Lehigh Valley March of Dimes Awards Event Raises a Record $125,000

By Colin McEvoy on November 4, 2019

This year’s March of Dimes Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards event raised an all-time record of $120,000.

The March of Dimes Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards Committee hosted its 26th Annual Awards Breakfast on Nov. 1, a prestigious event honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Lehigh Valley real estate market and local community.

Held at the ArtQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, proceeds from the event benefit the March of Dimes Northeast Pennsylvania Market. The March of Dimes’ mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

The event has raised $1.5 million over 25 years, and this year it raised an all-time record of $125,000, according to committee chairman Mike Jeitner.

This year’s honorees included Individual of the Year Scott V. Fainor, community leaders and former bank executive, as well as two Projects of the Year: the Gateway at Greenway Park, and office building in the city of Bethlehem, and Madison Farms, a commercial & residential community in Bethlehem Township.

“We are very pleased to honor the outstanding individuals, companies, and projects that have made a significant impact on the Lehigh Valley economy, while simultaneously raising money and awareness for an important organization that has touched the lives of countless children for more than 75 years,”Jeitner said. “We’re honored to help March of Dimes deliver the healthiest beginnings, so that every generation can have the brightest tomorrow.”

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is a video sponsor of the event, and LVEDC Director of Communications Colin McEvoy serves on the March of Dimes Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards Committee.

Fainor served as a Group Executive of BB&T from April 2016 until his retirement in February 2019. Prior to that BB&T, he was President and CEO of the public company National Penn Bancshares, Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors from January 2010 to April 2016.

Headquartered in Allentown, National Penn was a $10 billion-asset commercial bank with banking, investment, insurance and trust operations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Under Fainor’s leadership, the bank was ranked No. 1 in Pennsylvania by Bank Director magazine in 2015 and was No. 17 in Forbes magazine’s Top 100 Largest Banks in America.

“I’ve tried in my career to stand at the forefront, lead by example, and rally behind a cause, whether it was a community cause, a banking cause, or many of your projects,” Fainor said. “We need to keep moving our community forward. Getting involved and leadership matters.”

Aida Cole spoke on behalf of the March of Dimes 2019 mission family.

Each year the event also features a mission family. This year it was Aida and Richard Cole, whose son Richie was born after just 26 weeks, weighing 1.5 pounds. He was immediately placed in the NICU, where Aida and Richard learned he had developed an E.coli Infection and had an escalated heart rate.

Richie died on March 18, 2002, but the Cole family decided they wanted to keep his legacy alive. They began raising money for the March of Dimes, and to date have raised just under $40,000.

“I’m just truly honored and humbled to be here and see all of you here for this amazing cause,” Ada Cole. “I want to continue to talk about my son and keep his story alive, because he’s my purpose. He’s my mission.”

The Gateway at Greenway Park is a six-story office building located at Third and New streets in South Bethlehem, which opened in early 2019. The 125,000 square-foot building was built with the intention of being the gateway to urban renewal and the revitalization of South Bethlehem.

With St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh University as the anchor tenants, the Gateway at Greenway Park has brought new workers into the city, provided additional foot traffic, and served as another catalyst in the continuing renaissance of South Bethlehem.

Madison Farms is a mixed commercial and residential community developed by KRE Group and The Silverman Group. Located on 100 acres in Bethlehem Township, the collection of smartly-designed, spacious rental units offering the ultimate in luxury apartment living.

Madison Farms is one of the most commercial- and retail-friendly residential communities the Lehigh Valley has ever seen, offering all the amenities its residents need in one spot. Situated near the airport, hospital, and multiple entertainment options, Madison Farms is within walking distance to Shoprite and Starbucks, as well as a collection of shopping locations and walking paths.

“We have tried very hard here in the Lehigh Valley to build a true community; it’s something we pride ourselves on at KRE,” said Noah Chrismer, Director of Planning & Entitlements for KRE Group. “So Madison Farms has been a feature in our cap, but it was really the result of the efforts of a lot of people.”

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