On November 3rd, PEC hosted its 51st annual Environmental Partnership Awards Dinner – my first ever PEC dinner! I had big shoes to fill and was equal parts excited and nervous to pull off an event so integral to PEC.
We knew that this year would have to look a little different from our last in-person dinner in 2019 (unsurprisingly, our 2020 dinner was hosted virtually by Executive VP Patrick Starr in the safety of a recording studio). We decided that the safest and most responsible way to bring our guests together would be to require proof of vaccination and encourage mask-wearing inside the Crystal Tearoom. I was worried about the turnout and hesitancy of our guests, but our plan worked as the attendees flowed in – we ended up with just over 150 eager guests. It was an exciting evening for our guests to come together to eat, drink, network, and mingle after a completely virtual event last year. Though fewer people than past years, this was a great accomplishment during a year in which in-person events are slowly making a return.
After being in contact with so many of our sponsors and partners, I finally got to meet them in person. It was especially exciting for me to sit with our wonderful partners from PennCreative – the team who designed our beautiful evite and program, who I had emailed dozens of times but never actually met! I was glad to see everyone enjoying themselves during both the networking reception and the awards ceremony (and enjoying our donated Yards beer!).
This year, PECO was presented with the Industry Innovation and Corporate Sustainability Award, recognized for their impressive work with the Green Region Open Space program. Bartram’s Garden received the Special Places award, celebrating their success in integrating the community of Southwest Philadelphia into the many accomplishments of their gardens and farms.
It was an honor to be in the presence of those who have worked so hard to preserve and protect our environment.
Andy Johnson and Senator Franklin Kury were the recipients of the Curtin Winsor Award for lifetime achievement. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Environment Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, which Kury worked to pass during his time in the senate. It was an honor to be in the presence of those who have worked so hard to preserve and protect our environment. Many of our wonderful nonprofit and government partners joined us for this occasion.
We have already started to discuss next year’s event. Stay tuned in the spring for more information, but right now we are thinking of updating the event branding and even the potential to bring in live music. Thanks to all who came out to celebrate!