It’s a lovely summer evening in suburban Philadelphia. In a beautiful backyard, around tables set with sophisticated china and stemware, 40 guests, arms entwined, sway to the sounds of an entertainer in a Hawaiian shirt singing pitch-perfect as Neil Diamond one minute, Whitney Houston the next. The first few bars of “Sweet Caroline” begin and the crowd joins in with heart and soul.
No, this isn’t your cousin’s wedding. Believe it or not, this is a fundraiser, though clearly not your average fundraiser. That is because the evening’s hosts are anything but average. Pat and Helen Burns are extraordinary, and by the end of the evening, they will have raised a record-setting $11,000 for Farm to Families.
Pat Burns, as President & CEO of The Fresh Grocer, doesn’t take no for an answer when he believes in something. Under his leadership, the company has grown to seven locations while he continues to work on developing additional locations and exciting new concepts. Part of The Fresh Grocer’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of the communities where they are located and to provide access to fresh, healthy, affordable food to underserved communities.
So when he heard about hosting a Dine In to support Farm to Families, he knew that he wanted to do it, and in typical Pat Burns fashion, he wanted to do it big.
He and Helen invited their closest friends. They asked Springfield Country Club to create a menu featuring filet mignon and lobster Française and a dessert buffet that overflowed.
Old friends and neighbors toasted and roasted each other. Funny stories were told and retold to hilarious laughter. No one wanted to leave. But as all good things must, the party finally ended. Until next year, that is, as this is one couple who has the secret to success in the bag.