NEW YORK CITY, NY (WENY) - On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Society hosted it’s 124th annual dinner in New York City. The annual dinner marks the end of a full weekend of networking, socializing, and recognizing the philanthropy and community contributions of leaders across the commonwealth. 

For nearly 125 years, the Pennsylvania Society has brought members and friends together for a weekend of celebration and events to highlight Pennsylvania's leadership and economic and industrial contributions to the nation. Each year in New York City, they announce a gold medal recipient for their contributions to community, charity, and civility. 

This year, the Broadhurst family, owners of the Pittsburgh-based Eat n’ Park Hospitality Group, received The Pennsylvania Society’s 2022 Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement. According to the Society, the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement was founded in 1908 and is presented annually to a prominent person, or persons, in recognition of leadership, citizenship and contributions to the arts, science, education and industry.  

In addition to business leaders across the commonwealth, the gathering also attracts some of the top names in Pennsylvania politics including governors, U.S. Senators, state lawmakers and more. Those who were in attendance for the events throughout the weekend include Pennsylvania’s two U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, Governor-elect Josh Shapiro, Lt. Governor-elect Austin Davis, and others. 

State lawmakers say it’s a breath of fresh air outside the halls of the Capitol. 

“To be out of Harrisburg, out of the city halls all across Pennsylvania, and just be able to socialize, break bread, get to know each other better so we can lead and have better relationships and work harder with more intention,” said House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia). “We get to be removed for a little bit from the regular daily chaos in the Capitol, build a relationship, network and most importantly, see people's families as well. It's a really good time and it's just great to be able to make it back out, we were not able to come for a little bit, so it's good to be back together,” McClinton added. 

McClinton, who first attended the event in 2017, says it also highlights the importance of Pennsylvania’s various industries that are paramount to the state’s economic success, like manufacturing, construction, and more. 

“It brings together so many different leaders and different industries,” said McClinton. “Certainly, folks in government are here, but we also have corporate executives that are present, people who lead large nonprofits from all over the state, all converge in New York for this historical Pennsylvania Society event to network, to build relationships,” McClinton added.  

Business leaders echoed similar excitement about the weekend. Kristin Talarico with Erie Insurance says it’s an important networking opportunity that helps local businesses grow and better serve their communities. 

“At Erie Insurance, we’re very proud to support the Pennsylvania Society,” said Talarico on Saturday. “Our chairman is a past president of the Pennsylvania Society and our current CEO is on the board now. It's a great opportunity to network with government officials throughout the state. We have a lot of dignitaries joining us tonight and everybody is in a festive mood. It's a great way to kick off the holiday season,” Talarico added.