The sound of the CHCA board members’ unanimous and overwhelmingly loud “yea” votes approving completion of our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status was the greatest thrill of my 16-month tenure as president. Lack of it hampers our essential fund-raising activities.

The enthusiastic votes not only represent the culmination of over two years of hard work by the board, but are an indication of the board’s ability to debate an issue vigorously, study it thoroughly, and wade through the complexities (yes, sometimes with extraordinarily volatile debate) before coming together to support bylaw changes necessary to move forward – a tribute to the board’s commitment. I like to think of it as an expression of our love of Chestnut Hill.

Now, according to our existing bylaws, to finalize this transition CHCA members will have the final say.

A ballot will be created so members can vote on the decision to approve: (1) new CHCA bylaws that satisfy IRS 501(c)(3) requirements, (2) new bylaws for the Chestnut Hill Local, and (3) a proposal to the membership that explains the reorganization. A full explanation will appear in the Chestnut Hill Local.

The process to obtain tax-exempt status was started over two years ago by my predecessor, Brien Tilley. His efforts resulted in the Pepper Hamilton law firm agreeing to provide pro bono services, thus saving CHCA thousands of dollars.

Attorney John Falco worked with us tirelessly, attending countless meetings and giving well-reasoned advice, guidance, and, most importantly, extreme patience and understanding. Without his steady hand, I doubt we would be at this successful point today. Also playing a significant role has been our Bylaws Committee under co-chairs Julie Byrne and Bob Rossman.

Proxy ballots will appear in the Chestnut Hill Local and on our website,, or they can be picked up at the CHCA office. Ballots can be placed in the ballot box at Town Hall and also at the Chestnut Hill Library on the evening of Oct. 22. At the end of the Special Meeting of Members at the Library that night, voting will be closed.

I urge CHCA members to approve this transition with a YES vote. Your support is essential.

Many thanks,

Will Detweiler

P.S. If you are not a CHCA member, please join and add your supporting vote to the big moment.