Inspirational Travis Roy to Return to Hill School

I apologize for the short notice here, but if you’d like to hear an inspirational speaker tonight, head over to the Hill School Center for the Arts. This comes from Cathy Skitko, Director of Communications.

Inspirational Travis Roy to Return to Hill School to Continue Four-Year Relationship with Senior Class

On Thursday, February 7, at 7 p.m. in Hill’s Center For The Arts at 860 Beech Street, nationally-recognized motivational speaker Travis Roy will return to campus to address The Hill community for the second time. This event is free and open to the public.

In 1995, Roy was paralyzed in a freak hockey accident, but he has turned personal tragedy into a positive story with the creation of a nationally-recognized foundation created to help victims of spinal cord accidents.  Roy first addressed The Hill community on January 26, 2010 as the speaker for that year’s school theme, “A Common Humanity.”

The Hill’s connection to Roy and the Travis Roy Foundation dates back to 2009-10, when the freshman class read his book, 11 Seconds, during that year’s winter break.  The class sold Travis Roy Foundation wristbands as a fund raiser that year, with a goal of $800.  Thanks to a matching gift from Rich Pentz, a 1999 graduate of The Hill who is friends with Roy’s brother-in-law, a total of $1,500 was raised.  During Roy’s visit to campus, the class presented him with a check and announced that they had decided to “adopt” the foundation as an ongoing project during their four years at The Hill.

The class has held a fundraiser for the foundation in each of the three years since Roy’s initial visit to campus.  In 2011, a “Photo Fair” in which favorite Hill teachers dressed up in a variety of costumes and posed for photos with students raised more than $2,000.  The class decided to establish the Travis Roy Broomball Invitational in 2012.  Broomball is a game played on an ice hockey rink with modified paddles serving as the “brooms,” a small rubber ball, and no ice skates.  The inaugural tournament was a hit, with more than a dozen teams participating in the round-robin style tournament.  This year’s tournament, which was held on Saturday, January 12, was equally successful.  In all, the two broomball tournaments raised more than $3,500 for the foundation.

“Our class head in 2009 was very passionate about the foundation, and after reading 11 Seconds, I also became passionate about it,” said senior Molly Hopkins, who has been an active participant in organizing each event.  “When he came to campus and spoke and we were able to meet him and put a face to the name and story, it made me and the other members of my grade feel a personal connection.  We realized how important the Travis Roy Foundation is in helping people affected by spinal cord injuries, and we wanted to help contribute to the foundation.”

During his first visit to campus, Roy shared his tragic yet compelling story with the Hill community.  He began his high school hockey career at North Yarmouth Academy in Maine, where his coach was Hill alumnus Kevin Potter ’85.  In 1993, he transferred to Tabor Academy, a New England Division I prep hockey power, for his junior and senior years.  After graduating from Tabor, Roy was set to continue his hockey career at Boston University.

The Terriers won the NCAA National Championship in 1995, and Roy was in uniform for his first collegiate game the night the University raised the championship banner.  Just 11 seconds into his first shift of the game, a freak accident sent him into the boards head-first and broke his neck, paralyzing him from the neck-down.

Instead of passively accepting his fate, Roy decided to make the most of a difficult situation.  Just two years after the accident, he and his family established the Travis Roy Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries, and also gives financial grants to those affected by a spinal cord injury that are in need of financial assistance to purchase the equipment needed to live as independently as possible.

Art show opens at Hill School tonight; Artists Guild meeting next Tuesday

The Hill School will open a new exhibit in their Boyer Gallery today, Friday, Jan. 11, featuring paintings by Roe Murray of West Chester.  The opening reception will be held this evening  from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will run through February 22. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The Boyer Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.More information is available at their website.

Roe Murray is a talented painter and art teacher who resides in nearby West Chester, Pa. Ms. Murray received a degree in art education from Moore College of Art, and has completed graduate courses at Tyler School of Art and Arcadia University; she also holds a teaching certification from Immaculata College. She continues to hone her craft by studying with some of the region’s most prominent artists. You can view some of her work at

This coming Tuesday, January 15th at 7 pm, the Pottstown Area Artists Guild will hold its next meeting. Pottstown area clay artist, Lisa Muller will be presenter this month. Lisa does vibrant hand-cast tiles, murals, as well as hand-built, sculptural pieces. If you’re not familiar with Lisa’s work, there are wonderful pictures on her website

PAAG holds monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of every month at The Hill School Center For The Arts at Beech and Sheridan Streets in Pottstown. The Board meeting is at 6:30 pm and the General meeting is at 7 pm and is free and open to the public.

Hill School students collect 4,750 pounds of clothing, books, & room accessories for area non-profits

Hill School students held an end-of-the year collection of items that were no longer needed by students or were too heavy to take home on a plane. At the final tally, an enthusiastic group of 48 students, along with 11 faculty and staff members and parents, collected, sorted, and packed 4,750 pounds of clothing, books, and room accessories that were donated to The Pottstown Cluster, the Montgomery County SPCA, and Goodwill Industries.

Not only did these items not end up in a landfill, but they can be put to good use by those in need, including our furry friends at the SPCA!

You can read the full story at The Hill’s website. Click here to see the full list of items and recipients.

Hill School CFO appointed to Health & Wellness Foundation Board

The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation recently appointed Donald Silverson, of Pottstown, to its board of directors. Mr. Silverson is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of The Hill School since 2007.

“Don brings specific talents to our board,” comments David Kraybill, Executive Director of the Foundation. “His financial and investment knowledge, and familiarity with the building and construction process, will benefit the Foundation Board.  His willingness to serve the Foundation and the Pottstown community is to be commended. We value his opinions and expertise, and appreciate his time commitment in assisting us with moving the dial as we continue to improve health and wellness in our community.”  Mr. Silverson will serve on the Foundation’s Finance and Facilities committees.

A graduate of University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, Silverson received his Masters in Community Planning and Public Administration, and his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Brown University, Providence, RI. He serves as Treasurer of the Pottstown Area Industrial Development Corporation (PAID).

The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation’s mission is to enhance the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Visit for more information about the Foundation. Discover Pottstown area’s online community at to learn and share great information on how to lead a healthier life. You can also follow Mission Healthy Living on Facebook and Twitter.

Hill School winter musical opens tonight and it’s FREE!

The Hill School will present “Once Upon a Mattress” as this year’s winter musical theatre production. The play is based on the popular fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” 
The performance, which is free and open to the public, will take place tonight, Thursday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in The Hill School’s Center For The Arts(Use 860 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 for GPS or website mapping systems.)

Busy, busy holiday weekend in Pottstown

There are so many holiday activities taking place this weekend. I’ll highlight a few here. Please check out the calendar for the details, and take a look at The Mercury’s coverage of all the happenings.

Get out this morning for the Doe Club’s annual Cookie Walk and Soup Sale being held in the lobby of the Elks Lodge, 61 High Street, from 9:00 AM to 12 noon. 

Edgewood Cemetery is holding a wreath sale at 9:30 this morning at the cemetery (High & Keim Streets).

A Cash Mob is meeting at The Farmers’ Market at 10 am. Bring $20 to spend at the downtown business of your choice. BUY LOCAL!

On the entertainment side, there’s the Coventry Singers concert, TriPAC’s “A Christmas Story,” and the Ballroom on High’s Christmas Showcase.

There’s a full schedule of events and family fun at the Carousel, Pottsgrove Manor and the Hill School on Sunday too. Check out the calendar here!


Pottstown Shopping & Entertainment Guide: Arts & Entertainment

The arts are thriving in Pottstown! Here are some places to check out not only for show tickets,  but also for unique, hand-crafted pottery and jewelry, musical instruments,  and gift certificates for music, dancing, and acting classes. Please let us know of additional arts-related shops and venues; we’ll add them to the line-up.

Don’t be shy: support the inner artist in your child and yourself!

Tri-CountyPerforming Arts Center (TriPAC) has a full line-up of performing arts programming, hows and classes. A Christmas Story will run Dec. 1-18. A gift certificate will let that special someone choose what they want. TriPAC is putting on a new facade; don’t be deterred by the construction fencing! You will be blown away when it’s unveiled this spring. Their building used to be J. J. Newberry’s Department Store; my mom had her first job there! TriPAC is located at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. Phone: 610-970-1199

 The Gallery on High is home to local artists – paintings, glassware, pottery, jewelry, scarves handmade soaps. If you want something that’s one-of-a-kind, you must go here! There’s also a custom framing shop inside for that special photo or painting that needs just the right frame. Peace: The Annual Holiday Show is running now through Jan. 7.  They are located at 254 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. Did you know that a well-known portrait photographer from the late 19th century – Isaac Lachman – once used this building as his Pottstown studio? Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10-4:40 pm; Saturday 10-3. Phone: 610-326-2506.

The Gallery School of Pottstown offers a wide array of classes for all ages and can host your next party. (I can’t wait to teach some creative writing classes there this spring!) Maybe there’s someone in your life who would like to explore a new facet of the arts? Check out their schedule here.  They are located on the second floor of 245 E. High Street, above The Gallery on High.

Know anyone who wants to take their musical development a little further? High Street Music Company offers instruction for brass, woodwinds, strings, guitar, bass, piano and drums. Check out their family discount, holiday specials and the coupons on their website! Know anyone who wants to finally record the EP that will break their career wide open?  High Street Music also has state-of-the-art microphones and digital equipment. They’re at 135 E. High Street (next to Bistro 137 and across from Borough Hall.) Phone: 610-906-3357.

For music instrument sales and rentals, stop in at Ben’s Music within Downtown Records and Tapes at 53 N. Charlotte Street, at the intersection with King Street. They also do instrument repairs. Their hours are: Mon. – Thurs., 10am – 5:30 pm; Fri., 10 am – 8 pm; Sat., 10 am – 4 pm; closed Sunday.

For the dancer in all of us and when you just gotta move, the Ballroom on High is THE place to be! SwingKat Entertainment hosts weekly dances and gives lessons in ballroom , country, salsa, and swing. Their 300-person venue in a historic building at 310 E. High Street is also available for weddings, birthday parties, business meetings, or funeral receptions.  For sure, check it out on Dec. 9th and attend the Come As You Art Ball, hosted by MOSAIC Community Land Trust and PDIDA.

Schuylkill Valley Regional Dance Company is in 40th year, exposing kids age 7 and older to dance. This year once again they will perform The Nutcracker Ballet. The show goes on at The Hill School Center for the Arts on Dec. 3 and 4. Go to their website for more details and tickets.

For free concerts that can become part of your family’s traditions, check out the Coventry Singers in concert on Saturday, Dec. 10 ; Reading Choral Society at Emmanuel Lutheran on Sunday, Dec. 11; and the Hill School’s Lessons and Carols in Alumni Memorial Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 11. Details can be found on the Positively!Pottstown calendar.

Positively Pottstown calendar is back up!

The Positively Pottstown calendar of Christmas concerts, performances, historical events, happy hours, craft and bake sales, and much more is here to help you plan your holiday shopping and entertainment!

Fun for the whole family starts with the Twelfth Night tours, which begin today at Pottsgrove Manor and continue until January 8th during regular museum hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 am to 4 pm; Sun. 1 to 4 pm

Get your gift-buying underway with a shopping march set for downtown Pottstown tomorrow (meet at Bistro 137, 137 E. High Street.) And take advantage of Sunday shopping as Pottstown offers another “Super Sunday” this Sunday, with free, fun activities for the kids at the Farmers’ Market.

Over the next 24 hours, I’ll be putting up several posts to let you know, or remind you, of all that Pottstown’s restaurants, retailers, and arts venues have to offer this holiday season. Stay tuned!

Local dance company performs classic Nutcracker based on original

I guess it’s not too early to get your tickets for The Schuylkill Valley Regional Dance Company’s holiday production of The Nutcracker. Attention: Educational groups, senior centers and scout troops – scroll down for info on discounted tickets for your organization!

The Schuylkill Valley Regional Dance Company will be performing a brand “new to the area” “Nutcracker” this year to celebrate its 40th Anniversary. Two former principal dancers from the Kirov Ballet, Andrei Ustinov and Elena Martinson, will be setting choreography on the Company based on the original work by Marius Petipa (originally performed at the Kirov in 1892).

The performances will take place at the Hill School Center for the Arts in Pottstown on Saturday Dec. 3rd at 7:30pm, as well as on Sunday Dec. 4th at 2pm. Also, there will be specially priced matinees for school and senior citizen groups on Friday, Dec. 2. Artistic Director, Michelle Jones Wurtz, will be assisting the ballet masters and will be joining the cast for a special cameo appearance.

The Company performs a “Nutcracker” annually but this year there will be many changes to what people have become accustomed to in the area. For more information, visit, or call the Company at 484-941-0683. This is a holiday tradition not to be missed!

Order your tickets today!!
Tickets: $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for students/seniors, 20% off for groups of 10 or more (Use the discount code “Group” when ordering online.)
Discount tickets available for the following: 
We are offering our special pricing for Educational Groups and Senior Centers for two performances on Friday December 2, 2011. Please find information below:
School Groups and Home School Groups:
Please visit our website for $6 seating information and reservation form for our two school performances on Friday December 2, 2011.
Activity Directors/Active Senior and Assisted Living Centers:
Please visit our website for $6 seating information and reservation form for our two performances on Friday December 2, 2011.
Attention Girl and Boy Scouts:
We are again offering our $6 seating Tech Rehearsal Viewing on Thursday evening December 1, 2011. Please visit our webstie for your troops reservation and information form.
Nutcracker Story Reading: Free!!
Join us for a Nutcracker story reading at All That Jazz on Sun. Nov. 20, 2011 at 1:00pm. Meet some of the characters from the Nutcracker, have your photo taken with them and enjoy hearing the story of the Nutcracker read aloud! All That Jazz is located at 50 W. 3rd Ave., Collegeville, PA 19426. We hope you can join us for this afternoon of Nutcracker fun!
Sponsor and Advertising Opportunities:
Please consider supporting SVRDC by sponsoring us or advertising with us for the Nutcracker! Forms can be found on our website (under Dancer Information, under Forms) and are due by Nov. 5, 2011. Thank you for your support!!
Nutcracker T-shirts and DVD’s:
Nutcracker t-shirts are available to be purchased for $30.00 per shirt. An image of this years t-shirt is attached. All t-shirt orders are due byOct. 19, 2011. Please indicate number of shirts and sizes desired when ordering. Nutcracker DVD’s are available to be purchased for $10.00 per DVD. Please indicate number of DVD’s desired and for which shows when ordering. Thank you!
More Information:
For more information please visit our website,, or contact us at 484-941-0683 or
Thank you and we hope to see you all at our upcoming performances!
-Schuylkill Valley Regional Dance Company

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