Healthy Lifestyles EXPO today at MCCC’s Pottstown campus

The Healthy Lifestyles EXPO takes place today, Friday, April 20 from 9:30am-1:30pm at Montgomery County Community College, West Campus, 101 College Drive in Pottstown. The EXPO is sponsored by State Representative Quigley’s Office, Montgomery County Community College, the Mercury, & TriCounty Community Network.

EXPO Workshops for Seniors & Caregivers 

Presented by the TCN CARE & Environmental Awareness Programs

10:00am – 10:30am – Saving Money with Medicare, Presenter: Virginia Cox, Boyertown Area Multi-Service

10:30am – 11:00am -Elder Law & Guardianship, Presenter: Robert Slutsky, Robert M. Slutsky Associates

11:00am – 11:30am -Senior Living Options, Presenters: Stacey Petroff, Home Instead Senior Care & Shirlee Barlow, Columbia Cottage Assisted Living

11:30am – 12:00pm-Financial Needs of the Older Adult, Presenter: Charles Delaney, Aging & Adult Services of Montgomery County

12:00pm – 12:30pm-Veteran’s Affairs Benefits, Presenter: Kathy Martin, O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei

12:30pm – 1:00pm –How to Make a Family Emergency Preparedness Plan, Presenter: Dr. Lewis Cuthbert, Alliance for a Clean Environment

PEAK holding event this Saturday to celebrate Pottstown’s young children

PEAK (Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness) will sponsor a community-wide outreach event for the Month of the Young Child. This year’s event will be held this Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 1-3 pm at the Freedom Valley YMCA at 724 North Adams Street in Pottstown. We will have Smokey the Bear, a petting farm, Pipper the Clown, moon bounce, and free snacks. Community agencies will provide family activities.

 From Peak’s website: “The PEAK initiative is funded through the Pennsylvania-Pre-K Counts, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation, Montgomery County Foundation and Children’s Trust Fund and focuses on building partnerships with the early learning programs in the Pottstown community. The goals of PEAK are:

  • Every three and four year old child has access to high quality child care, early childhood education, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.
  • Every parent of young children has access to the high quality skill building and resources needed to prepare them to be their child’s first “teacher” and to prepare their children for success in school.
  • Every child has access to health and wellness services to ensure that they are prepared to maximize their potential in school.”

I’ll be at the YMCA on Saturday afternoon, along with other representatives of MOSAIC Community Land Trust. Stop by our table to learn about Pottstown’s first community garden being built at 423 Chestnut Street and to become a member. Joining the community garden is an affordable, fun way to grow fresh veggies for you and your family; beginner gardeners are welcome. We will offer workshops and help every step of the way. Plots are still available. Come find out what this exciting project is all about! We’ll have a fun project for kids at our table!

Contact the PEAK Coordinator at 610-970-6655 if you have any questions. We hope to see you Saturday afternoon at the YMCA to celebrate Pottstown’s young children!

Gearing up for a fantastic First Saturday in Pottstown on May 5th!

The first First Saturday of 2012 is shaping up to be an interactive arts and cultural extravaganza thanks to the ingenuity and effort of Daniel Dilliplane. Daniel has organized a day filled with local folks, performers, and artists sharing their hobbies, crafts, and skills FOR FREE with the public. Check out the Facebook page for Pottstown Interactive Art Picnic and check out he flyer below to see all the activities taking place all day long, in addition to the traditional May Fair at Pottsgrove Manor, Paint the Town Purple, and the Classic Car Show. There’s stuff to do all day long in Pottstown on May 5th so mark your calendar now!

Coventry Singers to celebrate 40 years with concert this Sunday

Join the Coventry Singers on Sunday, April 22nd at 3 pm at Cedarville United Methodist Church for their 40th Anniversary Concert “We Sang for Joy.”  The choir is celebrating 40 years of making beautiful music by welcoming back former directors and choir members. Joe Hoover and Cheryl Markofski will join current director Julie Eurillo in conducting the choir. Alumni members – including my dad, Richard Repko! – will join in the singing of the finale. For more information go to or find them on Facebook under Coventry Singers. 


Belle Rouge Salon offers monthly Girls’ Night Out!

Belle Rouge Salon at 257 E. High Street has begun a monthly Girls’ Night Out and all area women are invited – sorry, no men and no children!

On the third Friday of each month,  Belle Rouge invites a special guest to share information geared toward healthy living, business, or anything that might make life a little less stressful for today’s busy women. (They also do some amazing hair styling, as you can see at the left!)

Their next event takes place this Friday, April 20th from 7-9 pm. That follows on the heels of the Positively Pottstown Happy Hour, which is 5-7 pm at the MOSAIC Community Land Trust Gallery. Why not keep the happiness rolling and head over to Belle Rouge after the Happy Hour?

The Belle Rouge Girls’ Night Out includes complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Their speaker on Friday will be heart special Anna Cousins.  She has worked in the cardiology and vascular field for the past 25 years and holds degrees in adult, pediatric, and neonatal cardiovascular technology.  Currently Anna is working as a consultant to Dr. Rajiv Dhawan, M.D. as a vascular specialist.  They diagnosis and treat all types of vascular disease.

Belle Rouge’s Girls’ Night Out will be held on the third Friday of every month.  On May 18th, they will have a representative from H&R Block talk about business start-ups and solutions to problems business owners run into.RSVP for either event to Tracy Williams at 610.326.5400.

Hooping, Gallery on High & Roller Derby Rockstars!

It’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in Pottstown these days!

In about 20 minutes, I will be trying out hula-hooping in Smith Plaza. Stop what you’re doing and head to downtown Pottstown, right in front of Borough Hall, to join “Serene Circles Hooping with Raeann.” The invite is on Facebook here. It says, “Join us at High Street Yoga for a fun afternoon of hooping. Hooping improves overall balance, improves cardio and endurance, alleviates stress, keeps your core flexible, and burns anywhere from 200-500 calories per hour! Hooping is a great alternative to sit-ups and is a total-body workout that has the potential to improve your flexibility and balance while strengthening and toning the muscles of the back, abdomen, arms and legs. This is a great way to have fun with friends and burn calories!”

After that, I’m going to catch part of the reception at The Gallery on High for their current show, “Re-Creative.” I can’t wait to see what these artists have done with recycled, upcycled and salvages materials. If I had gotten my act together, I would have done something with all the bits and pieces of stuff left in my yard by the former tenant, who was a scrapper. I have been saving all the odds and ends and plan to mix them together into a piece called “Scrapper’s Stew.” Maybe I’ll have it ready for next year’s show…

And don’t forget this evening marks the season opener for the Roller Derby Rockstars, Pottstown’s one and only women’s roller derby team!  I’ve got to go to a birthday party so I’ll miss this, but if you’re in town, get over to the 422 Sportsplex at 1400 Industrial Highway, Pottstown, PA 19464. Doors open at 6 pm; first whistle at 7 pm. Get info here.

Westminster Slavic Choir to sing at St. John’s this Sunday

  A free concert of sacred hymns and other liturgical music of the Eastern Slavic tradition will be presented by the Westminster Slavic Choir at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 301 Cherry Street, Pottstown, Pa.

  The Westminster Slavic Choir features students of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J.  The vocalists all are either vocal performance or music education majors at Westminster, a division of Westminster College of the Arts, a residential college of music located in Princeton, N.J.  Westminster is a four-year music college and graduate school that prepares men and women for careers as professional performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches, and professional and community music organizations. As Westminster Choir College students, the talented young men and women of the Slavic Choir join their peers in performing with the world’s leading orchestras in venues ranging from the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York.

Photos courtesy of Westminster Slavic Choir

  The chamber choir is directed by senior vocal performance major Andrew Skitko III, a native of Pottstown, Pa.  Drew also serves as the cantor and music director at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Catholic Church of Trenton, N.J., where the Westminster Slavic Choir performs about once a month.

The concert will include works by composers Bortniansky, Vedel, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Hurko, as well as traditional chant.  Selections will be performed in English as well as Old Slavonic.

Parking is located in the rear of the church.  The church is handicapped-accessible via the ramp located from the parking lot. A free-will offering will be taken.  The concert is expected to last about one hour.

For further information, please contact Andrew Skitko III, choral director at 610-220-3479 or via e-mail at

Contemporary dance returns to TRI-PAC this weekend!

This news comes from Tri-PAC…

The Mélange Contemporary Dance Company returns to the Tri-County Performing Arts Center, 245 E. High Street, Pottstown for a weekend of superb music and dance.  On stage for three shows only, April 13th, 14th, and 15th, their performance features new duets, group pieces, and a reprise back by popular demand.

 Giving the show its title of “Past Forward” is the dual theme of change and continuity: The more things change, the more they seem the same.  Not just a dance performance, this is a show about telling stories and exploring relationships, according to Artistic Director Michelle Jones-Wurtz.

The show begins with “Me and Bessie,” a story-dance telling the tale of the lifestyle and hardships of Bessie Smith, a jazz singer during Prohibition.  Her life was a contrast of hardship and success, and by the time she died, she was penniless.  However, her music continued; it has been covered by many musical legends including Nina Simone, Eric Clapton, and Billie Holiday.

The Company then reprises an excerpt from “Survivor”, a piece dedicated to Michelle Jones Wurtz’s mother, a stage 3 breast cancer survivor.  The show includes a variety of pieces, including a work commissioned for the International Dance Festival in Poland in 2011, a movement interpretation of the famous Botticelli painting, “The Birth of Venus”, and even a celebration of the Beatles, a band that changed music forever.  The piece “History Repeating” is a visual study of how the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The finale is “Katrina’s Cross”, a look at New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.  This work is choreographed in part to original music by Deborah Stimson- Snow, Artistic Director of the Tri-PAC.

The dancers include Michelle Jones Wurtz, Elrey Belmonti, Dana Blackman, Christa Campbell, Kathleen Kerner, and Jackie Kokolus.  Musical choices range from rock, to blues, to classical and everything in between!  Be prepared for an evening of stories, songs, and inspiring movement as the tales unfold.

Tickets for all shows at the Tri-PAC are available online. Please note that seating is now reserved, so go to to purchase your tickets now or call 610.970.1199 to ensure the best seats.  Tickets range from $13 for children 12 and under, $15 for students and seniors (65+), and $17 for adults. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.  When available, tickets will be sold at the door.

Village Productions is a dynamic nonprofit performing arts organization that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and educational opportunities geared toward a diverse audience. The new Tri-County Performing Arts Center at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA is the home of Village Productions. You may contact Village Productions through their website at, or by telephone at 610-970-1199.



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