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.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Sept. 27, 2017) — For the fourth year running, Philadelphia Eagles players and their significant others will team up with Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence) to raise awareness for children facing adversity and support the organization’s mission of providing professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better. Last year’s sold-out event raised money to help BBBS make a difference in the lives of almost 4,000 at risk children in the Greater Philadelphia region. This year’s event, presented by Marrone Law Firm, LLC, will take place on Nov. 13, 2017 at the Ballroom at the Ben.

“Of the many groups doing so much important work in this region, Big Brothers Big Sisters truly stands out with the deeply positive ways it impacts so many young people,” said Joseph M. Marrone, Esquire, founder of Marrone Law Firm, LLC and BBBS Independence board member. “Having the personal guidance and support of a caring, dedicated mentor has helped thousands of children overcome difficult situations to become happy, fulfilled, well-adjusted adults themselves. We’re extremely proud to present the fourth annual Fashion Touchdown fundraiser and we’d like to thank the many Philadelphia Eagles players and their significant others who will be there, along with our sponsors and everyone else who will be contributing to this spectacular event.”

Quintessential womenswear designer Nicole Miller will personally attend and orchestrate the fashion show, featuring a collection from Nicole Miller Philadelphia, with two Philadelphia flagship locations that are a staple of the city’s fashion scene. The Eagles will don custom-made suits from Robbini Bespoke and accessories from ToBox Shoes and Rock Avenue.

The athletes swapping jerseys and helmets for suits and bow-ties include safety Rodney McLeod, tight ends Trey Burton, Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, linebacker Najee Goode, guard Brandon Brooks, safety Chris Maragos, linebacker Jordan Hicks and Todd Herremans, the Eagles former offensive guard. “We are truly honored to be a part of this amazing event again and support an organization that has such a positive impact on the wellbeing of children across the Philadelphia region,” said Mary Doughtery, owner of Nicole Miller Philadelphia. “We love the City of Philadelphia and we strive to give back to the community where we live and work, and we’re proud to help raise awareness and encourage individuals to become a Big Brother or Big Sister and be a positive role model and help inspire a child to follow their dreams.”

The philanthropic night of fashion and football will begin with a VIP pre-party featuring cocktails, light bites and trendy pop-up shops. While guests enjoy cocktails and refreshments, FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia co-anchors Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley will emcee the event and kick off the main event — a star-studded fashion show with the Philadelphia Eagles players and their significant others walking the runway, with hair and makeup by Jason Matthew Salon and manicures by Lacquer Lounge.

“We are truly honored that this will be the fourth year for the Fashion Touchdown event, which helps to keep our mission, and the stories of the children we mentor, front and center,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence. “It goes without saying that none of this would be possible without the support of Marrone Law Firm, Nicole Miller Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Eagles. We are proud to have them as a part of our team to help raise critical funds to provide much-needed support for the youth in our region. With more than 1,200 children still waiting for mentors of their own, Fashion Touchdown will help change many more lives for the better. I cannot express my gratitude enough, for the funds and support from this event that will make our programs possible.”

An additional participating sponsor includes Stateside Urban Craft Vodka.

Philadelphia – June 21, 2017 – Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence), the region’s leading one-to-one youth mentoring organization, is now among the Greater Philadelphia nonprofits that NRG customers can support through the company’s recently launched “Choose to Give” program.

Under this program, NRG makes a $50 contribution for each customer that enrolls in the electricity plan that benefits BBBS Independence. In addition, for every year that customer remains on the plan, NRG will contribute one percent of the customer’s annual electricity supply charges to BBBS Independence. Those who enroll will receive a fixed electricity supply price for 12 months.

“We are very fortunate to be selected as a participant in NRG’s Choose to Give program,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence. “Most people don’t realize that Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor supported agency, so dollars like this go a very long way in helping us provide much needed mentoring services to children facing adversity in our local communities. It’s an incredibly easy way for people to give back by simply switching their energy supply services to a first-class provider like NRG.” “The critical impact Big Brothers Big Sisters makes on the youth in our community cannot be overstated,” said Mike Starck, general manager, NRG. “We are proud to offer our customers this easy, but significant, way to help ensure the great work being done can continue to grow and serve the community, while also locking in a price for their electricity. This is a choice consumers can’t get from their utility.”

As part of an ongoing partnership, BBBS Independence has benefitted from local NRG events in recent months, including its fourth annual Charity Flag Football Game at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles and NRG’s third annual Gingerbread House Building Contest. As with any other NRG power plan, signing up for the “Choose to Give” program is simple. Just visit and enroll. Once enrolled, NRG takes care of the rest.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 8th, 2017) – One Liberty Observation Deck and Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence), have teamed up to celebrate and honor the positive strides and philanthropic efforts of our city’s real estate and architectural development professionals.

On Wednesday, June 7th, BBBS Independence welcomed VIP guests from the Greater Philadelphia real estate industry to a private mixer event, hosted by One Liberty Observation Deck as a part of a year-long partnership with the organization. Registered guests of the special mixer learned details related to a new Big Brothers Big Sisters signature event appropriately titled the “Building Big Awards: Changing Landscapes, Changing Lives.”

Guests of the two hour private evening event learned about the award nomination process for individuals and businesses, and how to showcase their projects at the 2017 ‘Building Big Awards’ ceremony on October 12th. In addition, the event featured moving testimonials by BBBS alums Steve McLatchy , Peter Buckley, and Ken Wellar . Philadelphia’s favorite radio host Chio from Chio in the Morning was also in attendance to speak on past involvement in working with the organization and announced he’s hoping to return as a “Big” later this year. To conclude, Marcus Allen , CEO of BBBS Independence, took the stage to speak on the impact and thank guests for their support.

The collaboration between both organizations is particularly timely as the iconic One Liberty tower celebrates its 30th-year anniversary. Most recognizable as one of the trademark pillars of the Philadelphia skyline, the tower — which houses the Montparnasse 56-owned observation deck — is responsible for much of the area’s economic and real estate development growth.

“We are excited to be hosting this very special event and we’re proud of the calendar of activities we have aligned over the year to come,” says Jennifer Hesser, Assistant General Manager of the observation deck, “Partnering with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region gives us the opportunity to use our towering platform to evoke and celebrate mass positive change throughout a booming city we proudly helped shape.”

At the June 7 th event, the organizations jointly announced plans to expand their partnership in the future. Fundraisers, “Lunch & Learn” events, and educational “Match Activities” for mentors and mentees will benefit the organization and celebrate the life-changing impact their efforts make in the lives of both ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ alike.

“One Liberty Observation Deck is the perfect venue to announce our new, annual event which will bring together the local real estate industry and our non-profit community,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence. “It seems fitting that One Liberty is celebrating its 30th -year anniversary as the city’s first skyscraper which later transformed real estate development in the city. With our theme, ‘Changing Landscapes, Changing Lives,’ we look forward to honoring individuals and corporations driving positive change and transforming lives in our region.”

For more information about the Building Big Awards event, visit For more information on One Liberty Observation Deck and to purchase tickets to the city’s tallest attraction, visit

PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 4, 2017) — Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence) and Philadelphia Eagle Rodney McLeod today announced the official launch of the Rodney McLeod “Mentoring is Brotherhood Challenge.” The challenge is part of a month long campaign in April to bring awareness to National Volunteer Month, and recruit 100 male volunteers to mentor children facing adversity in Southeastern PA and Southern NJ. The challenge has also set a fundraising goal of $5,000 to support youth mentoring programs run by BBBS Independence.

BBBS Independence currently has more than 1,200 children signed up and waiting for mentors, with the majority being young African American and Hispanic boys. Rodney is working with the agency by challenging all men in Greater Philadelphia, especially men of color, to step up and volunteer. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without mentors and positive role models in my life,” says McLeod. “There are thousands of youth in Philadelphia and South Jersey facing significant challenges in today’s society. Most times, all it takes is a positive role model to help guide them through situations and expose them to experiences they never dreamed possible. I will do everything I can to help these kids.”

Big Brother Big Sisters has long had difficulty in recruiting mentors, particularly men. “I think there’s a misperception that mentoring is a time consuming process,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence. “Our only requirement is that volunteer mentors (Bigs) meet with their mentees (Littles) 2-4 hours, 2-4 times per month. The time requirement is minimal, but the results are life-changing for youth in the program. We’re excited Rodney has decided to support our mission and hopeful that his status as an elite football player will attract the male demographic we’re looking for right now.”

The Challenge includes four “meet-and-greet” events where potential volunteers can meet Rodney McLeod in person and learn more about one-to-one mentoring. Senator Anthony Williams, a stalwart supporter of youth mentoring, will also be involved with the challenge. The following events and more information can be found at

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 24, 2017) — Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence) and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) today announced the official launch of their new Bigs in BlueSM initiative, a one-to-one mentoring program that connects local youth with police in communities throughout Philadelphia. The launch is part of a national campaign with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) and select Big Brothers Bigs Sisters affiliates across the country. Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross, has been named National Spokesperson for the broader program.

Volunteer police officers (Bigs) will be paired with youth (Littles) from schools located in policing districts they serve. The Philadelphia rollout will begin by establishing 20 mentoring relationships at D. Newlin Fell Elementary School in the 3rd District, and Sharswood Elementary, Mead Elementary and Dr. Ethel D. Allen Schools in the 22nd District. All schools are currently partners with BBBS Independence for other school-based youth mentoring programs, and have children waiting to be paired with a mentor. The goal is to build strong, trusting, lasting relationships and help build stronger bonds between law enforcement and the families they serve.

“It is no secret that many cities struggle with police-community relations. We know mentoring cannot fix every issue, but we believe the Big Brothers Big Sisters youth mentoring model can make a difference and foster understanding,” stated Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “We’re excited about the response we have received to the rollout of Bigs in Blue. In fact, we’ve been working closely with Big Brothers Big Sisters to bring this program to life in Philadelphia over the past 18 months. We all agree that we need better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. In addition to efforts to engage young adults in the millennial age group, we want to continue nurturing positive relationships with Philadelphia’s youth.”

Bigs In Blue is a unique one-to-one mentoring program in which students (“Littles”) from local schools meet with their mentor police officers (“Bigs”) at their respective schools. Bigs meet with their Littles every week during the school year. “It is beneficial for our students and members of our school communities to establish close, quality relationships with the police officers in their neighborhoods,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, The School District of Philadelphia. “Having a positive role model will also help our students grow and make healthy decisions both inside and outside of school. I am grateful to both the Philadelphia Police Department and Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region for their partnership and for brining such an impactful opportunity to our students.”

The Big Brothers Big Sisters curriculum encourages students to rise to their full potential, manage letdowns and challenge the status quo wherever they can — all key traits of successful community citizens and leaders. “You’re seeing a real solution created in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department to address some of today’s most pressing problems such as youth violence and social injustice,” says Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence. “The Bigs in Blue program will help the men and women who serve as police officers better understand the youth in their community just as much as it will help the kids benefit from a one-to-one mentoring relationship.”

BBBSA is helping to fund Bigs in Blue programs through national grants. Several communities across the country have implemented this program and many are expanding to neighboring police departments. Similar programs have been started in Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA and Roanoke, VA.