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.

Hill School artist to showcase glass creations this Sunday

The Hill School is once again on Pottstown’s Historic House Tour, but this year there will be a special open house taking place at the Center for the Arts at 860 Beech Street. Hill’s Director of Security – and fellow girls’ basketball coach! – will be showcasing his glass-making and poetry. Please stop by to see this multi-talented artist in action and support The Mercury’s Operation Holiday.  See below for details in the press release provided by The Hill…

On Sunday, December 8th from 2pm to 7pm, Glass Tears founder Randal S. Doaty will be holding an open house at the Center for the Arts at the Hill School located at 860 Beech Street in Pottstown. Doaty is a local glass artist and poet who will be showcasing his Glass Tears creations and poetry, as well as selling his custom Glass Tears Christmas tree ornaments to visitors.

Doaty will be handcrafting special Christmas Tears ornaments with his flame working torch to sell as a fundraising effort. All of the proceeds from the sale of his custom creations will go to benefit the Pottstown Mercury’s Operation Holidays to benefit local families at Christmas. These special ornaments will only be sold at this special Open House event and are not available for sale at the Glass Tears webstore.

The Mercury’s stories of families facing difficult challenges during the holiday season inspired Doaty to offer his unique gifts to raise money for this local effort. Randal Doaty is currently the Director of Security at the Hill School. He is also known throughout the community as a real estate business man and former Chief of Police. On Sunday he will put on his artist’s hat and share another side.

The Glass Tears concept was born when Doaty noticed a scrap of glass sparkling in the sunlight in a scrap glass bucket at Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. He remembers thinking “glass tear” when he saw glass dropping during a visit to the studio. Weeks later, Doaty commissioned his long-time friend and fellow glass artist Will Dexter to create a similar free standing glass teardrop as a sympathy gift for a good friend.

The original glass teardrop Dexter created was beautiful, but it had no voice. Doaty decided to pen the very first poem he had ever written entitled “Glass Tears”. The union of the glass art and the poetry became a winning combination. Others who saw the unique sympathy gift began to order them and the Glass Tears business was born. To date Doaty had written more than 400 Glass Tears poems and has also published his first book of poetry.

The original intent of the Glass Tears gift was an expression of sympathy, but today these gifts are used for a wide range of occasions. “Tears are the punctuation marks in life’s most powerful moments” says Doaty. His glass art and poetry are now used to convey messages of courage, hope, faith, joy, sorrow, friendship, thanks and much more. These special keepsakes have been sold around the world and as far away as Australia and Africa.

The special Christmas tree ornaments that Doaty will be crafting on Sunday are his special occasion tears represented by their unique colors glass. He has an emerald tear of hope, a blue Christmas teardrop for grief support, a purple tear of courage, a pink breast cancer battle tear, an ivory tear of love or faith, plus several more. He even has a black onyx “Biker’s Tear” that has become popular with motorcycle enthusiasts.

The ornaments and decorative hangers will sell for $15 each or two for $25. They will only be sold as fast as he can handcraft them at the event or while his supplies last. This is a great opportunity to help local families who cannot afford a special holiday of their own. Doaty hopes to inspire other local businesses to step in and support the Operation Holiday during these difficult economic times.

 

Pottstown’s Annual Sidewalk Sale this Saturday

Please check out The Mercury’s recent article (partially re-printed below) about Pottstown’s Annual Sidewalk Sale, coming up this Saturday.

Summer is time for savings in downtown Pottstown, especially this Saturday, July 20th,

when the annual Sidewalk Sale takes to the streets from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Main Street Manager Sheila Dugan, the day will include offers from more than 40 downtown merchants, as well as face painting, a visit from Rainbow the Clown and collections of Pottstown School uniforms.

Demonstrations will be provided by CrossFit at 21 N. Hanover St. at 12:45, 2:45 and again at 4 p.m.

Also providing demonstrations at 307 E. High St. will be Red Cloud Kung Fu at 12, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Read more here:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/pottstown-merchants-will-take-the-streets-saturday-0/1

Remembering Don Seeley, longtime Mercury sports editor

For more than three decades, Don Seeley covered area sports in The Mercury, notably football and wrestling. He was the recipient of numerous awards and touched the lives of thousands of young athletes whose stories and accomplishments he chronicled. He himself beat the odds and was a survivor of Stage 4 throat cancer. Don passed away yesterday morning, at the age of 62, while golfing at Lederach Golf Club in Harleysville. Condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends, and all those who mourn his passing. May he rest in peace.

The Mercury’s coverage can be found here.

A Mercury article with tributes and remembrances can be found here.

Montco Commissioners Give-and-Take with Pottstown Residents

This past Monday night Montgomery County Commissioners and the higher-ups in several County agencies were on hand at Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown to talk about what they’ve done since taking office and to answer questions and hear residents’ concerns.

Evan Brandt’s article in yesterday’s Mercury provides a nice summary. Public employee pensions, the state of Route 422, the potential for gerrymandering, the ongoing challenges of revitalization, the concentration of social services and the people they serve, and the effects of the concentration of housing vouchers in Pottstown were all up for discussion. The Commissioners were well-prepared and promised to provide follow-up information to numerous citizens.

One of the brightest moments of the meeting came when Shanae Roberts, the President of the West Campus student body announced the figures for the amount of community service provided by the College over the past four years. It was encouraging to see a young person at the meeting, participating in the give-and-take of democracy! Ms. Roberts reported the following:

Between 2008-2012, MCCC has reached out to the community with 3,695 volunteers putting in more than 33,700 hours with 117 partnering opportunities. This amounted to over $100,529 in monetary donations. In 2012 the College had the highest number of volunteers to date with over 918 volunteers contributing 15,500 hours of service to 28 partner organizations, including the Norristown Police Athletic League, Olivet Boys and Girls Club, Miller Keystone & American Red Cross Blood Drives, and Project Linues. An estimated $38,300 in monetary donations was raised.

Not only is the West Campus proving to be an important revitalization partner as it rehabilitates and re-uses historic buildings in town, but there is also a strong culture of developing and sustaining connections in the community. Thanks to MCCC for hosting this meeting, which had a very strong turnout, perhaps an indication of a new core constituency that believes in a better Pottstown and is impatient for change.

The Mercury has posted my blog entry about YWCA’s Literacy Program!

Check out the link HERE.

Remember: Clicking through to the YWCA’s Literacy Program support page and plugging in your valid email address will result in a $1 donation going to the Y’s literacy activities from an anonymous donor. Your email will not be used by the Y or anyone else to solicit you!

Please show your support today for helping others in our community learn to read and write and take on the world!

Anonymous donor to support YWCA Literacy Programs with your help!

A campaign to boost the literacy programming at the Pottstown YWCA began this past week and runs through December 11th. Here’s how it works:

The Mercury and several of their  Town Square bloggers, including Positively Pottstown, are talking about literacy – reading and writing. We’re including this link for our readers to click on. It takes you to a page that looks like the one shown at the bottom of this post. When you type in your valid email address, an anonymous donor will give $1 to the Pottstown YWCA literacy programs. It couldn’t be easier! (And please tell them that Positively Pottstown sent you. :-))

In case it hasn’t been obvious by now, I’m a big fan of reading and writing. I’ve been actively writing short stories, novels, memoir, essays, and poetry since about 1996, and I have been an active reader all my life. I still keep my Nancy Drew collection close at hand.

As a teen I went through, yes, a Harlequin Romance phase – boxes and boxes of them during the summer months when there was a used book store in the North End Shopping Center. You could turn a box in for credit and cart home the next batch. Then there was all that college reading, although that’s all a bit fuzzy now…

As a full-fledged adult, though, I’ve been through a Willa Cather phase, a Jack Kerouac phase, a Dawn Powell phase, and an extended journey through American road trip stories. There are tons of them – fiction and nonfiction. Quite recently, I went on a Flannery O’Connor jag and moseyed through The Complete Stories, a National Book Award winner. If I had to recommend just one story for you to read, it would have to be “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” It is taut and chilling.

What I love best about getting to know an author’s work is that it always seems to lead me to find out more about their own lives. Understanding where they grew up, what their family life was like, and what made them tick as a human being leads to all sorts of fascinating connections and a better understanding of their writing. For instance, Flannery O’Connor’s Catholicism  greatly influenced her work, but she also had some major mother-issues! The mother characters in her stories are usually really irritating and often wind up dead. O’Connor suffered from lupus and lived at home with her mother until her premature death in 1964 at the age of 39.

Well, I could go on and on… the thing is, if you, too, have been touched by some great books, please give others in the Pottstown area the chance to experience the same thrill of seeing a story unfold on the page and in their imaginations. Click here, plug in your email and let that anonymous donor give $1 on your behalf to the Pottstown YWCA’s literacy programs. You will be helping to  write a great big happy ending for this campaign!

 

Elvis Tribute Show at Elks Lodge #814 to benefit Mercury’s Operation Holiday

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
On December 1, 2012, BACK BY POPULAR DEMANDAND TO BENEFIT THE MERCURY’S OPERATION HOLIDAY: 
Elvis In Concert Tribute & Dance! Jeff Krick returns to the Pottstown Elks Lodge #814 for this special event.
Tickets only $ 20.00 each. Doors opening at 6:30pm and show time 7:00 – 11:00pm.
For tickets and information contact Tom Coyle at 610-306-9361 or the  Elks at 610-326-3258.
Many saw Jeff as the headlining performer at this year’s 4th of July celebration in Memorial Park.  Hope to see you there for this great cause and fun night!
The Pottstown Elks Lodge #814 is located at 61 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA.
100% of the net proceeds will be donated to The Pottstown Mercury’s “Operation Holiday,” which provides food and gift cards to the less fortunate.
 
 

 

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