The Abington Police Athletic League is gearing up for the tenth installment of its International Food Festival and it’s going to be big ... Hollywood big.
Abington Commissioner and PAL Director of Development Peggy Myers, standing in a conference room in the police station amid all of the goodies to be auctioned off at the event, said the organization had to go all out for its tenth anniversary.
“Ten years ago, one the founding board members, Oscar Vance, brought the idea of a food festival to Abington PAL because Norristown PAL had been doing it and he said it worked very well for them,” Myers said. “It is modeled after theirs and this year, we’re honoring Oscar Vance — it’s also fitting with him retiring as Chief of Detectives.”
The conference room table was filled with gift baskets and all sorts of sports memorabilia; Myers said Abington Police Officer Bob Hill, a sports enthusiast, acquired most of it. There are signed bats, basketballs, jerseys and even a pair of signed boxing gloves by Sylvester Stallone.
All of the items are important in contributing to the success of the festival … and the success of PAL.
Myers said the event will likely bring in $100,000 for PAL, about half of the organization’s yearly budget.
“It’s hugely important because it funds all the programs that we do every weekend for the youth of Abington Township,” Myers said. “We don’t get any public money, no tax money, and the children don’t pay for anything except for snacks.”
This year, the theme is “Hooray for PALlywood.” With that, people are asked to dress up as their favorite movie star or movie character. Myers said she already has celebrity look-alikes lined up for the event — George Burns, Marilyn Monroe, Sylvester Stallone and Burt Reynolds will make appearances. There will also be a trip to the Emmy Awards auctioned off.
Also making an appearance (an actual appearance) is “Survivor: Philippines” and “Survivor: Samoa” cast member, and Glenside resident Russell Swan. Myers said Abington Police Officer Roger Gillespie met Swan at another event and asked him to participate in the food festival, and he was more than happy to do so. In fact, one of the auction items is dinner with Swan — just don’t ask him if he won the reality show. Well, you could ask, but he wouldn't tell you.
As for the food, Myers said more than 30 restaurants, beverage and catering companies are lined up for the event. Each will put out its best offering for the strolling, tasting event.
All of the food is donated by the local restaurants, Myers said.
The Abington PAL International Food Festival will be held Oct. 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Philmont Country Club, 301 Tomlinson Road, Huntingdon Valley. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. For more information call 267-536-1071, or visit www.abingtonpal.org.