Skip to content

Local SCORE volunteers support small business

January 16, 2014

SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. Call 610-327-2673 for the Pottstown SCORE chapter, or find a counselor online at

Opportunities Abound for Sharpening Your Small Business Skills

Very few people begin the process of building a small business with a full knowledge of all the skills required for success. Even those who extensive experience or education in business management still need to bring themselves up to speed on the added responsibilities of entrepreneurship—tax issues, employee management, business development, accounting, etc.

Fortunately, the range of small business-oriented learning opportunities and training programs has never been broader for veteran and novice entrepreneurs alike. Seeking help is simply smart. No business owner can be adept at every aspect of operating successfully. Plus, conditions change, so keeping yourself informed is vital to long-term success.

The single most popular program in America is probably the SBA Small Business Training Network/E-Business Institute, which registers nearly a million users at its Web site each year. The Small Business Training Network is a Web-based conglomerate that can link you to online courses, workshops, publications, learning tools, information resources and access to electronic
counseling and other types of technical help. For details on the Small Business Training Network, go to and click “Training” under the site’s Services section.

Free online courses are offered on about 75 topics in areas such as business startup, growing your business, home-based business and re-engineering your skills. Sample titles include: Growth Strategies; Analyzing Profitability; Building Your Brand; and, Understanding Business Insurance.

The Tools section of gives you access to an extensive library of articles, podcasts, and Web chats on various small business issues.

Local SBA-sponsored training events are offered nationwide. These range from breakfast talks on local economic conditions, to brown-bag networking lunches, loan seminars, startup workshops and free business assessments. Simply go the Local Resources section of and click your state on the Web site map for a calendar listing dates and event details in your area. You can also sign up for free newsletters issued by your state SBA office.

In addition, dozens of top colleges and universities offer business training courses you can take online or in more traditional classroom environments. Most require a fee, and some may have educational prerequisites. Advisors at the individual schools will help you identify one or more courses that are best suited to your needs.

To learn more about training opportunities your small business, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. Call 610-327-2673 for the Pottstown SCORE chapter, or find a counselor online at

College Performing Arts Programs: Steel River alumni share their stories TONIGHT

January 16, 2014

Steel River Playhouse is located at 245 E. High Street in the heart of Pottstown, PA 19464

The Road to College Performing Arts Programs


A Chat with Steel River Alumni

Thursday, January 16th

7:00 pm

Join us for a lively discussion and performance demonstrations featuring SRP alumni who have pursued advanced training at the college and conservatory level. Alumni will share their journeys, discuss their career paths, and answer questions of students and parents who are considering a performing arts career or are just curious about the process!


7:00 pm –


8:15 pm – alumni performance demonstrations

9:00 pm – refreshments


Drew Carr – BM Music Education, Ithaca College (2017)

Craig Hacker – BFA Film and Media Arts, Temple University (2015)

Ryan Hagan – BA Theatre, DeSales University (2017)

Matt Kiesling – BFA Theatre, NYU/Tisch, New Studio on Broadway for Music Theatre (2016)

Michael Kiesling – BM Vocal Performance (Opera concentration), Westminster Choir College (2017)

Andrew Pierce – BA Theatre, DeSales University (2017)

Jordan Popky – BM Songwriting (minor in Choral Conducting) (2016)

Kelsey Riker – BFA Musical Theatre, Seton Hill University (2016)

Carrie Thorwarth – BFA Musical Theatre, University of the Arts (2016)

Kevin White – BA Musical Theatre, DeSales University (2015)

Matt Zarley – BA Theater (Acting concentration), Temple University (2015)

RSVP appreciated with the number in your party. Contact

Pottstown Parks Director Eileen Schlegel Remembered

January 3, 2014

Eileen Schlegel, the Pottstown Parks and Recreation Director since 2008, passed away suddenly last Saturday. Those wishing to pay respects and honor her life may do so at a viewing from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight at Warker-Troutman Funeral Home at  726 E. High St. The funeral will be at the funeral home on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m.

According to Evan Brandt’s Mercury article, Eileen grew up on Queen Street and graduated from St. Pius X High School. She started working for the Parks Department in the early 1990s. I will always remember Eileen for being the go-to person for so many community activities and events. She oversaw a department that was responsible for all of the Borough’s parks, the spray park, Trilogy BMX park, Riverfront Park,  the Bark Park, and year-round recreational programming for all ages. She and her staff could be counted on to provide the chairs, sound equipment, power, games, hot dogs and hot chocolate at parades, 4th of July festivities, the Polar Bear Plunge, the Funky Santa 5K, the Volleyball Rumble and so much more.  Eileen Schlegel had a hand in all this, in the life of the community, and in the seasonal rituals that become traditions and make a town a home. She will be remembered for many years to come

Memorial contributions in her honor may be made to Helping Hands Inc., 415 Hoffmansville Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505. For more than 30 years Helping Hands has been serving individuals with developmental delays and mental and physical challenges.

Hill School artist to showcase glass creations this Sunday

December 6, 2013

The Hill School is once again on Pottstown’s Historic House Tour, but this year there will be a special open house taking place at the Center for the Arts at 860 Beech Street. Hill’s Director of Security – and fellow girls’ basketball coach! – will be showcasing his glass-making and poetry. Please stop by to see this multi-talented artist in action and support The Mercury’s Operation Holiday.  See below for details in the press release provided by The Hill…

On Sunday, December 8th from 2pm to 7pm, Glass Tears founder Randal S. Doaty will be holding an open house at the Center for the Arts at the Hill School located at 860 Beech Street in Pottstown. Doaty is a local glass artist and poet who will be showcasing his Glass Tears creations and poetry, as well as selling his custom Glass Tears Christmas tree ornaments to visitors.

Doaty will be handcrafting special Christmas Tears ornaments with his flame working torch to sell as a fundraising effort. All of the proceeds from the sale of his custom creations will go to benefit the Pottstown Mercury’s Operation Holidays to benefit local families at Christmas. These special ornaments will only be sold at this special Open House event and are not available for sale at the Glass Tears webstore.

The Mercury’s stories of families facing difficult challenges during the holiday season inspired Doaty to offer his unique gifts to raise money for this local effort. Randal Doaty is currently the Director of Security at the Hill School. He is also known throughout the community as a real estate business man and former Chief of Police. On Sunday he will put on his artist’s hat and share another side.

The Glass Tears concept was born when Doaty noticed a scrap of glass sparkling in the sunlight in a scrap glass bucket at Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. He remembers thinking “glass tear” when he saw glass dropping during a visit to the studio. Weeks later, Doaty commissioned his long-time friend and fellow glass artist Will Dexter to create a similar free standing glass teardrop as a sympathy gift for a good friend.

The original glass teardrop Dexter created was beautiful, but it had no voice. Doaty decided to pen the very first poem he had ever written entitled “Glass Tears”. The union of the glass art and the poetry became a winning combination. Others who saw the unique sympathy gift began to order them and the Glass Tears business was born. To date Doaty had written more than 400 Glass Tears poems and has also published his first book of poetry.

The original intent of the Glass Tears gift was an expression of sympathy, but today these gifts are used for a wide range of occasions. “Tears are the punctuation marks in life’s most powerful moments” says Doaty. His glass art and poetry are now used to convey messages of courage, hope, faith, joy, sorrow, friendship, thanks and much more. These special keepsakes have been sold around the world and as far away as Australia and Africa.

The special Christmas tree ornaments that Doaty will be crafting on Sunday are his special occasion tears represented by their unique colors glass. He has an emerald tear of hope, a blue Christmas teardrop for grief support, a purple tear of courage, a pink breast cancer battle tear, an ivory tear of love or faith, plus several more. He even has a black onyx “Biker’s Tear” that has become popular with motorcycle enthusiasts.

The ornaments and decorative hangers will sell for $15 each or two for $25. They will only be sold as fast as he can handcraft them at the event or while his supplies last. This is a great opportunity to help local families who cannot afford a special holiday of their own. Doaty hopes to inspire other local businesses to step in and support the Operation Holiday during these difficult economic times.


Pottsgrove Manor’s Candlelight Tour this Sunday

December 6, 2013

Pottsgrove Manor’s annual Candlelight Tour once again coincides with Pottstown’s Historic Holiday House Tour. See Evan Brandt’s blog post here for all the details and enticing photos. Great opportunity to see the insides of some of Pottstown’s loveliest historic homes… including that of our founder, John Potts!

Shrek the musical at Steel River: Family fun for everyone!

December 6, 2013

Family Holiday Fun – Shrek the Musical at Steel River Playhouse

“Five Years on High” 5th Anniversary Celebration

It isn’t easy being … GREEN! Bring the whole family to Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High Street in Pottstown and celebrate the holidays with everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek! Fun for the “kid” in all of us, Shrek the Musical runs Thursdays through Sundays, December 5th through 22nd. Take advantage of a range of special family events at no extra charge, especially during the Opening Weekend “Five Years on High” celebration in honor of Steel River’s fifth anniversary on High Street!


Michael Roman as "Donkey"

Michael Roman as “Donkey”

Here’s your Shrek refresher to access your funny bone … In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Add a donkey who won’t stop talking, a vertically challenged bad guy with a “short” temper, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand – Shrek! The familiar music will have you tapping your toes, and the heartwarming story will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Opening weekend includes complimentary photos with the cast (12/5 through 12/8), free gingerbread treats (12/5) and candy cane treats (12/6 through 12/8), and a complimentary reception sponsored by Lily’s Grill (12/6). You can also join the cast and crew for special talkbacks after the show on Sundays, 12/6 and 12/15.

Other special events include free “Family Fun Days” on Sundays, 12/8 and 12/15 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm, immediately prior to the 3:00 pm matinee performances. Designed for ages 6 through Adult, Family Fun activities include comedy/improv and theater games facilitated by Steel River’s expert instructors. Pair this event with tickets to see Shrek the Musical and a FREE talk-back session to chat with the actors after the show. Make it a magical day your family will remember!

But WAIT, there’s MORE! On Saturday, December 14th, you can participate OR observe one-day only Stage Combat and Tap Dance workshops with special guest artists James N. Brown (Certified Teacher, SAFD), Adam Kissinger (Actor/Combatant, SAFD Theatre), and Johnnie Hobbs, III (Los Angeles tap dancer, actor, director, and producer). Divided by age groups, the workshops will cover unarmed stage violence as well as tap dance history, technique, and choreography. Sign up by December 5th, and receive $3 off tickets to the first weekend performances of Shrek the Musical. More information is available at

And while you’re at Steel River, be sure to check out the new concession and retail area, where you can pre-order your intermission treats for fastest service, including Sly Fox Beer as well as an assortment of wine, sodas, indulgent treats, and healthy snacks. There’s great holiday shopping too, with Silver Shoppe jewelry and authentic gemstones, glass ornaments (including limited edition Shrek themes), and Steel River logo items (wine glasses, cheese trays and more).

The cast of Shrek the Musical includes Bryon Smith* as “Shrek” (Reading), Erica-Anne Bossman as “Fiona” (Bensalem), Michael Roman as “Donkey” (Reading), Joe Ciresi as “Farquaad” (Limerick), Ebony Pullum as “Dragon” (Philadelphia), Stephanie Haring as “Gingy” (New York), Jordan McAndrew as “Young Fiona” (Pottstown), Denise Webb as “Mama Ogre/Witch” (Coatesville), Sebastian Coates as “Young Shrek/Baby Bear” (Douglassville), Amanda Morrell as “(Mama Bear” (Phoenixville), Maddie Aicher as “Pinocchio” (North Coventry), Connor Kirk as “Elf” (Chester Springs), Becka Melanios as “Queen Lillian/Sugar Plum Fairy” (Birdsboro), Ashley West as “Teen Fiona/Knight” (Downingtown), Ben Williams as “Pig” (Pottstown), Taylor Ruffo as “Pig” (Royersford), AJ Sermarini as “Pig/Knight” (Barto), Jocelyn Shank as “Ugly Duckling” (Douglassville), Robert Webb as “Wolf” (Coatesville), Zach Reynolds as “Peter Pan/Knight” (Norristown), Olivia Helmer as “Puss-in-Boots” (Gilbertsville), Burt Merriam as “Captain of the Guard/Bishop” (Pottstown), Trent Soto as “Knight/Humpty Dumpty” (Boyertown), Nathan Esser as “Mouse” (Blue Bell), Liam Keenan as “Mouse” (North Coventry), Ben Helmer as “Mouse” (Gilbertsville), Madison Devlin as “Blue Bird” (Gilbertsville), Charles Delaney as “Thelonious/Guard” (Collegeville), Carly Silberman as ”White Rabbit”, and as “Ensemble and other characters”: Anna Pederson (Gilbertsville), Hannah Paczkowski (Pottstown), Sabrina Paulino (Coatesville), Lindsay Lohr (Schwenksville), Breyana Clark (Pottstown), Kendall Bowden (Gilbertsville), Karissa Smith (Boyertown), Abby Webb (Coatesville). The director is Deborah Stimson-Snow and the music director is Richard Lewis. *Mr. Smith appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Shrek the Musical runs Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm, December 5th through 22nd. Tickets are $15 – $27 and may be purchased online. Steel River Playhouse is located at 245 E. High St., Pottstown, PA 19464. Purchase tickets at or by contacting or 610-970-1199. Please note: children under 4 will not be admitted to the theater.

About Steel River Playhouse

Steel River Playhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable education and performance facility that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and education for diverse audiences. Designated as a “gateway” performing arts center, Steel River provides affordable, high quality performances, comprehensive educational offerings, and enriching volunteer opportunities in all aspects of theatre arts. The organization embraces emerging and established artists, and supports community by serving as a magnet destination for economic development and a platform for shared experiences by diverse audiences. Students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore and grow their skills by working side-by-side with professional instructors, performers, directors, and designers. More information is available at

A Coventry Christmas at Calvary Christian Center

December 6, 2013
This comes from Calvary Christian Center…
A Coventry Christmas Celebration ~ December 7 ~ 1-3pm.
Join us for this exciting event filled with lots of fun for the entire family!
Enjoy hot soup and hot drinks and get a FREE Christmas tree for your family and FREE stockings for your children. All while supplies last.
It all takes place at:
Calvary Christian Center, located at, 426 Laurelwood Road Pottstown, PA
Feel Free to call the church at 610-343-0480 if you have any questions.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 623 other followers