2016 Photo Contest at Ridley Creek State Park is Announced

The Friends of Ridley Creek State will be holding their annual photo contest on Friday, June 24th at 6pm on the grounds of the Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park.

Now in its 12 year, the annual photo contest was started as a fundraiser for projects at the park and to bring awareness to the “Friends,” the non-profit organization that serves to preserve, protect and enhance Ridley Creek State Park.

Hunting Hill Mansion
Hunting Hill Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park

This year the photo contest will take a new twist and be held outside, weather permitting.  As in past years, this event is free and open to the public. Come enjoy refreshments, photo submissions and experience the park through the eyes of the contestants, including children.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, June 17.

Entry forms, contest rules and previous years submissions are available  at www.friendsofrcsp.org.

If you have questions about the photo contest, call the Friends hotline at 484-442-0223.

Photo: Hunting Hill Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park by Pamela Cloud.

Pamela Cloud is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media and has been involved with the Friends of Ridley Creek State Park for over a decade.

 

 

 

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Daffodils, Breakfast, Civil War & Volunteering in Thornbury April 9

Pancake Breakfast

The annual appearance of daffodils dotting the Thornbury township landscape is always a welcome sign of spring, but more importantly, they let us know that it’s time for the Annual Pancake Breakfast at Glen Mills Schools in Glen Mills!

If you haven’t been to one of these breakfasts, you’re in for a treat. “It’s really more than pancakes,” according to Joan Dehm of the Thornbury Historical Society. Volunteers start at 6:30am making eggs, bacon, sausage and of course, pancakes. The pancake breakfast is a long-standing tradition in Thornbury.  The Thornbury Historical Society has sponsored the event for 30 years this year.  Joan herself,  has been involved with the event since they served their first breakfast in 1986.

Depending on weather and other ongoing events, you can expect to see between 250 and 450 of your closest friends and neighbors at the breakfast.  It’s a great time to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

Glen Mills Schools
Glen Mills Schools, Main Office, Glen Mills, Pa.

This annual breakfast tradition,  is an “All You Can Eat” from 8:00am to 10:30am, so come early and bring your appetite!  But wait, there’s more…

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

This year commemorates the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War.  Historical                re-enactors will attend the breakfast in authentic uniform. John Voris is coming as Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary and there will be 2 collections of Civil War artifacts from The Sons of the Union Veterans as well as representatives from the 26th  Regiment, PA Volunteer Infantry.

This is an excellent learning opportunity for kids and parents alike!

Come with your questions, curiosity and maybe even get a photo with a civil war soldier!

For more information, please contact Joan Dehm at 610-358-3397.

Place:       Glen Mills Schools
Time:        8:00am–10:30am
Cost:         Adults: $10 / Children 10 & Under: $5

Volunteering: Trail Clearing on Lukenbach Trail

Time: 9am-11am

Place: Meet at the Cheyney Post Office

Lukenbach Trail, Thornbury Township
The lower part of the Lukenback Trail, starting at the Cheyney Post Office.

What better way to give back to the community than to help keep our parks and trails beautiful? The trail clearing event on the Lukenbach trail will be going on the same day, and some time overlapping the breakfast. So, get to the breakfast early so you can work it off!! Meet the Trails Committee at the Cheyney Train station to help clear fallen trees, branches and inspection the trail markings to ensure they are in good shape. They will be focusing on the section of trail from Station Road to Bonner Park.

This is a great way to get some fresh air and meet the neighbors. If you have a scout, this is also a great opportunity to earn some service hours!!

Cheyney Post Office, Thornbury Township
Cheyney Post Office, Thornbury Township

For more information on other township events, go to http://www.thornbury.org/


Pamela Cloud is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media Pa. serving the Western Philadelphia suburbs, with expertise in Media, Glen Mills and West Chester.

Williamson College of the Trades: an education that can’t be bought

Williamson College of the Trades has been a constant, yet unpretentious fixture of the Middletown landscape for over a century. If you have not been involved with Williamson, you’ve missed out on what is taking place behind its modest 220 acre campus just off Route 352, south of Route 1. Once you understand what Williamson is about, you’ll never forget it. Further, you will be able to identify the unmistakable traits of a Williamson student and graduate: faith, integrity, diligence, excellence and service. And I’ll add what I observed, respect.

Williamson Cottages
The Williamson “cottages,” also known as dorms, were designed by famous architect Frank Furness.

Given Williamson’s enviable reputation, its students are virtually guaranteed a job upon graduation. Although Williamson is known as the Harvard of Trade Schools, “employers are less interested in the student’s skills as they are their character,” says Mike Rounds, President of the College. In fact, “there are usually more jobs than there are students to fill them,” explains Rounds. It’s a nice problem to have.  And it’s no wonder.  My recent tour of this one-of-a-kind institution left me in awe.

Kevin Williamsn Tour guide
Kevin, our tour guide.

My tour guide for the day was Kevin. He beamed with pride as he described the culture, traditions and work ethic that Williamson expects of its students. We began our tour in the chapel, where students start their day at 6:30am, shoes shined and suits pressed for inspection. Students are expected to wear a suit when on campus, except for when they are in the shop. Most of their time is accounted for from dawn until dusk.  It’s a military-like atmosphere imbued with Christian principles. A demanding schedule for anyone, let alone a college-aged person. I asked Kevin if he liked this lifestyle and his reply was an enthusiastic “yes!” He liked the fact that this training is providing him with discipline and motivation.

The Williamson lifestyle is not for all students. “Of the one hundred students that are accepted each year, 76% will graduate,” according to Arlene Snyder, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. For the students who stay through the entire 3 years, many forge lifelong friendships and build a strength of character that is unmatched. “Other schools have endeavored to emulate Williamson, but Williamson was the first and still is the only school of its kind,” added Snyder.

We toured the library, the cottages (dorms), shops and finished with lunch in the cafeteria. The entire campus is spotless, thanks to the hard work of the student body.  In the masonry shop, the students were working on their senior project, which was a fireplace they designed and built. Once their project is completed and graded, it is disassembled and the materials are recycled for the next class. This was by far the cleanest work area of any kind I have ever seen.

Williamson Masonry Shop
The Mason shop–I would hire a Williamson mason any day of the week!

Students are responsible for the upkeep of all aspects of the campus. Based on the graduates Williamson turns out, it seems as though the formula is working. After graduation, some students start their own companies, while others will start jobs with that they were hired for at the annual job fair.

Art Lallo, Senior Manager in Engineering for V-22 at the Boeing Company, was hired on the spot at such a job fair in 1979. In his senior year in high school, Art was working 40 hour weeks to help support his family. As an avid car enthusiast, going to college wasn’t on his mind until he realized that many of his friends would be leaving for college in the fall.  A friend suggested applying to Williamson.  He did so, and so started his success story. Thirty-seven years later from his first job as a tool design trainee, he advanced his education with a BS in Engineering from Drexel, and an MS in Engineering Management, MBA from Widener and a Doctorate in Higher Education from Widener. In addition to teaching at Widener, Art sits on the Board of Williamson and is the Chairman of its Education Committee.  Lallo speaks enthusiastically about his experience and the opportunity:  “where else can you graduate from college debt free and have a 3:1 job offers?” What’s even better, “the companies that come to Williamson are looking for management candidates because they know Williamson graduates have what it takes to lead,” added Lallo.

As a parent I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t want this type of training for their child.  While taking the tour I was surrounded by gentleman at each turn–not something you encounter every day! Yet a Williamson education can’t be bought–literally or figuratively.  Education in the trades combined with strength of character was the vision of Williamson’s founder, Isaiah Williamson, a successful businessman from suburban Philadelphia and a contemporary of John Wanamaker. As its original name, Williamson Free School of the Mechanical Trades implies, tuition of this three-year school is completely free. That is, every student at Williamson is on a complete scholarship. Wow!

Tuition costs $28K per student per year. The school has an operating budget of about $7 million, according to Snyder, who was hired to lead fundraising efforts at the school. “The school receives no government subsidies, existing solely on its endowment, grants, donations from corporations,alumni and philanthropically motivated individuals. ” added to Snyder.

There are so many things to love about this college on so many levels that this article could take many different directions. From the large open space that is the campus to the collection of historic Frank Furness architecture to the charm and pride of the student body, faculty and administration to the rich traditions honored by its students, Williamson College of the Trades holds a special place in Media’s history and its future.

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 If you would like to learn more, go to  Williamson’s website.

Tours are given regularly by seniors and can be arranged by calling the office of Institutional Advancement at 610-565-1096 or email: advancement@williamson.edu.

Pamela Cloud is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media Pa. serving the Western Philadelphia suburb, with expertise in Media, Glen Mills, West Chester and surrounding areas. Contact Pam for professional real estate guidance!

 

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