January 23, 2012
John’s Bread and Life celebrated its 14th Annual Johnny’s Angel
Awards Dinner 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.
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.
St. John’s 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.
(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 self-sufficiency.
Executive 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 family.”
“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