Save the date for 2nd Annual Pottstown Cluster golf tournament

Save The Date!

The 2nd Annual Pottstown Cluster Charity golf tournament will take place on Thursday, May 10th with a noon tee-off!

This event features a shotgun scramble format, putting contest, prizes, lunch, reception & dinner.

Men, women, golfers and duffers are all invited to have a super time while raising funds for disadvantaged children and their families in our community. 
Remember, if you register your foursome under your church, you are eligible to compete for the “Church Challenge Cup” (won last year by Mercy &Truth Synagogue!)

WBZH getting ready to launch Phase 3

Yesterday I had the chance to catch up with Dave Devlin, Program Director for The Buzz, WBZH 1370 AM. The Buzz is the Pottstown area’s only local radio station and it’s poised to launch Phase 3 of their plan to bring back and expand community radio in a big way for the tri-county region.

Phase 1 involved getting the station back on the air just over a year ago, after 1370 went silent for about a year.

Phase 2 involved a name and identity change from WPAZ to WBZH, The Buzz.

And now, Phase 3 –  which I actually can’t specify just yet! – will soon position the station to serve the community in a way that’s totally unique for a radio/TV station anywhere.

On February 7th The Buzz will hold a press conference, including local bloggers, to announce their new campaign, and on February 9th it will swing into action. Stay tuned here and online at wbzh.net or on the radio at 1370 AM. Catch The Buzz!

 

Wellness Foundation Helps Community Garden Grow

The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount of $30,000 to the Preservation Pottstown/Mosaic Community Land Trust to build Pottstown’s first community garden at 423 Chestnut Street. The Foundation’s grant will allow for the construction of up to 42 raised beds for planting and the installation of fencing, paths, a trellis, rain barrels, compost bins, benches, and a play area for children.

“We are honored and grateful to receive this grant from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, which will allow us to complete Pottstown’s first community garden this spring,” said David Jackson, President of Mosaic Community Land Trust. “The garden will greatly increase access to healthy foods and already has many supporters in Pottstown and surrounding communities.”

Community gardens are a growing trend particularly in vacant lots in urban areas. They are viewed not only as a way for people who have limited access to full-service supermarkets for fresh produce to improve their nutrition, but also as a way for neighborhood residents to reconnect. Residents pay a small annual membership fee and are given a small plot in which to grow vegetables and flowers. Educational workshops will teach members how to garden and what tasks need to be completed throughout the entire growing season. Jackson noted, “Some of the additional benefits of a community garden include: improving the quality of life for neighborhood residents, stimulating social interaction, beautification of the neighborhood, and improving opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education.”

A key to the success of a community garden is the development of partnerships. Jackson includes as Mosaic’s partners for this project: Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, Borough of Pottstown, Pottstown School District, Genesis Housing Corporation, Susquehanna Bank, Lowes, Davey Tree Experts, Lointerhome, and many individual donors and volunteers.

The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation enhances the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles. The Foundation was formed in July 2003 with the proceeds obtained from the sale of the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Non-profits interested in learning more about the Foundation’s grants program and application process should visit their website at www.pottstownfoundation.org. For great ideas on how to create a healthy lifestyle for you and your family, check out their online community, Mission Healthy Living, at www.missionhealthyliving.org

“Year of the Young Woman” kicks off on Jan. 21 at Pottstown YWCA

Life is generational by nature. So is the generation gap. The YWCA Tri-County Area invites women of all ages to attend “Bridging the Gap”, the first in a series of workshops provided during 2012, “Year of the Young Woman”. This series of events and opportunities will highlight the cohesion and shared promise of women reaching their full potential.

 

According to Andrea Primas, YWCA Tri-County Area Executive Director, “A girl’s passage from childhood to adulthood is often uncertain and confusing. Women face tremendous challenges today as well as numerous, unprecedented opportunities. The YWCA’s goal is to address these issues, and provide women of all ages with the means to thrive and live competent, confident, capable lives.”

 

Bridging the Gap will be an insightful panel discussion that will include both young and seasoned women. The program will facilitate cooperation and understanding between women of different ages and cultures. It will create a synergistic relationship between women as they recognize their mutual interdependence by connecting the wisdom of some, with the enthusiasm of others.

 

“Panelists will consist of multigenerational women from our local community as they share and relate their experiences and the importance of communication,” states Sharon Basile, Board President of the YWCA Tri-County Area.

 

The panel discussion and light tea will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the YWCA Tri-County Area, 315 King Street, Pottstown. Attendance is FREE, but reservations are required. To attend, call the YWCA at 610-323-1888 to register.

 

The YWCA has designated 2012 as the “Year of the Young Woman”. Future programs will focus on topics such as Journaling, Body Image, Non-Traditional Careers, Cyber Bullying and Stalking, Go Green, and Advocacy.

 

About the YWCA:  The YWCA Tri-County Area has been serving the Pottstown and surrounding communities for over 100 years. Their mission to eliminate racism and empower women is achieved through programs and services such as Child Care, Adult Literacy, Women EXCEL and their Healthy Choices program for teenage girls.

 

 About the Year of the Young Woman – 2012:  In keeping with the YWCA USA;’s focus on engaging a new generation (30 & Under), the Year of the Young Woman (12-30), sponsored by the YWCA Tri-County Area, is a series of events and opportunities to connect younger and seasoned women. The experiences will facilitate cooperation and understanding between women of different ages and cultures, and create a synergistic relationship between women as we recognize our mutual interdependence, connecting the wisdom of some to the zeal of others.

 

“No country can get ahead if it leaves half of its population behind,” International Women’s Day, 2011.

 

To be part of building a relational bridge, or for more information about the YWCA Tri-County Area, please call 610-323-1888 or visit them online at www.ywcatricountryarea.org.

 

 

Eating healthy on a budget

Editor’s note: Positively!Pottstown periodically posts articles from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. During the holiday season it may seem difficult to eat healthy, let alone eat healthy on a budget, but this article provides some inspiration and strategies sure to help you and your family throughout the year.

EATING HEALTHY WHILE ON A BUDGET:

ADVICE WHEN APPROACHING FOOD SHOPPING

By: David Kraybill, Executive Director, Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation

The grocery store has become a complex labyrinth of possibility, especially for families who desire healthy food on a smart budget. According to the Food Marketing Institute, the average number of items carried by a traditional grocery at the end of 2010 was a whopping 38,718. As consumers, we crave the concept of choice but are quickly overwhelmed by the multitude of options at our fingertips.

Having an exorbitant number of options may seem like a small worry; however, budget continues to challenge families who visit the grocery stores on average nearly twice per week.  According to the latest projections by the US government, grocery prices are expected to climb between 4% and 5% by the end of 2011. Many operate under the assumption that eating healthy equates to spending money. Therefore, a 5% price hike may hinder healthy decisions in favor of what is on sale or featured in coupons. Suddenly all of those options lead to bad decisions in the name of saving money.

Health and wellness are intrinsically linked to maintaining a sense of happiness, yet achieving them at a time of uncertainty leads to questionable behavior, even while grocery shopping. The past couple of years have encouraged consumers to hone their spending skills. Generally speaking, a smaller percentage of Americans are willing to spend on quality, unless they’re given good reason. For families, the fact that childhood obesity rates have been termed a national epidemic is just one reason to make smart and healthful choices in the grocery, as well as the kitchen.

It all begs the question: Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget? With a little dedication, the answer is yes! First, consider your resources:

Plan ahead. The thought of planning your excursions to traditional supermarkets may seem like an unappealing step if you are not accustomed to it, but a little thoughtful strategy can go a long way. Generally, we crave instant gratification. When food shopping, it is easy to succumb to impulse purchases, which elevate expenses and usually equate to unhealthy prepared foods. A list gives consumers a sense of direction and purpose when navigating the aisles. In addition, consult, but don’t rely on, weekly flyers and coupons. Whereas they offer competitive pricing, they do not always pay attention to the healthiest choices. And just because you have coupons do not feel the need to use them. Especially if the foods are not something you normally use or are for unhealthy items.

Enjoy variety. While many of us call the traditional grocery our main source when food shopping, a plethora of options exist for consideration. For instance, farmers markets and roadside stands sell locally-grown produce, while specialty stores and mass retailers create a competitive market. Though it may take away some of the efficiency of the one-stop-shopping experience, it does create potential for more robust savings. It is all a matter of simply knowing your community.

Do-it-yourself. More Americans are returning to their gardens as a means of growing their own organic produce. The fresher the better; processed foods may seem enticing, but they lack the nourishment meant to support a smart diet. For families, gardening offers an engaging project that emphasizes and educates all members on the importance of healthy living. Also, consider the benefits of canning or freezing your produce, whether home-grown or store-bought. The laws of supply and demand dictate that seasonal foods have the potential to be less expensive. You may enjoy fresh produce throughout the year, just by thinking ahead, stocking up and preserving foods when pricing is right.

Eating smart. Americans love their fast food lifestyle. A diet that includes increased levels of refined flour, sugar, salt and fat, coupled with a decrease in physical activity has taken its toll on our collective well-being. According to recent comments by Dr. Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “The typical American diet is promoting major health problems, causing serious environmental pollution and unintentionally creating poor working conditions for those who harvest, process and prepare our food.”

In addition to improving shopping techniques, budget-conscious consumers must also consider how to eat smart and watch out for the foods that miss the healthy mark. Some suggestions:

  •  Eat less meat. Experts suggest that Americans indulge in their passion for meat more often than they should. By reducing intake, it is possible to invest in better quality meats to balance additional costs. Additionally, incorporating other sources of protein, such as poultry or beans, creates a more well-rounded diet.
  • Consider whole grains. Whether bread, cereal or pasta, steer clear of refined or white flour in favor of whole grains. As is the case with fruits and vegetables, whole grains offer a bevy of necessary vitamins and minerals to support a balanced diet.
  • Buy bulk in moderation. There is a difference between buying bulk paper supplies versus fresh fruits and vegetables. Unless you plan to preserve, can or freeze for later use, often produce will go to waste in refrigerators. Also, pay careful attention to expiration dates. Americans are especially guilty of throwing away spoiled food, with estimates suggesting anywhere from 25% to 40% of food purchased being disposed of annually.
  • Walk the perimeters. The adage is true – fresh food and baked goods typically line the outside edge of grocery stores, while processed and junk foods take up aisle space. Keep focused on your list and take to the aisles sparingly.
  • Drink more water. Sugary beverages equal empty calories and can easily raise your grocery tab. Water is essential, and in the best scenario, tap water is free.
  • Mix and match. Fashion stylists suggest that you need only a handful of items to create a versatile wardrobe. The same is true for food preparation. By planning ahead of time, you can outline family meals that stem from a standard group of healthy ingredients, while still offering the variety you crave.
  • Snack responsibly. It’s inevitable that snack foods will find their way into our grocery baskets. By including healthy snacks, as well as an indulgence or two, on your list, you can curb detrimental and pricy impulse purchases. 

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Making just a few behavioral shifts will strike the right balance between feeding your family responsibly while remaining on a budget. 

About the Foundation – 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 www.pottstownfoundation.org for more information about the Foundation. Discover Pottstown area’s new online community at www.missionhealthyliving.org to learn and share great information on how to lead a healthier life!

Ballroom on High offers Zumba toning class – sign up now!

NEW! ZUMBA TONING – FIVE WEEK SESSION With REMI AND STAR INSTRUCTING!
  
Tuesdays 6:00pm(1 hour) (5 week series) 01/3/12 – 01/31/12  

$50

Ballroom on High in Pottstown, 310 E. High Street, 2nd Floor.

*Limited to 25 students. Must have or purchase ZUMBA brand toning sticks $20 (1 pound), $25 (2.5 pounds). To REGISTER and buy sticks for this class, contact STAR @ 215-920-4511 or purchase at our regular classes. Cash or check only.  

Squeeze in a visit to a park before the sun goes down!

Monacacy Hill Rec Area

It is an absolutely gorgeous day! If you’re reading this, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to enjoy one of the area’s many fabulous parks, playgrounds and trails before the next hurricane or snowstorm hits!

Please visit our Parks & Rec page to see where all the parks are in Pottstown and the surrounding area.

Last fall, Rosemary Keane and I visited all of them and blogged about them for the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. We found so many gems, and trust that you and your family have, too. These pages have gotten lots of hits over the past year, and we encourage you to keep checking them out and discovering the great outdoor resources that our section of southeastern Pennsylvania has to offer.

Schuylkill River Festival now underway – don’t miss it!

Schuylkill River Festival

Saturday, October 8, 2011
11 AM to 4 PM

Come to the Park for a day filled with music, art, food, and educational experiences.

Join us for Free, Family Experience
5th Annual Schuylkill River Festival
Riverfront Park and College Drive
Montgomery County Community College
Pottstown, PA 19464

Open House

Visit the College Exhibit and learn about programs and opportunities at the Montgomery County Community College.

Children’s Activities

Moon bounce, crafts, horse and carriage rides, wildlife exhibits and more!

Music Festival

Live Music on the Downey Amphitheatre stage from 11 AM to 4 PM. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the show!

Arts and Crafts

  • View and purchase wares from great local and regional artists
  • View the “Scenes of the Schuylkill” Art show in the gallery at MCCC North Hall
  • Vendor applications still being accepted.—Application

Recreational Opportunities in the Park

  • Bike
  • Fish
  • Kayak or Canoe
  • Geocache

Community Information

Learn about opportunities and services offered right in your community!

Educational Opportunities

  • Native American Dancing and Displays
  • Cultural Exhibits from Various Groups
  • Environmental Conservation and Preservation Displays and Information

Food, Food, and More Food!!!

A great variety of sandwiches, desserts and more!

Platinum Level Sponsors

  • The Borough of Pottstown
  • Exelon Energy
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Pottstown Mercury

Schuylkill River Festival happens once a year… this Saturday!

Schuylkill River Festival

Saturday, October 8, 2011
11 AM to 4 PM

Come to the Park for a day filled with music, art, food, and educational experiences.

Join us for Free, Family Experience
5th Annual Schuylkill River Festival
Riverfront Park and College Drive
Montgomery County Community College
Pottstown, PA 19464

Open House

Visit the College Exhibit and learn about programs and opportunities at the Montgomery County Community College.

Children’s Activities

Moon bounce, crafts, horse and carriage rides, wildlife exhibits and more!

Music Festival

Live Music on the Downey Amphitheatre stage from 11 AM to 4 PM. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the show!

Arts and Crafts

  • View and purchase wares from great local and regional artists
  • View the “Scenes of the Schuylkill” Art show in the gallery at MCCC North Hall
  • Vendor applications still being accepted.—Application

Recreational Opportunities in the Park

  • Bike
  • Fish
  • Kayak or Canoe
  • Geocache

Community Information

Learn about opportunities and services offered right in your community!
Vendor applications still being accepted.—Application

Educational Opportunities

  • Native American Dancing and Displays
  • Cultural Exhibits from Various Groups
  • Environmental Conservation and Preservation Displays and Information

Food, Food, and More Food!!!

A great variety of sandwiches, desserts and more!
Food Vendor applications still being accepted.—Application

Platinum Level Sponsors

  • The Borough of Pottstown
  • Exelon Energy
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Pottstown Mercury

Many Exciting Sponsorship Opportunities Available! Contact 610-718-1847 for details.

Fall Festival and Pet Fair downtown this Saturday

Pottstown’s First Annual Pet Fair will take place downtown tomorrow, Saturday, September 24 from 9 AM to 2 PM. The Pet Fair will be located in Smith Family Plaza in front of Pottstown Borough Hall.

The Fall Festival will include a massive community yard sale, which is on from 8 am – noon so get up early and head downtown to catch the best deals and find that special something you never knew you needed!

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