Mar 21 17

Second Annual SofterWare Casino for a Cause Donates $3000 to Charities

by Sam Goldenberg

On Saturday night, SofterWare celebrated its 36th anniversary at The Fuge.  The Fuge houses a centrifuge machine, which swings a capsule around in a circle on the end of a long arm. It’s designed to simulate gravitational forces, or “Gs”, on a test subject. SofterWare partied in a room that trained Mercury and Apollo astronauts to prepare for space!

The long arm that swings the capsule at the end around in a circle to allow astronauts to experience "G" forces. Now its a prop above a cheese & cracker table!

The long arm that swings the capsule at the end around in a circle to allow astronauts to experience “G” forces. Now its a prop above a cheese & cracker table!

The other great part of our annual party is the fact that we never forget why we’re in business, which is to help our clients.  All of our fundraising software clients and many of our childcare and camp clients are nonprofits. We like to show our appreciation for them by giving part of our party budget to our clients and other nonprofits.

Second Annual Casino for a Cause

As staff arrived at the party, our HR Director Kathy Piunti handed everyone several hundred “SofterWare” dollars so we could gamble away at roulette, blackjack, and craps.

Happy folks winning lots of dough at roulette. I once saw a guy win 14 straight color bets in a row, and he knew when to switch colors! (I jokingly asked if the game was fixed, and I woke up the next morning in the desert.)

Happy folks winning lots of dough at roulette. I once saw a guy win 14 straight color bets in a row, and he knew when to switch colors! (I jokingly asked if the game was fixed, and I woke up the next morning in the desert.)

All the proceeds our staff won could then be traded for tickets. Each staff member and their guest got to choose one eight charities, which included:

A total of $3,000 was split among them. For SofterWare folks, it was a fun way to learn how to gamble and bet over your heard without personal consequences. Another Sam at our company did the latter and turned a couple hundred bucks into $17,000! Unfortunately for Sam, the exchange rate for chips to tickets was not too good, and his plan to control the destiny of SofterWare’s charitable donations was thwarted.

The ladies were killing it too at the blackjack table. (It helped that the dealers were a little more forgiving than the real world dealers).

Susan Guggenheim, Client Relations Manager, and other guests, were betting big for charity at the blackjack table. (It helped that our dealers were a little more forgiving than the real world dealers).

Meanwhile, I was at the craps table and I lived up to the name, throwing the absolute worst rolls ever. Even though it was for charity, I thought one of the guys was going to throw me in the centrifuge and send me to Jupiter. Fortunately, our Senior VP Mike “I Always Make My Numbers” Sernoff came right after me and had a 45 minute roll! He nearly wiped out the bank!

The dice were hot for some folks, including Eleanor Stasio, are Director of Implementation, and very lucky shooter!

The dice were hot for some folks, including Eleanor Stasio, our Director of Implementation. She owned the craps tables and made everyone very rich (in fake money). 

A good time was had by all, and several worthy causes were the beneficiary. Not a bad way to spend an evening!

 

Mar 4 17

SofterWare Gives Back to WVWA

by Sam Goldenberg

At the annual meeting of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, SofterWare received WVWA’s Trailblazer Award. The award was, according to WVWA’s Gina Craigo,

in recognition that SofterWare has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to our mission. Our staff recently met, and wholeheartedly agreed that SofterWare should receive the Trailblazer award, which is a business or foundation for far-sighted vision and support, demonstrated by significant contributions to WVWA. Between the generous EITC support for our education program, the volunteer service, and widespread employee interest in our programs, we are very appreciative of all you give.

 

Trailblazeraward

Attending the meeting and receiving the award on behalf of everyone at SofterWare were: Johnson Joseph, Tony Repic, Kathy Piunti, Eleanor Stasio, and Nathan Relles. Unable to attend: Valerie Dillard and Dallas Mease. (Presenting the award: Suzanne from WVWA.)

Attending the meeting and receiving the award on behalf of everyone at SofterWare were: Johnson Joseph, Tony Repic, Kathy Piunti, Eleanor Stasio, and Nathan Relles. Unable to attend: Valerie Dillard and Dallas Mease. (Presenting the award: Suzanne from WVWA.)

 

 

Dec 19 16

Dog Helps Raise Funds for Animal Welfare / Human Services Organization

by Sam Goldenberg

Everyone has at least one thing they’re good at. Some people are lucky enough to have that thing be something others are willing to pay a lot of money; e.g. a baseball pitcher consistently throwing a ball really fast and straight.   Others are not so lucky (e.g. my friend’s a great whistler, but has made no money at it and constantly annoys his wife with his “gift”).

Sid the Pom, as in Pomeranian, really only knows one trick – he can wave “hello” with both his paws together when you pick him up and hold him out towards people. Its only one trick, but it’s a winner.   Add to that he looks like the cutest furry toy you’ve ever seen, is people friendly, and loves attention, and you have the perfect wing man if you’re looking to meet someone, or in this case, the perfect mascot to help your animal-based nonprofit raise lots of money!

Sid the Pom shows off is now famous two-pawed waves to his social media fans!

Sid the Pom shows off is now famous two-pawed waves to his social media fans!

New Leash on Life is a client of ours that “saves the lives of at-risk shelter dogs by training prison inmates to care for, and socialize them to enhance their adoptability. Inmates attend workshops on life skills and job readiness, and many receive opportunities for paid internships in the animal care field when they are paroled.”

On Sunday, December 18, Bloomingdale’s department store at the King of Prussia Mall near Philadelphia invited New Leash to set up a booth at one of their entrances. All shoppers had to do was show New Leash their Bloomingdale’s receipt so they could take a picture, and the department store would donate 10% of their purchase to New Leash.  The customer didn’t have to donate at all.

The trick was to get people to stop.  Enter Sid!  Emily Patz, who got to work closely with New Leash on a SofterWare customer profile, videos, and new e-book 7 Ways You Can Start Growing Your Nonprofit Today!, volunteered to bring her ham of a dog to lure folks over.  Boy, did it work!  In the course of just 2 hours, hundreds of people stopped, hugged, kissed, tried to adopt, and smothered Sid with affection.  There was even a photo booth so people could get their picture taken.

All-in-all, it was a big success! New Leash received lots of money and exposure. Bloomingdales showed their generosity and compassion to their customers.  And Sid the Pom got to help his fellow canines, and in turn, became a star!

Sid the Pom greets a new fan to help out his fellow dogs for New Leash on Life.

Sid the Pom greets a new fan to help out his fellow dogs for New Leash on Life.

 

A young fan fell in love with Sid and got her picture taken in the photo booth.

A young fan fell in love with Sid and got her picture taken in the photo booth.

 

A photo-booth action shot with Sid and an adoring fan! What a charmer!

A photo-booth action shot with Sid and an adoring fan! What a charmer!

Dec 13 16

Local Environmental Clean Up on a Cold Day Well Worth It!

by Sam Goldenberg

Two SofterWare folks, Valerie Dillard and Joseph Johnson, went out with the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association to remove the invasive species around the ash trees near an old mill. It was a cold day, but they made short work of a tough task.

Here is Valarie’s funny account of her volunteering:

“I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to volunteer, as well as learn and better educate myself about the WVWA. This event for me was very rewarding and beautiful, however, I think I lost about two inches off my waist with all of the bending over and using muscle that I haven’t used in years. Please don’t laugh at my white socks, they were my father’s hunting socks, and they kept my legs and feet very warm. LOL”

 

Val and Johnson are on the left. This hardy crew cleared brush, and hopefully drank some soup and hot coca together later on!

Val and Johnson are on the left. This hardy crew cleared brush, and hopefully drank some soup and hot coca together later on.

 

Before Shot #1 - Invasive brush is everywhere!

Before Shot #1 – Invasive brush is everywhere!

 

Before Shot #2 - This brush looks cold and really wants to go!

Before Shot #2 – This brush looks cold and really wants to go.

 

After Shot #1 - Look how nice and clean it is - does someone have a football?

After Shot #1 – Look how nice and clean it is!

 

After #2 - So much open space now - who has a football?

After Shot #2 – So much open space now – who has a football?

 

Dec 13 16

SofterWare Staff Delivers Gifts for Kisses for Kyle

by Sam Goldenberg

SofterWare partnered with Kisses for Kyle this year to sponsor a Holiday Giving Tree. The Kisses for Kyle Foundation has been supporting hundreds of family members for over 15 years throughout our area whose children are battling cancer. They help restore what families shouldn’t have to worry about, helping to give them peace of mind along with the ability to focus more during their children’s battles with their illnesses.

Kathy Piunti delivers our holiday gifts to Kids for Kyle.

Kathy Piunti delivers our holiday gifts to Kids for Kyle.

Our tree was decorated with 27 ornaments that contained the holiday wishes of the children. Our staff took the wishes, bought the gifts, and delivered them this past Friday. They say it’s better to give than receive, and events like these help bring that message home.

Dec 9 16

Aid for Friends Cooking Event Brings Food & Fun To Home-bound People

by Sam Goldenberg

‘Tis the season to give back, and many SofterWare elves are taking part. A group of eleven recently volunteered at Aid for Friends.

Operating since 1974, Aid for Friends is one of the largest and most established home delivered meals program in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 free dinner meals, 58,000 soups and 42,000 breakfast bags to an aggregate 1,700 home- bound persons each year. They also provide nearly 100,000 hours of friendly visiting annually to home-bound individuals.

They had a wonderful time baking cookies, peeling and dicing potatoes, preparing vegetables, packaging cupcakes and scrubbing serving trays (yes, giving back can even make ‘doing the dishes’ fun!)

Our happy helpers: Donna Mitchell, Ellen Molon, Ellen Qureshi, Kathy Piunti, Laura Beth Bigelow, Lauren Sheehan, Laurie Wernick, Lindsey Minnich, Melissa Winterborne, Paula Burns and Debbie Foster

Our happy helpers: Donna Mitchell, Ellen Molon, Ellen Qureshi, Kathy Piunti, Laura Beth Bigelow, Lauren Sheehan, Laurie Wernick, Lindsey Minnich, Melissa Winterborne, Paula Burns and Debbie Foster

Kathy and Donna are all business in the kitchen.

Kathy and Donna are all business in the kitchen.

Debbie lines up the cans for Lauren to open with the biggest opener I've enter seen!

Debbie lines up the cans for Lauren to open with the biggest opener I’ve enter seen!

Laurie squeezes out the cookies under the close supervision (and approval) of Laura and Paula.

Laurie squeezes out the cookies under the close supervision (and approval) of Laura and Paula.

Melissa and Lauren are all smiles cleaning up everyone else's mess.

Melissa and Lauren are all smiles cleaning up (can you come to my house?)

Nov 28 16

24 hour Gamer Marathon Helps Children’s Health

by Sam Goldenberg

Since the invention of video games, parents have been yelling at their kids “Stop playing so much – you’re wasting your life! What good is going to come from all of this?”

Well video gamers now have an answer to that question!

Two of SofterWare’s finest, Zack Walton and Chris Carlin, we’re part of an AMAZING program called Extra Life. Extra Life unique event unites thousands of players around the world in a 24-hour gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Zack and Chris directly supported the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $22 million for local CMN Hospitals.

extralifeone2

extralifeone

Nov 7 16

Purple Stride Philly Raises Thousands to Defeat Pancreatic Cancer

by Sam Goldenberg

It’s hard to believe it’s been exactly one year to the day since our dear friend and coworker Nadine Lubarsky passed away from pancreatic cancer. She is missed every day by her family and friends, and the many coworkers and clients at SofterWare who became her friend. Many of us got together today to honor her memory and raise money to bring an end to pancreatic cancer. It was the 2016 PurpleStride Philadelphia race and walk, which at the time of this writing, raised $697,214! Our team, Love for Nadine, raised $10,861, surpassing our $10,000 goal!

It was the crack of dawn and cold, and I forgot my Elmo jumper. I was so jealous of Nadine's grandson.

It was the crack of dawn and cold, and I forgot my Elmo jumper. I was so jealous of Nadine’s grandson.

I met up with Fast Sammy Stortz, who scooted over to the starting line (he was running). I then walked over to the “Love for Nadine” team for the annual group picture. Her friends and entire family were there, including her beloved grandson who came dressed as Elmo!

The annual group portrait. I'm the cut off guy on the right, but don't worry, I'm all right - (get it? - ALL right?) Nevermind.

The annual group portrait. I’m the cut off guy on the right, but don’t worry, I’m all right – (get it? – ALL right?) Nevermind.

I then ran up to the starting line to capture Sam beginning the race. This was his second race in 12 hours. The night before he won a race against current members of his old college racing team (take that young punks – our young punk kicked your butt!) After the runners took off, the walkers got started. By the time we walkers did one big loop that took us back to the start line before sending us into the park, Sam was 1 minute away from winning the race! He completed the 3-K in around 16 minutes! He said it was between him and one other guy at the 2 mile mark when Sam “dropped” him and took off running, crossing the finish line 20 seconds before any other runner! This is the second time in three years Sam won the whole race, and he came in second last year. We share the same name and work in the same department, but that’s where the similarities end. I can barely tie my shoes. After he won the race, he ran back around and met up with me, and found me breathing heavy from walking. He and I then fished the walk, and with his help I surpassed my time with a 1 hour 5 minutes finish time! Take that Usain Bolt!

Sam Stortz at the start of the race. I don't know how he won with that arrow over his head.

Sam Stortz at the start of the race. I don’t know how he won with that arrow over his head.

It was a beautiful brisk day, Nadine’s family and friends came out in force to show our love and honor her memory, we surpassed our fundraising goal, Sam won the race, and I didn’t collapse. Somewhere, Nadine is smiling.

Oct 14 16

18 Pints of Blood & Unknown Lives Changed

by Sam Goldenberg

We held our regular blood drive the other day, and 18 people donated the gift of life. Two people went through the extra process of Double Red Cell Donation, allowing a donor to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning their plasma and platelets to them.

Giving blood is an act of kindness to strangers you may never meet, but whose lives are forever changed by your donated blood. The Red Cross outlines many reasons why you should donate blood, but whatever reason you do, on behalf of all those strangers – thank you!
Aaron Donating Blood
Ali Donating Blood
Jim, Laura, and Beth Donating Blood
Tom Kelly Donating Blood

Jul 15 16

SofterWare Delivers 1740 Pounds of Food

by Sam Goldenberg

It was billed as the battle of the century. Two mighty teams pitted against each other in the cause of ‘good’. In one corner, you had the fierce Implementation team (the folks that get our clients up and running quickly, and on the right track from the very start). In the other corner was the Sales and Marketing teams. At stake was bragging rights for which team could bring in the most food for Loaves & Fishes, a local food bank that SofterWare has committed to donating 2000 pounds of food in 2016. We started out in 2014 by giving during the winter holidays, but they told us their greatest need is during the summer when school is out. So we began a summer food drive in 2015, which led to our year long commitment this year.

I’m happy to report the winner and still champion: Loaves & Fishes! This contest was so competitive, we raised 1,740 pounds of food! Given our previous deliveries this year, we already surpassed our 2016 goal with a total of 2,273 pounds! Not too shabby! Special thanks to all who contributed, and Paula Burns for coming up with this great idea to compete! We look forward to other departments battling for this great cause. For you nonprofits out there, this is a good lesson. Competition brings results, and in this case, the results benefited Loaves & Fishes. Think of ways to do this for your nonprofit!

Steven and  Alex give each other hand with the heavy boxes (thank goodness for interns!)

Steven and Alex give each other hand with the heavy boxes (thank goodness for interns!)

Sales Manager Paul packing up the goods collected from the sales and marketing teams.

Sales Manager Paul packing up the goods collected from the sales and marketing teams.

EZCare account manager swoops in at the last minute with a heavy pallet of food to win the contest for the sales and marketing teams - thanks Audrey!

Don’t pack that last box yet Paul! Here comes Audrey swooping in at the last minute with a heavy pallet of food.

The boys are checking out their great work: our hallways are filled with food!

Alex checks out the results: our hallways are filled with food!

Shane and Paul pack-up the pick-ups with all the good grub.

Shane and Paul pack-up the pick-ups with all the good grub.

More loading to be done. In fact, we needed two pick-up trucks to carry all the food!

More loading to be done. In fact, we needed two pick-up trucks to carry all the food!

Alex, Steven, Paul, Frank, Eleanor, and Shane take a well-deserved break after loading up two trucks of food!

Alex, Stephen, Paul, Frank, Eleanor, and Shane take a well-deserved break after loading up two trucks of food!

All that food is now crowding up the Loaves & Fishes hallways!

All that food is now crowding up the Loaves & Fishes hallways!

All the movers and shakers in this food haul, including Eleanor, Frank, Paul, John, Steven, Alex, Steve, and Mike.

All the movers and shakers in this food haul, including Eleanor, Frank, Paul, John, Steven, Alex, Steve, and Mike.

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