Cadets Graduate From Municipal Police Academy, Collect Food For Local Pantries

During his keynote address, Lower Moreland Township Police Sgt. David Scirrotto asked all veterans on stage and in the audience to stand and be recognized for their service in honor of Veterans Day.   Photos by Sandi Yanisko

During his keynote address, Lower Moreland Township Police Sgt. David Scirrotto asked all veterans on stage and in the audience to stand and be recognized for their service in honor of Veterans Day.
Photos by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.—Twenty-seven cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Municipal Police Academy on Nov. 11 during a ceremony held at the Central Campus in Blue Bell.

Teamwork and service were themes of the evening, starting with class 1502 valedictorian, Cadet Brian Colucci, of Plymouth Meeting, during his address.

“What I admired most about our class is that there’s more than just one leader. I knew if we worked together, this team could reach its goal. Keeping together as a team leads to success,” he said.

Selected by the class to provide the evening’s keynote address, Lower Moreland Township Police Sgt. David Scirrotto shared stories of the cadets during their time at the academy, especially time spent under his instruction.

“Every day I spend with them, I become a better officer and man. These men and women should remind us every day why we put on this uniform,” he shared.

An alumnus of the academy himself, Scirrotto added, “I can only hope to be as positive a role to these cadets as the academy’s instructors were to me.”

For their service project, cadets collected food and monetary donations for Advocates Against Hunger, which coordinates food delivery and education efforts with a number of soup kitchens and food pantries in the Norristown region. Kary LaFors, director of the Community Interfaith Food Pantry at Grace Lutheran Church, was on hand to accept the donations on behalf of Advocates Against Hunger.

Municipal Police Academy Director Jude McKenna presented a series of awards as part of the ceremony. Cadet SSgt. Jeffrey Wagner, of Levittown, received the Platoon Leader Award of Merit. Cadet Michael Aluise, of Warwick, received the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award, presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004. The Award of Distinction, given to cadets who demonstrate exemplary dedication and teamwork, went to Cadet James Garrity, of Wayne.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor joined MCCC officials—Dr. James Linksz, interim president; Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost; Dr. Aaron Shatzman, dean of social sciences; and John Caperilla, chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors—in confirming the graduate’s certificates.

“There are no police officers trained better than they are in Montgomery County. We’re exceptionally proud of the work we do, not only with our Act 120 training, but also with our associate’s degree programs in Criminal Justice,” shared Castor, noting that he will retire from public service in December after a 30-year career.

Several local law enforcement officials also attended the ceremony, including the Color Guard from the Lower Merion Township Police Department and Montgomery County Department of Public Safety First Deputy Director Jesse Stemple.

MCCC Municipal Police Academy class 1502 graduates include Michael Aluise, Warwick; Tyler Aspell, Levittown; Brian Colucci, Plymouth Meeting; Joseph Cotellese, Warminster; Jaclyn Daly, Ridley Park; James Garrity, Wayne; Stephen Hafele, Folsom; Douglas Harris, Lansdale; John Hearn, Richboro; Christopher Hens, Horsham; Jonathan Joseph, Drexel Hill; John Konway, Abington; Luke McIlvaine, Feasterville; Tanner Noecker, Roxborough; Matthew Ortlieb, North Wales; Michael Parnes, Harleysville; David Parysz, Yardley; Terry Reifsnyder, Royersford; Kevin Riley, Cheltenham; William Seiler, Trappe; Matthew Shannon, Bridgeport; Kristian Shaw, Abington; Ian Stanley, Warminister; Austin Urkuski, Audubon; Jeffrey Wagner, Levittown; Michael Wambold, Hatboro; and Cynthia Yoder, Conshohocken.

MCCC, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Training Commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken. The academy offers four cohorts of the 800-hour Municipal Police Basic Training Curriculum, also known as PA Act 120, annually

The academy has been the training ground for more than 3,600 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies at MCCC.

To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and select Areas of Study, followed by Social Sciences, then Career Training Programs.

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Beginning November 29th, 2015 Take Pottstown Area Rapid Transit, Give Back

In the spirit of the holiday season, Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (PART) is pleased to announce our “Take PART, Give Back” Campaign!

Beginning November 29, 2015 PART will be collecting donations to benefit the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities and Operation Backpack. PART is pleased to partner with these organizations to help build the supply of food and goods available to those in need in our local community.

How can you PARTicipate?

By riding on one of PART’s Special Sunday Shopper Days! Every Sunday beginning November 29th, 2015 through December 20th 2015 from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., bring your donation on board a PART Transit Bus and ride for $1.00! *Applies to Adult Base Fare ONLY

During the Tri County Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer & Business to Business Expo on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Norco Fire Company, 144 W. Schuylkill Road, Pottstown, PA 19465. Bring your donation to the event and receive a PART Holiday ornament!

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization providing a multitude of programs related to food security, clothing and housing assistance, and other supportive services. Activities are intended to “address the basic human needs of persons within the Greater Pottstown community, while assisting with their spiritual and social needs.”

The Cluster is currently in need of dry goods including laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaners, paper towels, and toiletries. Canned goods including fruits, vegetables, soups, tuna fish, and tomato products are also in high demand.

Operation Backpack is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, providing food to students in the greater Pottstown community who would go without over the weekend.  The organization works to “help homeless and hungry students succeed by addressing the issue of childhood hunger.” The organization works with individuals and organizations to gather ready to eat items to fill backpacks distributed to participating schools at the end of each week.  Operation Backpack is currently in need of prepackaged tuna, macaroni and cheese, soups, pasta, cereal, granola, breakfast bars, crackers, juice, and water.

As a public service, PART takes great pride in providing safe, affordable, and reliable quality transportation to the Borough of Pottstown, Lower, West, and Upper Pottsgrove Townships, Limerick Township, and North Coventry Township.

Please help PART Give Back! Questions? Contact Erica Batdorf at 610-970-6515 or ebatdorf@pottstown.org

Or visit our website at http://www.pottstownarearapidtransit.com

Art Fusion 19464 Annual Holiday Art Show


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Pottstown, PA– Take a peek into The Secret Life of Trees, ArtFusion 19464’s annual holiday show opened November 10 and will be on display in their main gallery through January 5, 2013. The challenge of this show was to interpret the theme of “the secret life of trees.” 38 local artists responded with an amazing breadth of work, from oils and watercolors to recycled sculpture and ceramics. One piece will be awarded a $100 best in show prize, sponsored by Fulton Bank, Pottstown branch. Other show sponsors are: Window Sponsor Dolan & Mayerson, P.C.; NCG, Inc.; Wolf, Baldwin & Associates; and Keller Williams Realty Group.

Participating artists include: Alita Abruzzese, Denise Bennett, Roselyn Cadoff, Mary Chisak, Arline Christ, Richardson Comly, Phillip Compton, Danielle D’Aries, Peter Ehlinger, Cassie Eshelman, Teresa McWilliams Farina, Lisa Foster, Gail Fronheiser, Bob Hakun, Susan Klinger, Mary Kosar, Virginia Gaudiello, Joe Hoover, Millie Lea, Judy Lupas, Ellen Marcus, Charles McCann, Donna Meyers, Geoffrey Meyers, Cari Myford, Harriette Nadler, Beverly Nuzzo, Carol Ross Noyes, Gwendolyn Parrish, Joni Peters, Jackie Pierson, Sue Ploppert, Barbara Rambo, David Ruser, Jodie Scharadin, Dora Siemel, Connie Worth, and Arleen Yeager.

The community is invited to the official opening reception for this show on Friday, December 7 from 5-8pm. This fun event is ArtFusion’s annual holiday party. Refreshments will be served. That evening is also the perfect chance to start your holiday shopping. Although this event is free, ArtFusion does ask that you RSVP to 610-326-2506

Artist Leigh Ritasse will be creating caricatures during the party as a fundraiser for ArtFusion.  A black and white head and shoulders image is only $20. That evening ArtFusion will also be collecting donations of canned goods for a food drive run by the Pottstown Keystone Chapter 565 of Vietnam Veterans. This food will go to local veterans and their families for the holidays. They are asking for non-perishable items like instant potatoes and stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread mix, etc.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.