Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The Ben Event honors the life of Ben Yorgey, an intellectually disabled young man whose personal warmth enriched the lives of everyone he met.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Ben Event honors the life of Ben Yorgey, an intellectually disabled young man whose personal warmth enriched the lives of everyone he met.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
PRESS PHOTOS BY BEVERLY SPRINGERThe Yorgey family stands on the stage and thanks everyone for their continued support. PRESS PHOTOS BY BEVERLY SPRINGERThe Yorgey family stands on the stage and thanks everyone for their continued support.
Former Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipients are a part of the celebration. Former Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipients are a part of the celebration.
PRESS PHOTOS BY BEVERLY SPRINGER2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipients in attendance take the stage together. PRESS PHOTOS BY BEVERLY SPRINGER2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipients in attendance take the stage together.
Gigi DiBello receives an autograph from Belle of Beauty and the Beast. Gigi DiBello receives an autograph from Belle of Beauty and the Beast.
Rich Caldwell accompanies Michael Diaz to the special athletics swim meet. Rich Caldwell accompanies Michael Diaz to the special athletics swim meet.
PRESS PHOTOS BY BEVERLY SPRINGERCaptain Marvel takes off with the runners in the half-mile kids run. PRESS PHOTOS BY BEVERLY SPRINGERCaptain Marvel takes off with the runners in the half-mile kids run.
Before the special athletics swim meet, swimmers and volunteers stand for the national anthem. Before the special athletics swim meet, swimmers and volunteers stand for the national anthem.
James Hebert, in the far lane and Nissi Bolash swim to a photo finish in the 100-meter freestyle event. James Hebert, in the far lane and Nissi Bolash swim to a photo finish in the 100-meter freestyle event.
Nicole Bacher, in the far lane and Karen Ford compete doing the breast stroke. Nicole Bacher, in the far lane and Karen Ford compete doing the breast stroke.
Ben Hartranft, a 2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipient, gives an inspirational speech. Ben Hartranft, a 2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipient, gives an inspirational speech.
2019 scholarship recipient Cheyenne Marie Mack’s happiness is contagious. 2019 scholarship recipient Cheyenne Marie Mack’s happiness is contagious.
2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipient Nicole Allen strikes a pose for the camera. 2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipient Nicole Allen strikes a pose for the camera.
2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipient Liam A. Holzer waves to the crowd. 2019 Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipient Liam A. Holzer waves to the crowd.
Matthew Eck makes friends with an alpaca at The Ben Event. Matthew Eck makes friends with an alpaca at The Ben Event.
Lukas Chambers takes a ride on Beezus the pony. Lukas Chambers takes a ride on Beezus the pony.

THE BEN EVENT

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by BEVERLY SPRINGER Special to The Press in Local News

Annual event honors the legacy of Ben Yorgey

On July 20, friends, family and Ben Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipients past and present gathered in Macungie Memorial Park for The Ben Event.

This year marks the 10th memorial celebration of the life of Ben Yorgey, an intellectually disabled young man whose personal warmth enriched the lives of everyone he met.

The event also generates education funds for students with special needs across the Lehigh Valley

In his honor, the Ben Yorgey Foundation recognizes and provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors with intellectual disabilities.

The festivities began with a special athletics swim meet and included a special athletics softball game, a half-mile kids run and fun dash, Ben’s block party, animals to pet, a pony to ride, the Bear Swamp Derby, a Wheels of Time Cruise Night and music by the Large Flowerheads and others.

Former Yorgey Foundation scholarship recipients participated in a Parade of Champions 6 p.m. Riding in Wheels of Time hot rods, past recipients cruised through the park to the Macungie Memorial Park band shell where they were warmly welcomed.

A limousine was then to have delivered the 2019 recipients to the park; however, the limo broke down. Members of the Wheels of Time rescued the stranded honorees and they arrived in style.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Nicole Allen, East Penn School District; Michael David Almourani, Parkland School District; Dakota Bilder, Project Search/Catasauqua School District; Nicholas Alexander Boone, Jim Thorpe School District; Ashley R. Cobb, Parkland School District; Matthew Robert Cunningham, Vocational Independence Program/Whitehall Coplay School District; Ashon Farthing, Project Search/Allentown School District; Francisco Garcia, Project Search/Allentown School District; Stephen Garrett Evans, East Penn School District; James M. Garrou, Parkland School District; Ben “Benergy” Hartranft, North Penn School District; Liam A. Holzer, Bethlehem School District; Holly Hyzinski, Parkland School District; Alex John Jagdeo, Jim Thorpe School District; Cheyenne Marie Mack, Project Search/Catasauqua School District; Hana V. Mittl, Northwestern Lehigh School District; Caitlin E. Polek, Vocational Independence Program/Parkland School District; Cassandra A. Simmons, Jim Thorpe School District and Alton William Wright, East Penn School District. The formal portion of this year’s program was highlighted by recipient Ben Hartranft’s inspirational speech.

For more information on Ben Yorgey or The Ben Event, visit www.heyIknowyou.org.