A first-of-its-kind event brought together five living Pennsylvania governors together under one tent Saturday at Pennsbury Manor for a fundraiser. Tickets to the event were $185 and all proceeds went towards the Pennsbury Society and the creation of a “William Penn Legacy Fund” to provide support for Title 1 schools to visit Pennsbury Manor.
The event commemorates 300 years since William Penn’s passing in 1718. President of the Pennsbury Society Ron Schmid reflected on how the Commonwealth has kept Penn’s dream alive.
“I’m certain that our first governor William Penn is looking down on this event with enormous satisfaction,” Schmid said. “Realizing his thoughts are being honored and contemporized by Tom Wolf along with the other governors.”
Sitting Governor Tom Wolf spoke first before heading out early due to scheduling conflicts, and focused on maintaining Penn’s legacy in Pennsylvania’s culture today.
“Part of that legacy remains with us today to keep Pennsylvania a beacon of fairness, openness, and diversity. A place where people can believe and do different things and feel comfortable,” Wolf said. “We need to make sure Pennsylvania continues to be a haven for people who are different.”
After Wolf’s departure, four former governors remained on the panel whose service extended back to 1995. In order starting from most recently in office were Tom Corbett, Ed Rendell, Mark Schweiker, and Tom Ridge.
The governors shared their vast collective knowledge from their time serving, emphasizing bipartisanship and putting aside politics to advance the common good. Former Republican Governor Tom Corbett thanked former President Obama for helping Pennsylvania’s steel mills while former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell commended President Trump for cutting unnecessary business regulations.
Senator Tommy Tomlinson read greetings from Dick Thornburgh who could not attend, and Bristol Boro’s Bill Pezza moderated the event.
“I don’t know about you,” Pezza said. “But I am truly in awe of the gravitas of these gentlemen and what they bring to the table and what they brought to the stage today, sharing their experience and expertise.”