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.

A Coventry Christmas at Calvary Christian Center

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.

First Year Teacher Sprint

Well, this is the longest I’ve gone without posting here since starting the blog in April 2010. I ask for your understanding. I’m in the midst of a first-year-teacher sprint.

As many of you know, I started teaching English at The Hill School this past September. Well, actually, the training began in August, and I’ve been going non-stop ever since, figuring out how to fit in all the activities in the life of a boarding school teacher:  lesson plans, reading papers, grading and comments, seated meals, parents’ weekend, dorm duty, professional development, and, now, assisting with girls’ basketball.  Somehow I moved on-campus 5 weeks ago with all this swirling about; I’m not sure how that even happened, but it did!

I did manage to squeeze in a few book events for the Legendary Locals of Pottstown. Laura Catalano wrote a wonderful article for The Mercury last week – Thank you to The Mercury and Laura! I also had the chance to attend a ceremony for the MOSAIC Community Garden, which was recognized with a Montgomery County Planning Award.  Here’s another nice Mercury article about the garden and the award. I do miss my Pottstown people and being in the midst of Pottstown’s happenings, but I also love being in the classroom, working with young people, talking about stories, teaching writing, and wrestling with ideas and the big questions about life that good literature raises.

I have not, however, given up on posting events here and on Facebook! It will likely come in spurts, though, whenever I can briefly switch gears.

Hope all is well with you, my dear readers and friends. I’m wishing you a joyous holiday season!






Last 2 nights for TEMPLE OF TERROR: 20 N. Franklin Street, Pottstown

This Temple of Terror is supposed to be amazing! I’m hoping to get there tonight. Check it out on Facebook here.

Here’s some info from The Mercury:

Temple of Terror

The newest haunted attraction is the Temple of Terror at the Stichter Lodge No. 254, F & AM Masonic Lodge on Franklin Street in Pottstown. The haunted attraction takes advantage of the trappings of the Mason’s lodge.

The event’s back story, which can be read on the Temple of Terror website, revolves around the legend of a Civil War soldier who returns to Pottstown only to discover his wife Penelope has been unfaithful. He goes on a murderous rampage, killing the families of the men with whom Penelope has slept, and then murders his own family. The site of these horrors is said to be the parcel on which the Masons’ lodge was later built.

The Temple of Terror will be open today (Oct. 13), Oct. 18, 19 and Oct. 25 and 26 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Hope Rocks benefit at Norco Fire Hall this Saturday

Lauren and John Fritz and friends are holding a benefit to raise funds for home renovations related to their sons, who both suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. More info is available at www.hoperocks.info.  There is also a facebook page and blog at Hope Rocks for Jake and Ryan.

Jake and Ryan (ages 10 and 6) have a form of MD called Duchenne with no cure and little treatment.  Their family is working with a local non-profit, Happy 2 be Home, to raise funds to modify their home for the kids.

The Hope Rocks for Jake and Ryan Benefit will be Saturday, October 12th, 7-11 pm at the Norco Fire Hall Banquet Room.  The night will include a BBQ dinner by Moyer’s Catering, live music by Andy & Company, and a Silent Auction with many wonderful items,  Tickets are $30.  All proceeds go to Happy 2 be Home, and will help them to create an accessible home for Jake and Ryan.


Friends of African Union Church of S. Coventry holds weekend events

This Saturday, October 5th at 8 a.m., the Friends of the African Union Church of South Coventry will be holding a benefit craft and flea market at Reed’s Recycle Antiques, 1503 Ridge Road, Pottstown, PA 19465.  This is on Rt. 23 one mile west of Rt. 100.  Proceeds will help fund the preservation of a long-forgotten 19th century church and burial site in South Coventry. An historic marker has now been installed to draw attention to the location on Coventryville Road.
Then, on Sunday October 6th, there will be a one-hour presentation at Warwick Park in Knauertown on Route 23 at 2 pm.  This is an offering of the Chesco Education Series.  The one-hour presentation will cover the history, present status and preservation plans for a 19th century church and burial ground. The site is being preserved by the Friends of the African Union Church of South Coventry, a public charity. Join them for some forgotten local history and learn what planning is being done to preserve and maintain this site.

Mark calendar: Annual Meals on Wheels fundraiser on Oct. 5th

Annual Meals on Wheels Fundraising Event featuring The Fabulous Greaseband on Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Fabulous Greaseband, a seven-member nostalgic dance-party band and concert attraction, will bring their rock ‘n’ roll party to Pottstown this fall for the annual Meals on Wheels fundraising event.

The Fabulous Greaseband features outstanding male and female lead vocals in a front trio backed by a gifted group of instrumentalists. Their highly entertaining and energetic delivery of some of the greatest songs ever written has kept the group on top for well over 30 years.

The show will be held on Saturday, October 5 at the historic Sunnybrook Ballroom, 50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. (A cash beverage and snack bar will be available.) Advance tickets recommended.

Funds raised during this event will benefit Family Services’ Meals on Wheels program. Each weekday, Family Services’ Meals on Wheels program provides two meals, a hot lunch and a cold supper to refrigerate, to an average of 175 homebound elderly and disabled individuals in Pottstown, Royersford and the Lower Perkiomen Valley. Community volunteers personally deliver approximately 80,000 meals a year, bringing nourishment, friendship and a kind word to those most in need.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Ruth Hood, program director, Meals on Wheels, at 610-326-1610 ext. 236 or rhood@fsmontco.org or visit http://www.fsmontco.org/events. Tickets may be purchased weekdays between 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at Family Services’ Pottstown Office, 1976 East High Street, Pottstown. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

Generous sponsors of this event include Exelon/Limerick Generating Station; BTC Foods; Janney Montgomery Scott; Pottstown Memorial Medical Center; Sanatoga Ridge Community; and SMJ Construction.

Family Services offers popular early childhood parenting program this fall

From Family Services… Pre-registration is required for this program!

Family Services to Offer Love & Logic: Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!
 Would you like to feel more confident as a parent? Would you like to have more fun parenting? Would you like to feel more relaxed at the end of the day?

Family Services is offering America’s most practical and entertaining parent training program, Love & Logic: Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!® The program, designed for parents with children ages 0–6, will be held on six consecutive Wednesday mornings beginning October 2. Each session will run from 10–11:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 660 North Charlotte Street, Pottstown. The program is free, and free childcare is available. Pre-registration is required. Registration deadline is Friday, September 20.

The Love and Logic approach to raising children places parents in control and teaches kids to be respectful, responsible and prepares them for the real world of challenges. Parents of toddlers and pre-schoolers through teens have found this parenting strategy to be remarkably rewarding and easy to implement. Love and Logic is a common sense approach that helps to resolve annoying behaviors, as well as serious behavioral problems in children.

For more information or to register for Love & Logic: Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!, contact Megan Schmierer at 610-326-1610 ext. 242 or mschmierer@fsmontco.org.

Since 1900, Family Services has been caring for children, seniors and families in Montgomery County who face everyday emotional difficulties or physical hardships. The agency’s innovative social service programs make a positive difference in the lives of 16,000 county residents each year. For more information, contact Family Services’ Pottstown Office, located at 1976 East High Street, at 610-326-1610 or visit www.fsmontco.org.

Free Slavic sacred music concert to be presented in Pottstown

Due to the overwhelming success of the 2012 concert, voices from the Westminster Choir College return to Pottstown! I attended last year’s concert and it was outstanding.

A concert of sacred hymns and liturgical music of the Slavic tradition will be presented by the Theoria Chamber Choir at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 23rd, in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 301 Cherry Street, Pottstown, Pa.  The concert is free and open to the public; a free will offering will be accepted.  Please note that the church is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible via the ramp in the rear parking lot.

The Theoria Chamber Choir features students and alumni of Westminster Choir College, 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.  Westminster choirs perform annually in venues including the Kimmel Center, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and various groups are professionally recorded as they perform well-known composers’ new and other arrangements.

Drew Skitko, Theoria Chamber Choir Director
Drew Skitko, Theoria Chamber Choir Director

Theoria Chamber Choir is directed by Andrew Skitko, a native of Pottstown, and graduate of The Hill School.  Skitko also serves as the cantor and music director at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Catholic Church of Trenton, N.J., where Theoria Chamber Choir performs about once a month. Skitko also has been a cantor at St. John’s church.

In April 2012, the Westminster Slavic Choir, also under Skitko’s direction, performed at St. John’s church to a crowd that included many people who had never before heard the traditional Slavic music and asked Skitko to return to perform another concert.  Due to keen interest, Skitko was eager to return to Pottstown with the Theoria Chamber Choir, a four-part group of powerful, professionally trained voices.

“Performing in Pottstown allows us to share this beautiful music with my hometown and support Pottstown’s growing, diverse arts presence,” said Skitko.

Joining Skitko, a baritone, will be Liesl McPherrin, soprano, Lauren Delfing, alto, and Brett Avery-Lawyer, tenor.

The concert will feature sacred liturgical choral works by composers including Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Vedel, and Hurko. Selections will be performed in English as well as Old Church Slavonic.

The concert is expected to last about one hour.

For further information, please contact Andrew Skitko, choral director

Cell: 610-220-3479; E-mail: andrewskitko@gmail.com

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