JPG is a huge supporter of community outreach efforts and non-for-profit work, especially when it comes to serving the Greater Philadelphia Area. When we were asked to document Brent Celek’s fourth annual Celebrity Waiter NIght, we jumped at the opportunity. The charity event raised funds for Celek’s Take Flight foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of critically ill and physically challenged children, by providing them with iPads, video games, movies and other forms of entertainment to distract from tedious treatments and sometimes long and painful recoveries. Celek and a number of his Eagles teammates mingled with fans signing footballs, shaking hands, and of course, taking pictures!
Guests first entered the ballroom foyer of the Loews Hotel for a cocktail hour and silent auction, where bidders could browse a selection of prizes including signed Eagles memorabilia, Ray Ban aviators and weekend getaways. Also present for their entertainment our, friend the JPG photobooth.
In the diningroom, an official special edition Eagles football saved the seat of each guest. As players Riley Cooper, Trent Cole, Jon Dorenbos, James Casey, Nick Foles, Zach Ertz, LeSean McCoy, and Will Murphy filtered in to sign footballs, grown men’s eyes lit up like little kids on christmas morning. The players were difficult to miss, but even more attention-grabbing was the Eagles cap darting in, out, and around the legs of celebrity heroes. Five-year-old Kamari Fussell was Celek’s guest of honor along with his mother, father, and baby sister. The boy’s excitement and positivity contagiously delighted everyone he met. He was fearless, candid, and like any five year old, full of energy. Before the live auction Kamena Fussell, mother to Kamari, told their story. The family survived a house fire that took from them all of their material possessions and left Kamari severely burned, scarring his face and body. Kamari underwent several surgeries and skin grafts. Celek’s foundation provided Kamari with an iPad and an opportunity to meet some of his idols from the Eagles.
One of the best moments of the night was watching the players learn the names of the orderves that they were carrying around on their trays. Hosts, Ike Reese and Michael Barkmann kept the night moving beautifully, provoking delightful laughter from the crowd.
Thank you to Brent Celek, and all of the players and patrons who came out to support the Take Flight Foundation. We were honored to be a part this awesome cause and hope to be involved in the future!