Dragons Spotted in Pottstown!

Many people know that Dragon Boating exists in Pottstown, but did you know that Pottstown has one of only three indoor paddle pool Dragon Boat practice facilities in North America, and the only one open in the United States?

From outside, there is nothing about the Pottstown Athletic Club, located in the Armory at 263 King Street, to indicate the unique facility that is housed inside. In 2016, club owner Rob Matthews installed ergometers, exercise equipment which allows Dragon Boaters to practice during the winter, and then in 2017, added an indoor paddle pool to allow the athletes to have a full spectrum of indoor training for the sport. Pottstown Dragon Boater Laura Cousins trains at the facility because the ergometers (located in the upstairs “Erg Room”) allow her to increase her strength and power as she paddles, while the pool allows her to work on technique. She loves the card tracking system in the Erg Room that allows her to track her distance, speed, and total work-out time. Cousins is a member of the Pottstown Dragon Warriors, a competitive team that practices in both Pottstown Athletic Club, as well as on the Schuylkill, several times a week.

Laura Cousins

Pottstown Dragon Warriors team member Laura Cousins practicing in the Erg Room at Pottstown Athletic Club

Rob Matthews thinks the popularity of the sport will only grow. “We want to build Dragon Boating in the Pottstown area not just because it’s fun, but because it’s a physical skill set that anybody can adapt to. Dragon Boating is team work and timing, you must work together. You have to do that more than be a physical specimen.” Matthews is so excited about growing Dragon Boating that he encourages beginners to attend a free practice session, once indoors in the unique practice facility, as well as to join the more seasoned boaters for an outdoor practice on the river. Dragon Boating is great for kids, too. There are community members as young as 10 who practice in Pottstown.

The indoor practice facilities have been used by teams from all around the Philadelphia region, and are available to reserve at hourly rates. Matthews encourages families to come join in “Open Paddles” and organizations to book the facility for team building events. The amenities of the club are drawing visitors to Pottstown from all around the region, which have easy access thanks to Pottstown’s location at the junction of Routes 422 and 100.

Paddle Pool(1)

The paddle pool indoors at Pottstown Athletic Club, one of only three indoor paddle pools in North America

To find out more about Dragon Boating in Pottstown, go to http://pottstownathleticclub.com/index.php/pottstown-dragon-warriors-1, follow the Pottstown Dragon Warriors on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PottstownDragonWarriors, or email Rob Matthews directly at rob.1@pottstownkarate.com.

National Night Out – Chestnut Street Park/Pottstown

Genesis Housing Corporation and the Victory Christian Life Center are pleased to announce that National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 5th at the Chestnut Street Park in Pottstown.  Join us at “America’s Night Out Against Crime” for Family Fun, Music, Games, Info and Food!

Hill School Girls’ Basketball Camp June 17-20

If you are looking for a fun, action-packed skill-building camp for your budding basketball player in grades 4-9, now is the time to sign up for the Skills on The Hill Girls’ Basketball Camp!!

In case you didn’t know, I am the varsity girls’ basketball coach at The Hill School in Pottstown, and I will be running the camp with my sister, Michele Repko Dunleavy. We both have played the game at the high school and college levels and have many coaching years between us. Michele was named PAC-10 Coach of the Year in 1996!

The camp will run from June 17-20, from 9 am – 3 pm. The cost of $235 includes lunch, a t-shirt, and supervised swim daily, in addition to guest speakers, skill-building, and games. Michele and I ran a summer camp at Princeton Day School for 5 years so we are a well-oiled machine! Your daughter will have tons of fun and learn — just what you want from a summer program.

If your son would like to go to hoops camp too, there is a boys’ camp running the same days/times. They will also be teaching younger players – boys and girls – from 1st-3rd grades, so check that out as well if it fits your family’s needs.

The brochure can be found here. It’s got all the info you’ll need to sign up. If you have any questions, feel free to email srepko@thehill.org.

8th Annual “Pottstown Celebrates Young Children” event TOMORROW!

The eighth annual Pottstown Celebrates Young Children event will be held on April 12, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 at the Pottstown YMCA (724 Adams Street – across from Pottstown High School). The event targets families with young children and is sponsored by PEAK, Pottstown’s school readiness initiative. The afternoon will include a petting farm, moon bounce, mascots and clowns. More than 40 community organizations will provide family activities and everything is free.

This year PEAK is partnering with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center as the main sponsor for the Month of the Young Child events. According to PEAK Coordinator, Mary Rieck, “We are very thankful for the partnership with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Pottstown Celebrates Young Children is great way to raise awareness for early education and services of the hospital, as well as an enjoyable afternoon for the whole family. We look forward to finding new ways to work with the hospital to help Pottstown’s children enter kindergarten ready to learn and achieve.” The Month of the Young Child is also supported by the Pottstown Rotary Club Community Endowment Fund which is providing funds to support the purchase and distribution of 400 copies of the featured book for the Pennsylvania One Book campaign.

PEAK has received donations to support the event from Wegman’s and Costco. PEAK (Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness) is a partnership between Pottstown School District and community early learning programs and agencies seeking to prepare children and families for success in kindergarten. To learn more about PEAK or the April 12 event, visit http://www.peakonline.org, e-mail Ms. Rieck at mrieck@pottstownsd.org or call 610-970-6655. You can also follow PEAK on Twitter @PEAKPartners and on Facebook.

Registration still open for Pottstown PAL spring dek hockey season

Registration for the Pottstown Area Police Athletic League dek hockey’s spring season will be held on Saturdays, January 11, 18, and 25, from 11 am to 2 pm, at the PAL office on 146 King St., Pottstown, PA 19464.

Boys and girls from age 5 to 17 are welcome to play in this sneaker hockey program. Further information is available at www.pottstownpal.org. Any questions should be directed to padhapal@gmail.com.

The Pottstown Area PAL serves over 200 area kids and also provide them with free equipment. They have just resurfaced our rink hand have fall seasons in addition to spring seasons. Check them out!

Pottstown Parks Director Eileen Schlegel Remembered

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.

Upcoming events for Legendary Locals of Pottstown


There are a couple of book talks/signings coming up in the next week for the Legendary Locals of Pottstown book, co-authored by photographer Ed Berger and me. Come out to meet some Legendary Locals, learn more about the history of Pottstown through its legends, and how we put this book together. BOOKS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ($21.99) Look forward to seeing you!

The first event is at the Pottstown Regional Public Library at 500 E. High Street this Sunday, from 1-3 pm. The library is opening just for us!

Then, next Wednesday, November 6th at 7 pm, there is a talk/signing at the Schuylkill River Greenway Association at 140 College Drive in Pottstown. This is a really cool former PECO substation that is used by the Greenway and owned by Montgomery County Community College, and they’ve got a fabulous permanent exhibit about the history of the Schuylkill River. You can learn about Pottstown’s people and the river all in one fell swoop.

Finally, thank you to Joe Zlomek of The Sanatoga Post and The Pottstown Post for publicizing the latter event!

Sue Repko

Pottstown’s Schuylkill River Festival this Saturday!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis year’s Schuylkill Riverfest takes place on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 from noon until 6pm at Riverfront Park (140 College Drive in Pottstown).

Learn to Kayak along the river between 12 and 4:30 where kayaks and equipment will be available for a low cost ($15/half hour) through the day. Take a kayak tour at 4:30: Take a 2-mile paddle trip to Tow Path Park – shuttle & equipment is available at a small cost of $35. You can register the day of or go to    https://www.facebook.com/TakeItOutdoorsAG   or  takeitoutdoorsag@gmail.com or 610-656-3969 (first come basis).

Historic River Walks at 1:00pm AND 4:00pm –  presented by the staff of Pottsgrove Manor.

Artists and Crafters will be present to display their creative arts and local music will be heard throughout the day!

Join in for the First Annual “ARTICLE EVENT” in which we provide your pallet (a bike and recycled materials) and YOU provide the creativity! Please contact Sheila Dugan for more information at 610-323-5400 – We will have a Peoples Choice award given to the most creative bike – $200!

Magician-Illusionist Kyle & Kelly will entertain at 5pm and then move into the downtown at Steel River Playhouse where they will wow the adults as they await the curtain call for “Spring Awakening” – (This musical is suggested for 15 years and older – adult content) – OR after a lovely dinner at the local restaurants (where more local music will be performed) – join ARTFusion19464 for their show “We Were Soldiers” between 6pm and 8pm in the downtown.

Live music throughout the streets and art throughout the restaurants! Come see what’s happening in Pottstown! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Other Activities include Belly Dance demonstrations, Reiki, Palm Reading, Card Reading, A Drum Circle, (bring your drum and join in), Yoga Demonstrations and Martial Arts, Minute Massages, and more . Food vendors and A Beer Garden will also be available for everyone to enjoy this fun day!

Children’s Activities will include Pony Rides ($) and a Petting Zoo from 12:30 to 4:30, Crafts and Face Painting from 12:00 to 6:00 pm brought to you by ArtFusion19464, and at 5:00 pm enjoy the Magical Illusions of Kyle and Kelly. Rainbow the Clown will be present all day long to have balloon sculptures and face painting as well.

Help send The Pottstown High School AP Gov. and AP Calc. students  to Greece! They will be selling baked goods to help them raise funds for this fabulous opportunity.

Don’t forget from 6 to 8pm the fun continues in the downtown! Join our restaurants for some fabulous food and end at ARTFusion19464 for their “We were Soldiers” Display – stories about Vietnam from Veterans of the war. ALSO Steel River Playhouse is having their Musical “Spring Awakening” (adult themed) starting at 8pm. Kyle & Kelly – Illusionists will be in the lobby between 6:30 and 7:30 to entertain you while you enjoy the atmosphere of the theater. Grumpy’s will be having live music by Michael Kropp, local musician playing classic acoustic pop-rock as well as a complimentary light hors-d’œuvre spread. Visit the Brick House for their nightly specials and enjoy their newest menu items. West End Alley is now open at 105 High St. Juan Carlos welcomes Russell Ferrara and Acoustic Duo “Lights Out” will be playing along the street in the downtown between 6pm and 8pm.

Join Pottstown as it shows you the arts and fine dining available throughout the downtown! 


Family Fun Fair at First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church is holding its 2nd Fall Family Fun Fair – FREE to ALL – on Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, 414 E. High St., Pottstown.  There will be a Bounce House, Pipper the Clown, Juggler, Face Painters, a Duck Pond, games & prizes, crafts, and live music.  A LIVE reptile show will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room.  A free hot dog lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m.

Register by Sept. 5th for Cycles & Cemeteries Ride

Schuylkill River Trail Bike Tour Series
Cycles  & Cemeteries Ride
Register by September 5 for Early Bird Price!

Ride on the Schuylkill River Trail from Norristown to East Falls and tour on foot two historic cemeteries, visiting burial sites of Civil War notables including Gettysburg Generals Hancock and Meade. Ride options include 14 or 28-mile rides. 


When: Saturday September 21, 2013; Check-in 8-9 a.m.


Where: Ride begins at Montgomery Cemetery, 1 Hartranft Ave., West Norriton (just outside of Norristown, PA) and follows the Schuylkill River Trail to Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia’s East Falls neighborhood.

Cost: $35 early bird price; after 9/5 cost is $40.

Optional return bike/passenger shuttle $10.

Optional  lunch and Laurel Hill Cemetery tours for non-riding guests of participants $15.

Amenities: Price includes well-marked route, catered lunch, guided cemetery tours and free t-shirt (t-shirt not available if registering after 9/5).

Visit our website for more details
Questions? Call the Schuylkill River Heritage Area at 484-945-0200; or email info@schuylkillriver.org.
Ride Details

Two options make this a great event for all cyclists!
* 14-mile one-way ride from Montgomery Cemetery in West Norriton (just outside Norristown) to Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls with return bike and passenger shuttle. Shuttle is $10 extra per person.
* 28-mile round-trip ride from Montgomery Cemetery  to Laurel Hill Cemetery and back.
* Both rides include lunch and guided tours on foot of two historic cemeteries where Civil War notables are buried.


Register early! Ride limited to 250 riders.

Due to the width of the trail, no bicycle trailers will be permitted on this ride. Helmets are strongly recommended. No day of event registrations accepted. Registration closes 9/20 at noon.

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