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Since 2008, Steve ‘Elsayed’ Elmarzouy, owner of Queen City Family Restaurant on Lancaster Avenue in Shillington, has closed his establishment to the general public for one day in order to host People First – an event with a traditional turkey meal with all of the trimmings for a potential 1,000+ invited guests who may not otherwise have a hot holiday meal in a warm setting.
Many businesses and non-profits gave of their time, supplies, and smiles to brighten the day of those less fortunate for the 9th Annual People First Event in the following ways:
• The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, Opportunity House, and the Berks County Veterans Assistance Office helped to identify and invite individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk.
• Food donors included Berks Packing, Feeser, Sysco, and U.S. Foods.
• Food preparation was managed by Queen City staff and volunteers.
• Customer’s Bank sponsored a heated tent from Knight’s Rental to house more guests.
• Berks Conference of Churches and Immanuel United Church of Christ, Shillington, distributed gift bags of donated hats, scarves, and gloves.
• Blankets were supplied by Blankets of Hope – Berks.
• The Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) provided transportation and early morning set-up support.
• The Reading Police Department kept traffic flowing safely in the vicinity.
• The Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement at Alvernia University provided gift bags.
• Alvernia University orchestrated the volunteer manpower.
• The Anderson Group provided marketing and planning support.
In addition, there were numerous volunteers behind the scenes who were very glad to lend a hand to provide a welcoming smile, good food, encouragement, and support to individuals and families at-risk in our community. The Berks County Intermediate Unit is proud to be a part of this wonderful event.