Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Lisa Cabot, a New Bethany client, gave a human face to the organization’s work, stunning the audience with an account of extraordinary personal tragedy that could happen to anyone and then rescue by New Bethany. Copyright -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lisa Cabot, a New Bethany client, gave a human face to the organization’s work, stunning the audience with an account of extraordinary personal tragedy that could happen to anyone and then rescue by New Bethany. Copyright -
Marc Rittle, New Bethany’s executive director, welcomes a large crowd to “Souper Day.” Copyright -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Marc Rittle, New Bethany’s executive director, welcomes a large crowd to “Souper Day.” Copyright -
Jack McDowell, who came to Souper Day with other members of the Men’s Group at First Presbyterian Church, heads for the soup bowl. Copyright -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jack McDowell, who came to Souper Day with other members of the Men’s Group at First Presbyterian Church, heads for the soup bowl. Copyright -
The modest luncheon at Souper Day, consisting of soup, tossed salad, and bread, reminded guests that the goal of the event is to support New Bethany’s mission to “the hungry, homeless, poor and mentally ill of the Lehigh Valley.” Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon (center), Senior Pastor of Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, who is also a Bishop of the Moravian Church, assembles his meal. Copyright -                                                                                                                     The modest luncheon at Souper Day, consisting of soup, tossed salad, and bread, reminded guests that the goal of the event is to support New Bethany’s mission to “the hungry, homeless, poor and mentally ill of the Lehigh Valley.” Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon (center), Senior Pastor of Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, who is also a Bishop of the Moravian Church, assembles his meal. Copyright -
Bill White, retired columnist from the “Morning Call,” was greeted with resounding applause at his introduction and then gave a keynote speech that was by turns funny and moving, “classic Bill White,” one audience member commented. Copyright -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bill White, retired columnist from the “Morning Call,” was greeted with resounding applause at his introduction and then gave a keynote speech that was by turns funny and moving, “classic Bill White,” one audience member commented. Copyright -
PRESS PHOTOS BY DENNIS GLEWGuests at Souper Day came for various reasons. Valerie Bittner (right) was encouraged to attend by a friend who is on New Bethany’s staff. She also wanted to hear Bill White’s speech. Doris Schattschneider (center right), a retired professor of Mathematics at Moravian College, has been connected to the soup kitchen at New Bethany since a colleague of hers was involved in Copyright -                                                                                                    PRESS PHOTOS BY DENNIS GLEWGuests at Souper Day came for various reasons. Valerie Bittner (right) was encouraged to attend by a friend who is on New Bethany’s staff. She also wanted to hear Bill White’s speech. Doris Schattschneider (center right), a retired professor of Mathematics at Moravian College, has been connected to the soup kitchen at New Bethany since a colleague of hers was involved in Copyright -
Lane Wilder, an engineer with Dewey Engineering, Inc., is a director of New Bethany. She was joined at Souper Day by three co-workers. Copyright -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lane Wilder, an engineer with Dewey Engineering, Inc., is a director of New Bethany. She was joined at Souper Day by three co-workers. Copyright -
Amanda Maenza, newly appointed director of alumni and parent engagement at Moravian College, came to Souper Day with a table full of colleagues, among them Rob Breckinridge (right), executive director of development, and Robert Gratz (left), Amanda’s predecessor in her department. Copyright -                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Amanda Maenza, newly appointed director of alumni and parent engagement at Moravian College, came to Souper Day with a table full of colleagues, among them Rob Breckinridge (right), executive director of development, and Robert Gratz (left), Amanda’s predecessor in her department. Copyright -

28th annual Souper Day fundraiser

Monday, November 25, 2019 by Dorothy Glew Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the New Bethany Souper Day Fundraiser drew 250 guests to the Event Center at Blue. Each year the event raises money needed by New Bethany Ministries to provide multiple services to needy people, including 37,000 hot meals annually, 3,200 showers, clothing, temporary housing and assistance finding permanent housing and employment, among other services.

Marc Rittle, executive director of New Bethany, welcomed the New Bethany staff. In addition to paid staff, there are hundreds of volunteers who help in numerous ways. Rittle announced that so far this year, New Bethany has raised over $120,000 to assist the people it serves. Numerous organizations help fund its work. Rittle noted that the Lehigh Valley is full of caring, generous people. Explaining the reason for his support, one donor told him that “God whispered in my ear.”

This year the guest speaker was Bill White, former “Morning Call” columnist who retired after forty-four years. He recalled how much he loved writing about “Luminaria Night,” which benefits New Bethany, when he would take refugees,esenior citizens and needy children, among others, to see the lights. He commented that he wishes that “people who haven’t seen poverty would have an opportunity to see it up close.”

Rittle commented that “our staff will help whoever appears at our doorstep.” Illustrating the point was Lisa Cabot, a resident at the New Bethany Coplay facility, who shared her story. In the space of a short time, her sister committed suicide, her father suffered several strokes and had to move into Gracedale, and Lisa herself was diagnosed with cancer and then evicted from her residence. After spending time in the hospital, she lived for a while in her car. Eventually she “got lucky” in getting help from New Bethany, and she expressed thanks for the program that has enabled her “to live a productive life.” “I’m not the only one [at New Bethany] with a heart- breaking story” of great need, she added in conclusion.

As attendees departed, they might have noticed a sign on the wall of Blue which read, “No one can do everybody but everybody can do something.” Illustrating the point was the Blue Event Center, which donated the facility and the meal that was served to the New Bethany staff, volunteers, and guests.