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Project HOME 35th Anniversary Gala

PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 2, 2024 – Project HOME today announced that it raised a total of $7.6 million at its 35th anniversary gala held at the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia on May 1, 2024. Attendees and committed citizens donated $4.4 million in the lead up to the evening and $3.2 million during the event itself. For the event, more than 1,400 civic, business, and philanthropic leaders gathered to celebrate 35 years of Project HOME and the organization’s dynamic co-founders, Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon.

“What an incredible evening of community, love, and generosity,” said Project HOME Co-Founder and Executive Director Sister Mary Scullion. “When Joan and I first imagined Project HOME 35 years ago, we could hardly have imagined the growth and impact we’ve been able to achieve as part of this tremendous organization. It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination, and we’re grateful to the entire Project HOME community for their support and shared belief that none of us are home until all of us are home.”

The event celebrated the enduring legacy and friendship of McConnon and Scullion, who are transitioning out of their day-to-day leadership roles with Project HOME but will remain connected to the organization. It honored Project HOME’s 35 years of impact with a dedicated focus on the organization’s next chapter and its continuing work to end and prevent chronic street homelessness in Philadelphia. Highlights of the event included:

  • A special video message from President Joe Biden honoring the organization and its impact
  • A special video message from actress Lily Tomlin, a long-time friend and advocate of Project HOME
  • Opening remarks from Governor Josh Shapiro
  • A special in-room fundraising effort that raised $3.2 million
  • A surprise on-the-spot donation of $1 million by Phillies Charities, Inc., presented by the Phillie Phanatic
  • A heartfelt tribute from Leigh and John Middleton before presenting Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon with the “Golden Heart” award.
  • Special participation from Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi who both served as co-chairs of the event. Jon Bon Jovi led the “Impact in an Instant” in-room fundraising initiative, and shared special remarks during the evening

“We were thrilled to co-chair this wonderful event that honored the incomparable leadership of Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon,” said Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi, JBJ Soul Foundation. “We consider them mentors, friends, and inspirations. May their work continue until homelessness is a thing in the past.”

During the “Impact in an Instant” initiative, attendees raised $2.2 million before a surprise $1 million donation was presented by the Phillie Phanatic on behalf of Phillies Charities, Inc., the charitable arm of the Philadelphia Phillies.

“For 35 years Project HOME, led by the heroic efforts of Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon, has tackled the root causes of homelessness,” said Phillies Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer John Middleton. “We are incredibly proud to provide this significant donation to Project HOME in support of their mission to end homelessness for good.”

John Middleton and his wife, Leigh, a Project HOME board member, presented Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon with the “Golden Heart” award. The two co-founders shared their perspectives and vision for the future of Project HOME to conclude the ceremony.

“Ending chronic street homelessness will improve the quality of life of every person who calls Philadelphia home,” Dawson McConnon said. “Let’s get this done, together!”

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