Photo courtesy of CityTeam Chester
When Bob and Carolyn Turner heard about CityTeam Chester through their church two years after the charity had opened its doors, they knew right away they wanted to get involved. So after a few years of working with the homeless-shelter, soup-kitchen, addiction-recovery-center hybrid, Bob’s company, Turner Investments, started an annual golf outing in support of the nondenominational Christian organization’s work. But, after 22 years, it was starting to get a little stale.
That’s when his wife came up with a new idea. Carolyn, who is on the board of directors for the Willistown Conservation Trust, was inspired by its Barns & BBQ event to start something similar for CityTeam. Bob and Carolyn would even offer up their own Windhill Farm for the event.
“Turner Investments would bring brokers from New York [for the golf tournament], where as last year [Bluegrass & BBQ] was well attended and had a local flare to it,” says Turner.
“It is just such a generous thing for them to give of their home and their space,” says CityTeam Chester Director Kwinn Tucker. “It creates this really festive event for people to come and have a great time to help our great cause.”
In addition to offering an intimate setting, CityTeam’s event, which is in its second year at the Turners’ Berwyn home, will offer its 200 guests tastes of some Main Line favorites as bluegrass band Noggin’ Hill provides the soundtrack for the night. Jimmy’s BBQ in Malvern will cater the event while Victory Brewing Company will provide the beer. Throughout the cocktail hour, there will be stations where people can taste the beer and food pairings before sitting down for dinner at the event. Guests will want to save their appetites, however, for dessert brought in by the Franklin Fountain.
There will also be five items auctioned off, whose proceeds, in addition to ticket sales, will benefit the organization’s rehabilitation center for men, one of its most flourishing services.
“The thing that has progressed the most with CityTeam over the years is their growth with the drug and alcohol program,” says Bob. “As men enter that program, it’s probably their last chance. They’ve probably exhausted the private rehab system, and they don’t have any options. This is their last chance to recover and get back to a normal life. CityTeam does their job better than most private facilities… It’s beyond just trying to get them off the substance; it’s about getting them prepared to get back into the workforce.”
Attendees can plan to hear from a few of these men who have successfully completed the program and have managed to continue their growth after the program, all thanks to CityTeam’s efforts.
“It’s very inspiring from my perspective as well to see many people who walked in our doors with very little or not much to their name just feeling like they have lost everything and then to see them transform,” Tucker says. “Their lives are whole again, and then to come back to do something like this months, years later—to share what has happened to them—it’s very inspiring. It just helps everyone there realize they’re investing in something that really makes a difference for people.”
It isn’t just about the money though. Many people don’t even know that CityTeam is out there, much less the full extent of its mission, which it accomplishes with little funds and even less manpower. “It would be great if these people that are local could get more involved not only through financial contributions, but through volunteering as well.”
The main goal of the event is to embrace this charity—whether that be through its entertaining events or its benevolent work.
“I hope people walk away inspired by the work CityTeam does for men who are in really difficult situations in their lives, but I also hope people will walk away feeling like that was really a fun way to help people out,” Tucker extrapolates. “I hope people leave thinking, ‘We had a great time, and at the same time we’re able to make peoples lives better.’ We want our events to be remembered for being fun.”
To purchase tickets to the event, visit CityTeam Chester Bluegrass & BBQ. To find ways to support the organization, visit CityTeam Chester.