• Monday , 19 February 2018

Jessie’s Day Fundraiser Packs Independence Seaport Museum with Sea of Smiling Faces

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.

First things first! To the beer after fighting parade traffic.

First things first! To the beer and food after fighting parade traffic.

Blue Duck Philly pork rolls were amazing!

Blue Duck Philly pork rolls were amazing!

Pretzel bites with beer cheese helps soak up the booze.

Pretzel bites with beer cheese helps soak up the booze.

2nd Story Brewery was representing with alluring growlers.

2nd Story Brewery was representing with alluring growlers.

Cheese and sweets are always a tasty pair.

Cheese and sweets are always a tasty pair.

Chicken salad sandwiches for those missing summertime.

Chicken salad sandwiches for those missing summertime.

Hearty meatballs and pasta for the Italian lovers.

Hearty meatballs and pasta for the Italian lovers.

Pork sausage sandwiches are a tasty friend of the samples of beer available.

Pork sausage sandwiches are a tasty friend of the samples of beer available.

Mashed potatoes and beef are always a nice stick to your ribs option.

Mashed potatoes and beef are always a nice stick to your ribs option.

Hearty mac-n-cheese is a crowd favorite.

Hearty mac-n-cheese is a crowd favorite.

Chicken wings are also a tasty meaty treat.

Chicken wings are also a tasty meaty treat.

These ladies are all smiles at Jessie's Day.

These ladies are all smiles at Jessie’s Day.

Did we mention how much we loved these pork rolls?

Did we mention how much we loved these pork rolls?

Vegetarian Indian chili is heavenly and seasonal.

Vegetarian Indian chili is heavenly and seasonal.

Indian chick peas are a tasty treat with a side of naan.

Indian chick peas are a tasty treat with a side of naan.

Always A Twist chef makes some pretty darn tasty Indian food!

Always A Twist chef makes some pretty darn tasty Indian food!

Cups of Indian heaven right here! Not pictured, equally addicting cornbread.

Cups of Indian heaven right here! Not pictured, equally addicting cornbread.

The band was cheesin' it up all afternoon and got the audience moving and grooving.

The band was cheesin’ it up all afternoon and got the audience moving and grooving.

Tables full of baskets from so many charitable vendors covered a whole wall and then some.

Tables full of baskets from so many charitable vendors covered a whole wall and then some.

The list goes on and on for the silent auction.

The list goes on and on for the silent auction.

Sponsors cover a flyer looking through the window.

Sponsors cover a flyer looking through the window.

Rows of silent auction baskets line the windows.

Rows of silent auction baskets line the windows.

Making sure you stay hydrated with some electrolyte and PH balanced water.

Making sure you stay hydrated with some electrolyte and PH balanced water.

Blue Duck Philly not only makes some bangin pork rolls but also have some mad dance moves!

Blue Duck Philly not only makes some bangin pork rolls but also have some mad dance moves!

This lady sure knows her chocolate cookies - in cups (which are stackable and portable!)

This lady sure knows her chocolate cookies – in cups (which are stackable and portable!)

She also knows how to make sticky sweet macaroons.

She also knows how to make sticky sweet macaroons.

Everyone knows the cheesecake at The Capital Grille is thick and creamy.

Everyone knows the cheesecake at The Capital Grille is thick and creamy.

FedNuts in the house with donuts...

FedNuts in the house with donuts…

And some pretty dope cupcakes. We claimed the double chocolate.

And some pretty dope cupcakes with sparkles! We claimed the double chocolate.

Twisted Lids sweets in a jar almost "sold" out of their portable containers.

Twisted Lids sweets in a jar almost “sold” out of their portable purse containers.

Rock Bottom in KOP brought some tasty amber ale. Yards and Union Jack's also had some tasty brew.

Rock Bottom in KOP brought some tasty amber ale. Yards and Union Jack’s also had some tasty brew.

And if you needed to step outside for air, what an amazing view.

And if you needed to step outside for air, what an amazing view.

From every angle, the Seaport Museum is quite endearing.

From every angle, the Seaport Museum view is quite endearing.

Looking behind the Seaport Museum sign is not as pretty but still a cool angle.

Looking behind the Seaport Museum sign is not as pretty but still a cool angle.

These happy, helpful bartenders kept the drinks full and people happy.

These helpful bartenders kept the drinks full and people happy.

The space was packed with people and good energy.

The space was packed with people, children and good energy.

Face painting was available for the kids as well.

Face painting was available for the kids as well.

This little baby was getting photo booth ready. As if he could get any cuter!

This little baby was getting photo booth ready. As if he could get any cuter!

The man behind the photo booth stays hydrated and happy.

The man behind the photo booth stayed hydrated and happy.

A small price to pay for a balloon animal.

A small price to pay for a balloon animal.

After the photo, she decided a ladybug corsage was in order for "good luck."

After the photo, she decided a ladybug corsage was in order for “good luck.”

Another balcony existed close to the windows for children to roam free.

Another balcony existed close to the windows for children to roam free and burn off some energy.

Alloyius Mcilwaine poses with an art canvas he just created and travels the world with his passion.

Alloyius Mcilwaine poses with an art canvas he just created and travels the world with his passion.

A view over the balcony.

A view over the balcony.

This little baby is not sure where to go outside.

This little baby is not sure where to go outside.

Speakers get on stage and grab the mic while choking back tears of gratitude.

Jessie’s Day family speakers get on stage and grab the mic while choking back tears of gratitude.

And they make sure to thank someone very special.

And they make sure to thank someone very special.

Philly PR Girl Kate Marlys is given a round of applause for her good deeds.

Philly PR Girl Kate Marlys is given a round of applause for her good deeds.

Another donor recipient is applauded before the music begins again.

Another donor recipient is applauded before the music begins again.

A beautiful bouquet for a group of wonderfully kind-hearted people.

A beautiful bouquet for a group of wonderfully kind-hearted people.

 

 

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