Photos, story by Cassie Hepler
The Jessica Beth Schwartz Memorial Scholarship Fund held their annual Jessie’s Day “Give the Gift of Scholarship” fundraising event on Sunday, Nov. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Independence Seaport Museum. If you were smart (unlike us) you would have remembered that the first annual Veterans Day parade was marching through Center City. We spent over an hour stuck in traffic but were determined to go and explore Jessie’s Day for a good cause.
With the beautiful, picturesque Delaware River Waterfront as a backdrop, it was a walkabout away from Philadelphia’s historic district. Jessie’s Day 2015 featured a special silent auction, live music and over 15 food and drink vendors, all donating goods and time. As soon as you walked into the venue from the elevator on the fourth floor, the music was pumping, people were smiling and the positive energy was contagious.
The Scholarship Fund was created in honor of Jessica Beth Schwartz by her mother, Janice, and sister Laura. Jessica was a heart transplant recipient and a hard-working journalism student at Temple University when she unfortunately passed away at the age of 23. However, Jessica was able to experience an additional eight and a half years of life because of the gift of organ donation. Her family strives to keep Jessica’s legacy alive by awarding young transplant recipients a college scholarship to help them pursue their dreams of higher education.
Now in it’s 13th year, the Jessie’s Day fundraiser has raised over $100,000 for its namesake program, providing financial scholarships to over 40 college-bound pediatric organ transplant recipients. This year’s event helped even more students who have had organ transplants fulfill their dreams of attending college. Several sponsorship options were available for businesses to earn publicity while contributing to this life-changing charity.