The holidays are a time when everyone thinks of family and home. The Sons of Ben have extended their home to include Chester's Bernadine Center. Every year they host several charity events that directly benefit the Chester based food bank. Ami Oristaglio was kind enough to take a few minutes from her busy schedule organizing the sure to be epic event to tell us what it's all about and how you can help.
Murph: Tell everyone about HKH
Ami Oristaglio: HKH is the SoB annual food & fundraiser with all proceeds benefiting the Bernadine Center in Chester PA. This year we will be holding HKH Jan 18th, 2014 at Field House Philly
This started out as a food drive and has become a huge event to support this food bank and community outreach center.
Murph: How did you come to be involved in it?
Ami Oristaglio: I am only 1 part of 4 people organizing this event: Lorenzo Rivera (VP), Tina Eunson (Memb Dir) & Bill Gusler (Dir of Philanthropy) and myself (Events Dir). These 3 and I took on this project to really up the ante in a time when there is such a desperate need for assistance.
Murph: Is there anything new for this year?
Ami Oristaglio: This year HKH returns to Philly during the MLS SuperDraft weekend. We are taking over Field House Philly where they have given us two large areas to hold our silent auction, raffle drawing and 50/50. We will have games and player appearances throughout the night!
Murph: How much was raised last year?
Ami Oristaglio: $5000 was raised last year for the Bernardine Center
Murph: Do you expect other supporters groups to have a presence because its connected with the MLS SuperDraft?
Ami Oristaglio: It is my hope that those who attend the MLS SuperDraft will want to participate in our cause. I think regardless of your home city, the need is there. We invite everyone to come and join us regardless of their team affiliation.
Murph: Why the Bernadine Center? What is their mission?
Ami Oristaglio: The Bernadine Center serves the City of Chester for low-income families in need. They offer a food pantry, kitchen and various community programs for Mothers, ESL classes, etc. They serve roughly 450 people each month with an additional 25 confined to their homes from their food pantry. Because Chester is our home away from home, the SoBs and the Union don't stop serving our City at the end of the season. We want to continue those efforts year round.
Murph: Do you still need volunteers?
Ami Oristaglio: We are looking for volunteers to assist with the event as well as those in the community who may be interested in donating items for raffle or silent auction.
Murph: Who could people contact to help?
Ami Oristaglio: For donations Tina Eunson (email@example.com) or Bill Gusler (firstname.lastname@example.org) To volunteer or for more info regarding HKH Ami Oristaglio (email@example.com) or Lorenzo Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Murph: Besides this event what others are connected with HKH and the Bernadine Center throughout the year?
Ami Oristaglio: Our first home game of every season is called "Stache Bash" which donates all funds and donated non-perishables/food to BC. Every tailgate we end up with some extra food or supplies which is also donated to the BC. Additionally this past season and planned again for this season we will be doing a Mother's Day diaper drive (formula, diapers & supplies).
Murph: Is there anything else people should know about HKH or this event?
Ami Oristaglio: I want to stress how important it is to continue these efforts. Although we all have felt the pinch of the economy hunger is a daily problem no one should have to face. With the ending of the federal stimulus package food stamps for a family of 4 were cut $36/month. That's a huge hit. It is my hope people will come out and support the City of Chester & the people in our extended soccer family.
So no matter what team you support if you are at the 2014 MLS Super Draft, this is an event that not only will be a blast but helps other people as well,. Who wouldn't be a supporter of that? Tickets can be purchased here.