponsors, these incredible professional football players, and our attendees,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence. “We serve nearly 4,000 children every year, but there are well over a thousand in our waiting pool. The financial support raised by Fashion Touchdown enables us to match more children with their own mentor. Thank you to everyone who stepped up to help ensure long-term success for our region’s youth.”
The athletes-turned-models included safeties Rodney McLeod (who has recently stepped up to the plate to become a Big Brother himself, and also serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters honorary board) and Chris Maragos (who was injured but still auctioned his jersey from afar), tight ends Trey Burton and Brent Celek, linebackers Najee Goode and Jordan Hicks (who, even in a boot and crutches still came to support this incredible organization), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and Todd Herremans, the Eagles former offensive guard. The players sported custom-made suits and shirts from Robbini Bespoke, shoes from ToBox and neckwear and pocket squares from Malcolm Jenkin’s Rock Avenue. The Eagles’ wives and significant others walked the runway showcasing Nicole Miller’s 2017 Holiday Collection.
The philanthropic night of fashion and football began with a VIP pre-party featuring cocktails, light bites and trendy pop-up shops. While guests enjoyed cocktails and refreshments, FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia co-anchors Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley emceed the event. The hair and makeup for the players’ wives and significant others was provided by the event’s official Beauty Sponsors: Jason Matthew Salon located in Rittenhouse. Additional participating sponsors included Casamigos Tequila, Stateside Urban Craft Vodka and Yards Brewery.
Funds raised by Fashion Touchdown will enable the organization to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better. BBBS Independence currently serves nearly 4,000 children annually, but has more than 1,200 children waiting for mentors of their own. Proceeds from Fashion Touchdown will help positively impact many more lives across the region.