Council Talks Barriers and Budgets

Swarthmore’s Borough Manager Jane Billings proudly displays two recent awards that the borough has received.

Swarthmore Borough Council
By Katie Crawford

The October 1 meeting of Swarthmore Borough Council began with Council President David Grove requesting a moment of silence to “hold in the light” the victims of the senseless massacre in Las Vegas as well as those affected by the nation’s recent natural disasters, tragedies whose enormity in scope remain difficult to fathom.

The council meeting proceeded with members of Riverview Road seeking updates on the progress by the Springfield Development Corporation on restoring the barrier along Baltimore Pike. Marie Koethe of Riverview Road stressed that the residents have worked hard to present a united voice in hopes that everyone on the block is taken care of. She highlighted the outstanding problems, including a huge hole remaining in the fence that members of council could walk through as one and an unlocked gate along the barrier fencing.

Koethe also expressed concern that the berm that was removed will not be restored so that the height of the barrier — even when replanted — will be diminished. The landscape architect for Swarthmore Borough and the landscaper for the developer have met and agreed on a planting plan. Council member Mary Walk stressed that council is seeking an endpoint and a positive resolution of this conflict.

Rick Lee, president of the Swarthmore Fire Company, and Rob Ranson, chief of the Swarthmore Fire Company, addressed council regarding the $287,268 awarded to the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association as a result of their successful application for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) grant. The grant is awarded through FEMA which is under the department of Homeland Security. The grant provides 75% of employment costs of employees for the first two years. The third year the grant provides 35% of costs. After the third year, the borough would be obligated to pay the full cost of employment.

Mr. Lee stressed that in fire and emergency services “time affects life,” and that this grant would support the hiring of two more full time employees in addition to the current two full time employees. Council member David Creagan, head of the Public Safety Committee, broke down the numbers for council. If the borough were to use the SAFER grant to hire two more additional fire department members, when the grant ran out in 2020 the borough would be responsible for an additional $155,271 in funding on top of what the borough currently budgets for the fire department. Using funds from the SAFER grant would commit the borough to retain the two additional employees, with a sizable impact on the borough budget.

However, Creagan stressed that fire companies all over the nation are also struggling with the fact that the all-volunteer fire departments of the past are disappearing. While many taxpayers believe their taxes are funding these services, without adequate volunteers, these revenue sources fall short of providing the necessary manpower.

The Budget Writ Large

The discussion regarding the fire department was part of a larger discussion stemming from the introduction of the budget for 2018. Michael Carey, head of the Finance and Budget Committee, called this introduction the “preliminary preliminary” budget, with many factors still undetermined, such as the result of the ongoing negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement with the police department.

Mayor Tim Kearney called attention to the Co-op’s 80th birthday celebration on Saturday, October 7, as well as the many e-mails that have been circulating encouraging borough residents to shop more at the Co-op so as to increase revenue.

Solicitor Bob Scott informed council that 160 property owners as well as council have received a letter from the Co-op seeking to have a deed restriction prohibiting the sale of liquor lifted. Despite the referendum allowing the sale of liquor in the borough, the Co-op has discovered this additional hurdle to overcome. The sale of liquor at the store is seen as having the potential to make the store financially solvent.

Borough manager Jane Billings shared with council two recent awards the borough has received. The Delaware Valley Workers’ Compensation Trust presented the borough with a Certificate of Recognition for their work in minimizing workplace injuries. Billings stressed the difficulty of keeping down accidents and praised the Police and Public Works departments for their workplace vigilance. The William H. Bates Memorial award was presented to the borough, “in recognition of outstanding design and land planning associated with Central Park.” Indeed, Central Park has seen much use this year — Ross Schmucki reported that the Farmers Market hit a new record with 804 recorded visitors in one recent market day.

From Sneakers to Turf Cleats, Big Shoes to Fill

Executive Director Linda McCullough, outstanding in her field. Actually, it’s Henderson Field, named for her predecessor at SRA.

Everyone told Linda McCullough “Those are big shoes to fill” when she was hired in 2005 to replace Don Henderson, becoming only the second executive director of Swarthmore Recreation Association. Henderson retired after 40 years of service, during which SRA grew into the four season community-based recreation program for Swarthmore. The association was formed at Borough Council’s request in 1940, as a non-profit organization to provide summer recreational programs for children. Activities have expanded to serve all ages, all year round.

Now after 12 years, Linda has herself decided to step down, and the search will begin for a new executive director. SRA has grown steadily over the last decade, which has seen the merger of Nether Providence Athletic Association and SRA to create the Nether Swarthmore Hoops youth basketball program in 2013 with more than 730 participants in grades K-12. More than 100 volunteer coaches that help make that program successful, Linda says.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of SRA,” says Linda. “Without their dedication to coaching, organizing equipment, and running our programs, we would not be able to offer such a diversity of activities.” In fact, last year alone, SRA had 250 volunteers serve as program coordinators for track, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball; as coaches, travel soccer managers, and race officials for the New Year’s Day 5k Race and Family Fun Run; and as SRA board members.

SRA’s $300,000+ annual revenue comes from program registration fees, grants from the Borough of Swarthmore and Nether Providence Township, and donations from community members. Its programs and recreational activities take place in fields, playgrounds, churches, schools, the Swarthmore Community Center, and Swarthmore College are used throughout the year to provide space for youth and adults in Swarthmore.

The association’s role in Swarthmore lives continues to expand. Earlier this year, Borough Council tasked SRA with developing activities for seniors in the community, per the recommendations of the Aging-in-Place Task Force study.

This summer, Linda worked with borough manager Jane Billings and summer intern Alex Maillet to create a walking program for seniors. On recent Wednesday mornings, Linda and SRA program coordinator Nika Haase tried out several designated senior-friendly loops in the borough, one walking tour of older and historic homes, the other a longer loop up through Swarthmore College’s main lawn.

Linda thanks the Swarthmore community for supporting her service as executive director over the last 12 years. She will stay with SRA through the summer next year to help select and support the next director. “My successor will need to be organized, creative, and have a sense of humor,” says Linda. “As for ‘big shoes to fill,’ my shoes are pretty average size, but I’ll tell the next director that whatever size shoes he or she wears, they’d better be laced up tight, double knotted, and ready to go!”

Save October 28 for SRA’s biennial Oktoberfest
at the Swarthmore Community Center!

The Breaks of the Game, and How to Handle Them

Markie DeVoe in a pregame photo op with Iron Pigs (and later, Phillies) hero Rhys Hoskins.

The minor league baseball season is over, which might be the only way they could get Markie DeVoe to leave the Lehigh Valley for this Saturday’s, October 7, fundraiser at waR3house3 in Swarthmore. Even so, he’ll surely check in on the major league playoffs a few times during the evening.

Markie is 12, a huge baseball fan. And he’s losing his sight, to a little-known disease called choroideremia which progressively damages the retinae. There is no cure yet, though gene therapies are in the trial stage.

Swarthmorean Dave Augustine is a big fan, too, of baseball — he met the DeVoe family at a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game this summer — and of Markie, whom he describes as “great fun, and a baseball fanatic. We talked all game long.” In the way that baseball has of bringing fans together, Dave and his fiancée, Rebecca, quickly got to know Markie, his parents, and the family’s circumstances. In addition to their connection with members of the Iron Pigs — the Phillies’ top minor league team — they’ve gotten together with minor and major league players from the New York Yankees organization.

And Dave decided, with the enthusiastic support of waR3house3 owner Rob Borgstrom, to develop a fundraiser in his hometown.

Saturday’s benefit concert stars singer-songwriter Jake Bellisimo, and will conform to the waR3house3 concert model, with an exception. Snacks provided, BYOB, doors open at 7 p.m. … but there is no admission charge.

The Saturday concert is to raise money for the Choroideremia Research Foundation. If you attend you will want to give, either at the venue, or through

Thanks to private investment and donations, clinical research has been promising, and clinical treatment may be available soon, though at substantial cost, even with insurance coverage.

“When Markie was first diagnosed, there was no cure, no trials. Now there’s a rainbow, and maybe the researchers are getting close to the pot of gold,” Mark DeVoe says.

Although the disease is progressive and Markie now suffers from night blindness, his vision is 20/20 in the daytime, and life is sweet: he is able to play town and tournament baseball.

For more information on the family and the challenge, visit

What’s happening around town?

Feed Spirit and Body
in Schoolhouse Center Groups

The Schoolhouse Center in Folsom offers groups for many tastes, starting with the Ridley Food Group, which meets monthly on the second Thursday. The October 12 session is free for new visitors ($3 for others), who may be anyone 21 or over who loves cooking, eating, or tasting food.

The following Thursday will change the menu to an Eastern orientation, with restaurateur Tom Voravolya cooking (and teaching you to cook) a delicious Thai dinner on October 19 at 5 p.m. The cost is $27 for Schoolhouse members and $30 for others. This is the first of three monthly Thai meals; subsequent dinners will be November 16 and December 21.

Wednesday is Square Dance night at Schoolhouse, with lessons and calling by Club Sashay for adults of all skill levels. Come exercise as you cut a rug weekly at 7 p.m.; your first class is free. And on Mondays and Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m., mediation groups help adults of all ages reduce stress, improve focus, and enhance brain health. The practice is done in chairs; suggested donation is $1 per class.

A series of films on art will be shown free of charge on Friday mornings at 10 a.m., beginning October 13 with a look at the Hudson River School.

And finally, shutterbugs in the making are invited to a two session class on iPhone/smartphone photography, led by professional photographer Tony Wood. The fee is $40 for the classes, which meet Thursdays, November 2 and 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Schoolhouse Center is at 600 Swarthmore Avenue in Folsom. Register and obtain more information at (610) 237-8100.

Environmental Stewardship Day in RV

Rose Valley’s Fall Stewardship Day will explore nature from a different perspective this year, as the Saturday, October 14, event moves to the borough’s Long Point Wildlife Sanctuary.

The RV Environmental Advisory Council hosts a free morning workshop to help neighbors become capable stewards of the land, then turns to planting of native plants.

Enter beginning at 9 a.m. at the trail head on Longpoint Lane (off Knowlton Road). You can learn how to get rid of a dozen nonnative invasive species on your own property, and which lovely native wildflowers, shrubs and trees can replace them.

The event is free and open to Rose Valley residents and others. No matter where you come from, wear sturdy shoes, garden gloves, long sleeves, and pants that can stand getting dirty. Please park neatly on the pavement. Contact Monica Gagliardi at for more information.

Scott Guides Green Roof Tour

Wear sensible shoes and plan to scale a few steps if you take part in Scott Arboretum’s guided tour of its three green roofs on Thursday, October 12, from noon to 1 p.m. The tour departs from the arboretum office and will be canceled by rain.

Matinee and LegoFest
at Furness Library This Saturday

Legos … Batman … put them together and you get the terrific Lego Batman movie, with action and humor to please kids of almost all ages.

The movie will be screened on Saturday, October 7, at noon in the Chadwick Auditorium at Helen Kate Furness Free Library, 100 N. Providence Road in Wallingford.

Immediately following the movie, join in a giant Lego build! Parents can sign up children for either or both events at the library, or by phone to (610) 566-9331.

Back to the Schoolhouse for Special Classes

Schoolhouse Center invites all neighbors to improve their physical and financial health in free workshops this month. At 2:15 p.m. on Friday, October 13, adults of all ages are welcome to a free session on basic budgeting, where they will learn techniques and create tools to help build a brighter financial future.

On Tuesday, October 17, Ryan Mullin for Advance Physical Therapy will speak discuss relieving back and shoulder pain. His focus shifts to knee pain in the second session on November. Both sessions require registration at Schoolhouse, (610) 237-8100.

Rolling on the River

Paul Schugsta is a licensed U.S. Rowing judge and referee, a seasoned rower and boathouse habitué, will regale us with tales of the Schuylkill in a lecture on “Rowing in Philadelphia: From Boat House Row to The Boys in the Boat.”

He will speak Wednesday, October 11, at the Helen Kate Furness Free Library. Come hear the fascinating and rich history of the sport in our area in this free talk beginning at 7 p.m. in the Chadwick Auditorium of the library at 100 N. Providence Road in Wallingford.


Journeys & Discoveries Art Show This Weekend

The Foundry Church in Nether Providence hosts a weekend-long arts festival, beginning tonight, October 6, at 7 p.m. with the opening of “Journeys & Discoveries,” a gallery show featuring local artists working in a variety of media and styles. The opening party will include live music from Under the Oak, Bob Becker, Lisa Jeanette, and Leigh Goldstein.

On Saturday, October 7, the gallery at 28 Walnut Road will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then from 7 to 9 p.m., the space will be given over to an improve show featuring Stealth Tightrope and Will Act for Food International. The gallery opens on Sunday at noon till 5 p.m., and a worship service will be held at the same location at 6 p.m. Check

Pumpkin Days Next Weekend at Tyler Arboretum

Tyler Arboretum hosts two power-and pumpkin-packed days of fun in its seasonal Pumpkin Days festival, Saturday October 14, and Sunday, October 15. Each day celebrates autumn with a variety of activities pitched to kids of all ages, as well as their adults.

Take a hayride, make a scarecrow, visit the petting zoo, dig the magic, hula hooping, and balloon sculpting shows, and do any of dozens more activities. Food abounds, as well as wine for tasting and purchase.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, rain or shine, admission and many activities are free for Tyler members, with extra tickets needed for rides and inflatables. Guest tickets are $9 for kids and students, $13 for seniors, and $15 for others.

A full schedule and more information are at The festival is at 515 Painter Road in Media, where parking will be available only for those with disabilities. Others can park at Penn State Brandywine and ride free shuttle buses to and from Tyler.

Bingo at Mother of Providence Next Saturday

Break out your bingo dabbers for the main event next Saturday, October 14, in the gym at Mother of Providence Regional Catholic School in Wallingford.

For $30, your Bingo Night ticket gets you games with fancy prizes including designer bags, snacks, and soft drinks (BYOB if you are 21 or over). For tickets, e-mail or

The event is sponsored by the St. John Chrysostom Parish Knights of Columbus. The school is located at 617 S. Providence Road.

Columbus Day Library Hours

The Swarthmore Public Library will be closed on Monday, October 9, in observance of Columbus Day. The Helen Kate Furness Free Library will be open for regular hours.

Voter Deadlines Loom – Are You Registered?

Next Tuesday, October 10, is the deadline to register to vote in the November 7 general election. Voters can check their registration status and poll location at or by texting the letters PA to 2Vote (28683).

The deadline to APPLY for an absentee ballot is October 31; the deadline to FILE an absentee ballot is November 3. (Note that both must be physically received — not postmarked — in the Delaware County Bureau of Elections in Media by 5 p.m. on those days.)

Questions about registration and eligibility can be directed to (610) 891-4659. The Bureau of Elections is at (610) 891-4673.

SPL Conducts ‘The Symphony’
Video Lecture Series

Wednesday, October 11, will be the first movement of Swarthmore Public Library’s new Great Courses video lecture series, which continues on Wednesdays through December 20.

Narrated by Robert Greenberg, The Symphony guides listeners through symphonic masterworks of the last three centuries in a weekly course that meets from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Council Room of Swarthmore Borough Hall. Refreshments will be served; the sessions are free.

SHS Bulb Sale Offers ‘Scent-Sational’ Choices

Trust us: this daffodil (Narcissus ‘Extra-Vaganza’) bloom is white and coral pink, and it smells sensational.


By Ginny Scott

Think ahead a few months: after the grey days of winter, what sight could be more restorative than a perky daffodil? A fragrant perky daffodil!

On Saturday, October 14, the Swarthmore Horticultural Society will feature beautiful, fragrant varieties of spring-blooming bulbs at its annual bulb sale, to be held at the Swarthmore Farmers Market, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Selections include a striking coral and white daffodil, a 48’’ tall white allium, and a tomato red double tulip that has the showy pizazz of a peony. Can’t wait ‘til spring for your blooms? For the first time, SHS will offer a spectacular indoor-blooming — and fragrant — paperwhite daffodil that will bloom in 4 to 6 weeks in a vase with just water and pebbles!

For more details and to download the bulb sale catalogue with photos, prices, and information on all the varieties offered, visit the SHS website at

Co-op Celebrates 80th Anniversary on Saturday

October is National Co-op Month; 2017 is the Swarthmore Co-op’s 80th anniversary; and the Co-op has been voted best food market in Delaware County. The time is right for a party!

On Saturday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., everyone, member or not, is invited to experience the Swarthmore Co-op, meet a dozen of its local vendors, and enjoy a free hot dog from Dietz & Watson and other treats. Enter for a chance to win a 10-speed bike, and save 10% off any purchase during the day.

Then come back for the evening shift, beginning at 6 p.m., with a pig roast from Grilladelphia on Media, vegetable lasagna made at the Co-op, beer from 2SP in Aston, and music provided by Swarthmore’s Sonoma Sound.

Tickets are $30 for Co-op owners,$35 for non-owners, and $5 for kids 10 and under. Get them at, and whoop it up Saturday night till 10 p.m.

The Swarthmore Co-op’s store front at 403 Dartmouth Avenue back in the beginning.

The Swarthmore Co-op: Vital at 80
By Ines Rodriguez

Most Swarthmoreans know well the grocery store on the corner of Lincoln Way and Dartmouth Avenue as “the Co-op.” But how much do they really know about cooperatives? Guided by a set of principles that dates back nearly a century, co-ops are owned and democratically governed by their members, the same people who use its products or services. Ownership in a co-op is obtained through the purchase of member shares in the business, which entitles each member one vote in matters that directly affect the business.

This year, the Swarthmore Co-op is celebrating its 80th anniversary. It is one of America’s oldest operating co-ops. The Swarthmore Co-op opened its doors as a retail food market under cooperative ownership, with shares sold at $5 each. It was part of a wave co-ops that were opening across the country in response to the Great Depression.

Our Co-op started in 1932 as a buying club organized by Edith Morse, Mary “Polly” deMoll, Elizabeth Bonsall, Betty McCorkle, Eleanor Keighton, Maria Wilcox, Gracie Pearson, and Caroline Malin. This group of women wanted access to quality fruits and vegetables at fair prices. Goods were distributed from the basement of a residence at Elm and Chestnut, then known as the Onyx house. Group members placed their orders with Edith Morse, who kept track of what was available each week, took delivery, and made up orders. The group operated mostly on weekends and distributed vegetables and tree-ripened oranges and grapefruit.

After several years of growth and success, the Swarthmore Cooperative Association was officially established and Articles of Association were filed in April 1937.

Shared Values across Industries

To outsiders, co-ops offer the same products and services as corporations. However, behind the scenes, a cooperative business is entirely different than an ordinary for-profit corporation. A co-op can be big or small, for profit or non-profit. You may not realize that co-ops are all around us! You might know that REI is a co-op. They recently embraced their cooperative nature by rebranding themselves, by prominently displaying the word “co-op” in their new logo. You might also know that REI is the largest consumer cooperative in the United States. But did you know that Ocean Spray, Sunkist and True Value are all cooperatives, too?

Cooperatives are organized around seven Cooperative Principles based upon democracy, economic participation, and cooperation. While no one principle is more important than another, Principle Six (cooperation among co-operatives) is a particularly special one that directs co-ops to cooperate with each other. At the Swarthmore Co-op you will see other cooperative businesses on the shelves: Cabot, Equal Exchange, and Florida’s Natural, to name a few. This is Principle Six in practice. What happens when our general manager or our board has a question or problem to solve? We go to one of our local co-ops like Weavers Way or Mariposa for advice. There are no trade secrets here. It’s about helping each other succeed and building cooperative communities.

Worldwide, cooperatives operate in every sector of the economy, with more than 800 million members and over 100 million employees. Co-ops are important because they solve problems. Typically, cooperatives form when a group of people decide to invest equity in order to have access to goods or services that they can’t otherwise get. The purpose of the cooperative enterprise is to not to accumulate profit for investors, but to meet the goals and aspirations of its member-owners.

I get asked all the time: “What are the benefits of joining The Swarthmore Co-op?” Well, if you are looking for huge discounts, what I’m going to say might disappoint you. But to me, the benefits — knowing where my food is coming from, that I’m supporting small-farmers in their efforts towards environmental sustainability and animal welfare, and that I’m helping my neighbors earn a good living wage to support their families – far outweigh any discount that a big box store can offer me. The truth is that discounts give away earnings before they are realized, so typically in a co-op any surplus generated is reinvested in the business or returned to the member-owners based on their use of its services. (This is known as a patronage rebate, and believe me, I look forward to getting mine every year from REI!)

Stronger Together, Now as Then

The second wave of co-ops came during the 1970s counterculture revolution that brought along with it the natural foods movement and a focus on social issues. Over the years, The Swarthmore Co-op has grown and changed, moved locations and expanded. What hasn’t changed is that our co-op can still offer its member-owners access to quality food that more often than not comes from within 300 miles of the store.

In today’s society, we are programmed to look out for number one. Ownership in a cooperative allows us to create, maintain, and share the ownership of community assets and common wealth. The cooperative model offers us an economic means to meet our common needs through a democratically owned business. We have all been witness to predatory business practices in which profits come at the expense of customers, employees, or the environment. Cooperatives offer an alternative, a business model in which no one benefits at the expense of another; one that builds a community rather than drains its resources.

Today, we are the only food cooperative in Delaware County. I am so proud to celebrate our co-op’s longevity within this community. Anyone can shop at the Swarthmore Co-op, and anyone can join. A mere $300 (refundable) investment allows member-owners to promote the health and vibrancy of Swarthmore and its neighboring communities, to support a thriving local food system, and to forge meaningful connections with friends and neighbors. As we were yesterday, and will be long into the future, at the Co-op, we are stronger together.

Get to know more about Co-ops

The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent organization established to represent and serve co-operatives worldwide. In 1995, the Alliance adopted the revised Statement on the Co-operative Identity which contains the values of co-operatives, and the seven co-operative principles as described below.

Our Cooperative Values

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Our Cooperative Principles

The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.

1. Voluntary & Open Membership. Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.

2. Democratic Member Control. Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. All members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).

3. Member Economic Participation. Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy & Independence. Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.

5. Education, Training & Information. Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6. Co-operation among Co-operatives. Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community. Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

Penelope Reed, Hedgerow’s Guiding Spirit, To Receive Barrymore Award

The family that plays together stays together, as borne out by Hedgerow’s Penelope Reed (left), son Jared Reed, mother Janice Kelsey, and Penelope’s grandsons Quentin (top) and Sebastian (bottom). Photo by Ashley Labonde/Wide Eyed Studios.

By Brock Vickers

No one has started more careers in theatre than Penelope Reed, director emeritus of Hedgerow Theatre. After 25 years of leadership of Hedgerow, Reed will be honored on October 30 with Theatre Philadelphia’s Barrymore Award for A Lifetime of Achievement for her service to Hedgerow, “the mother of all Philadelphia theatre companies,” as well as the Philly theatre community at large.

Her roots with Hedgerow extend back into her youth. Along with her mother Janet Kelsey, Ms. Reed studied under Jasper Deeter, the founder of Hedgerow Theatre, beginning in 1962 at the age of 17. Little did she know that many years later she would return to the “intrepid Hedgerow Theatre” as its producing artistic director, restoring the theatre to national prominence and, like Deeter himself, creating new theatre artists along the way.

A leading actress for 12 years at the Milwaukee Repertory Company, Reed was also a director and a playwright. As a leading member of the McCarter Theatre for nine years, her duties included that of Master Acting teacher and director. She has directed more than 100 productions at a variety of theatres across the United States.

In 1992, Ms. Reed took the helm of Hedgerow, bringing her years of experience to return Hedgerow to its standing as a professional theatre, with an identity both for theatre production and education.

She represented the next generation of a long line of actors and educators at Hedgerow, as, from its roots, the theatre has focused on the training and creating of future actors. Continuing the mission of Jasper Deeter and Rose Schulman, Ms. Reed reignited the educational programs and strengthened the company mindset of Hedgerow by reinvigorating the apprenticeship program.

Ms. Reed transformed Hedgerow, facing challenges along the way. The company of resident theatre artists has grown even as the members that comprise it come and go. Children’s theatre and theatre school have grown in significance, even as the main stage fare has diversified. With the support of foundations, grants, and Hedgerow’s board, Reed has overseen the creation of a handsome modern theatre inside a historic grist mill building from the 1840s.

The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre are a nationally recognized symbol of excellence for professional theatre in the Greater Philadelphia region, honoring local artists and theatre companies while increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of our city’s thriving theatre community.

Each fall, theatregoers and artists come together to celebrate the theatre season and honor that year’s Barrymore nominees and award recipients at the annual Barrymore Awards Ceremony, this year on October 30 at the Merriam Theatre in Philadelphia. As a Barrymore Lifetime Achievement honoree, Reed will join Sara Garonzik, Johnnie Hobbs, Jr., and Carla Belver as well as her friends and collaborators Louis Lippa, Tom McCarthy, and James J. Christy. Named in honor of the famed Philadelphia-based first family of theatre, the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre have served as Philadelphia’s professional theatre awards program since 1994, raising the bar for performance and increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of the region’s theatre community.

Today, as director emeritus at Hedgerow Theatre, Penelope Reed serves as both an actor and a consultant. She appears in the role of clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Hedgerow’s fall thriller, Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, which runs from now through October 29 at the theatre, 64 W. Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley.

The Hedgerow company is now led by her son, Jared Reed, who is following his mother’s example and strengthening the core company of the theatre, even as one of his own sons begins to take on stage roles at age 7.

For more information on the theatre and its current season, call (610) 565-4211 or visit

Letters to the Editor

Life without the Co-op?

To the Editor:


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

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

First Friday • October 6

Executive Chef Michael Dorris is ready to serve you The Impossible Burger tonight, October 6, at The Broad Table Tavern.

October 6 is the very first First Friday of Fall! And with so many fantastic and diverse offerings, there’s something for everyone in Swarthmore Town Center on Friday. Hope to see you in the ‘Ville!

The Co-Ed Hair Salon,
 13 Park Avenue, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
 Our local beauty experts join the First Friday fun with an open house featuring a LuLaRoe fashion sale. A consultant will be on hand to answer any questions. Additionally, all hair products will be buy one, get one 1/2 off!

The Broad Table Tavern,
 12 S. Chester Road, open Fridays from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. 
The Broad Table Tavern is rolling out its new fall menu from executive chef Michael Dorris featuring The Impossible Burger! With every Impossible Burger purchase, guests receive a special gift certificate redeemable for a future visit.

Dunkin’ Donuts, 
1 S. Chester Road, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Are you one of the millions of Americans who run on Dunkin’? If so, you’ll love this First Friday special: get a free donut with any purchase!

Kandy Kids Toys and Gifts,
 5 S. Chester Road, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Kandy Kids will be hosting a Family Game Night. Games for all ages will be available to play at various stations throughout the store. Also, enjoy 10% off all games on First Friday!

Breathe Om Yoga,
100 Park Avenue – 2nd floor, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
 Yin Yoga with live music! Donna Schumaker will be joined by Swarthmore’s own Clair Oaks and Susan Graves! Clair and Susan offer lush vocal harmonies with a blend of English and Sanskrit. Accompanied with harmonium and guitar, their music is pure, beautiful, and joyful. “Art to Wear” by Clair Oaks Creations will also be on sale after the class. $15. Contact Donna at to register. Space is limited.

The Pilates Connexion,
 15 S. Chester Road, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
 A free workshop on Intuitive Eating and Functional Nutrition. What steps can you take to lose weight without trying the next new fad? Join Monica Schiller, a physician assistant and nutrition expert, to learn more about incorporating intuitive eating and functional nutrition into your routine. A food demonstration will be provided!

Blonde Sugar & Honey,
 104 Park Avenue, open Fridays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Have you visited the newest storefront in Swarthmore? If not, today’s your lucky day! 10% off all furniture for First Friday.

Swarthmore Campus & Community Store,
 4 S. Chester Road. Swarthmore College student acapella group Sixteen Feet will give a brief pop-up performance at 6:30 p.m. in the Swarthmore Campus & Community Store.

Houseplant Hospital, 
7-B S. Chester Road, 7 p.m.
 Houseplant Hospital will present a free orchid workshop and demonstration. Bring in a busted old orchid plant and discuss how to get it back to blooming again!

Occasionally Yours,
10 Park Avenue, last seating at 7 p.m.
 Join Occasionally Yours for jumbo lump crab cakes and pasta with homemade sauces. Dinner includes a spring mix salad with mandarin oranges, almonds & cranberries, poached vegetables, and a roll. BYOB and they’ll supply the stemware. Eat-in or take-out. (610) 328-9360.

Hobbs Coffee,
1 Park Avenue, 6:30ish until sold out.
 It’s a night of sweet treats as Waffles for Tourettes and Franklin Fountain set up shop at Hobbs Coffee.

Harvey Oak Mercantile,
102 Park Avenue, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. HOM is hosting a postcard painting party for a campaign entitled “Why I Vote Local.” Participants will make postcards to remind people about the importance of voting in this upcoming local election. Spend some relaxing time painting with watercolors and help get out the vote for November 7.

Swarthmore Friends of the Arts,
 121 Park Avenue, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
The 2017 Celebrate Swarthmore Photographers exhibit will be on display in Borough Hall from October 5-29. One night only, come meet the photographers during a free reception open to the public. There will be wine and cheese along with live music by Jessica Graae.

Swarthmore Co-op, 
341 Dartmouth Avenue, 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 
It’s time to put your Halloween trivia knowledge to the test! $5 cash payment per person at the door. BYOB (you must be 21+). Awesome prizes, raffles, and light snacks provided. Make a reservation for your team by visiting the Co-op’s website.

Board Considers SHHS Student Performance, Stress, and Personalized Learning

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board
By Katie Crawford

Strath Haven High School was the focus topic of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board meeting on Monday night, with principal Dr. MaryJo Yannacone covering topics ranging from the current enrollment numbers at the high school to alleviating student stress.

The high school welcomed 20 new students to the district in 9th grade, six new 10th graders (two of whom are reentering the district), eight new 11th graders (four reentering), and four new 12th graders (two returning). Grade size in the high school fluctuates from 257 in the 10th grade to 335 in the 9th.

Dr. Yannacone highlighted the outstanding performance of the high school students on the Keystone exams, as well as the strong performance of this year’s senior class on the PSAT exams they took as juniors. She stated that 11.11% of the seniors achieving “commended performance,” was the highest percentange in her 15-year tenure.

In addition, 85.3% of students taking Advanced Placement exams received a passing grade (a 3, 4, or 5). This statistic is particularly impressive given that all students taking AP classes at the high school are now required to take the exam.

It is, however, telling that alongside these impressive statistics, Dr. Yannacone is leading the 12th grade faculty team in researching the stress levels of seniors. The team’s ultimate quest is to understand what faculty and administrators can do to support the mental health of students navigating this time in their lives. The team is going to be reading, What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan.

The book discusses the suicide of Madison Holleran, who was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and a track star when she took her own life in 2014. Holleran was a New Jersey resident who attended Northern Highlands High School. Fagan’s book explores the pressures surrounding teenagers today including the constant feed of tweaked social media images.

Senior Exploration Personalizes Learning

In addition to seeking ways to support student wellness, the high school continues to look for ways to personalize learning for all students. Senior Exploration is a popular strategy for achieving this goal. The variety of paths chosen for Senior Exploration seems to be increasing, as does participation for the 2017-2018 school year.

Seniors may choose dual enrollment at area schools such as Delaware County Community College and Swarthmore College or they may choose from an abundance of online courses. Advanced chemistry, advanced German, and college algebra are some of the subjects seniors have chosen to pursue.

Students receive a discounted rate for tuition from Delaware County and receive college credits for the courses. Swarthmore College’s course offerings are free, but students receive no credit. While most students pursuing these opportunities drive, there is public transportation available, and Dr. Yannacone stressed that transportation issues should not limit a student’s choices.

For students choosing independent study, the interests range from pastry art and screenplay writing to a storm water management study aimed at eliminating the muck in the pond on the high school grounds.

Students are also pursuing internships in field careers by working with an athletic trainer, spending time in an elementary school classroom, and volunteering with the Swarthmore Fire Department.

Seniors may also participate in paid employment. Students have worked at local venues such as Wawa, CVS, 320 Market, and Sproul Lanes. Ten hours a week of work during the 15-week semester are required. Businesses and individuals interested in supporting the program commit to providing 150 hours of employment, which does not have to take place during school hours.

A Moving Musical Weekend

Vice President Marylin Huff, who attended both events this past weekend honoring Jack Hontz, praised the organizers and participants for their excellent work. She also noted the overwhelming and moving participation in Friday night’s halftime show of alumni of the district who returned to the field to honor their late band leader.