November 17, 2011
Bread and Life celebrated its 14th Annual Johnny’s Angel Awards
Dinner last night before a spirited crowd of more than 300 guests
in the D’Angelo Center at the University’s Queens campus. The
dinner honored St. John’s Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Lavin &
Mary Ann Jarou, Actress, Dr. Pam Shea Byrnes, Vice President of
University Ministry and University Events & Jeff Byrnes,
Network Service Manager for Sprint, along with Henry Torani, St.
John’s Bread & Life Mobile Soup Kitchen Operator, who received
the 2011 Sister Bernadette Award.
The Johnny’s Angel Award Dinner celebrates those individuals who
have made a significant and long-term contribution towards St.
John’s Bread & Life and its fight against hunger while
providing a variety of services for those in need.
“One of my first experiences in coming to the university some 19
months ago was to see first-hand the services provided by St.
John’s Bread and Life. It is a truly remarkable place and we (Mary
and I) were so impressed that we wanted to do all we could to help
in the fight against poverty and hunger as part of the St. John’s
family,” said Coach Lavin, who accepted his award from long-time
friend and coaching mentor, Gene Keady.
Bread & Life has been a vibrant part of neighborhood
communities in Brooklyn and Queens for 28 years. Its newest
facility, built in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2008 at 795 Lexington
Avenue, is a skillfully designed 22,000 square foot, two-story
facility that houses a chapel, digital food pantry kiosks, and a
soup kitchen and provides a myriad of medical, financial, legal,
clinical, health, counseling and job placement services offered to
New Yorkers in need.
“It (St. John’s Bread & Life) has become a major part of our
lives,” said Dr. Pam Shea Byrnes and her husband Jeff, upon
receiving their award from Rev. James Maher, C.M., D. Min.,
Trustee, St. John’s Bread and Life and Executive Vice President for
Mission and Student Services. “Our family is blessed because it has
taught us perspective. For so many of us we worry about abundance
and at Bread and Life they worry about providing the essentials for
those in need.”
Founded in 1982, this not-for-profit corporation addresses the
issues of hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens. Their goal is
to combat poverty and to help people achieve
Director of St. John’s Bread and Life, Tony Butler, showed a
poignant video to close the evening’s festivities – expressing the
very real issues of poverty, hunger and personal strife that
currently affect a shocking 1 in 5 New Yorkers. And, when Butler
acknowledged the organization’s 2011 Sr. Bernadette Award winner,
Henry Torani, the mood went from somber to uplifting. Torani
stole the show in accepting the award and affectionately labeled
his colleagues at Bread & Life as his “loving dysfunctional
“I love what I do. It is a great job that I enjoy and I get to meet
interesting people each and every day,” said Torani, of his three
years of work as Mobile Soup Kitchen Operator for the
For media inquiries please contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice
President for Media Relations at St. John’s University by calling
(718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information regarding St. John’s Bread & Life can be found by
visiting their web site at www.breadandlife.org