Boro, School District, and Hill School team up for Pottstown CARES 10/19 & 10/25


Borough, Pottstown School District, and The Hill School

Combine Resources and Volunteers for

Two Pottstown CARES Events

Residents invited to free community resource and activities fair on October 19; 700 volunteers to embark on Pottstown clean-up set for October 25


POTTSTOWN, PA –Volunteers from the Borough of Pottstown, The Hill School, and the Pottstown School District will combine forces to demonstrate their care for our hometown in several tangible ways in a two-part, two-day event, with separate components planned for Saturday, October 19 and Friday, October 25.

This joint CARES (Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability) endeavor was conceived last spring during conversations between Borough Manager Mark Flanders, Pottstown School Superintendent Jeff Sparagana, and Hill School Headmaster Zachary Lehman.  The three leaders envisioned a collaborative project that would help to “spruce up” a designated area in the core of Pottstown while also boosting community pride and awareness about Pottstown resources.  A small committee of representatives from these three key Pottstown entities began meeting late last spring; they sought feedback at a community forum held at the Ricketts Center in late June; and they have been meeting regularly since that time to manage myriad details for the project.

The first part of the CARES project will be a community education and activities day on Saturday, October 19.  (Please read below about the second CARES event on Friday, October 25.)  This free information fair on October 19 will occur rain or shine from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Hill School, under the former outdoor hockey rink located off Beech Street near Hill’s Center For The Arts.  Attendees may park in the Center For The Arts parking lot. The GPS address for this location is 860 Beech Street.

This October 19 community day will allow nonprofits and other Pottstown-focused, helpful organizations — ranging from arts and recreational organizations to the Bloodmobile, Reduxtech e-waste recyclers, and other service providers — to share free materials about their programs and talk with Pottstown residents.

A variety of free children’s activities will be available through the YMCA and other organizations, and the Masons will be doing child identification fingerprinting.   

Numerous local food vendors will be on hand selling various refreshments, from French fries to vegetarian foods.  Free, gently used office supplies also will be available at a “Get Organized Pottstown” station.

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities will be accepting donations of food, clothing, and other essentials near the Center For The Arts parking lot in Hill’s old rink. Greatly needed items include: Canned soups and stews; canned prepared pasta; canned fruit; oatmeal; personal hygiene items; small bottles of  laundry detergent; cleaning supplies; socks; underwear; and coats.

In addition, the Chester County Pet Food Pantry will be accepting donations of pet foods, and Forgotten Cats will be represented.

An e-waste collector will be on hand to accept any old items that had electricity running through them.  The e-waste collection truck will be located in the Center For The Arts parking lot.

 The Miller-Keystone Blood Center Bloodmobile will take walk-in blood donations.  Registration for walk-in donations will be located in the lobby of Hill’s Center For The Arts.  People who would like to sign up in advance to donate blood on October 19 at The Hill may contact Jason Coady, a Hill teacher who is coordinating this effort, by emailing him at  Also, CVS will provide a flu shot clinic from 12 to 2 p.m.; people interested in getting a flu shot should bring their insurance card if they have one.

A voter registration table will be set up and individuals will be there to help people with this process.

As part of the day’s activities, The Hill will provide two free screenings of an inspirational, multiple award-winning film about “the power of one” demonstrated by nine individuals on six continents, all of whom are working to make their communities a better place.  The film “Opening Our Eyes” (PG-13, will be shown in The Hill School Center For The Arts at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Green Room, located off the CFTA lobby.

Also, The Hill invites individuals to take a free, self-guided “Art Walk” architectural tour of Hill’s historic campus.   Interested guests should look for the Art Walk registration table under the rink roof, where they will be provided with a brochure and map of the tour sites as well as an Art Walk visitor badge.  All tours must begin by 3 p.m.

Additional organizations that have registered so far (as of October 10) to participate in the CARES information-sharing event include: Community Connections; Community First Development Corp., Inc; Children and Youth Services; the Colebrookdale Railroad; Genesis Housing Corporation; the Greater Pottstown Tennis Association; Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County; the Montgomery County Health Department;  the Pottstown Borough, including the Codes Department; Pottstown Carousel; the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority; the Pottstown Fourth of July Committee; the Pottstown High School Key Club; Pottsgrove Manor; Pottstown Memorial Medical Center; Pottstown MOSAIC; the Pottstown Office of Family Services of Montgomery County; Richard J. Ricketts Community Center/Olivet Boys and Girls Club; Sunnybrook Foundation; the United Way; the World War II Dance Committee; and the YMCA and YWCA.

Participating organizations are asked to complete registration and set up between 10 and 11 a.m. on October 19.    They should enter the site from the Center For The Arts parking lot off Beech Street.

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.

Dean Fields in concert this weekend

First United Methodist Church of Pottstown (414 E. High St.) will be hosting its 4th Coffee House Concert of the year on Sunday, September 15th at 6 pm (after the scheduled Eagles game has ended).  The concert will feature the singer-songwriter Dean Fields.  Dean is an incredibly talented musician, with a gift for lyrics and a great voice.  You can read more about Dean, listen to some of his music, and download some free songs at his website:  Join them for some wonderful music, good coffee, and some tasty desserts!

Slavic Sacred Music at St. John’s this Friday evening

The Theoria Chamber Choir presents

Slavic Sacred Music
Hymns & Liturgical Songs of the Eastern Church

August 23rd, 2013
7:00 pm

Free Admission

(free will offerings will be accepted)

St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church
301 Cherry Street
Pottstown, Pennsylvania

News of this free event comes to us from the founder of Theoria Chamber Choir, Andrew Skitko, a Pottstown resident and Hill School grad.

Greek for contemplation, “theoria” refers to a stage of spiritual illumination in Eastern Christian theology. Theoria Chamber Choir seeks to lead others in spiritual contemplation through a cappella choral music.

Theoria was founded by Andrew Skitko in 2010. Having grown up in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church, his passion for the Eastern-European choral repertoire inspired the formation of an ensemble that could explore this music with other professionally trained singers, and share the repertoire of the Slavic sacred choral tradition. Theoria Chamber Choir consists of students and alumni of Westminster Choir College.

In addition to concert performances, Theoria Chamber Choir serves as the primary liturgical choir at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church in Trenton, New Jersey (

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:

Youth Mission Week — Pottstown Helping Pottstown

Area churches are planning a Youth Mission Week. Read on to learn more and find out how to get in touch to participate

On Sunday, July 28 at 7 pm to Friday, August 2 at 4 pm, Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ, Zion’s United Church of Christ, and St. Paul’s United Church of Christ will be working together to make Pottstown neighborhoods a better place.

Youth, who range from those entering sixth grade through those who just graduated high school, live at church for a week. Each day they go to a private home or an agency around town and do yard work, simple repairs, painting, cleaning out basements or garages, etc. Some groups also work at an agency. In the past this has included the Cluster Outreach Center and the Ministries at Main Street Homeless Shelter. In the evening, after showering, swimming, and dinner, they discuss what they have seen and done during the day and contemplate how they can carry forward a life of service to their community. Many youth use this event to complete graduation requirements for service projects.

We are looking for:

Homes where we can work. Most homeowners who we help are elderly, disabled, or have some reason why they cannot do the painting/repairs/clean-up themselves. If you, or someone you know could use a little bit of help around your home, please contact us as soon as possible to arrange for our coordinator to make a site visit.

Youth participants. We can take up to 30 youth and accept youth on a first-come, basis. We do not charge for participation.

Adult Volunteers. Volunteers are needed on-site between the hours of 9 to 3 on Monday July 29 through Thursday August 1. Volunteers must complete an application and comply with our “Safe Church” practices for children and youth.

Donations and Loaned Equipment. Donations of food and beverage for the workers, paint, garden plants, etc. for the homes we are working on are very much needed. We also borrow and return equipment such as rakes, spades, ladders, etc. A complete list of what we need will be posted on the website July 21, a week before Mission Week begins. And of course monetary donations give us the freedom to buy what we need.

Download applications and see what donations are still needed at

Contact Rev. Lisa Martin, Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ, 60 N. Hanover St. Pottstown, PA 19464 610-326-2243

Call for Crafters for Christmas Bazaar

Well, it would be nice if just the thought of a Christmas Bazaar was enough to drop the thermostat. Alas, it is not… but if you’re a crafter….

Immaculate Conception Academy in Douglassville holds several annual fundraisers to raise money for their technology department. They are looking for looking for crafters for their Annual Christmas Bazaar to be held at:

Immaculate Conception Church
905 Chestnut Street (Route 345)
Douglassville, PA  19518
on Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
$30 per space; $5 additional for electric

Contact Karen at 610-689-3833 or

Harris Family Ministries to hold annual Stop the Drugs, Stop the Violence Crusade


Living Water Outreach Worship Center

Riverfront Park

140 College Drive

Pottstown, PA 19464

Saturday, July 27, 2013

12pm – 4pm

 Free food!

Lots of fun & family entertainment!

 Teen Challenge Philadelphia will perform!

Resources will be available for all who attend.

Harris Family Ministries, Inc.

P.O. Box 3001

Stowe, PA 19464

(610) 764 – 4984

Courtesy of Harris Family Ministries
Courtesy of Harris Family Ministries

Aug. 6th: Mark calendar now for National Night Out

There will be a variety of neighborhood-friendly activities on tap for National Night Out, America’s Night Against Crime, being held this year on August 6th.

First United Methodist Church at 414 E. High Street in Pottstown is participating and inviting the whole community to join them. They are sponsoring a “Fire and Ice” event, serving Pastor Will’s chili and Rita’s water ice to friends and neighbors from 6 – 8:30 pm that evening. There will be a Goodwill firetruck, firemen, dalmatians, and a craft for small children. Come on out to meet your neighbors, the first step in building a strong, safe community!

Girl Scouts collecting school uniforms in Pottstown on behalf of Cluster

A local Pottstown Girl Scout Troop is collecting new or used clothing that can be used as student uniforms in the Pottstown School District, such as white, light blue, or navy polo shirts, turtlenecks, certain sweaters and sweatshirts and navy blue or khaki pants, shorts, skirts, or skorts. All sizes.

All uniforms will be donated to the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities to help children in Pottstown. Victoria Bumstead, who is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Cluster has indicated that uniforms are a huge need for their organization to support children in our community.

For more information about Pottstown’s uniforms, policies, and assistance programs, click here.

The Girl Scouts have drop-off sites at the following locations:

Grumpy’s Sandwich Shop at 137 East High Street

Rich Ranieri’s MAB paints at 218 E. High Street

Mike’s Brick Oven Pizza at 601 N. Charlotte St.

The YMCA at Wilson and North Adams Streets

Pottstown School District Administration Building at 230 Beech Street

and the North End Swim Club.

Please help spread the word!!

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