Steinman Family Foundations Merge, Form One Of The Largest Philanthropic Forces In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Uniting to be a stronger force for good in the community, two Steinman family foundations are now one.

Tuesday, the James Hale Steinman Foundation and the John Frederick Steinman Foundation, operating separately for 62 years, became simply the Steinman Foundation.

The new charitable organization, with combined assets of more than $85 million, will be one of the largest private foundations in the area, certainly the largest in Lancaster County.

The mission of the foundations has always been to improve the quality of life for people who live here.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/steinman-family-foundations-merge-form-one-of-the-largest-philanthropic/article_5105ba3e-aed1-11e3-928f-001a4bcf6878.html

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Hill’s Student Philanthropy Council Now Accepting RFPs For Grant Program

Editor’s note: This is way cool! Nice give back to the Greater Pottstown Community :)

The Hill School is now accepting applications from Pottstown-area nonprofit organizations for its Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) grant program.  Interested organizations may download and submit a Request for Proposal.   View and print a PDF of the Request for Proposal here.  Completed applications must be submitted by Thursday, January 20, 2014.

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.

Last year, representatives of the SPC presented a total of $10,000, to four local organizations: 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 is comprised of 12 students – including co-presidents Sanobar Shaikh ’14 and Omeed Alidadi ’14 – who meet once a week to study the process of philanthropy and visit the sites of various organizations.  Mrs. Amy Lehman, Hill’s experiential education coordinator, is the faculty adviser to the group. SPC members are chosen based on the quality of their applications, interviews, and their sincere ability to commit time to the group.

Campbell’s CEO Vows Commitment To Camden

Logo of Campbell's Soup Company

Logo of Campbell’s Soup Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to keynote speakers, the International Economic Development Council’s choice of Denise Morrison Tuesday was inspired.

There are few Fortune 500 CEOs as uniquely qualified to speak about bolstering a ‘ backyard as Morrison, who is now two years into a tour of duty as head of Campbell Soup Co.

As Campbell’s CEO, she has remained committed to keeping the retail food giant squarely in the corner of its struggling hometown.

“I believe in the future of Camden,” she told a packed IEDC conference at the Philadelphia Marriott, “and so does Campbell.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131009_Campbell_s_CEO_vows_commitment_to_Camden.html#DmlPC4oGU644ehpE.99

Booming Greater Berks Food Bank Considers Bigger Home

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Greater Berks Food Bank has seen its demand triple in the 18 years the organization has been in its Muhlenberg Township warehouse, and officials are eager to expand the facility or move into a larger building.

A feasibility study, initiated in June, is expected to wrap up this month and provide an idea of what that would cost.

“We simply are out of space and cannot do more at our current location,” executive director Peg Bianca said of the 19,500-square-foot warehouse off Tuckerton Road.

“We are constantly moving pallets of food out of the way to get to the products on the pallet behind them,” Bianca added, “and have been storing some of our inventory off site as well.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=501724

Anne Beiler (Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Founder) Is A ‘Secret Millionaire’

She called herself a country girl.  Growing up Amish is about as country as it gets.

Anne Beiler said she never lived in a city, but in August 2011 she spent five days in one of the poorest sections of Baltimore.

“Five days is not long, but it is long enough to get a feel for city life,” said Beiler, who will be featured on Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC’s “Secret Millionaire.”

In a unique twist, Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, lived on Washington Street in East Baltimore —one of the most unsafe areas in the city — and worked with people and organizations in need of her help.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/878087_Anne-Beiler-is-a–Secret-Millionaire-.html#ixzz2akO1mPV6

Laura Bush Foundation Grant To Barth Elementary Is Only One In PA

First Lady Laura Bush observes a fifth grade m...

First Lady Laura Bush observes a fifth grade math class at Lovejoy Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Barth Elementary School has received a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, the only school in all of Pennsylvania to receive a grant from the former First Lady’s foundation.

Principal Ryan Oxenford was recently notified of the award.

In 2013, the foundation awarded over $1 million in grants to schools to update and diversify their library book collections.

“This is an incredible opportunity to expand the resources in our library.  The grant approval could not have come at a better time with the unveiling of our newly renovated library this fall,” said Oxenford.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130705/NEWS01/130709680/laura-bush-foundation-grant-to-barth-is-only-one-in-pa

Volunteers Needed

The 3rd Annual TriCounty Community Career Fair will be held on Wednesday, May 22nd at Sunnybrook Ballroom.  We anticipate upwards of 80 employers participating and a large community presence at the event!  TCN is looking for volunteers who can give an hour or more of their time to help out at the Career Fair.  If you can help, please contact Don Stewart (dstewart@edsisolutions.com) or Tom Thunstrom (tthunstrom@pennlibertybank.comwith your availability.

Volunteers are needed from 8:30am to 3pm.  Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Lenfest Foundation Maps Out A Path To Its End

The Lenfest Foundation, one of the region’s last remaining powerhouse philanthropies, has undertaken a series of changes that will dramatically alter its leadership and mission, and effectively maps out a path to its end.

H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest has long said the foundation he and his wife, Marguerite, founded would spend itself down and cease to exist within 10 years of their deaths.  But Lenfest, 82, has decided to step down now as chairman. Philadelphia entrepreneur Keith Leaphart, 38, will complete Lenfest’s term as chairman through June 2015, heading a new eight-member board on which the Lenfests will remain members.

“We’ve decided to put the foundation into an independent board of directors, which I no longer control,” Lenfest said.  “I’m not in ill health.  I don’t believe in perpetual foundations.  We’ve given away the bulk of our wealth already, and I will have a diminished role in the future.  My success in business was finding people who were better at doing things than I was.  It’s a logical evolution.”

Since 2000, the Lenfests have given away slightly more than $1 billion through the foundation and personally, a foundation official said.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130325_Lenfest_Foundation_maps_out_a_path_to_its_end.html

Albert R. Boscov’s Impact Stretches Beyond Berks, And Beyond Business

English: Boscov's Department Store in the Exto...

English: Boscov’s Department Store in the Exton Square Mall. Built c. 1998 as an expansion to the mall, it displaced the Zook House which was on the NRHP in Chester County, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even in a city famous for its entertainers, Albert R. Boscov stands out.

Twice a year Boscov heads to Las Vegas for the country’s biggest consumer-goods trade show, held in the city’s convention center.

The building is packed with almost 3,000 vendors selling everything from diamond rings to dog food.

Boscov is one of 45,000 retailers who attend.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=456203

Foundation For Pottstown Education Outlines 2013 Goals

POTTSTOWN — As 2012 wound down to a close, the Pottstown School Board got a glimpse of what 2013 may look like — at least in terms of the plans being made by the Foundation for Pottstown Education.

Executive Director Myra Forrest outlined for the board the eight major goals the foundation has set for itself in the coming year.

Here is a brief look at those goals.

• PEAK: The foundation wants to ensure continued funding for PEAK, which stands for Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten readiness is Pottstown’s signature early education program. It partners with pre-schools and childcare providers to get youngsters read for school.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130105/NEWS01/130109773/foundation-for-pottstown-education-outlines-2013-goals#full_story

Rural Food Banks Struggle To Meet Need

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like the people they help, food pantries throughout southwestern Pennsylvania are struggling — and in some cases, failing — to make ends meet as skimpy federal food supplies, a tighter state budget, higher food prices and more needy clients strain resources.

Food banks around the region are reducing the number of fruits and vegetables they distribute, trimming or even eliminating expensive protein sources such as eggs and peanut butter from the boxes given to their clients, and in some cases, must consider scaling back their operations.

In Greene County, for instance, board members of the Waynesburg-based food bank, The Corner Cupboard, were spared Monday from slashing their food box distribution from monthly to bimonthly only after a last-minute $10,000 donation from natural gas drilling company EQT, according to board member John Jenkins.

“I don’t want to tell people we don’t have food for them, my God, but there’s just nothing we can do right now,” Mr. Jenkins said. “We’ve robbed Peter to pay Paul to try to stay afloat as it is.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/rural-food-banks-struggle-to-meet-need-653436/#ixzz26bApTVGG

Pittsburgh Foundation Bequeathed $20 Million

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The estates of identical twin sisters Jean and Nancy Davis — lifelong Pittsburghers who died within four months of each other at the age of 97 — and a former H.J. Heinz Co. executive and his wife have made two of the largest individual gifts ever received by The Pittsburgh Foundation.

The donations, announced by the foundation this week, include roughly $9 million from the Davises and $11.7 million from the late Junius Allen and his wife, Zella, who died last year at 103.  The bulk of the money is designated for the unrestricted use of the foundation, a nonprofit community foundation launched in 1945 with assets of more than $800 million.  The foundation awards grants to charitable groups in Pittsburgh and throughout the U.S.

The Pittsburgh Foundation’s largest individual donation, $50 million, came in 2010 from the late Pittsburgh chemical engineer Charles Kaufman.

“When we look behind these bequests, we see touching stories of deep affection for Pittsburgh and its people,” foundation CEO Grant Oliphant said.  “This is a great example of something that happens more frequently than we realize in Pittsburgh, where people who are born here leave an extraordinary gift to Pittsburgh.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-foundation-bequeathed-20-million-653322/#ixzz26SPodp3F

Nonprofits Give More Money, Manpower To Reading

Editor’s note:  Sometimes you just have to ask!

From a $10,000 gift to Reading police to clearing a trash-clogged storm drain, the city’s three-month effort to get more local nonprofit groups to voluntarily pay either cash or services in lieu of taxes is paying off.

The city has received $27,000 in new payments it didn’t get last year from more than a dozen churches and several other groups.

It’s also gotten more than 9,000 new volunteer work hours in more than 30 new service projects including more than two dozen cleanups – worth $65,000 at minimum wage – from local groups.

“We have received an overwhelming response,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said.

Read more:http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=409729

Braddock Mayor To Be Honored By White House As AmeriCorps Alumni

The White House Friday will honor Braddock Mayor John Fetterman as an outstanding AmeriCorps alumni who is a “Champions of Change.”

Mr. Fetterman is one of a dozen lauded for what the White House said is “leveraging their national service experience to become an influential leader in their communities.”

Mr. Fetterman, a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public policy, was placed in AmeriCorps service by the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. He moved to Braddock in 2001 to do the AmeriCorps work. Four years later he became the town’s mayor — winning the election by a single vote — and has been at the forefront of a massive effort to revitalize the once-prosperous town ever since.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-east/braddock-mayor-to-be-honored-by-white-house-as-americorps-alumni-649273/#ixzz23kIFbGM7

TriCounty Community Network To Host Program On Homeless Services

Pottstown, Pa. (November 9, 2011) – TriCounty Community Network (TCN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, social and environmental conditions in Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, today announced that its Homeless Services committee will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, November 15 from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at The Salvation Army of Greater Pottstown located at 137 King Street. 

Open to the local community, the meeting is aimed at increasing awareness of homelessness in the area and providing valuable information about how individuals and organizations can help the area’s homeless.  CADCOM (Community Action Development Commission) will sponsor the breakfast which enables local agencies to share information about their work in the surrounding counties.

“We hope to draw awareness to the homeless problem and dispel the many myths that go along with this stigma,” states Joanne Class, Aging and Adult Services Intake and Referral case manager and co-chair of the TCN Homeless Services Program committee.  “Many people do not know how wide-spread the problem is because they do not see it.  People are hiding to protect themselves and protect the only valuables they have left in this world.  Many of the homeless desperately want help but resources and beds are limited.  Homelessness is also on the rise.” 

According to the Pottstown Mercury’s May 3, 2010 article, titled “Number of Homeless in Montco on the Rise”, there were 244 homeless people in 2007, 407 homeless in 2008 and 749 homeless people in 2009. 

With program funding being drastically cut, there are not enough resources to go around; however, individuals and businesses can help by working to find permanent housing for those who are struggling and help add security and stability for the community. 

“We have an incredible amount of great resources and agencies in our area that we will highlight at the November 15 meeting,” added Class.  “And Pottstown is full of generous, intelligent community members who can help make this situation better.  Our goal is to get the community members connected to the agencies to help improve our resources.”

Donations of packages of new, men’s tube socks are requested to be brought to the meeting to help the homeless in the area fight off frost bite throughout this winter season.  To attend, RSVP to TriCounty Community Network at 610.705.3301.

About TriCounty Community Network                 

TCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership-based organization that partners with nonprofits, businesses and community members to improve health, social and environmental conditions.  Serving Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, TCN offers seven key programs: Build Up Youth, C.A.R.E. (Caring in Alternative Residential Environments), Environmental Awareness, Family Literacy, Homeless Services, S.A.F.E. (Supporting Abuse Free Environments), and Workforce Development.  For more information on TCN, visit www.tcnetwork.org.

Pottstown YMCA 21st Annual Halloween Safehouse

Pottstown YMCA

21st Annual Halloween Safehouse

Y Cares Treat Trail & Food Drive

Friday, October 28, 2011, 6-8 PM

Ages 12 & under with Adult

Admission Fee – Canned Food Item or Donation

Food donations benefit the pantries of The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities & the Salvation Army.

Monetary donations benefit the Y Cares Program of Freedom Valley YMCA

Freedom Valley YMCA at Pottstown, Adams & Jackson Streets, 610.323.7300 or  www.fvymca.org

York YMCA Gets Involved At Grassroots Community Level

York, Pennsylvania: Market Street between Quee...

Image via Wikipedia

The York YMCA is giving away money to neighborhood groups in York City who are looking to fund various beautification projects.  The projects, if selected, are eligible to receive a grant from the YMCA for between $500 and $1500 dollars.  The dollar amount will be determined by the scope of the project.  This could be for tree-planting or flower-planting, for example.  Basically any projects that help make city neighborhoods more attractive will be considered.

The $30,000 pool of money, available in 2011, is being donated by the Women’s Giving Circle and the York County Community Foundation.  The York YMCA has a “Resources for Urban Neighborhoods” program that will be the initial recipient of this money.  In turn, the YMCA will distribute these fund based on the applications they receive.

If you are a York City resident who would like more information, a meeting is scheduled for January 11th at 6:00 p.m. at the York YMCA which is located at 90 N. Newberry Street. 

Grant applications can be found online at http://www.runyork.org starting January 1st

You may contact York YMCA Community Service Director, Jessica Fieldhouse at (717) 843-7884 ext. 243 or email her at jfieldhouse@yorkcoymca.org for information.

Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Charity Ball

By now many of you have seen the advertisements for Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Celebration.  One component of this month-long celebration is a Christmas Costume Ball for charity.  The event will benefit PMMC’s pre-natal clinic.  The ball will be held at the Elk’s and there are only 225 tickets being offered for $40 per person or $70 per couple.

This all sounds wonderful and certainly donating to charity is always great.  The Borough of Pottstown made a $4000 donation to help defray the cost of entertainment.  An 11 piece band has been hired for the event.

The borough’s donation was made using money from Pottstown Area Rapid Transit’s promotions line item in their budget.  This was done at the discretion of the Borough Manager and did not go before council.  Councilor Rhoads asked about this at last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting as councilors were unaware of this donation when contacted before the meeting.

I am wondering how this donation promotes Pottstown Area Rapid Transit?  Do we expect to gain new riders for PART from those attending the ball?  Are there not better ways to have used this money to encourage people to “Take PART”?  A few well placed ads in the Mercury would have reached more people.  I suppose the other thing that puzzles me is why this money was not used toward the Pottstown 4th of July celebration that tens of thousands of area residents enjoy each year?  Would we not have gotten more “bang for our buck”, if we are trying to promote PART, at a huge event rather than a ball for 225 people?

If our goal was not necessarily to promote PART, but rather to give to charity, should this money have come from another source?  Hint: Tom Hylton likes to donate money.

$4000 is a blip on the transit budget for PART.  However, considering the fact the economy is trashed and we keep raising taxes and fees for services, should we not be better stewards of public funds? 

Public figures are just that, public figures.  People watch the decisions you make and follow your example.  Food for thought: Was this donation the best use of money from the transit budget?  You may want to consider that possibility if a similiar situation arises in the future.