Letters to the Editor

Gerrymandering in WSSD

To the Editor:

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board candidates for Region 2, Damon Orsetti and Bob Kelly, came to the Nether Providence Elementary School’s PTO meeting on Wednesday, October 4, to introduce themselves. Both candidates are qualified to serve on the board and are upstanding members of the community.

As an NPE parent, I’d love to see someone whose children attend my kids’ home school to serve on the school board, so I’d love to cast a vote for Mr. Orsetti on November 7th. But I can’t. I am not eligible to vote in Region 2; my home is zoned Region 1. All of Ward 7-1 of Nether Providence is zoned separately from the majority of the population who attends NPE. This split has led to a gross inequity in the school’s representation on the Board.

NPE has not had representation on the school board in nearly a decade. Mr. Kelly contended that pointing this out “pits the schools against each other.” This glosses over the inequity that has resulted from these regional lines.

I hope that Mr. Orsetti will have the chance to give NPE parents and children a voice on the school board. I also hope that the unfair practice of splitting the NPE community’s votes across multiple regions will be reconsidered and eliminated.

If we are not voting for direct representation, why bother with the regions at all? Why not cast ballots for any and all vacancies? The current structure saddles potential representatives of the NPE area with the handicap that comes with gerrymandered voting lines. I understand that the lines were drawn according to population and without intent to disenfranchise NPE-area voters, but the impact cannot be argued. We need representation, and the current region categorization splits the votes. This cannot continue.

Jessica Stillman Lloyd
Nether Providence

‘People before politics’

To the Editor:

A few weeks ago, I received a magnet in the mail from a township commissioner candidate with the words, “People before politics.” Then I imagined what this might be like here in Delaware County.

Perhaps our county would get a health department, a health department! One that would be available to serve all of our residents. Or perhaps our county would join the rest of the counties in Pennsylvania that always have one member of the County Council from the minority party in the council. We don’t have this minority rule, and we have had one-party rule here in the county for decades, which has led to no transparency, to intimidation at the polls, and to an inefficient government that has not addressed the needs of its citizens.

Maybe if “people before politics” were enacted, we wouldn’t have the chairman of one of the Delaware County parties (also the secretary of his party in Pennsylvania, and an elector for Donald Trump) as a lawyer representing Sunoco in the battle between the Mariner East 2 Pipeline versus concerned Middletown community members. Perhaps protecting the residents from the possibility of hazardous liquids extremely close to their homes and schools, would be the priority, instead of a leader of one of the political parties going to bat for Sunoco.

In less than a month, on Tuesday, November 7, we will have the right to go to the polls and voice our opinions. And it matters. Here in Delaware County, it really matters.

Liz Corson
Wallingford

Businesses support CRC

To the Editor:

Our local businesses do so much to support our community! I would love to acknowledge the Inn at Swarthmore, Swarthmore Barbershop, Harvey Oak Mercantile, The Plant Hospital, Kandy Kids, Swarthmore Flower Shop, Hobbs, Blonde Sugar & Honey, Compendium Boutique, and Poco Loco for their generous support of the Chester Ridley Crum (CRC) Watershed Association Annual Silent Auction.

Your contributions of beautiful and useful goods, as well as gift certificates, will help CRC plant more trees along our waterways and engage more people in caring for our local natural resources. Another great reason to shop local!

Gwenn Prinbeck
CRC board member
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Life without the Co-op?

To the Editor:

People!

Do we really want to live in Swarthmore without the Co-op? Close your eyes and think for a minute. Feel good?

I didn’t think so. I’d miss the Truckathons. And where else would I randomly run into so many of you?

What would you miss?

Did you catch the article from the Co-op Board President a couple of weeks ago? We are skating dangerously close to some very thin ice.

What can you do?

Shop Co-op First. Most people who shop at the Co-op frequent other stores as well. That’s cool. But make the Co-op your first stop more often. You’ll find great prices on some bulk staples, more than 143 local products, seasonal produce and enticing prepared foods, and a real, old-school butcher who cuts meat in-house.

Spend $3.84 a week more at the Co-op each week. Whether you use the Co-op as your convenience store, the destination for your school-age child’s bike ride, or as the main source of your weekly shopping, a critical mass of people spending just a few more dollars there each week will make a difference.

Become a member. One of the cool things about the Co-op is it’s not just a store. It’s a cooperative venture in which members literally own the enterprise. If you can, make a commitment and buy equity.

I don’t want to live in Swarthmore without the Co-op. Do you? Sincerely.

Helen Nadel
Former Board Member
Swarthmore

Lost without the Co-op

To the Editor:

The Nextdoor Swarthmore bulletin board has had an ongoing discussion about the merits of the Swarthmore Co-op. Here is my two cents from that thread.

I do 90% of my grocery shopping at the Co-op. There are a few things that I get at Target, a few things that I have to go to Martindale for, and rare (twice a year?) trips to Acme for things I can’t get or it doesn’t make sense to buy at the Co-op, but I never bundle my grocery shopping into these trips.

The Co-op carries amazing diversity for its size. Different price points, commercial and local; name brand and health food. As others have mentioned, they do special orders. They take suggestions. Their customer service is beyond compare. I returned spoiled meat without a receipt, and they replaced it with an extra 25% weight.

Half the cash register staff knows my member number by heart. They have a member discount program that lets a member choose the day of the month to exercise the privilege. I can pre-pay a tab, and then just buy groceries on tab with no card or cash, just my member number and name. So I can walk to the Co-op with a canvas bag, and no purse, and walk back without a purse dangling and bumping into the groceries or adding weight to my shoulder. Even a house guest (visiting adult children) can pick up groceries on our dime by providing our member number and name.

They put out samples. They have vendors that setup tables to provide samples. They arrange food truck days. The Co-op is even a town square. I often run into people I know. Other contributors note that it supports recycling, food and clothing collections, collections for hurricane victims.

The Co-op does extensive surveys, and has committees and management teams working hard to meet the tough challenge of keeping the Co-op alive. The prepared foods are far superior to other sources.

If the Co-op were to close, I’d be lost. Lost.

Robin Schaufler
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Co-op is worth supporting

To the Editor:

I was surprised and alarmed by last week’s article concerning the Swarthmore Co-op’s financial situation. The most worrisome fact is the decline in sales, especially from our member-owners. As the article noted, “Without our continued support and patronage, there will be no Co-op.”

I remember the incredible support from the community in 2002 when the new Co-op was just a dream. With that enthusiastic and generous support, the community was able to create the new store. Today, the Co-op represents far more than just a grocery store. It is a place where neighbors meet neighbors.

Because of the Co-op’s initiative, we also have the Saturday Farmers’ Market, the Food Truckathons, Bingo, beer tastings, Quizzo, and all the rest. It is the one true hub of the town, contributing to the feeling of a small town community.

The Co-op is worth supporting.We have a strong and committed Board of Directors as well as an experienced new General Manager in Mike Litka, who seems to be focusing on all the right issues. While the Co-op can never be the low cost store, they pride themselves in offering healthy, local, sustainable, quality choices.

Think of shopping at the Co-op as an investment in our community. Not only are the employees local, but many of our suppliers are as well. Remember, too, that the Co-op pays tens of thousands of dollars in local taxes every year. The Co-op needs sustained higher levels of sales dollars in order to survive.

If you are not already a member-owner, please consider becoming one. There are monthly payment options if desired. By becoming a member-owner, you become invested in the Co-op’s future. Membership means that your food shopping becomes more than just a pocketbook issue.

If you are already a member-owner, please reconsider your shopping decisions. In my opinion, we cannot have a vibrant Town Center without a vibrant Swarthmore Co-op. As one member said early on, “Use it or lose it!” Please don’t let that happen.

Jack Cavanaugh
Former Board President and General Manager
Swarthmore

Making Thursday night sing

To the Editor:

I’m somewhat of a newbie to Swarthmore, but you don’t have to live here long to notice that the arts — in all forms — are a vital part of our town’s identity. So when local musician Will Paynter approached Swarthmore Town Center with the idea for a summer concert series in the Central Park amphitheater, we jumped at the opportunity to help make his vision a reality.

This summer, Thursday Night Live offered our community the chance to gather and celebrate homegrown music. This was made possible through the generosity of our sponsors including Bryn Mawr Trust, waR3house3, Plush Mills Senior Living, Open Sky Energy, Brynden Craig Plumbing & Heating, Perri Evanson Homes, Juliet Koczak Architect, Thomas Aquinas Painting, Xscape the Room, Hobbs, and Dean Michelson. I’m grateful to our sponsors for their investment both in the arts and in our business district.

Additionally, all of the talented musicians deserve another round of applause including Greg Brady (who also served as our sound technician), SwUKEstra, Sonoma Sound (led by my friend Will Paynter), Last Chance, Curb Alert, Barrel Fires, The Young Musicians, Jerry Getz, Brian Kors, Out of Order, and The Don Jones Band. Thank you for sharing your talent with the town. I encourage everyone to follow these acts on social media for upcoming concert dates.

Finally, and most importantly, I appreciate this community for coming out to Swarthmore Town Center on a Thursday night. Our little experiment wouldn’t work without an audience! Thank you for making Thursday Night Live a part of your summer tradition and we hope to see you again in 2018. Be sure to join our Facebook group page — Swarthmore Town Center — for updates on future events and happenings in the “Ville.”

Anita Barrett, Coordinator
Swarthmore Town Center

Letters to the Editor

Panthers went “Pink” in 2016; 2017 game is on Tuesday, October 3.

Panthers go pink; join us!

To the Editor:

The Strath Haven women’s soccer team has planned a fun-filled family evening to raise money for a wonderful cause! On Tuesday, October 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the varsity and JV women’s soccer teams, along with the sports boosters at Strath Haven High School, will be fundraising for Unite for HER, a local resource for breast cancer patients.

The “Panthers Go Pink” event will be held at George L. King Stadium at the Strath Haven Middle School. Bring the whole family and enjoy two exciting soccer games, along with family fun and food. Competing against Penncrest High School, the women’s junior varsity soccer team will take the field at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7 p.m.

Before and during the games SHHS sports teams will host special events at their tables to help raise money for the cause. Play games, get your face painted, purchase delicious treats and so much more! Between the JV and varsity games, the “March of the Athletes” (modeled after the Olympics’ opening ceremonies) will take place honoring family and friends who have survived breast cancer as well as the student athletes from all teams participating in this event. If you know a survivor you would like to honor please contact the organizers at (215) 833-2494 or e-mail RosemaryCreative@gmail.com.

Please join us on a special day for a special cause.

Maria Elia, Co-Chair
Panthers Go Pink 2017
Swarthmore

Stones where hearts should be

To the Editor:

Shame on you, Sweden, how could you be so cruel? According to the Associated Press, carried to Sweden by her son and grandson through mountains, deserts and forests, 106 year-old Afghan woman, Biblihal Uzbeki, is facing deportation after her asylum application was denied. The family was part of a huge influx of those arriving in Europe in 2015 from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. The severely disabled woman, who can barely speak, suffered a stroke after hearing the news. She has been living with 11 family members in the village of Hova in central Sweden. They had been living illegally in Iran for eight years, fleeing Afghanistan due to war and insecurity before taking the arduous journey. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, “Generally speaking, high age does not in itself provide grounds for asylum.”

Those whose applications are rejected are permitted up to three appeals which can take a long time. Other family members are at various stages of appeals. They claim the plight of Afghans is being ignored by Swedish officials. Many European countries deny asylum to Afghans from parts of that country they consider “safe.”

According to Sanna Vestin, head of the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups, “The reasoning of the migration agency is that it is not unsafe enough in Afghanistan, though many of the big cities there cited as “safe” are not at the moment.”

I wonder how many members of the Swedish Migration Agency would agree to live in any part of Afghanistan. According to Biblihal’s son, Mohammed Uzbeki, it’s difficult to prove that the family faces a specific enemy upon return. “If I knew who was the enemy, I would have just avoided them,” he said, citing the Islamic State group, the Taliban, and suicide bombings as possible dangers.

Like so many of my fellow Americans, I am the granddaughter of immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Russia. My Russian grandparents and their children, my father and his sister, once endured having a cross burned on their lawn when they lived in the South, which caused deep trauma. I am ashamed and embarrassed at the demonization and cruel treatment of immigrants in this country by the current administration and others, who, like Sweden, seem to have stones where their hearts should be.

Judith Trustone, Co-Director
Global Kindness Revolution
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Unite against bigotry

To the Editor:

The Interfaith Council of Southern Delaware County adds our collective voice to those who have condemned the racism and bigotry promoted by the KKK, neo-Nazis, and all other alt-right groups. As we look back on the horrible violence in Charlottesville, and ahead to the upcoming 16th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, we publicly reaffirm our commitment to our Council’s mission: We stand for mutual trust, active dialogue, and above all the celebration of our different religious traditions. As a coalition of leaders and community members across faith traditions, we profess that all our traditions are rooted in love and solidarity with each other as neighbors. We are different. We know that. We lean into it, because we have learned that diversity is a gift.

We also know that fear can be a strong motivator. It can be weaponized into hate, violence, and oppression; something that is all too real in our communities and in our world today. The Interfaith Council strives to be a public witness, and to inspire others to join us. We must stand united. Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate towards the LGBTQ community, and all forms of racism are abhorrent to us and to the faith traditions we represent. We encourage all who read this to reach beyond your own boundaries, seek out difference, and refuse to let the messages of fear and violence fester. We are leaning into a commitment towards love and understanding; lean with us.

Rev. Sukja Bang, Swarthmore United Methodist Church
Deacon Beth Barkhau, Reformation Lutheran Church
Reverend Marcie Brozyna, Philadelphia Presbytery
Rev. Jennifer L. Casey, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Mary E. Chollet, St. John Chrysostom Parish
John Fedock, Swarthmore Buddhadharma Group
Rev. Jonathan Fettig, Media Presbyterian Church
Rev. Peter A. Friedrichs, Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware Co.
Rev. Alina S. Gayeuski, Reformation Lutheran Church
Rabbi Jeremy Gerber, Congregation Ohev Shalom
Rev. William L.B. Gray, Sr., Wesley A.M.E. Church
Rev. Edward J. Hallinan, St John Chrysostom Church
Jennifer Karsten, Pendle Hill Quaker Center
Rev. François Lacroix, Wallingford Presbyterian Church. Moderator
Rev. Wayne A. Matthias-Long, Reformation Lutheran Church
Venerable Amy Miller, FPMT
Rabbi Kelilah Miller, Congregation Ohev Shalom
William J. Oberfield, MD, Providence Friends Meeting
Mary Lou Parker, Swarthmore Friends Meeting
Rev. Nikki Perrine Passante, Media Presbyterian Church
Rabbi Linda Potemken, Congregation Beth Israel of Media
Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Joyce Tompkins, Swarthmore College & Trinity Episcopal Church
Rev. Joyce Shin, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church

Reunion time!

To the Editor:

Calling all ‘55ers! Swarthmore High School 1955 graduates, that is. Join with your classmates at a reunion dinner to be held at The Inn at Swarthmore, Tuesday, October 3, at 6 p.m.

Combine dinner with a visit to the Centennial Foundation’s Central Park to see our class’s engraved paver and others remembering our teachers.

For additional information, e-mail Kathie Harvey (hankandk@gmail.com) or me at ahab67@gmail.com.

Gordon Smith
Moorestown, NJ

Is TimeBank right for Swarthmore?

To the Editor:

Yes, TimeBank is right for Swarthmore! This is a great idea for our community, and perhaps especially so for the seniors in town who are choosing to age in place.

By creating a unique, easy to use, trouble free way to exchange a skill or service for help with a particular need, TimeBank accomplishes three things at once.

First, it offers Swarthmoreans an opportunity to help their neighbors. Second, it provides a readily available place to turn for those seeking some assistance. And third, it draws all of us closer together in a expanding network of contact and communication. A really nice marriage between technological innovation and old fashioned, ever so important community connection!

The Aging-in-Place Committee of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association is planning to support the development of Swarthmore TimeBank, assuming enough people in town express an interest in participating. This past Saturday an encouraging number of visitors to the Farmers Market indicated they would indeed support a TimeBank.

Please, right now, take a brief moment to add your own voice. Whether you support TimeBank or not, you can express your opinion by e-mailing sheilambell@gmail.com, or calling Bill Davis at (610) 529-0399. Or, on either of the next two Saturdays plan to stop by the SSCA/TimeBank table at the Farmers Market, to ask a question or share your thoughts.

Bill Davis
Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association

Thank you

To the Editor:

A big thank you to our Public Works Department for installing a doggie station at CADES next to the entrance to the Paulson Park playground.

The addition of a trash can and bag roll is a most welcome addition to the pet owners of the neighborhood!

Kathy Andersen
Swarthmore

LWV-CDC kicks off Luncheon series

To the Editor:

Marian Schneider, special advisor to Governor Wolf on election policy, will speak at the Hot Topics Luncheon, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Central Delaware County on Friday. September 15, in the Community Room at Media Borough Hall, 301 N. Jackson St., Media.

There is heightened interest in the safety and reliability of how elections are run in Pennsylvania and Schneider is the  go to person to address those concerns. In 2015, under her leadership, the Department of State launched an online voter registration application process and more 945,000 Pennsylvanians have used the application to register or update their registration. There will be a Q&A session following her talk.

Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and reservations are requested. The luncheon, catered by Margaret Kuo’s Media, is $18 and reservations can be made by calling Hank Thorne at (610) 566-5474 or e-mail at hthorne@verizon.net.

Checks made out to LWV-CDC can be mailed to LWV-CDC, P.O. Box 131, Wallingford PA 19086 or you can pay at the door. As always you do not have to be a member to attend our Hot Topics Luncheons that are aimed at giving voters interesting and accurate information about how our government works.

Joyce Ellis
LWV-CDC

 

Letters to the Editor

‘Who are we?’

To the Editor:

A week following the tragedy at Charlottesville, Swarthmore United Methodist Church pastor Sukja Bang’s sermon was entitled “Who Are We?” Acknowledging that while it was no longer breaking news, she explained that many religious leaders had not spoken out against these events of terror, and she therefore felt compelled to diverge from the lectionary scripture lessons for the day.

At the heart of Christian teaching is the imperative to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Christians must not stand by while our neighbors are degraded, dehumanized, attacked, or killed because they are different from us. The United Methodist book of discipline states: “We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or economic status.”

Although racism is not always extreme as in Charlottesville, racism in more subtle forms is present in our everyday lives, and even in Swarthmore. That Sunday the congregation was saddened to see that the rainbow flag displayed at the peace pole in front of the church had been vandalized for the third time in a few months. SUMC is a reconciling congregation; that is, the church welcomes all God’s children regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Pastor Bang says that vandalism is a hate crime, and that she prays for the ones who felt compelled to express their hatred.

The closing hymn that Sunday included words from a 1974 hymn text by Fred Kaan: “Teach us to care for people, for all, not just for some, to love them as we find them, or as they may become.” Swarthmore United Methodist hopes that this moves us towards explaining Who We Are.

Sheila Bell
Swarthmore

Statues of limitation

To the Editor:

The idea of taking down Confederate memorials and statues has become quite a controversial issue. The best solution I have heard so far came from Jessie Watters, host of TV’s Watters’ World.

He said: “If you want to take down some statues, take down Congress. They just stand there and do nothing.”

Larry Drew
Hobe Sound, FL

More book talks, please

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Paula Dale, director of the Swarthmore Campus & Community Bookstore, and Amber Osborne, director of the Swarthmore Public LIbrary, for sponsoring the book talk by Zinzi Clemmons last week.

It was wonderful to hear Zinzi reflect upon how her education in our public school system and experiences growing up in our community helped form her sense of self to pursue writing.

We always say the quiet of the Ville is the sound of people reading!

Barbara Drebing Kauffman
Swarthmore

Value

To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing my letter in the last issue about the effect of interdisciplinary education on the development of artificial intelligence by engineers. And thank you for heading the letter, “Zombieland”; because even if robots programmed to reproduce destroy us, it is not certain that they will be a form of conscious life. And if not conscious, then “value” at the level of intensity we feel it will be lost.

Thank you also for printing my reference to The Tomkins Institute. The McCabe Library has a copy of Tomkins’s “Affect Imagery Consciousness” which deals with the biological gateway to the psychology of awareness in organic life forms, and the scripted behaviors we develop to manage affect. These behaviors guide decisions made, with important implications from our daily personal lives to effects on the geopolitics of international affairs.

John Brodsky
Swarthmore
for The Tomkins Institute

Letters to the Editor

Regarding SHHS Band origins

To the Editor:

Your July 14 article on Swarthmore Borough Council’s July meeting quoted Council President David Grove as stating that Jack Hontz started the Strath Haven High School band with a handful of Nether Providence band members and none from Swarthmore.

My daughter Sheri, who played the clarinet, was recruited by Jack that first year, and he also recruited her sister Wendy to be a flag bearer. I believe there were several other Swarthmoreans. Jack’s influence on my children and both communities is greatly appreciated and we are saddened by his death.

Mary Lou Parker
Swarthmore

Regarding Jack Hontz

To the Editor:

In honor of Mr. Jack Hontz: What an incredible teacher, leader and friend you were to our SHHS community. I will never forget the day you and Mr. Henry Pearlberg, with your enthusiasm, recruited my sister and her friends picking us up at “band camp” to be part of the flags. I was always hoping that we would relocate back to Wallingford-Swarthmore so our son could play trombone for you. You have touched my life in so many ways and made me a better person. Those marching skills came in handy when I joined the Navy.

My heart is broken for your family and the Strath Haven High School family. May God bless you and your family through this challenging time.

Sheri Parker, Capt., M.S.C., U.S.N.

Zombieland

To the Editor:

Interdisciplinary learning is a fine idea. Things are complicated and each discipline seems to get more and more complicated. Einstein said, “Things should be made as simple as possible… .” He added, “…but no simpler” and because the second part of his statement seemed to suggest the complexity of existence, he worked all his life on the first part of the statement. To combine the disciplines, perhaps Swarthmore College’s BEP program is a step in the right direction toward a unified field of learning; and the devil take the landscape — which is rather disheartening to me as I type this.

But BEP is not the correct order for the acronym. It should read BPE. Biology creates psychology, and psychology creates engineering. However, even if corrected, a problem obtains. When engineering is the result, AI will emerge. And with artificial intelligence, who knows what will be around the corner? Perhaps robots which might desecrate the landscape to further their own reproductive interests; exactly the way we are behaving.

John Brodsky for The Tomkins Institute
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

SRA Summer Club 2.0

To the Editor:

This summer, SRA combined the Pre-School Camp, Summer Club and the two sports camps all in one location which led to an exciting and enthusiastic summer. Under the directorship of Dan Shaffer and the leadership of Bill Kane, Joyce Perry and Megan Richardson, supported by Linda McCullough, the camps were able to adjust to the new set up without missing a beat.

The Pre-school enjoyed many bounces and special events including the puppet show and for the first time were able to attend the Disney Sing-Along Day which was a big hit. The younger campers were a welcome addition to the “big kid” camps and all were very happy to have them join us this year.

Summer Club kept humming along with oldies but goodies like Water Slide Day, Slip and Slide Day, Ice Cream Day and Tye Dye Day. Highlights included the Franklin Institute Science Show and Carnival Day.

The sports camps had a variety of trips to Tee’s Golf where the campers had the choice of hitting off the driving range, playing putt-putt golf, and swinging away in the batting cages. Other fun trips included going to Sky Zone and Sproul Bowling. Boing Bounce kept the campers busy with an obstacle course, a giant velcro wall and many other fun activities.

Lastly, all the campers were invited to contribute food items to Philabundance which resulted in donating hundreds of pounds of food to this wonderful organization. In addition, many campers chose to write letters of welcome and encouragement to the HEADstrong Foundation and its residents.

Swarthmore Recreation Association Summer Club employs over 50 teenagers and 20 adults to make this a summer the children in this community can remember. Thanks to the parents and community for keeping the tradition thriving.

Dan Shaffer
Swarthmore

Kids helping kids

To the Editor:

My friends Gianna Bergin and Marin Horwitz and I are Girl Scout Juniors and students at Strath Haven Middle School, working to earn our Bronze Award. The Bronze Award is earned by completing a lasting project that solves a real-world problem or need.

For our project, we have chosen to work with Cityteam Chester to create a children’s center for the waiting families at the Mother-Baby Program.

Cityteam Chester is an organization that provides hot meals, shelter, addiction recovery programs, and lots more in five locations around the area. Cityteam Chester holds a weekly Mother-Baby Program where single mothers and their kids can go to pick up essentials such as diapers, formula, baby food, clothes and more, for free!

We realized that a mom and her kids could be waiting over an hour to go in the “store.” Mothers in this program commonly have multiple very young kids with them for this long wait. These kids may not have someone to play with them or read to them at home because there is no money or time for these things. Our conclusion is that by being around books and toys, the kids and mothers may be happier, feel more secure and be able to use their wait time in a positive way. To make this plan a reality, we need your help.

Please join us in helping the Mother-Baby program. We will be collecting between now and Sunday, September 17th. We will have a large plastic donation box at Marin Horwitz’s house, 223 Vassar Ave. in Swarthmore, if you’d like to drop off new or gently used donations. If you would like to make a cash or check donation, please mail to Gianna Bergin at 204 East Rose Valley Rd., Wallingford, PA 19086. Please make checks payable to Holly Bergin.
Correction – we will not be collecting at the Swarthmore Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 16, as indicated originally in the print edition. 

Suggested donations currently needed for 0-1 year-olds are musical rhyme & discover books, activity cube, stacking rings, musical toys, rattles, links, play phone, light up/musical balls, play keys, and shape sorter.

For 1 to 2 year olds, please consider stacking cups, learning table, play doctor kit, plastic pretend play toys, See ‘n’ Say, plastic/musical tea set, animal sounds toy, wooden maze, mall plastic dollhouse with accessories; for 2-3 year olds, Duplo/Mega blocks, toddler race cars/plastic trucks, musical instruments, waffle blocks, small plastic shopping cart, play food (large plastic pieces), board books, popular movie/TV themed plastic toys, large piece wooden puzzles.

For 4-5 year olds, try Magnatiles, foam floor puzzles, trains cars and roadway rug, pretend keyboard/piano and/or guitar, non-toxic/washable crayons and markers, drawing paper pads, coloring books, and simple games like Candy Land and Chutes+Ladders).

If you have any questions about our project or would like an updated list of suggested donations, please contact me at aesthomas@comcast.net. Thank you for your support!

Jillian Thomas
Swarthmore

Letter to the Editor

Sad news about Debbie Gavaghan

To the Editor:

I was so saddened by the news of Debbie Gavaghan’s death from cancer on July 19th — and heartened to read that she was able to meet her maker at home in the company of her family and loved ones.

I knew Debbie for many years; she gave me a 15-minute buzz cut every third Saturday at the Co-Ed Beauty Salon. She was a woman of indomitable courage and enormous resourcefulness, and gifted with a sharp and very funny sense of humor.

Along with all those who knew her I mourn her passing and remember her with deep affection.

Rick Valelly
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Scissors and therapy

To the Editor:

Before moving to White Horse Village, I lived in Swarthmore for 48 years, and for close to 37 of them Deborah Gavaghan of the Co-Ed Beauty Salon cut my hair. She died last week and I will miss her skillful sculpting of my hair, accompanied by the lively conversations we shared as she snipped away — scissors and therapy.

I always walked out of the shop looking and feeling better. Her hard work, welcoming smile, exuberant laugh, courage through troubles, and joy for the good times were gifts I will remember. Swarthmore has lost a treasure.

Peggy Thompson
Newtown Square

Ed. note: Deborah Gavaghan of Clifton Heights died June 19. She is mourned by her family and colleagues, customers and friends from nearly 40 years as a stylist at Swarthmore’s Co-Ed Beauty Salon.

WHV mourns Debbie Gavaghan

To the Editor:

Debbie (Deborah Gavaghan) of the Co-Ed Beauty Salon has been cutting my hair for years. Very sadly, she died from cancer this past Wednesday (July 19) at home in Clifton Heights. She will be greatly missed!

Customers from White Horse Village include Anne Hansen, John Hoover, Peggy Thompson, and me — all formerly of Swarthmore.

Marion Purdy
Newtown Square