SOUTH PHILLY: Business Association Honors Persons Of Year

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by Maria Merlino

Last Thursday, Mar. 12, Galdo’s Entertainment & Catering Complex at 20th & Moyamensing Avenue was bustling with dignitaries, family, friends and colleagues of 2nd Dist. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, State Rep. Maria Donatucci and businessman Jay Agnes.

S. PHILA. Business Association chose 2nd Dist. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, State rEP. Maria Donatucci and business leader Jay Agnes, honoring them with their highest accolade: Person of the Year. Congratulations! Photo by Maria Merlino

S. PHILA. Business Association chose 2nd Dist. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, State Rep. Maria Donatucci and business leader Jay Agnes, honoring them with its highest accolade: Person of the Year. Congratulations! Photo by Maria Merlino

The South Philadelphia Business Association honored each of them as Person of the Year. An open bar, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a five-course dinner, music and an auction were just some of the highlights of the evening.

A humbled Jay Agnes “was a little embarrassed. I’m not the kind of guy in the limelight. I’m more behind the scenes. I’m just trying my best to carry on the tradition of my grandfather and father.”

He’s referring to Pelligrino Agnes, an Italian immigrant who came to Philadelphia in the early 1900’s to start a tiny contracting company and his son, Lou Agnes, who followed in his dad’s footsteps, taking the family business beyond what the patriarch’s American dream could imagine. Jay, now the third generation, is a pillar of society and uses his vast knowledge to improve the lives of the people of South Philadelphia through his vision and philanthropy.

“Jay Agnes is one of the most generous men I know and gives the Church his invaluable time and talent,” said Father Joe Genito of St. Rita of Casia Church & Shrine.

G.E.A.R. civic leader Jody Della Barba heaped praise on 2nd Dist. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

“Kenyatta was the freshman Councilman, but he fit right into the role. He is a good guy and very respectful and aware of the needs of our community. Last summer he gave a $360,000 grant to restore Girard Park,” she enthused.

G.E.A.R. Civic Leader, Jody Della Barba, Judicial Candidate Vince Giucini and Broad Street West Civic Leader John Fury toast the three honorees at the tribute dinner. Photo by Maria Merlino

G.E.A.R. Civic Leader, Jody Della Barba, Judicial Candidate Vince Giucini and Broad Street West Civic Leader John Fury toast the three honorees at the tribute dinner. Photo by Maria Merlino

“We’ve already started with the paving. He gave a grant to Guerin Playground at 16th & Jackson. They’re redoing all the bocce courts and play area. Just last month, he made a grant of $500,000 to Stinger Square to revitalize the area. We also made him an honorary Italian at the 1492 Society. He’s so supportive of the Columbus Day Parade,” she said.

“State Rep. Maria Donatucci is a faithful member of St. Monica’s Church,” said Father Joe Kelley. “And like her late husband, Robert, is unassuming – doesn’t make a big deal of things, but boy does she go above and beyond what is needed! She’s not a politician that toots her own horn, but goes quietly about to make sure the parish is beautifully maintained. Our senior citizens love her. She’s concerned about their health. She sets up booths for Alzheimer’s Disease and colon cancer awareness. Maria Donatucci is a selfless woman.”

STATE SENATOR Larry Farnese, Honoree 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Pastor of St. Monica’s Church, Fr. Joseph Kelley. Photo by Maria Merlino

STATE SEN. Larry Farnese, Honoree 2nd Dist. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson with Pastor of St. Monica’s Church Father Joseph Kelley. Photo by Maria Merlino

LITTLE ISAIAH Johnson, only five months old, is having a good time as his parents Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and mommy Dawn show off their darling boy – a future mayor? Photo by Maria Merlino

LITTLE ISAIAH Johnson, only five months old, is having a good time as his parents Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and mommy Dawn show off their darling boy – a future Mayor? Photo by Maria Merlino

Judge Vince Melchiorre and songstress Felicia Punzo are happy to be attending the gala event at Galdo’s Catering and Entertainment Center. Photo by Maria Merlino

JUDGE Vince Melchiorre and songstress Felicia Punzo are happy to be attending gala at Galdo’s. Photo by Maria Merlino

IT WAS THE first time State Senator Larry Farnese met the talented Felicia Punzo and looks forward to hearing her sing. Photo by Maria Merlino

IT WAS THE first time State Sen. Larry Farnese met talented Felicia Punzo; he looks forward to hearing her sing. Photo by Maria Merlino

DIANE AGNES is so proud of her hubby of 18 years, businessman Jay Agnes on becoming Person of the Year. Photo by Maria Merlino

DIANE AGNES is so proud of her hubby of 18 years, businessman Jay Agnes, on becoming Person of the Year. Photo by Maria Merlino

CHIEF OF STAFF for Foundations, Emilio Matticoli, State Senator Larry Farnese and Register of Wills, Ron Donatucci. Photo by Maria Merlino

CHIEF OF STAFF for foundations Emilio Matticoli joins State Sen. Larry Farnese and Register of Wills,Ron Donatucci. Photo by Maria Merlino

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One Response to SOUTH PHILLY: Business Association Honors Persons Of Year

  1. Jody Della Barba is a racist and you may want to reconsider allowing her to represent your organization in any way.

    Rebecca Kwan
    May 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm

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