Hill School, Hobart’s Run recognize leaders
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.