Food For Tomorrow
The Food for Tomorrow Society is comprised of Food Bank of Western New York supporters who make a lasting commitment to feed the hungry in WNY by naming the Food Bank as the ultimate beneficiary of a planned gift.
James and Sue Billoni
Michael J. and Deborah Billoni
Anne A. Bird
Darrell and Marylou Borowiak
Glenn A. Butler
Drew and Jodi Cerza
Martin and Christa DiPizio
John and Terri Dunbar
Clem and Anne Eckert
Robert S. Gacek
Marion V. Grimes
John M. Jablonski
Michael and Judith Mann
Martin & Carol Palumbo
Keith J. and Celia* A Parwulski
Russell J. Salvatore
J. Milton (Zeke)* and Amy Zeckhauser
* -- deceased
For additional information on the Food for Tomorrow Society membership, please contact Mike Billoni, Business Development and Sponsorship Coordinator, Food Bank of WNY, 91 Holt Street, Buffalo, NY 14206 - 716-935-6687 - email
Why I Have Joined the Food for Tomorrow Society
Basketball has been John Jablonski’s favorite sport, but he uses a baseball analogy to describe his philanthropic ways.
“When I was growing up in Philadelphia, I felt like I was born on third base. I had great parents, three square meals a day and a nice house,” explained Jablonski, a member of the Food Bank of Western New York’s Food for Tomorrow Society. “I really believed everyone lived like this.”
At a young age he realized how fortunate he was. His dad would dress as Santa Claus and he would load all the toys he and his wife purchased throughout the year into their car with the kids. The family would drive to hospitals and homes for the elderly in their part of Philadelphia. John was his dad’s “elf,” as he kept his dad’s bag filled with toys.
“That was a real eye opener for us,” Johnablonski said. “Those experiences taught us as young kids to get involved in giving back. I knew then that I had to help those less fortunate. From sick kids to seniors alone for their last Christmas, it was very good for me to see so many people that had it so much worse than I did.
“I learned at an early age that everyone was not born on third base. Some were not even born in the batter’s box,” he continued. “It’s up to us to help them out and that is how I try to live my life.”
Jablonski was also taught the importance of helping others from a Jesuit high school education at St. Joseph’s Prep School, which was located in the heart of North Philadelphia’s ghetto.
“Every year, each homeroom would receive a the name of a neighborhood family and we students were tasked with visiting them and providing what they needed for Christmas. I remember, as clear as it was yesterday, walking into a row home with a single light bulb handing hanging from the ceiling, kids of all ages running around the place and a TV blaring. We would speak to the head of the household—usually a stressed out mom—and ask what they needed. Our class would then provide an entire Christmas dinner and we would provide a year’s worth of clothing for the kids, school supplies and toys they the kids really wanted,” Jablonski explained. “It was a very rewarding and educational experience for all of us.”
Jablonski moved to Buffalo from Philadelphia to join Buffalo Beverage, a beer distribution company his uncle founded and where his father had worked. John worked there for over 30 years, including 24 as General Manager and 10 as President before retiring several years ago.
Former Food Bank President and CEO Clem Eckert and Board of Directors’ member Drew Cerza knew Jablonski, and it did not take long to convince him to become involved with the Food Bank of WNY. He became a member of the Advisory Board in 2001 before being elected to serve as a member of its Board of Directors from 2002-2008. Today he remains involved as a member of the Food Bank’s Community Advisory Council.
“Serving on the Food Bank’s Board of Directors was quite an honor, and because of what I experienced, I vowed to make an annual a gift to the Food Bank every year while I am alive. There is no other charity that is more effective and more efficient as than the Food Bank of WNY,” Jablonski said. “That’s why I have committed to the Food for Tomorrow Society. I have never felt more comfortable in dealing with a charityconfident in how my donations are being used to affect change in the community."
For more information about the Food For Tomorrow Society, contact Mike Billoni, the Food Bank’s Business Development and Sponsorship Coordinator, at 716.935.6677.
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