Hill School, Ho­bart’s Run rec­og­nize lead­ers

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

POTTSTOWN » Twelve com­mu­nity lead­ers were rec­og­nized by Ho­bart’s Run and The Hill School last week, dur­ing an af­ter­noon re­cep­tion on Hill’s cam­pus hosted by Ho­bart’s Run.

Twila Fisher, direc­tor of Ho­bart’s Run com­mu­nity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, kicked off the event by thank­ing the “re­mark­able, hard-work­ing, op­ti­mistic” peo­ple she has met in Pottstown in her 2½ years of ser­vice to Ho­bart’s Run.

She noted she has lived and worked in nu­mer­ous lo­ca­tions, from New York and Philadel­phia to Mi­ami and Mex­ico City, and that her Pottstown in­ter­ac­tions have been the most in­spir­ing.

Zachary Lehman, head­mas­ter of The Hill School, joined in thank­ing the more than 60 com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives in at­ten­dance be­fore in­tro­duc­ing rel­a­tively new Ho­bart’s Run staff mem­bers: Cathy Sk­itko, direc­tor of in­sti­tu­tional pub­lic re­la­tions and Ho­bart’s Run com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and Stephanie Trauner, part­time ad­min­is­tra­tive direc­tor.

Lehman stated that this in­crease in per­son­nel demon­strates The Hill’s com­mit­ment to the Ho­bart’s Run neigh­bor­hood im­prove­ment ini­tia­tive as well as to the Bor­ough of Pottstown, adding that the Ho­bart’s Run team is no­tably pas­sion­ate about serv­ing the com­mu­nity.

Ho­bart’s Run’s fo­cused neigh­bor­hood projects and tan­gi­ble suc­cesses are “meant to also make an im­pact through­out Pottstown,” Sk­itko said, em­pha­siz­ing that Ho­bart’s Run’s work in­volves part­ner­ships with many other or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Pottstown Area In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment, Inc. (PAID) and the Pottstown Down­town Im­prove­ment District Au­thor­ity (PDIDA).

Her role — a new one that fol­lows 21 years as The Hill School’s Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and many years as a Pottstown vol­un­teer — al­lows her to fo­cus on shar­ing and am­pli­fy­ing pos­i­tive stories re­lated to the com­mu­nity’s on­go­ing re­vi­tal­iza­tion.

“By con­sis­tently telling these stories,” she said, “we can at­tract more qual­ity, re­spon­si­ble de­vel­op­ers, home­own­ers, and res­i­dents who are ex­cited about par­tic­i­pat­ing in Ho­bart’s Run’s mis­sion and in Pottstown as a whole.”

She shared a list of more re­cent ac­com­plish­ments achieved specif­i­cally through the Ho­bart’s Run ini­tia­tive, in­clud­ing the July con­tri­bu­tion of $5,000 to­ward main­te­nance of Edge­wood Ceme­tery and on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive work for that cause; cre­ation of a Pottstown Area So­cial In­no­va­tion Lab that will in­volve Pottstown School District and Hill stu­dents; and up­com­ing launches of two sep­a­rate façade im­prove­ment in­cen­tive and home­own­er­ship in­cen­tive pro­grams.

The event then turned to pre­sen­ta­tion of a dozen awards for com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, based upon nom­i­na­tions shared by area res­i­dents with Ho­bart’s Run or­ga­niz­ers.

Also, recog­ni­tion was given to the late Bill Sharon, a long­time Bor­ough em­ployee and a vol­un­teer for nu­mer­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions, in par­tic­u­lar EcoFest, the Pottstown Pet Fair, and cat res­cue agency CatNAPS.

The Com­mu­nity Lead­ers Award re­cip­i­ents, most of whom were in at­ten­dance, were as fol­lows:

• The Rev. Wil­liam and the Rev. Dr. Rosina Ball, for their work in Ho­bart’s Run through Mount Olive Bap­tist Church. The pas­tors serve as quad­rant cap­tains for Ho­bart’s Run, help­ing with clean-ups and other projects, and the Rev. Dr. Rosina Ball is a mem­ber of the Ho­bart’s Run Board of Di­rec­tors.

• Lit­tle Italy’s restau­rant owner Rocky Citrino, a busi­ness owner within Ho­bart’s Run who gives gen­er­ously to events con­nected to Ho­bart’s Run, in­clud­ing the 5K Ram Run which raises funds for com­mu­nity pro­gram­ming.

• Andrew Monas­tra, for his tire­less work for The Edge­wood His­toric Ceme­tery or­ga­ni­za­tion and his per­sonal com­mit­ment to main­tain­ing the ceme­tery.

• Randy Doaty, also for his role in cre­at­ing The Edge­wood His­toric Ceme­tery or­ga­ni­za­tion, as well as his ser­vice to the Pottstown Clus­ter’s UP3 Un­der­stand­ing Poverty pro­gram.

• Melody and Scott Hart­man, ded­i­cated Ho­bart’s Run vol­un­teers. Melody also is a block cap­tain and Ho­bart’s Run board mem­ber.

• Stephanie and Matt Sun­der­meir of Ninja Prop­er­ties, LLC, for their work in ren­o­vat­ing a 17-unit res­i­den­tial prop­erty in Ho­bart’s Run and their on­go­ing con­tri­bu­tions to re­spon­si­ble, qual­ity prop­erty re­de­vel­op­ment in Pottstown.

• Johnny Cor­son, pres­i­dent of the NAACP lo­cal chap­ter, for his com­mu­nity ac­tivism. His ef­forts have helped to mo­bi­lize Pottstown cit­i­zens in causes rang­ing from the Rick­ett’s Cen­ter and a vigil to ad­dress the vi­o­lence that shook the nation in Char­lottesville in Au­gust 2017, to sav­ing the Pottstown YMCA. Johnny also is the fa­ther of Hill grad­u­ate Johnny Cor­son ‘11. Ac­cept­ing this award on Cor­son’s be­half was Han­nah Davis, also a NAACP mem­ber and an ac­tivist through or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing Triske­les.

• Amy Fran­cis, or­ga­nizer for the Pottstown GoFourth! Fes­ti­val and pres­i­dent of the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion for the Pottstown School District.

• Amy Wolf, or­ga­nizer for the Pottstown GoFourth! Fes­ti­val, vol­un­teer at Tem­ple Mercy and Truth, and vol­un­teer for Girls With Guts. Amy also is the mother of Hill stu­dent Har­ri­son Wolf ‘19.

• The Gu­lati Fam­ily, ac­cepted by Chuck and Jen­nifer Gu­lati, in thanks for their fam­ily busi­ness’s de­ci­sion to pur­chase and ren­o­vate the Pottstown YMCA, an ac­tion that saved the Y from be­ing closed and its essen­tial com­mu­nity pro­grams be­ing dis­placed or lost. The Gu­latis are the par­ents of Hill stu­dents Alexan­dria ‘19 and Casey ‘21.

• Stacey Wood­land of the YWCA, in honor of the YWCA’s pro­grams rang­ing from high school equiv­a­lency and other ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams to its recog­ni­tion of ex­cep­tional women in the Pottstown com­mu­nity.

• Ali­son Scott, a be­hind-the-scenes vol­un­teer at Franklin El­e­men­tary School, for her ded­i­ca­tion to Pottstown stu­dents through con­tri­bu­tions to the year­book, cre­ation of a “buddy bench” at the school, art projects, and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

This ar­ti­cle first ap­peared as a post in The Dig­i­tal Note­book blog.

Re­ceiv­ing or ac­cept­ing Ho­bart’s Run’s Pottstown Com­mu­nity Lead­ers Awards (among other re­cip­i­ents) are, from left: Amy Fran­cis; Amy Wolf; Stephanie Sun­der­meir; Jen­nifer and Chuck Gu­lati; Rosina and Wil­liam Ball; Han­nah Davis (ac­cept­ing an award on be­half of Johnny Cor­son); and Rocky Citrino.

Cathy Sk­itko, Stephanie Trauner, and Twila Fisher in front of the Ho­bart’s Run of­fice at 701 E. High Street

Pottstown com­mu­nity lead­ers and other friends gath­ered re­cently on the pa­tio of the Me­mo­rial Room of The Hill School li­brary for a re­cep­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion of awards hon­or­ing vol­un­teers and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

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