|Leigh and John Middleton accepting their honor|
The Philadelphia society types came out for the dinner, which was attended by 1250 and raised $2.1 million. Rock star Jon Bon Jovi, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, Bill Giles of the Phillies as well as the formerly homeless residents of Project Home attended the event. Pennsylvania's First Lady, Susan Corbett, Senator Bob Casey, and Mayor Michael Nutter also attended the event.
|Eagles owner Jeffrey and Tina Lurie, Comcast CEO Brian and Aline Roberts, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim|
|Meet the Press moderator talking with his boss Comcast CEO Brian Roberts|
|Bon Jovi teased Sister Mary Scullion during his speech.|
Binswanger Corp CEO David Binswanger and his wife Dorothy revealed some interesting details about the Middletons in their introduction of the couple. The couple works hard to deflect attention from themselves. They chose a seat at Phillies home game, to the left of the catcher, which is just out of camera range. The Middletons bought John's mother's 107 year old house and are refurbishing it. David Binwanger teased John Middleton about constantly looking at his phone and always being serious. Dorothy described Leigh Middleton as super organized or, in her words, "anal".
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim gave a moving tribute to the Middletons in which he called them the new face of philanthropy. Kim announced that the World Bank is committed to ending extreme poverty in 15 years. He credited John Middleton with helping him developing a more scientific system for distributing aid.
I left the dinner with a queasy feeling in my stomach. I am not sure how I feel about going to a fancy gala dinner to raise money for the homeless. It was interesting to note two of the biggest supporters of the night made their fortunes from tobacco and sugary drinks, which have decimated poor communities.
Helping the homeless is hard work complicated by obstacles such as mental health and addiction. Yet, I was surprised how few people (8000 people) they had brought in from the streets or homes they had built (600) in a quarter century since the richest people in the city and Bon Jovi fund them. Mega developer Bart Blatstein does that in a year. When you break it down, Project Home helped 320 people a year and built 24 homes a year.
|The North Philly Stompers and the Phillie Phanatic led the crowd to dinner|
|David Binswanger and Marjorie Honickman are two major donors to Project Home|