Swarthmore and Surrounding Communities Celebrate Independence Day
In(ter)dependence Day in Swarthmore
Giving voice to a spirit he exemplifies, Rob Borgstrom spoke twice on July 4, touching on the value of giving energy, both to the borough and to the citizen. No matter how much or little time you can give to volunteering in Swarthmore, he said, it’s worth it: “If you give 10% in Swarthmore, this town will give you back 110%.” These remarks came as the Swarthmorean co-publisher and waR3house3 owner accepted his second major award of the day as the Swarthmore Lions Club Citizen of the Year, having already been presented with the Rotary Club Community Service Award.
Swarthmore Independence Day Awards
SRA Volunteer of the Year: Brandon Lausch
Rotary Club Vocational Service Award: Rob Borgstrom
Rotary Club Community Service Award: Andy Rosen
Swarthmore Centennial Foundation Scholarship: Lena Lofgren
Theodore L. Purnell Student of the Year: Dana Hubbell
Lions Club Citizen of the Year: Rob Borgstrom
From Mayor Marty Spiegel
It is hard to imagine Swarthmore without the many volunteers who contribute so much to life in this town... from the beautiful gardens planted and maintained by the Horticultural Society, the recreational opportunities organized by Swarthmore Recreation Association, the services we receive from our volunteer fire company, the rich variety of programs provided through the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association. There are dozens more organizations that count on you to contribute to life in our borough.
You are never too old or too young, and you don’t need to commit enormous amounts of time. Everyone has something to offer. For a more comprehensive list of volunteer organizations, log on to swarthmorepa.org and click on “Community Organizations.” Get involved. You’ll be happy you did.
Good Times Roll in Rose Valley
From the color guard from Boy Scout Troop 272 leading the parade, to the last fire engine in the procession, it was all downhill in Rose Valley’s traditional July Fourth parade and celebration. Beginning after a bike rodeo at the Moylan-Rose Valley SEPTA station, it seemed as though half the town marched, rode, or rolled down to the Rose Valley Swimming Pool, as the other half cheered from shady spots along Woodward and Possum Hollow Roads.
In the midst of a blistering afternoon, the water must have seemed a mirage to overheated paraders, who somehow remained on the deck rather than in the pool for the raising of Old Glory, singing of the National Anthem led by Borough Councilwoman Vippy Yee, and remarks by State Representative Leanne Krueger and Mayor Tim Plummer.
Then — SPLASH! Water games began for the energetic, and a cooling dip for the exhausted. By 4 p.m., burgers and dogs were all grilled and foil-wrapped to headline a potluck picnic, and quick eaters got through dessert by the time the daily rain began.
July Fourth Sizzled in Rutledge
Contributed by Mayor Kevin Cunningham
The 243rd (I made that up) Rutledge Fourth of July parade began in front of Borough Hall at 10:30 Thursday morning in jungle-like heat. The parade consisted of police cars, fire engines, decorated bikes and floats, the Rutledge Girls Club championship softball teams, the Rutledge Girl Scouts, VFW and AMVET members, antique cars, a big military truck, and State Representative Leanne Krueger. Marchers and riders wound through north, east, south and west Rutledge, about 6 or 7 blocks, ending at Triangle Park, where the first stop was the water table.
The ceremony at the park began at 11 a.m., when I introduced Rutledge resident Sid Mirsa, who sang a rousing version of the “Star Spangled Banner.” While Sid was singing, the crowd became quiet, and was still quiet for a second after he finished, before erupting with cheers and applause. Rutledge is hotbed of talent! An invocation by longtime resident Ro Morrell followed. My Independence Day remarks, sometimes described as a cross between JFK’s “moon” speech and Bluto’s big speech from Animal House were next; I had to cut it short because of the heat, much to the appreciation of the crowd.
Two awards were handed out. The Hall of Honor award was given to Steve Lennox for his longtime work with the Rutledge Girls Club softball program. The Citizen of the Year award was presented to Carrie Kouf, who volunteers for everything and is indispensable to activities in Rutledge. Prizes for parade decorations were then given, followed by games for the kids. The festivities ended with the Morton-Rutledge Fire Co. mercifully spraying the kids (and some adults) with water.
Rutledge is a small borough that relies on volunteers for all the activities. Thanks to everyone that helped, including all the Borough Council members, and the many residents who made this one of the best Fourth of July ceremonies in recent memory. Numerous people commented on the feeling of togetherness and community that came through on that day.
That’s what makes Rutledge such a great place to live.
Independence Day Slideshow
To see more photos of Swarthmore’s Independence Day celebration, see Andy Shelter’s fantastic photos.