Hill Student Philanthropy Council awards grants to local nonprofits

Here is some great news brought to us by The Hill School, where the Student Philanthropy Council has been learning how to be an effective philanthropist with Pottstown area nonprofits as the beneficiaries. For more info, click the link at the end of the next paragraph. As a resident and board member of PDIDA, I am personally grateful for the grant to PDIDA, which will help us implement some measures to improve safety and the downtown experience for visitors and residents.

Led by co-presidents Nabil Shaikh ’13 (Reading, Pa.) and Auguste Boova ’13 (Pottstown, Pa.), The Hill School’s Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) recently presented checks totaling $10,000 to four local nonprofit organizations to help fund those entities’ educational and community programs: Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority ($2,110); The Growing Center ($2,690); Montgomery Child Advocacy Project ($2,500); and the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Organizations ($2,700).  Read more about the recipients of the 2013 grants.

The SPC was established in 2009 through a gift to The Hill School courtesy of Charles A. Frank III, Hill ’59, and his wife, Betty. Hill student participants solicit and evaluate local nonprofit requests for funding, and then award a total of $10,000 in grants each year. Last year, through the Franks’ leadership and the generosity of  several other donors, The Student Philanthropy Council became an endowed program at the School with the establishment of The Student Philanthropy Council Endowment in honor of Kay and David Dougherty.

Belle Rouge Salon hosting wine & cheese education evening

Belle Rouge Salon is hosting a night of wine and cheese education. It will be held at their salon at 257 E.High Street this Friday, November 16th from 7-9 pm. There is plenty of parking in the Borough lot across the street, on the corner of High and Charlotte, across from The Farmers’ Market.

Tickets are $25 per person with partial proceeds being donated to the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. For more info contact Tracy Williams @ 610 326-5400 or bellerougeonhigh@gmail.com.

Harvest Moon to shine down on Cluster on October 12th

On Friday, October 12th, the First Annual Fundraising Dinner to benefit The Pottstown Cluster will be held at the Berean Bible Church on High Street in Sanatoga. 

The event committee, chaired by Dr. Myra Forrest, has been busy planning unique decorations and activities to go along with their theme:  Shine On, Harvest Moon.  The committee includes: Terryl Andrews-Marsh, Sharon Basile , Sue Creswell, Doreen Duncan,  Lesley Duall, Lois Georeno, Lalena Kennedy, JoAnn McKiernan, Linda Voytilla, and Carol Weitzenkorn.

The night promises to be memorable with performances by local  soprano and singing-actress, Maggie Heffner Moliterno, who has performed in operas, musicals, concerts, and cabarets across the United States and Europe; 11-year old Madison Kershner, a talented student from St. Aloysius School;  and an assembled choir comprised of members from many of Pottstown area’s worship centers.

To keep the night running smoothly, John Armato, Director of Community Relations for the Pottstown School District, will emcee the program.  Catering for this special event will be done by Pottstown’s very own Bause Catered Events.

Interesting auction items are being procured, table sponsorships are firming up, program ads are being placed, and tickets are now available to the public at $45 each.  Please call The Cluster at (610) 970-5995 or contact any event committee member to reserve yours today!

Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities
57 North Franklin Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
(610) 970-5995
Fax: (610) 970-6385

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Barbara Wilhelmy, Executive Director



Area food drive picking up speed

The “Fill the Media Lab” food pantry drive being conducted by The Mercury, The Sanatoga Post, other Post newspapers, and area bloggers who are part of The Mercury’s Town Square, is kicking into high gear. New businesses keep coming forward to offer their location as a drop-off point for donations of food and laundry detergent.

Residential and commercial real estate attorney Andrew Monastra has joined the local fight against hunger by offering his office at 740 E. High Street in Pottstown as a drop-off location between the hours of 8:30 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Food collected there, as well as at Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches (in the Farmers’ Market), is going to the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. During the first week of the food drive, Grumpy’s collected 117 food items and 15 bottles of laundry detergent.* Grumpy’s is also making a matching donation for everything they collect.

Andrew Monastra’s office is down near the post office in Pottstown; it’s that beautiful Grand Review Building. Andrew is always finding a new way to support the efforts of area non-profits. His Heartland Abstract title company makes a donation from each real estate transaction to either MOSAIC Community Land Trust, The Gallery School of Pottstown, or The Carousel. Please consider contacting Andrew Monastra for your next real estate transaction!

In other “Fill the Media Lab” news, The Sanatoga Post reported today that Zuber Realty (2117 E. High Street) has become the latest donation drop-off spot in Lower Pottsgrove Township, joining Pottsgrove High School (1345 Kauffman Rd.) and Chesmont Storage (1500 Industrial Hwy.)

* I’ve got a photo of the food collected, but I’m having “technical difficulties” with my camera. 😦 Will post photos as soon as I can!

Positively Pottstown joins “Fill the Media Lab” food drive

The Mercury’s Community Media Lab, Town Square bloggers, and other local newspapers are teaming up for a food drive to help stock the shelves of area food pantries.  With the tight job market, high unemployment, and sky-high gas, heating oil, and healthcare costs, more and more area residents are finding themselves relying on food pantries for the first time ever. 

Here’s how the food drive will work:

The Mercury, Post newspapers, including The Sanatoga Post, and various bloggers are announcing their participation in the food drive to collect at least 20,000 food items by April 7th. See The Mercury article here and The Sanatoga Post article here.  The bloggers can team up with their local pantry and feature them in recurring blog posts. They can also team up with various businesses who want to serve as collection sites.

While the food drive will run until April 7th, we will not be holding onto all the food collected until then because that would mean it’s not on the shelves of the food pantries, getting used up by those who need it now. So… as the food is collected, it will periodically be delivered to the pantry of choice by the blogger or business. Pantries in towns throughout the region will benefit: Pottstown, North Coventry, Boyertown, Royersford, Spring City, Phoenixville, Collegeville, and the Upper Perkiomen Valley. But first we’ll take a picture of what’s collected and send it to The Mercury, where it can be pinned onto an image of the Media Lab. In this way, we will virtually “fill the Media Lab” while filling up local food pantries in reality.

 Positively Pottstown is on board! We’re going to be directing the results of our collection efforts to the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, commonly known as The Cluster.  The first Pottstown business we’re teaming up with is Grumpy’s, the homemade sandwich and soup shop in The Farmers’ Market. Grumpy’s has generously offered not only to be a collection site, but to match every single food donation that comes in. That’s two for the price of one, all going to The Cluster. 

Positively Pottstown would like to team up with other locations in Pottstown. Let me know if you want to be a collection site, and I will get the word out to readers and Facebook friends.

I should note here that food items are not the only things in demand. We’re also putting a special focus on laundry detergent – it’s expensive and it’s something that tends to drop in priority when children are hungry… but kids want to go to school in fresh-smelling clothes. So please consider picking up an extra bottle of detergent the next time you’re shopping. We’re hoping to collect 1,000 bottles of detergent before all is said and done.

Now, it’s up to you. Positively Pottstown has many readers and Facebook friends outside of Pottstown. Whatever community you live in, please consider finding the food pantry, bloggers, and businesses that are taking part in our Fill the Media Lab initiative and make a donation soon. Or, since this campaign is running through Lent, consider a weekly donation. There’s a tradition of giving things up for Lent and then there’s plain, old-fashioned giving. We all thank you in advance for your support.

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities
57 N. Franklin Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
The Cluster welcomes all cash, food, and clothing donations between the hours of 8:30am-12:00 Monday through Friday. Please come to the back door off the alley.

Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches
300 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 (in the Farmers’ Market)
Open Tuesday-Saturday
Tuesday-Wednesday: 11am-6 pm
Thursday-Saturday: 8:30 am-6 pm

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