The Happenings!

The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce has two events coming up this month. On March 23rd, the REACH group has a luncheon at Sunnybrook Ballroom 11:30-1:00 featuring Leslie Richards, General Manager of SEPTA. There is also a Boyertown Area Progress Dinner on March 30th at 5:00 pm until 8:30 at La Massaria at Bella Vista Golf Course. For more info on either event, see the Chamber website https://business.tricountyareachamber.com/events/calendarcatgid/11

Hobart’s Run is holding Block Clean-ups on May 7th and 21st. They are always happy to lend equipment if you would like to host your own block clean-up, too. There will also be a Neighborhood Summit on May 14th, and don’t forget the Community Yard Sale they are hosting on June 4th. For more information on any of these events, go to https://hobartsrunpottstown.org/news-events

Montgomery County Community College (West Campus) will also be holding a community clean-up on April 23rd at 11:00 am, with participants meeting at North Hall. To celebrate MCCC’s West Campus 25th Anniversary, there will be fireworks in Riverfront Park April 21st.

The show Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 opens at Steel River Playhouse on Friday, March 11th. For tickets, go to https://steelriver.secure.force.com/ticket#/events/a0S3l00000FLalIEAT

This is the final weekend for the All-District show Shrek: The Musical being staged in the Pottstown High School auditorium. Tickets may be purchased at https://www.showtix4u.com/events/15289

The Pottstown Housing Coalition is looking for Pottstown residents to participate in a survey about their experience interacting with the Borough website, as well as the Licensing and Inspections department. To take the short survey, please go to https://s.surveyplanet.com/tdvrzbib

The Montgomery County Partners for Homeownership is holding a free virtual workshop entitled MORTGAGES – What you should know! on Tuesday, March 8th at 6:00 pm. For more info, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtdOivrD8sHdZETJR7Sb0DJpLmHSyzjrvN

ArtFusion 19464 is running their eight-week Create with a Cop art series and a new session begins April 7th. Contact ArtFusion for more information at (610) 326-2506.

There will be a community clean-up day and an Art Fair at Edgewood Cemetery on April 30th beginning at 9:00 am, and many hands are needed. The Art Fair will benefit the cemetery maintenance fund. For more information on Edgewood and how to support the efforts there, go to https://www.facebook.com/edgewoodcemeterypottstown/

Schuylkill River Greenways will be hosting the International Paddling Film Festival in Riverfront Park on May 21st, complete with Kayak programming and a sale on last year’s kayaks. In addition, the Schuylkill River Sojourn begins the third week of June. The sojourn will hit Pottstown on the evening of June 20th. For more info, go to https://schuylkillriver.org/

The Pottstown YMCA will be hosting a blood drive on March 17th from 2-7 pm, and the address is 724 N Adams Street. The next day, there will be a Family Night activity there, too. For more information, call the YMCA at (610) 323-7300.

Collecting for Ukraine

The local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has secured reliable transport for emergency refugee relief supplies for Ukraine and will be collecting at their building Saturday, March 5th from 9:00 am – Noon. The church is located at 93 Maugers Mill Road, Pottstown. Below is a list of the items needed:

The following is a list of desperately needed medical supplies. If anyone has a source for items on this list, please bring them Saturday or contact Tracy Purdy at (319)321-9142. We apologize about the quality of the image:

Monetary donations can be accepted at https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/humanitarian-services/funds/humanitarian-general-fund .

For answers to any questions, please call or text Tracy Purdy at (319)321-9142. Thank you so much for anything you can give!

Featured image courtesy of Cybernistas.com

All the Hot Topics…

A lot of juicy news came out of the Pottstown Progress Luncheon yesterday. The hard part is where to begin?

The Annual Pottstown Progress Luncheon

Held by the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, yesterday’s Sunnybrook event was co-sponsored by Pottstown Area Economic Development (PAED) and highlighted some of the most exciting progress being made in Pottstown’s revitalization.

Many people already know about the Challenger Learning Center coming to the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) West Campus. The Sustainability and Innovation Hub located at 140 College Drive (adjacent to Riverfront Park) is being retrofitted to house the educational center which they hope will be open to the public this Fall. The center will offer science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs with a central focus on space-themed missions in a fully immersive Space Station and Mission Control center. MCCC states, “[The center] will use space-themed simulated learning environments to engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities. These experiences strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields.” To learn more about the Challenger Center, go to https://www.mc3.edu/for-our-community/challenger-center and https://www.challenger.org/.

If you haven’t heard about The Iron Globe, you’re late to the party! The Iron Globe Entertainment Complex will be a 2,200-seat outdoor music venue, to be located on the west end of Pottstown on the shores of the Schuylkill River. The venue will boast fire pits, a skating rink, interactive games played on high definition 35-foot LED screens, in addition to concerts, drive-in movies, Octoberfest, Halloween, Winter-Holiday, and Independence Day festivals, light shows, and fireworks displays. According to one of the developers, look for this exciting venue to open in late 2023 or early 2024. To learn more, go to https://ironglobepa.com/.

The old Mercury building is going to be converted into a 41-room boutique hotel, The Hotel Mercury. On the street level, expect a possible restaurant and bar as this historic building is remodeled into much needed visitor accommodations. It will be wonderful to see this piece of Pottstown history being utilized again and allowing visitors a taste of what Pottstown has to offer. To read a little more about how this project is developing, visit this site: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/pottstown-mercury-epa-helping-convert-mercury-building-boutique-hotel.

Green is coming to Pottstown…in the form of sustainable energy. The Pottstown Sustainable Energy Park will utilize waste to create pellets which it then gasifies into diesel fuel. It was estimated that this 142K square foot facility will not only produce 16 million gallons of diesel fuel and prevent around 200K tons of waste going into landfills annually but will also employ 115-150 people in well-paying jobs. No word yet on when the facility will open, but to learn more, see https://www.pottsmerc.com/2022/01/10/pottstown-oks-plans-for-sustainable-energy-park-on-keystone-boulevard/ or https://sanatogapost.com/2020/12/26/state-grants-local-redevelopment/.

Lots of people have driven by the old Pottstown Plating Works building on Industrial Boulevard and wondered what is happening. Yesterday, those who attended the luncheon got a glimpse into the environmental clean-up challenges the developer has dealt with as he prepares to put this prominent facility back into productive service. An interesting story about this appeared in the Pottstown Mercury a while ago: https://www.pottsmerc.com/2021/10/13/work-in-progress-industrys-polluted-legacy-in-pottstown/.

A few other smaller projects were highlighted, too. On the north shore of the Schuylkill, a kayak launching facility will be installed near the Hanover Street bridge for use by Take It Outdoors outfitters and Schuylkill River Greenways. Several existing businesses who are already located in Pottstown have expanded or relocated, including: Audio Video Concepts, The Eastwood Company, Agnes Edmunds Bridal, American Keg Company, and Beverly’s Pastry Shop. Also mentioned were DaniBee Funky and Stacked SCM and Pottstown Animal Wellness Services, businesses new to Pottstown in 2021, and the renovation of the old Comfort Inn on Robinson Street near Wal-Mart into a Fairfield Inn.

I wonder what other business ideas are incubating in our town?

A Bit of Everything

Upcoming Community Events

In no particular order, here are a few upcoming community events and announcements:

Pottstown Housing Coalition is asking for community participation on a survey regarding interactions with Pottstown Borough and the borough website. The survey can be found here: https://s.surveyplanet.com/tdvrzbib

Hobart’s Run will be holding a community yard sale June 4th (rain date will be June 5th) to benefit Edgewood Cemetery and other Hobart’s Run programming. It will cost $10 a table and be held on the grass at Edgewood Cemetery. There will also be an art fair and community clean-up event at Edgewood Cemetery on April 30th. For more info, go to: https://hobartsrunpottstown.org/ or follow Edgewood Cemetery at https://www.facebook.com/edgewoodcemeterypottstown.

Montgomery County Community College (West Campus) has a number of event’s coming up: a Spring Open House will be held April 9th; Come celebrate the 25th anniversary of West Campus with fireworks and food trucks at 8:00 pm, April21st on the campus; The Challenger Center is expected to open this year, so an event is being planned for August 26th-27th. 5th and 8th grade classes can interact with the center virtually sometime in March. https://www.mc3.edu/choosing-montco/our-campuses/pottstown-campus

The Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Pottstown Progress Luncheon on February 16th at Sunnybrook Ballroom. For more info, go to https://business.tricountyareachamber.com/events/details/pottstown-progress-luncheon-2022-856681. On February 11th, the REACH group of the Chamber will have a field trip to see Disenchanted at Steel River Playhouse. For more information on joining REACH or other events, contact Alice Funk at the Chamber, alice@tricountyareachamber.com.

The Winter/Spring session of classes are about to begin at ArtFusion 19464. These will include some free programs for kids. There will also be a show and an associated fundraiser titled “Revival” made up of upcylced art and furniture. For more info, go to https://artfusion19464.org/.

Steel River Playhouse is holding auditions for an upcoming show and is looking for a diverse cast. Here is the flyer for the auditions:

Steel River has some great shows coming up. For tickets and information, please go to the website, https://www.steelriver-playhouse.org/.

Vaccine clinics are held every Tuesday and Thursday at Bethel Community Church. For information: https://egov.montcopa.org/3748/Vaccine-Clinic-Directions-and-Parking-In

Mosaic Community Land Trust is looking for a person to serve on its Board in the position of treasurer. If you or someone you know would be interested, please contact Tracy Purdy trcpurdy@yahoo.com.

Operation 143 is holding a food drive all through the month of February. For information on items needed and their mission, please go to: https://operation143.org/.

Pottstown Regional Library has a variety of fun and free programming for children, youth and adults. To learn more, go to: http://www.eventkeeper.com/mars/xpages/M/MONTCO/ekp.cfm?curOrg=MONTCO&curKey1=Pottstown%20Public%20Library

To catch up on the local happenings every week, join Porchcast Pottstown Thursday nights at 6:00 on YouTube, Facebook Live or in person at Pottstown United Brewing Company. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2UbXqAsqiV4vtlyjyJbOGA.

Do you have an event you would like us to share? Contact Tracy Purdy at tracy.purdy@temple.edu with all of the information and we will post it on our blog and Facebook page. Or tag Positively Pottstown in your posts!

Put a little Spring in your step April 24th

I don’t know about you, but well over a year into Covid19, it feels a bit like I’m trudging through things these days. It has been a long, weird, hard year and I am ready for the light that keeps growing slightly brighter down at the end of that tunnel. Spring tends to cheer me up a bit, with the warmer temps, chirping birds, and fragrant blossoms everywhere I look. I’ll tell you what I’m really looking forward to: On April 24th, the first of a series of three garden tours that will occur over the growing season in 2021 is going to happen, and I think it will be just the thing I need to start pulling me out of this Covid funk.

The tour is organized by Mosaic Community Land Trust in partnership with Building a Better Boyertown and the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, and features some of the past winners of the annual Home Garden Contest that occurs in the two boroughs, as well as a few other special gardens in the area.

Tickets can be purchased online for $20 in advance or for $25 on the day of tour. Series tickets, which include all 3 tours in 2021, can be purchased for $50. Dates of the tours are April 24th, July 10th and September 18th. For those who purchase a special ticket to the April 24th tour, a brunch has been arranged at Gracie’s 21st Century Cafe in the outdoor dining area. Tour plus a lunch ticket for Gracie’s are $50 per person (*tips and alcohol not included).

Garden tour attendees will be notified in advance of starting points in both Pottstown and Boyertown. On the day of the tour, attendees will receive garden descriptions and a map of the tour. Ticketholders are free to visit any of the gardens during the four-hour period they are open. Tour attendees will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite garden, and the garden with the most votes will be recognized at the annual Home Garden Contest Awards Banquet. Tickets can be purchased by clicking on the following link:

Boyertown and Pottstown Spring Garden Tour Tickets, Sat, Apr 24, 2021 at 8:00 AM | Eventbritehttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/boyertown-and-pottstown-spring-garden-tour-tickets-142894839311

Enter the Winter Decorating Contest

Do you begin planning your outdoor holiday decorations as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey begins to cool? Do the lights on your neighbors front porch put Clark Griswald to shame? Then one of you should probably sign up to compete in the Pottstown Winter Decorating Contest, but you’d better hurry, because the deadline for entry is December 18th. First prize is $50, but more importantly, bragging rights for all of 2021. Sign up now by downloading an entry form from https://bit.ly/2JwF5VN.

Hometown Garden Tour!

If you are like me, by this time, you are pretty tired of being at home. During Covid19, our family has gratefully enjoyed the drive-in movies at Sunnybrook, and we have hiked almost every trail in a ten-mile radius of Pottstown, but we are ready for something new.

This upcoming weekend, July 18th, is the Pottstown and Boyertown Home Garden Tour. This is a tour of ten of the areas most interesting private gardens, past winners of the Grow For it Garden Contest, organized by Mosaic Community Land Trust, Building a Better Boyertown and Sponsored by the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation. The self-guided tour runs from 8:00 am to noon and can begin in either Pottstown or Boyertown.

Tickets are $10 per person in advance, $15 on the day of the tour. Social distancing should be practiced and masks worn while in the gardens. To purchase tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pottstown-and-boyertown-garden-tour-tickets-109187326232

For more information, email info@mosaicclt.org or contact Mosaic Community Land Trust on Facebook.

What Can You Do With Two Weeks of Quarantine?

 

This past few weeks have brought events that have not occurred in our lifetime in America. We are seeing panic buying that is unprecedented. It is suddenly like a zombie apocalypse out there. No toilet paper, no water, no SPAM. If your area hasn’t shut down schools and churches and public gatherings to “flatten the curve”, I’m sure your time is coming. The governor closed our county earlier this week. All schools, non-essential retail, gyms, daycare, etc. closed for two weeks. I think it’s the right move, and I applaud the governor for taking that bold step before things get out of hand.

So now many of us are faced with two weeks of quarantine. Given that we have been encouraged to limit social interactions to help slow the spread of the COVID- 19 virus, it will be novel for a few days, but then I think it might start to wear on us. Just because we need to practice some social isolation doesn’t mean we can’t get out a bit and even do some good in the world. So what can we do with two weeks at our disposal that won’t contribute to the global pandemic?

  • Go for a hike: In most places around here, Spring is well under way. Take the people you live with or already see every day and take a walk in a state park or on the Schuylkill River Trail. The weather has been lovely lately, so get out there and enjoy it. Besides, there is some evidence that viruses don’t thrive in fresh air and sunshine, so get as much as you can.
  • Do a one-person or one-family block clean-up: Grab some gloves and a trash bag and loop your block or walk your street picking up trash along the way. Make a call to a friend, and you clean one side of the street while they clean the other. You can share news back and forth while maintaining a healthy distance!
  • Read a book out loud as a family: When our kids were young, we read many books out loud together. I still remember our family gathering together to finish the last few pages of the final Harry Potter book before we could begin family vacation one year. Reading a great book out loud together is such a bonding experience. If you haven’t done it in a while, take this chance. Even if your kids are older, or if you don’t have kids, (reading aloud as a couple is wonderfully romantic) this is an activity you won’t regret.
  • Start a garden: With Spring coming so early this year, now is a good time to dig a bed and start a vegetable or flower garden (or both!). It isn’t too early to sow rows of lettuce and peas and other early crops. It’s not too late to begin seeds inside for plants like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cabbage for transplant into the garden in May. Get online and watch or read a tutorial and give it a try this year. Don’t have a yard? Garden in a pot!
  • Write a letter: Many others either are or will be doing the same thing as you are, and may be feeling the effects of social isolation soon. E-mail and social media are great for keeping us connected, but few things are more pleasurable than getting a letter in the mail. Think of someone you haven’t connected with in a while: a cousin, a friend you grew up with, an old army buddy, a teacher you liked. Take 30 minutes now, while you have it, and write them a letter. You will happy you did it, I promise.
  • Pick a spot in your home and do a deep clean: Do you have some bins in the basement you have been meaning to sort through? How about that closet in the back bedroom that just keeps getting things stuffed into it? Have you put on a little weight and need to purge your wardrobe? Set aside a day and tackle that deep-cleaning project you have been avoiding. Open your windows, put on some great music, grab a cold drink, roll up those sleeves and get to work!

Things are a little tense right now, but we can make the best of it by looking for positive ways to use our time during the crisis. Remember to eat healthy food, get plenty of rest, turn off the news, and tell the people you care about that you love them. What other suggestions can you come with?

God bless, everybody!

Paper Airplane

Get Your Tickets for The Historic Pottstown Holiday Tour

historic holiday tour image 2019

Tickets are on sale now for the Historic Pottstown Holiday Tour which will be Sunday, December 8, from noon until 5:00 pm.

The Borough of Pottstown boasts many stunning, historic buildings – and
many will be festively decorated and warmly opened to the public tour.
All proceeds will benefit the Third Annual Pottstown GoFourth! fireworks festival in Memorial Park. (See below for details on how to enjoy the various holiday activities). This year’s festival will have a “Sunny 2020” Woodstock theme, planners say. In the meantime, holiday lovers can get in the spirit on December 8, beginning with a tea at the Elk’s Club, 61 E. High St., between noon and 3 p.m.

A trolley, sponsored by ROG Orthodontics and Pottstown Area Rapid Transit, will shuttle historic house tour-goers to about one dozen stops throughout the Borough while Pottstown historian Mike Snyder shares fascinating stories about our town’s past. The trolley tours will begin at 1:00 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m., both leaving from Emmanuel Lutheran Church at 150 N. Hanover St. Cookies and punch — and raffle baskets — will be offered at Emmanuel, too.

Event planners note that the tickets are selling rapidly – with more than one half of the Historic Pottstown Trolley Tour available seats already taken.

A self-guided tour of the historic properties, all lovingly decorated for the season, may be taken between 1 and 5 p.m. A shuttle service will be provided to those interested, courtesy of Tompkins VIST Bank and Pottstown Area Rapid Transit. “This is a wonderful opportunity to peek inside some of Pottstown’s fantastic homes, many of which are perfect examples of architecture ranging from Queen Ann Victorian to Revival styles,” says Jo Bathurst, chair of the GoFourth! Historic Pottstown Holiday Tour. “The property owners who are participating will pull out all the stops to showcase these Pottstown gems. We truly appreciate their generosity in welcoming guests into their homes.”

“Even if you can’t enjoy the tour in person, you can show your pride in our beautiful community by purchasing the 2020 Pottstown Historic House Tour calendar, beautifully photographed by local artist Carol Brightbill,” adds Amy Francis, Pottstown GoFourth co-chair.

small calendar front 2019         small calendar back 2019

An Undervalued Asset in Our Community

 

My youngest daughter came to us during her Junior year in high school, disgruntled and restless about what to do the following year with her school schedule. She only needed a few more credits to graduate, and was looking at her options. She considered moving to a cyber charter school, trying to graduate early, and even home schooling, briefly. She went in to discuss it with her guidance counselor, who suggested she look at a dual-credit program the high school had set up in cooperation with Montgomery County Community College. The way it worked, she would take all her classes at the college, and the classes would count not only toward her high school graduation, but toward college credit as well. We would be required to pay regular tuition at the community college to participate in the program, but for a full year of college credit, it was a bargain price by any standard, so my daughter immediately enrolled. My daughter, as well as my husband and I, consider the year she spent at MCCC to be of incredible value.

The main campus is located in Blue Bell, but the college has its West Campus located right here in Pottstown, just off the Hanover Street exit of 422, and convenient to all the High Street restaurants and stores, at 101 College Drive. It is home to an art gallery, theater, library and bookstore, as well as the recently added Sustainability and Innovation Hub. Many of MCCC’s students live in Pottstown, but many more come into Pottstown from surrounding communities. The college offers degree programs in many areas of education including Business Administration, Education, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Mathematics, and many others. In addition, academic programming at West Campus’s University Center allows students to take a selection of courses and pursue a range of degrees offered by Albright University, Alvernia University, and Chestnut Hill College.

The college also offers credit certificate programs that can be completed in Pottstown in Medical Assisting, Human Services, and Addictions. There are Continuing Education programs, summer camps, a Culinary Arts Institute (located in Lansdale), as well as online courses. The college also offers events for the community, two of which are coming up next week. There will be a College Jump Start event beginning June 17th and running through the 21st (see flyer below), as well as the upcoming Community Career Fair on June 18th. For more information on either of these two events, contact Christine Morris at cmorris@mc3.edu or call (610)718-1802.

To stay connected with what is being offered by way of events, follow this link, or go the the MCCC website, and click on the For the Community tab.

Montco College Jumpstart

Montco Community Career Fair

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